Guest Service Agent Course Details

Penn Foster Career School’s Guest Service Agent training program consists of nine courses to help you gain the knowledge and skills relevant to working as a concierge. This program also contains a Work Experience Option, so you can get valuable, hands-on experience working in the hospitality industry.

Program Goal and Outcomes

Program Goal

To provide students with a strong background in hospitality skills and prepare students for entry positions in a hotel/resort setting.

Upon completion of the program, students will be able to...
  • Recognize the opportunities available in the hotel and hospitality industries and the professional organizations that issue certifications and advance the field.
  • Examine the organizational structures, features and practices within the hotel and hospitality industries.
  • Describe the qualities of professional conduct and appearance.
  • Outline how to use equipment common to the hotel and hospitality industries.
  • Apply basic, consumer, and business math computations.
  • Communicate with correct use of the English language.
  • Describe how to perform front desk and office procedures associated with hotel and hospitality operations.
  • Explain the logistical and sales procedures in the lifecycle of a guest’s involvement with a hotel or hospitality site
  • Apply basic bookkeeping skills and financial processes common to front desk hotel work.
  • Examine health and safety issues and solutions common to the hotel and hospitality industries.
  • Compare effective ways to communicate when providing information or solving problems within a guest services role
  • Critique problems common within the hotel and hospitality industries.
  • Describe the methods of effective interpersonal communication with guests and co-workers.
  • Describe effective customer service techniques within the hotel and hospitality industries.
The first part of this course will help you understand how to use your student portal, access the Penn Foster Community and use it to find answers, and connect with Penn Foster on various social media sites. The second part of this course will teach you how to recognize the opportunities available within the hotel and hospitality industry. Students will be able to identify career pathways and the industry training and certification requirements necessary to advance their career.


  • Outline a plan for completing your program and the goals you want to achieve
  • Identify your preferred study aids and learning styles
  • Develop important study and time management skills
  • Use helpful resources, such as the Virtual Library and tutoring services
  • Describe the hospitality industry
  • Describe Guest Services
  • Identify the various career opportunities in guest services
  • Describe the importance of service culture
  • Describe the necessary qualities of a guest service professional
  • Compare different types of hotels and their rating classifications
This course will teach students to identify the appropriate aspects of a professional image, along with addressing common hygiene issues that employees can face when entering the work force for the first time. Additionally it will introduce the concept of professional ethics and examine their importance as well as the impact of unethical behavior on both the employee and the company. Lastly, guest confidentiality, attendance, proper meeting/training etiquette, and work area maintenance will be discussed.


  • Identify appropriate forms of dress and hygiene
  • Analyze the relationship between company brand and employee behavior
  • Explain the importance of attendance and punctuality
  • Explain the importance of properly maintaining work areas
  • Identify proper meeting and training etiquette
  • Describe the importance of ethical behavior and possible consequences of unethical behavior
  • Discuss the importance of professional ethics and maintaining guest confidentiality
  • Describe the importance of ethical and professional workplace communication
  • Determine appropriate forms of oral and written communication
  • Distinguish between formal language and informal language, as well as circumstances under which each is acceptable
  • Distinguish between effective and problematic manners of communicating negative information
This course will introduce students to the importance of the hospitality rating system, the various types of hospitality organizations, typical hotel organizational structures, standard operating practices within hotel and hospitality industries, industry terminology, and the various ownership structures of a hotel.


  • Describe the types of hospitality organizations
  • Explain the way hotels are rated
  • Identify departments, positions, and their roles within the hotel and hospitality industries
  • Summarize common ownership structures within the hotel and hospitality industries
  • Describe the various roles, functions, and jobs at a front desk
  • Define the standard operating practices in a hotel
  • Define common hotel terms
  • Summarize the concept of yield management and associated processes
  • Explain the purpose of policies and procedures and why it is important to understand and follow them.
  • Explain federal, state and local ordinances and laws that can impact the responsibilities and decisions of guest service workers
This course will introduce students to office machines and technology (their purpose, common features, etiquette and troubleshooting) common in both front desk operations and used as guest amenities.


  • Describe the purpose, features, and how to use equipment and technologies commonly used in front desk operations
  • Describe the purpose, features, and how to use equipment and technologies often provided to business guests
  • Summarize the procedures for accessing files, connecting peripherals, and printing documents from a computer
  • Identify the features of the MS Word 2016 interface
  • Create a document
  • Apply character and paragraph formatting to documents
  • Determine the appropriate layout and design for a document
  • Compose documents with images, shapes, and graphics
  • Differentiate related information by using tables
  • Integrate information from a table into a mail merge document
  • Identify the features of the MS Excel 2016 interface
  • Create a spreadsheet
  • Apply formatting to make worksheet data easier to understand
This course will provide students with the necessary accounting building blocks to prepare them to perform basic bank balancing. It will also introduce students to accounting principles and concepts that will assist them in the review, interpretation and preparation of required front desk reports.


  • Perform basic arithmetic computations required to make change, total transactions, and prepare financial reports
  • Figure ratios, proportions, and per cents relative to occupancy, rates and discounts, and income and expense
  • Explain how to perform basic cash transactions including making change, processing credit cards, and balancing a cash drawer
  • Explain the role and tasks involved in the night audit
  • Summarize the types of daily reports and their purpose within hotel and hospitality operations
  • Identify the key components of each report and the appropriate sources for data compilation
  • Describe how to complete the most common reports
This course will prepare students to perform front desk and office procedures related with the hospitality industry. The course will focus on the proper way to greet guests and provide students with the knowledge to handle routine tasks associated with the operations of a front desk within the hospitality industry.


  • Outline the process and elements of oral communication, and the traits that contribute to positive interactions
  • Discuss the impact of non-verbal cues on communication and perception
  • Explain the goals, steps, and results involved in active listening
  • Distinguish between effective and problematic methods of communicating with guests
  • Describe how to effectively respond to an angry guest
  • Examine the methods hotels use to track room sales
  • Describe the ways that reservations are made
  • Explain the type of information captured in a reservation
  • List the types of tasks often performed by guest service agents
  • Describe the procedures involved in performing typical front desk duties
  • State the procedures for greeting guests and for routing and monitoring all communications via phone, mail, fax or packages
This course will describe health and safety issues and solutions common to the hotel and hospitality industries. It will prepare students to be agents of change by providing them with the necessary background to be able to identify and troubleshoot potential hazards.


  • Define OSHA and its mission
  • State the OSHA risk categories most often encountered within the hotel and hospitality industries
  • Discuss the most common health and safety concerns in the hotel and hospitality industries
  • Identify the areas to look for risk within hotel and hospitality facilities and regular preventative steps management and employees can take
  • Explain why hotels and hospitality establishments face special health and safety challenges
  • List the steps to take in response to fires and fire hazards
  • Relate how to address and respond to medical emergencies and injuries
  • State the steps involved in dealing with potentially violent incidents
  • Identify how to address and resolve incidents involving hazardous materials, biohazards, and infectious diseases
This course will provide students a high-level overview of the components of hospitality food and beverage operations. It will explore the various departments, positions and roles inside a hotel’s food and beverage division.


  • Identify departments and their roles within the food and beverage division in a hotel
  • Explain the safety procedures that need to be followed in food service.
  • Explain how the restaurant and bar, and room service and mini bar function within a hotel and the positions involved in these divisions
  • Explain the risks involved in food and beverage services
  • Describe methods to manage and reduce these risks
This course will provide students with the tools necessary to position for that next level within the hospitality industry. Students will be exposed to Total Quality Management methods for managing staff.


  • Describe the characteristics of a leader
  • Explain how to interview and hire the best staff
  • Discuss how to schedule, manage, and supervise staff
  • Explain the concept and procedural steps of progressive discipline
  • Identify the key components of success
  • Recognize the tools necessary to advance to management
  • Discuss the role of relocation in career development
  • Explain the stress reaction and effective methods for managing and reducing stress
This course will provide students with insights into what hospitality employers are looking for in applications, resumes and interviews. This course will also prepare students to make a positive first impression on their first day.


  • Create an effective cover letter and resume
  • Formulate effective answers to common interview questions
  • Identify qualities of good interview etiquette
  • Explain the concept and procedural steps of progressive discipline
  • Describe the purpose and function of various employee documents utilized in human resources
  • Explain employee rights
This course describes the hospitality opportunities beyond the traditional hotel chain. It will explore the differences in culture that these alternatives offer from the more formal hotel industry.


  • Define the various types of hospitality venues
  • Contrast traditional hotel and a casual resort cultures
  • Describe the differences between traditional hotel and international resort opportunities
This course will describe effective customer service techniques within the hotel and hospitality industry. It will focus on identifying the key goals to customer service and using the quality assurance process translates into a quality guest experience. The course will also review the skills necessary to effectively respond to guest complaints or special needs. Finally, this course will illustrate the importance of understanding the nuances associated with guests from different cultures.


  • State the philosophy and goals of customer service and the procedures involved in meeting these goals
  • Distinguish between leisure and business guests and the needs of each
  • Discuss the importance of knowing the area, transportation options, restaurants, tourist attractions
  • Describe how to deal with angry, upset or problem guests and how to answer a customer complaint
  • Explain the quality assurance process and how it ensures quality guest experiences
  • Describe the general process for determining the source of a problem and its solution
  • Explain how to resolve common problems in reservations, room availability, and payment
  • Discuss common problems in facilities, amenities, policies, and procedures and ways to solve them
  • Describe the types of problems that can originate from guests or outside venders and how to best solve each
  • Explain how to resolve conflicts

Penn Foster Career School Accreditation & Licensing Details

Penn Foster has been accredited for over 50 years. Penn Foster Career School has been thoroughly reviewed and has earned several important accreditations, certifications, and licensing. Most importantly, Penn Foster Career School is both regionally and nationally accredited.

Surround Sound Support

A Committed Support System

While you can study independently, you’re not alone! With a dedicated Student Services department, the Student Community, and instructors just a call away, you’ll have access to the support you need.

Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools

Our customizable goal-setting tools will help you create a schedule and stick to it. Need some extra time to complete a lesson? Not a problem — you can adjust your study plan at any time to set a pace that works for you.
Progress Tracking and Goal Setting Tools
Penn Foster Student Community

Student Community

Looking to connect with other Penn Foster students? Our Student Community is the perfect place for you to interact with your peers — as well as Penn Foster faculty and staff — to discuss your online learning experience, congratulate fellow students, and share your Penn Foster experience.

Sample Guest Service Agent Lesson

Penn Foster courses are written in a way that is easy to understand, and materials are broken down into manageable lessons. Take a look at what a guest service agent course would look like.
Penn Foster Guest Service Agent Sample Lesson
Computer Specifications
As you know this is an online academic program. This means you will need access to high-speed internet to begin your program. In addition, you will need access to a Microsoft® Windows® based computer running Windows® 10 or later or an Apple® Mac® computer running macOS® or later, Microsoft® Office 2019 or Microsoft 365®, and an email account to complete this program with Penn Foster.
We reserve the right to change program content and materials when it becomes necessary.
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
Apple, Mac, and OS X are trademarks of Apple, Inc. registered in the United States of America and/or other jurisdictions.
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