The term Front Desk is used in many hotels for an administrative department where a receptionist's duties also may include room reservations and assignment, guest registration, cashier work, credit checks, key control as well as mail and message service. These are the first people guests bump into upon arrival.

First of all, not all front desk agents are created equally. Have you ever dropped a tip on an agent just for the love of the game and just walked away without expecting anything from him or her? Some of us Millennials expect that when we tip we should be taken care of accordingly. What happened to the art of just tipping?

Personally, this is how I identify a capable front desk agent who won’t waste my valuable time, someone who is efficient and not at all nervous almost bored. If the agent is over nervous, he or she might have just begun working at the property and hence is less capable. Not only does the agent have to be comfortable playing the game; the agent must know the property and the system well enough to play it properly. For example, if I see an agent running through check-ins efficiently, I will queue up in the line even if I have to wait. If another, weaker agent says; “I can help you over here, Sir” I’ll just Say: “No thank you. He’s helped me before and I don’t mind waiting.” Wait for the agent you selected. Don’t let social pressure turn you into a coward. Don’t let your cowardice put you in a bad room.

TIP UPFRONT. Let the agents know you are serious immediately. This is how to do it, walk up to the front desk, smile without showing teeth, give out your credit card or cash if so, drop a 1000 Ksh note on the desk and say, “This is for you’’. Whatever you can do for me, I’d appreciate it.” Boom you get your late check out, wine or an upgrade.

Remember to memorize the name of the agent that checked you in. This is if you had a successful experience in your stay. The name helps a lot if you happen to have forgotten something and you need to rush back into your room.

Not all front desk agents are created equal. At the same time, none of us were born to take on this task. Hotels must groom their staff, instill quality operating standards in them, and watch them bloom into the best person travelers can depend on. There are millions of amazing and great agents in this industry.Hotel managers should make sure these wonderful people are working at their hotel!

Happy travels.