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Apr 2, 2020

10 Things a Hotel Concierge Can Do for Your Guests

With technology, incredible guest experiences are accessible to any hotel who seeks to improve review scores, increase incremental revenue, and build guest loyalty.



This article was originally published on HotelTechReport.

When you think of a hotel concierge, perhaps you imagine a stylish, suit-clad professional in a glamorous hotel somehow scoring tickets for a sold-out Broadway show. The ticket-seeking guests, of course, become guests for life and write rave reviews for your hotel across the web. But how exactly did the concierge pull it off while juggling dozens of requests? With technology, incredible guest experiences are accessible to any hotel who seeks to improve review scores, increase incremental revenue, and build guest loyalty. In this article, we’ll review a concierge job description, share some tasks a concierge might handle, and uncover the secrets of that little golden lapel pin on the best concierges’ jackets. Gaining a deep understanding of concierge service can help you decide whether to implement cutting-edge technology like Alliants Concierge to earn better reviews and higher revenues.

What is a Hotel Concierge Exactly?

Before we dive into the concierge job description, you may be wondering how to pronounce “concierge.” Coming from the French comte des cierges, meaning “keeper of the candles,” old-school concierges assisted the medieval upper-class as they traveled from castle to castle in Europe. Phonetically, the word is pronounced “kaan-see-ehrzh.” Want to perfect your pronunciation? This video can help you say “concierge” like a pro. Now that you know how to say it, what does a concierge do?

A concierge is responsible for providing local information and helping guests organize any activities they wish to do during their stay. Sometimes the concierge builds a detailed itinerary for a guest, while other times he or she simply answers questions or points guests in the right direction.

Like front desk staff, the concierge acts as a face of the hotel, so they should have a friendly, welcoming personality. Communication skills and attention to detail are important traits in a concierge, since they will be responsible for the intricacies of a guest’s itinerary. If the hotel attracts a lot of international guests, then foreign language skills can help a concierge succeed. A concierge should also have extensive knowledge about the local area, perhaps even building relationships with managers at top restaurants so they can secure hard-to-get reservations.

10 Things a Hotel Concierge Can Do For Guests

Though we often think of concierges booking show tickets, that’s not all they do. No two days are the same for a concierge, and they often receive requests for unique, one-of-a-kind experiences. Next time you meet a concierge, ask them about their most interesting guest request - if they’re not busy helping a guest, of course! What are some things a concierge might do besides booking restaurants and tickets?

  1. Sign them up for a loyalty program. Guests often ask concierges for discounts and perks, so if your hotel has a loyalty program, the concierge acts as the spokesperson.
  2. Teach local must-know lingo. Concierges want to help guests enjoy their city to the fullest, and one of the easiest ways to do that is to eliminate confusion about local words. Before you taste Miami’s best cafecito or ride the L in Chicago, you need to know what a cafecito and the L are.
  3. Track down forgotten or lost items. Have a guest who forgot to pack toothpaste or misplaced their passport? Leave it to the concierge to find a solution.
  4. Find kid-friendly play areas. Concierges are the go-to area experts, and their knowledge isn’t limited to nightlife. They can share recommendations for playgrounds, parks, and even babysitting services.
  5. Arrange a room upgrade. Concierges aren’t just knowledgeable about the area - they’re also treasure troves of information about the hotel itself. Want a room with a landmark view or furthest from the elevator? Guests can get the room of their dreams - and your hotel can earn some incremental revenue.
  6. Book spa or beauty services. Need a bit of R&R or a glamorous look for an event? Let the concierge help your guests find the perfect massage, hairdresser, make-up artist, nail studio, and more.
  7. Help with medical needs. Forgot a prescription or need a last-minute dentist appointment? A concierge can assist out-of-town guests with health needs too.
  8. Share tips on avoiding traffic. Google Maps can only tell you so much; a concierge knows the busiest times on the road from their own experience and can recommend alternate routes, public transit, or ridesharing.
  9. Plan activities or book restaurants before arrival. You might think your relationship with the concierge only begins when you arrive on property, but concierges can help you plan your trip as soon as you book your room.
  10. Not forget about furry friends. Pets are guests too! Besides arranging for a pet bowl and a pet bed in a guest’s room, concierges can recommend pet-friendly restaurants, dog parks, and activities for four-legged companions.

The World’s Best Concierges Belong to Les Clefs d’Or

If concierges are athletes, then Les Clefs d’Or is the Olympic team. This exclusive organization has about 4,500 members worldwide, which is just a tiny percentage of the world’s concierges, and chapters in dozens of countries. These concierges are the ones who can make any guest’s request become reality, “so long as it is morally, legally, and humanly possible.” Luxury hotels often include the number of Les Clefs d’Or concierges that they have on staff (usually it’s not more than 1 or 2) in marketing materials - it’s that big of a big deal.

Becoming a member of Les Clefs d’Or is no easy feat. In addition to several years of hotel work experience, prospective members must submit letters of recommendation and may need to pass a written examination. If accepted, then the concierge earns his or her badge of honor: a small golden lapel pin with two crossed keys, representing that they now hold the keys to the city.

These concierges are expected to make the impossible happen. Want a driver in a red Corvette to pick you up at the airport in Paris? How about a photoshoot with Persian kittens in the hotel’s penthouse? Or a midnight shopping spree at a mall in Hong Kong? A Clefs d’Or concierge will work their magic and make it happen.

Behind the Scenes: How the Best Concierges Use Tech to Surprise and Delight

Concierges - even those wearing the golden keys - are only human, so they can’t deliver these amazing experiences entirely on their own. Technology is a concierge’s secret weapon, which helps them communicate with guests, analyze trends, and organize guest requests so nothing slips through the cracks. Concierge systems can even offer insights into a guest’s likes and dislikes so a concierge’s recommendations are extra-personalized.

Great concierges, like the ones in Les Clefs d’Or, use platforms like Alliants Concierge as an all-in-one technology solution to manage & fulfil guest requests. The system doesn’t just manage requests, but it also tracks guests’ preferences and stores information about nearby vendors so concierges have everything they need at their fingertips. By providing data-driven recommendations based on guest trends and preferences, concierges can offer more relevant suggestions and increase conversion - the percentage of guests who accept their suggestions - to drive incremental revenue to the hotel’s outlets. To make operations seamless, platforms like Alliants Concierge even integrate with complementary systems like HotSOS and Oracle Opera PMS.

Eager to learn more about technology solutions for concierges? Check out Alliants concierge software buyers guide to find the system that works best for your hotel. Although technology will allow a concierge to provide better recommendations and ensure every request is actioned, he or she must still boast an impressive network of contacts and local insider knowledge. We’re still wondering how this concierge was able to arrange a private visit to Buckingham Palace for an art-loving guest!

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