Reservation Sales Agent Job Description
Reservation sales agents assist customers with booking hotel rooms, car rentals, flights, and a host of other services typically in the hospitality, entertainment, or transportation industries. They interact with customers in person, online, and over the phone to answer questions, make suggestions, and book reservations. These agents work flexible schedules that often include evenings, weekends, and holidays due to the around-the-clock nature of the hospitality industry. Reservation sales agents usually report to a manager but perform most of their work with minimal supervision. People with positive, friendly attitudes who love to multitask and stay organized make successful reservation sales agents.
Reservation Sales Agent Duties and Responsibilities
Specific job duties for a reservation sales agent vary based on their employer. However, there are several core tasks common to all reservation sales agents, such as:
Provide Information to Customers
Reservation sales agents help customers at hotels, car rental facilities, airlines, travel agencies, and resorts. They inform customers about services and products offered, local attractions, driving directions, and provide any other type of information the customer wants to know about their trip.
The primary task of a reservation sales agent is to book reservations for hotels, flights, car rentals, cruises, and events, among other things. These agents listen to customers and help accommodate them with services that best fit their needs. The reservation sales associate makes sure the requested dates, products, or services are available, and completes the reservation with a friendly attitude.
Handle Customer Complaints
Unfortunately, things don’t always go smoothly for customers while traveling, and the reservation sales agent is usually the person a customer contacts to voice a complaint or concern about their reservation. The sales agent remains calm and friendly throughout the process and helps the customer resolve the situation.
Sell Products and Services
Reservation sales agents often offer additional products and services to customers who book through them or assist customers in signing up for rewards programs for special offers and deals.
Process Payments and Refunds
Payments for products and services are usually taken when a reservation is made, and the reservation sales associate processes these payments and issues receipts. When a customer wants to make a cancelation or is unsatisfied with their reservation, these agents process and issue refunds according to company policy.
Reservation Sales Agent Skills and Qualifications
People with a knack for customer service, travel planning, and good phone etiquette make great reservation sales agents. Prior experience is not required, but employers favor people with experience speaking foreign languages as well as the following skills:
- Organization skills – reservation booking requires attention to detail and accurate recordkeeping. Reservation sales agents often multitask and work with customers on the telephone, on a computer, and in person simultaneously
- Communication skills – reservation sales agents must make sure they receive the correct information from customers and relay the right information back to customers about their reservations
- Patience – sometimes customers don’t know what they want, and these agents must be patient while helping customers make decisions
- Problem-solving skills – when problems arise with a reservation, the reservation sales agent must come up with helpful solutions
- Attention to detail – an eye for detail is essential, as client’s satisfaction depends on the accuracy of bookings, reservations, billing, and other information
- Computer skills – computer databases are almost always used to make reservations, so computer literacy and experience with data entry are helpful
Reservation Sales Agent Education and Training
Education and training requirements for reservation sales agents vary based on industry and employer, but candidates with at least a high school diploma or GED are preferred. Employers often provide on-the-job training, but experience working with the public or in sales is desired. Some agencies require agents to have a college degree or professional certificates in the hospitality and travel fields.
Reservation Sales Agent Salary and Outlook
The median annual salary for a reservation sales agent is listed as $29,354, with a range of $23,000 to $40,000, according to Glassdoor. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for travel agents is expected to decline 12 percent by 2026 due to travelers researching and booking their own vacations. The best job prospects will go to agents who specialize.
We’ve searched the web for the best industry resources to help you continue learning about a potential career as a reservation sales agent. Here are a few ways to learn if becoming one is right for you:
“Becoming a Travel Advisor” – this in-depth article by the American Society of Travel Agents covers everything about entering the world of travel consultants and reservation agents. It has links to online courses, downloadable PDF handbooks, a travel school dictionary, and access to ASTA’s career center
The Travel Institute – learn more about education and certification for professionals in many areas of the travel industry
Reservation Agent – this book prepares prospective agents for taking certification exams with examples and practice exams
American Society of Travel Agents – as America’s largest professional society for the travel industry, ASTA offers education and professional resources, news on the latest industry trends, and information on best practices
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