The Six C's (Characteristics) of Successful Concierges

By Marjorie Silverman Honorary President, UICH, Les Clefs d'Or | June 24, 2012

Remember when you were a child and your poetry and story books always started the text with a large, fanciful capital letter, sometimes elaborately decorated like a medieval text? You instantly knew you were about to be transported to a magical place. If the text was illuminated it gave a special significance to the words.

Imagine such a text for our 6 C's of Successful Concierges: These are the Biblical Illuminated C's of a Concierge's Character. If you are a concierge, you should possess these qualities, if you are a manager you should seek these traits in your concierge team, if you are using the services of a concierge with these attributes, you are fortunate to have encountered a top professional concierge.

Curious: Concierges are curious about people, about the world, about travel and tourism. They have an intimate knowledge of their locale-the history, restaurants, tours, architecture and culture. They keep current with all pertinent information by reading newspapers, travel trade journals and speaking frequently to members of their network. Most exceptional concierges are well-traveled, know their concierge colleagues around the world, and the ins and outs of traveling to foreign locations. Many being multi-lingual are comfortable with many cultures.

Most career concierges find the constant learning process one of the most seductive aspects of their jobs. There is never a dull moment when you don't know what your next question will be. One minute, you may be finding Ox Gallstones, a highly prized cure in Asian medicine, for a group of visiting Japanese tourists and the next you may be researching the local sites of movie locations for a film aficionado.

Creative: Concierges are innovative and proactive. They anticipate guest needs and generate new ideas for every challenge. Because of their creativity, they embrace change. They look for new and better ways to operate because it is more stimulating for them and impressive to their guests and bosses. Concierges must constantly adapt to the marketplace, keep abreast of changing technology as well as the changing preferences of guests and management.

Dave Jamieson, former chef concierge of the Copley Plaza in Boston, after 30 years in the position, always said, 'Whenever I experience a management change, I redouble my efforts to demonstrate how good I can be." Dave was always ahead of the pack: he was one of the first to establish an electronic database and to have a Concierge Closet of Loan Items located at his desk.

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