Looking For A Concierge Service? Here Is How To Look For The Best!
Concierge services are normally perceived to be associated with the rich and famous. People who have no time to do those little menial tasks in their lives, yet need to get it done with finesse and perfection.
The dictionary defines the word “Concierge” as someone you would find manning a desk in a luxe apartment lobby or a five-star hotel; who is expected to cater to the special demands of residents or guests.
These are a few traits that you might find common in the best of concierges:
- They are amiable, unflappable, dependable even in the most extenuating circumstances.
- Have a comprehensive knowledge of local resources, places of interests (locally and globally), options in fine dining, entertainment, travel, gifting, fitness, wellness and health. In short, he/she helps craft curated experiences to all your needs and wants.
- A good concierge would also have links to networks beyond the obvious that could include local businesses, professional networks and associations.
- He/she is someone who relies on sure and dependable personal contacts than online searches to get the job done.
- Looks at every opportunity to raise the bar in service and exclusivity.
- This would include exclusivity in service, procurement, experience and fulfilment.
- Is willing to work long and tiring hours to get the job done.
- Always thinks ahead… takes care of problems before they happen.
- Is a master at coordination and tying loose ends.
- Your go-to-guy for quick and trusted advice.
- Concierges are also known to be good listeners and of very patient temperament.
Concierge services are based on trust, exclusivity, quick turnaround times, knowledge, identifying opportunities and personal conviction in doing the right thing at the opportune time.
Not all requests for services could be classified as normal. Requests could be at odd times, unfulfillable, absurd, eccentric, not legally possible and of many more types. In all this, the concierge has to manoeuvre through the minefield to deliver the request. Many times concierges work long, undefinable hours to fulfil requests that take a toll on their relationships and downtimes. But the thrill of getting something done, that normally would not be possible, is rewarding enough for them and enhances their reputation by leaps and bounds.
Before the trade began to evolve into a separate function in large five-star hotels, prospects learned the trade on the job. You would hear of people who were exceptional bell boys, porters, elevator operators and front desk executives; learning for years on the job and then branching out into this value-added service. With the advent of hospitality and finishing schools, the tradecraft began getting recognized as a specialised skill and is taught accordingly.
The concierge business is normally linked to travel. With travel down to the bare minimum due to the pandemic, hotels converted into quarantine centres the concierge services too has had their lows.
From this has evolved another kind of business. The pandemic has ensured that people cannot travel, governments have restrictions in place and Covid protocols have to be followed to the hilt. So the concierge services have moved from the super-luxe exclusive services to more mid-level ones like arranging for gifts for a loved one in another city, helping make travel and transit arrangements for a loved one from the Covid affected region with all travel and Covid protocols in place, helping out a client stranded in a new city until travel restrictions are lifted. So on and so forth.
One of the biggest advantages of being in the concierge business is interacting with all kinds of people; the rich and the famous, the everyday ordinary people, the emergency services people, the law-and-order establishment, your own hotel/ restaurant or apartment staff, creators of haute couture, people from media and entertainment. During normal times, this ensured that concierges also got invited to a lot of exclusive events that they later recommended to clients.
There are different types of concierge services. Those that you find at the hotel lobby or apartment lobby; the traditional form of the business. With the advent of social media, there is also the other form; digitised concierge service that you could avail of at the tap of a button. The advent of social media platforms and the pressures of maintaining your best-in-class digital etiquette has fuelled the growth in this segment.
The Covid -19 pandemic too has helped fuel demand for digital concierge serves. The biggest advantage of digital concierge services is that it transcends cities and borders. What better way to stay connected when cities and transportation is restricted or closed, luxe hotels have been converted to quarantine centres and your travel and socializing is restricted or with a lot of conditions. In situations like these, a digital concierge service can help you surprise your friends and family across borders or bring a smile to that business acquaintance who went out of his way to be hospitable to you, the last time you visited his country or city.
Whatever mode of concierge service you opt for, one thing is certain; the concierge is the perfect linchpin between the establishment and exclusive guest/customer to achieve unparalleled delight.