Reservation Specialist Job Description

Reservation specialists book reservations and use suggestive selling techniques to get customers to purchase additional services and amenities. Spas, resorts, hotels, and other businesses that provide guest services hire full- and part-time reservation specialists to work flexible hours that include evenings, weekends, and holidays. Reservation specialists primarily report to the front desk manager and work in office environments, rarely traveling outside the business property to perform their regular job duties. Reservation specialists often work independently and spend most of their day speaking with customers over the phone.


Reservation Specialist Duties and Responsibilities

Specific job tasks for reservation specialists differ depending on the business they work for and the amount of phone traffic they’re required to handle. In every business, however, these main job duties are essentially the same:

Answer Phone Calls

Reservation specialists answer incoming phone calls from potential customers. During these calls, they answer customer questions about facility amenities and available guest services. Reservation specialists also listen to voicemails and call customers back to book reservations.

Schedule Reservations

Reservation specialists schedule reservations, inputting all check-in and check-out dates and times into the company reservation system. This includes updating and maintaining accurate records for all guests.

Answer Online Inquiries

Reservation specialists respond to online inquiries from customers.

Direct Customers

Reservation specialists provide customers with directions to various locations on and within the property. They also provide guests with pamphlets and information regarding services and amenities offered by the facility.


Reservation Specialist Skills and Qualifications

Reservation specialists are good communicators who use selling techniques to persuade customers to buy additional services during their stay at a facility. In order to be considered for this job, reservation specialists must have the following skills:

  • Customer service – employers look for reservation specialists with strong customer service skills because this is a customer-oriented job
  • Salesmanship – reservation specialists use persuasion and selling techniques to convince customers to buy extra services and make use of amenities
  • Communication skills – because reservation specialists answer incoming phone calls and respond to customers online, excellent verbal and written communication skills are essential for this job
  • Computer skills – reservation specialists use computers to schedule bookings in online reservation systems, update digital customer files, and respond to online inquiries
  • Data entry – reservation specialists input information into online systems, so employers prefer professionals who have good data entry skills
  • Problem-solving skills – reservation specialists address customer questions and help them book reservations, which can require some problem-solving when specific rooms or services are not available precisely when guests want them
  • Multitasking – as reservation specialists answer all incoming phone calls and respond to online inquiries, good multitasking skills are required to juggle several customer requests at once


Reservation Specialist Education and Training

Employers look for reservation specialists who have a high school diploma or GED. Because this is an entry-level job, no additional education or formal training is required. However, candidates who have past experience with customer service or sales are often more desirable to employers.

Training is provided to reservation specialists once hired. The training period, the length of which varies by company, allows reservation specialists to become familiar with the hiring company’s particular software and protocols. During this time, reservation specialists familiarize themselves with the specific services, products, and amenities offered by the facility. While in training, reservation specialists work under close supervision from a manager until they master specific job tasks well enough to perform their daily duties independently.


Reservation Specialist Salary and Outlook

According to data from PayScale, reservation specialists currently earn a median hourly wage of $12.10. Job information compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), however, shows that receptionists earn $28,390 annually, or $13.65 an hour. Like reservation specialists, receptionists are hired as entry-level employees to answer phones, respond to questions, and provide customers with general information. The BLS expects job growth of 9 percent through 2026. This rate is about as fast as the national job growth average in the U.S.

Full-time reservation specialists usually receive basic medical insurance benefits. Some employers additionally provide dental and vision coverage. Most companies also give reservation specialists employee discounts on services provided by the facility. Some employers provide sales commission bonuses in addition to base pay.


Helpful Resources

Learn how to master essential reservation specialist skills, find available job openings, and explore other professional resources through these books and websites:

SOCAP: Association for Customer Care Professionals – visit this website to search for jobs in customer service, find dates for upcoming events, discover online learning courses, and get up-to-date tips for providing excellent customer service in any industry

Phone Skills for the Information Age – learn great phone skills for the modern age from this book, which is packed with reference charts, case studies, helpful skill-building exercises, and even a glossary of common terms

American Hotel & Lodging Association – look for job openings, networking events, and other resources for hospitality professionals at the AHLA website

Smart Selling on the Phone and Online: Inside Sales That Gets Results – use this book to learn how to make over-the-phone sales by asking the right questions, getting around customer excuses, and using other smart techniques to sell more services to customers

National Association of Professional Receptionists – browse job listings, learn how to ace the interview process, and find lots of tips and resources for receptionists in all industries at this website

Customer Service Training 101: Quick and Easy Techniques That Get Great Results – this book provides in-depth customer service training for all professionals who regularly work with customers. The text covers information about working with customers over the phone, in face-to-face situations, and online, tasks that all reservation specialists perform


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