Concierge Referrals: Tips on Maintaining High Standards with Your Outside Venues
By Marjorie Silverman Honorary President, UICH, Les Clefs d'Or | October 28, 2008
The symphony of service! The ubiquitous Verizon Wireless television ad featuring the "network" comes to mind when one conjures up the "part Merlin, part Houdini" magic of the concierge. Concierges cannot function without their network. Think of it in terms of a symphony with a maestro at the podium and a semicircle of the orchestra who make the music.
In the Hotel
The first semicircle of "musicians" begins in one's own property. Who to call to get things done-need a room rushed for a VIP, a reservation in the hotel's 5 star restaurant, to freeze that freshly pumped mother's milk, a board room for an impromptu important meeting, where to find the wedding cake top for the parents who have spent thousands on a wedding, a private space facing Mecca for a morning prayer: See the Concierge.
All of those "back of the house" geniuses are part of the network. The General Manager makes this possible by placing his trust in the concierge staff and their credibility by instructing the management team to give them what they need to please the guest. He trusts their judgment, communication skills and their expertise; that they would not ask, were it not important. They are in the first circle of harmony to assure that all guest requests within the property are met with friendship, promptness and efficiency. They understand that they are part of the creative team who make it happen. They are schooled in all aspects of hospitality and the hotel's mission statement. They are the first chairs of the orchestra.
The second semicircle is located in the local community. This layer of instrumentation gives the concierge orchestra its fullness and richness. Guests want to experience the spirit of the place. They demand authentic local experiences that synchronize with their hotel experience-they do not want any jarring notes. How does the concierge team audition and decide the services and vendors to recommend? How do they augment the sound of the orchestra to a crescendo?