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.

Local Community

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?

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Coming up in June 2019...

Sales & Marketing: Selling Experiences

There are innumerable strategies that Hotel Sales and Marketing Directors employ to find, engage and entice guests to their property, and those strategies are constantly evolving. A breakthrough technology, pioneering platform, or even a simple algorithm update can cause new trends to emerge and upend the best laid plans. Sales and marketing departments must remain agile so they can adapt to the ever changing digital landscape. As an example, the popularity of virtual reality is on the rise, as 360 interactive technologies become more mainstream. Chatbots and artificial intelligence are also poised to become the next big things, as they take guest personalization to a whole new level. But one sales and marketing trend that is currently resulting in major benefits for hotels is experiential marketing - the effort to deliver an experience to potential guests. Mainly this is accomplished through the creative use of video and images, and by utilizing what has become known as User Generated Content. By sharing actual personal content (videos and pictures) from satisfied guests who have experienced the delights of a property, prospective guests can more easily imagine themselves having the same experience. Similarly, Hotel Generated Content is equally important. Hotels are more than beds and effective video presentations can tell a compelling story - a story about what makes the hotel appealing and unique. A video walk-through of rooms is essential, as are video tours in different areas of a hotel. The goal is to highlight what makes the property exceptional, but also to show real people having real fun - an experience that prospective guests can have too. The June Hotel Business Review will report on some of these issues and strategies, and examine how some sales and marketing professionals are integrating them into their operations.