The concierge job is evolving
The organization of luxury hotels is changing to better welcome guests and meet the needs of all customers. Among these new practices, there is the modern concierge service which adapts and becomes professional with the help of technological tools. What is the future of concierges?
The new skills of the concierge
Today, the concierge service in large hotels is often made up of a traditional office manned by hotel employees, the concierges, who are very often part of an international association called “The Golden Keys”. This organization has real know-how and a very strong network that allows the exchange of good addresses and good practices around the world.
But new reception practices require new skills: technological to master communication and customer information from tablets, applications and online services of the e-concierge; marketing to deploy the customer relationship strategy even before the reservation and after the guests stay; databases to know and analyze customer behavior on databases, finally communication and commercial techniques to create tailor-made and authentic local experiences.
Automate recurring requests
Traditional customers are used to being served at the reception level, where 80% of requests still relate to basic transactions, such as taxi transfers to the hotel and reservation of tables in restaurants… One One of the obstacles to reducing these operations is that very few concierges, in fact, want to post their good addresses on online applications. This is because of the financial advantages they get with each transaction (they are generously rewarded by the tips that customers slip to them, and also obtain a financial margin on commercial transactions carried out with suppliers).
The problem is therefore not simple. Since their wages are low, luxury hotels have let these practices take place since, in the end, they achieve customer satisfaction by saving wages. But these practices are being questioned today. Because new customers no longer want to pay for a service that they can obtain for free, transparently and at the right price, on mobile applications. In addition, all choices, personalization, opinions of other customers are now obtained with a single click on a plethora of dedicated websites.
Bring real added value
New customers, even wealthy ones, therefore refuse the principle of margins and tips, unless by going through the hotel concierge, they obtain real added value in their final experience. There is therefore a profound change to be made in the concierge profession to return to the values of the past with the anticipation of needs, the enchantment, the tailor-made … with the help of digital tools and in connection with the environment where they are connected.
More equity and improve wages
Finally, the study underlined the bad climate that tips can induce between employees of luxury hotels. A certain fairness must be found, for example, between the concierges and the chambermaids in terms of tips paid by customers at the time of departure. This can be obtained by rehabilitating the reception professions, by boosting the careers of staff in contact, by training employees for their new missions and by improving their salaries through a system of bonuses and variable part, indexed to overall satisfaction. client.
No, the job of concierge is not becoming obsolete, but it will certainly change, because it is more and more strategic in welcoming customers. The way of working must evolve to meet the important needs in terms of hyper-personalization, excellence and authenticity. Technological tools are an opportunity to return to the true essence of the profession, and to reorganize the services at the hotel lobby level. This requires motivated, competent staff, with great humility and transparency, so that all customer needs are anticipated and met beyond their expectations, with a willingness to serve free and selflessly.