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The Art of Concierge


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The Art of Concierge

  1. 1. The Art of the Concierge Leela Palace, Udaipur
  2. 2. A long History of Hospitality 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  3. 3. What is a Concierge? Chief Assistant of the hotel Provides advice and additional services to hotel guests. Goes the extra mile and performs the impossible! 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  4. 4. History & Evolution of the Concierge • The word “concierge” is derived from the Latin conservus, meaning “fellow slave”. • As early as the twelfth century, the title concierge began to see regular use. • The symbol of concierge is crossed keys. Rumor has it that the origin of the crossed keys may have come from the Parisian prison, the conciergerie, whose most famous prisoner was Marie Antoinette. • With the development of grand hotels in the late nineteenth century, a concierge was posted at the entrance to welcome guests and to give out the keys. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  5. 5. The Modern Concierge • By the twentieth century, every good hotel in Europe had a concierge, but it was not until 1936 that a social law was passed to pay them. Before that they worked for no wages, handling such duties as the dry cleaning and laundry services for gratuities. • The position of the concierge has evolved, after lowly beginnings, to the present, where the concierge in a modern hotel has truly major responsibilities and respect. • In Europe, the process of becoming a concierge is evolutionary. Often concierges begin as child performing page duties and gradually work their way through the ranks of uniformed services to become a member of the concierge team. • In Europe the profession is time honored, and many people devote their lives to it.01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  6. 6. Concierge as a Profession 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur • Spirit • Characteristics • Philosophy • Commitment • Ethics • Role • Relationships • Attitude • Communication
  7. 7. Spirit The spirit in which the job is performed makes the difference and concierges need to understand this on a very deep level. It is the spirit behind the job skills that motivates the concierge to go the extra mile and push him or herself to the limit. The concierge is a curious combination of idealism and realism that equates to true hospitality. Concierges are used as the service role model and rightly so. Job descriptions alone cannot possibly give a true sense of the job performed by the concierge. It is highly visible position, one that brings prestige, a sense of power, a variety of business contacts and a deep sense of satisfaction. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  8. 8. Characteristics It takes a Unique set of characteristics even to survive at a concierge desk. Start with a certain outgoing type of personality. Combine it with a deep need to serve and be appreciated. Top it with one’s comfort zone being enter stage and throw in an addiction to excitement, a voracious drive to organize, the patience of Job and the soul of private eye. There you have the making of a good concierge. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  9. 9. Because the job has no boundries, the special characteristics of a concierge really come into play. It would be easy to become frustrated and “lose it” when asked to do three or four things at once while “on stage” in full view of the public. The ability to do multiple tasks without losing one’s cool is a paramount in being a concierge. I one cannot perform multiple tasks simultaneously, one should not even think about the concierge as a career choice. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  10. 10. Philosophy The philosophy of the concierge embraces the concept of service with a willingness and a sense of pride. As aforementioned, the word “concierge” is derived from the Latin conservus, meaning “fellow slave”. The concierge understands the subtle difference service and servitude and has turned it into an art form. It is the concept of taking pride in one’s work. The old adage “It’s all in how you look at it” is exemplified by a concierge. The truth is a concierge often do very unglamorous things such as booking airport shuttles, sending UPS and Fed Ex packages, reserving rental cars, ordering amenities, giving out bus routes, but they do it in such a way that it appears very glamorous. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  11. 11. Commitment THE BUCK STOPS AT THE CONCIERGE This should be emblazoned on the forehead of every concierge, If the concierge cannot do it, it cannot be done. That should be the overriding principle at a concierge desk. Many people in service jobs pass people along to someone else. The concierge can never do this! The concierge is the last stop; the end of the lime. Yet from the point of view of the guest, it is the first stop and the only place they need to go. A large part of the concierge service philosophy is that the concierge can do anything and never say no. But not all requests can be met all the time. But the dedicated concierge will exhaust all possibilities and alternatives are always offered. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  12. 12. Ethics There are requests that cannot be met because they extend beyond the boundaries of the concierge’s morals and integrity. The concierge philosophy includes only services that are legal and kind. Betting on a cricket team or on a horse in the Derby through a bookie or pulling a practical jokes are examples for instances, of service inappropriate to the concierge. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  13. 13. Role • Listen to the guest. • Be gracious • Ask the anticipatory and probing question to ascertain the guests’ needs. • Take your time with the recommendation. • Manage your time, and manage the consumers expectation on receiving information. Make an informed recommendation based on the information provided that meet or exceed their expectation levels of their request. By asking all the right questions, you ensure that to each guest you are: • Fair • Objective • Able to use your vast source of knowledge to make the best recommendation. • You treat every guest that makes the long journey to the concierge desk the same. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  14. 14. Relationship Relationships with Guests Because the job of the concierge is so personal in nature, it is inevitable that some friendships do occur. Although there are very special exceptions, the relationship between the concierge and guests should be respectful but not familiar. When dealing with the guest, it is important to remember always to use their names, keep smiling and look them directly in the eye. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  15. 15. RelationshipRelationships with Vendors The concierge builds a good relationships with vendors over a long period of time; often measured in years. Good relations with restaurants, ticket brokers, travel agents, car rental companies, limousine services, florists, charter companies, and the like are indispensable and do not simply happen. They are painstakingly constructed and must be nurtured. In addition, relationships within the hotel are equally important and require an equal amount of dedication and effort. Some relationships are dedicated by hotel policy. There may be contractual agreements between the hotel and a rental car agency or tour company which must be maintained on behalf of the hotel. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  16. 16. Relationship Telephone Manners Every relationship begins with a contact, usually made by telephone. It is vital, therefore for the concierge to practice exemplary telephone manners and to impart warmth and sincerity in every call. The concierge should begin every new contact by introducing him or herself, identifying the hotel and asking the name of the person speaking and then use the name throughout the conversation – no matter how brief. When transferred to another person, the same procedure applies and notes should be made so as to keep everybody straight. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  17. 17. Relationship Miscellaneous Contacts : Contacts can and should be made even when there is no special request. Personally welcoming a new business to the area or sending congratulations on an opening can work wonders in building relationship. The Favor Bank : Apart from routine referrals and normal business, concierges are constantly doing special favors and just as constantly asking for favors. The good concierge knows exactly when to ask, and keeps track of favors so as to avoid the possibility of abusing the privilege. The concierge is the concierge’s Best Friend : A good concierge can make hotel, dinner or theatre reservations anywhere on earth with a simple phone call to a colleague. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  18. 18. Attitude Thinking Like a Concierge: Integrity, Responsibility, Everybody Wins In the world of the concierge, there are no half price sales or so-so service. “Thinking like a concierge” is the essence of success. This is the glue that holds everything together. Thinking like a concierge requires philosophy, communication skills, creativity, imagination and willingness to get the job done. It boils down to one word: “ON”. The concierge is always on the phone, on the job, on the front line, on call, on their feet but most important, on the ball. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  19. 19. Communication Language may be a problem at times. In India, people who are multilingual are rare, and the ability usually grows out of concentrated study rather than as a result of having grown up with more than one language as the natural state. Although being a multilingual is a definite asset and more in demand recently, some good concierges function admirably without that particular ability. It is advisable to have at least one multilingual person on staff, but the universal language is “SERVICE”. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  20. 20. Routine Job 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur • Meeting VIPs and special guests at the airport, railway stations or ports. • Taking care of luggage, including safe custody, checking them in (subject to customs approval), having them shipped or even repaired. • Air ticketing, all aspects involving flight reservations, ticket purchase, changing of flight dates, routes, meal and seat requests, city check in. • Mail and courier services both local and overseas. • Handling guest's messages, faxes and mail.
  21. 21. • Ground transfers, taxies, limousines, coaches and basically anything with wheels. • Private hire of jets, helicopter, yacht. Arranging sightseeing tours, both conventional and customized, knows tourist attractions. • Make onward hotel reservations. • Making restaurant / entertainment recommendations and reservations. • Shopping tips, as well as the occasional personalized shopping service. • Arranging flowers delivered both locally and worldwide. • And now increasingly, be IT savvy. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  22. 22. Follow – Through Following through is so vital to the concierge because that tasks have been completed satisfactorily and provides verification. Perception is important and if a guest does not have it demonstrated that his/her request has been attended to, the effort could go totally unnoticed. The guest may never know. When doing research on behalf of a guest, make sure the guest knows specially to check back with the concierge. Establish a time frame. Ask when the guest plans to check out or leave the hotel and make sure to make contact with him/her prior to that time. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur
  23. 23. 01/30/15 Concierge Services - Leela Palace Udaipur “In Service Through Friendship”