In my previous post: Concierge Services: From the Hotel Lobby to the Palm of Your Hand, we discussed several different mediums where concierge services are offered beyond the hotel lobby. Many of which are the result of rewards and loyalty programs offered in banking, credit cards, and other industries.
No matter what the medium, the caliber of the concierge is crucial and a great concierge is worth their weight in gold. A concierge can make or break a company, as many concierges fulfill requests from consumers for critical events and milestones in their lives.
Concierges are expected to perform a variety of tasks, from the most basic to the bizarre, like having an entire hotel room filled with candy bars.
I’ve heard concierges compared to Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother – which is a very good analogy. Think about it – she magically appeared and assisted Cinderella in attending the ball by getting her invited to this prestigious event; provided her with the perfect gown and a magical pair of glass slippers. She arranged the transportation (turned a pumpkin into a coach, mice into horses, a rat into a coachman, and lizards into footmen) – all within 24 hours. If Cinderella were to use one of today’s modern concierges, vs. her Fairy Godmother, she could have also scheduled a reminder call, prior to midnight, alerting her that it was almost time to get home!
The modern concierge is very capable and executes his or her duties with urgency and fervor. Concierges are trained to be discreet and display integrity. There is no challenge too great and no task too small, so long as it is not illegal or immoral – they are there to solely and exclusively provide an exceptional customer experience. Concierges never use the word “no” and will instead offer options if what has been requested is not possible. A great concierge is an exceptional networker with an extended network of contacts and resources around the globe who understand the importance of not only developing, but also nurturing relationships.
In today’s world, a great concierge is technologically savvy. This is critical as a virtual concierge can no longer depend on their contacts and knowledge alone. It is important to hire professionals who are trained in service excellence and have the skills and credentials necessary to handle the many tasks needed to succeed. Concierges are not magicians, but will always get the job done either on their own – or by knowing where to go or who to refer to. They will not only make the initial plans, but follow them through – ensuring that expectations are not only met, but exceeded.
A great concierge is creative, often taking an ordinary experience and morphing it into a magical one. For example a concierge will set up a tour of the city – a great concierge will set up a scavenger hunt that includes all of a city’s main attractions with a welcome package waiting at the destination. The welcome package could include a compass to help them find their way and a camera take photos of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
A concierge’s job is challenging, imagine trying to find the dress that Julia Roberts wore in Pretty Woman – or getting tickets to a sold out event minutes before it starts. Great concierges have unique skill sets that are in demand. It is critical for companies (large and small – hotel or financial services) to hold them to a standard, but it is equally as important compensate them for what they do – as certainly, not everyone is cut out to be a concierge – especially a great one!