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Marjorie Silverman

Integrating the Concierge Department with the Marketing and Sales effort in servicing groups makes excellent business sense for hotel management. Meeting Planners have unique and specific needs and the concierge is well equipped to facilitate them by reaching out to their vast network of local contacts. Concierges have the capability to enhance the revenue from groups by being the onsite problem solver, transportation expert, link to authentic local experiences, finders of last minute piano players, boxes of fine cigars, or a bubble machine for their display at the convention center. Having worked both sides of the desk, as a Meeting Planner and a Concierge, I have seen this natural synergy. Read on... Read on...

Marjorie Silverman

How do you recover as a service organization when everything that could possibly go wrong, does? I had a recent experience with United Airlines where I spent six hours on a plane to fly from Newark to Chicago and I was actually almost grateful to have done so! As a service professional, I became fascinated with the way the captain and the customer relations department handled the situation each step of the way. It was a textbook example of Service Recovery that made me marvel at how well it was executed. Read on...

Marjorie Silverman

All organizations seeking top professionals to create an outstanding service will want to pay particular attention to this article. Screen for these character attributes at the time of hiring service personnel and develop a work environment that nurtures and rewards those who demonstrate they possess them. You will then have a Concierge service team which can move on to the Six C's of Successful Concierges. Read on...

Holly Stiel

What do the best-of-the-best hotel concierges who enjoy rave reviews from around the globe have in common? In the following article, author Holly Stiel identifies five key qualities that differentiate the 'so-so' from the 'so great' concierges and have inspired other industries to integrate the concierge model into their own businesses. These five attributes are illustrated in true-life stories of outstanding concierges who went the extra mile, made miracles happen and created experiences their hotel guests would never forget. These attributes apply to everyone in the service industry, who aspires to elevate their vocation to the level of art. Read on...

Leigh Anne Dolecki

The word concierge actually dates back to mid 17th century Europe, when hosts, usually of a lavish property or castle, provided a servant whose primary responsibility was attending to the comfort of their traveling guests. This servant eventually catered to the every whim and wish of visiting nobles; they held a very important position in the household, and often kept the household keys. Eventually hotel concierges began to appear in the finest hotels of Switzerland and France, expanding on the value of the "guest service" begun in those royal households. It wasn't until the mid 1970s that American hotels began to add the position of concierge to their staff, providing their guests with the impeccable guest service that they have come to enjoy in Europe. Read on...

Marjorie Silverman

Contemporary travelers in the luxury market are searching for a safe haven and are time-challenged. These guests seek unique, memorable and local experiences that reveal the culture of the country and city they are visiting. They want to capture the "Spirit of Place" - that magical intersection of culture, monuments, cuisine - which defines a locale without taking the time to read the great travel writers like Lawrence Durrell, Paul Theroux, Bill Bryson, or Evelyn Waugh. Who, within the hotel, could serve as the guides, filter the overload of information and tailor it to individual guests' desires and needs? Read on...

Elaine Oksner

Has this internet access changed the need for the concierge? It is a double-edged sword. Yes, the guest has computer access, but then, so does the concierge. So, since virtually everyone now has computer access, the question becomes, "Why do guests need a Concierge?" Is it time for hotels to replace the concierge with a computer and let the guests tap out their questions onto the information highway? It is a question a lot of hotel managers are asking. Chakitan Dev, a Cornell University Hotel School professor, was recently quoted in USA Today as saying concierges are "going the way of the elevator operator" except at luxury properties. Read on...

Leigh Anne Dolecki

I believe it's safe to say that most of today's travelers are much more "travel-savvy" than ever before. They surf the internet for the best deals, the best amenities, and they are very loyal to their favorite brand or property. Are you putting your concierge team at the forefront of your best amenities and services? Is your concierge team fully prepared to surpass the expectations of even the most discerning guest? Read on...

Holly Stiel

I have heard it said that necessity is the mother of invention and that desperate times require desperate measures. These old adages are certainly playing themselves out through the big changes in concierge services that are happening in Las Vegas. Who would ever have thought that the heart and soul of a concierge's job and the wizardry and effectiveness of technology would culminate in a partnership that generates millions of dollars of revenue while serving customers efficiently? It's what's happening in Las Vegas and what's happening in Las Vegas should not stay in Las Vegas. Read on...

Elaine Oksner

Today's hospitality world presents a constant ebb and flow of sales and marketing challenges, especially with recent changes in the economy. With that in mind, there may be people on your hospitality team who present an undiscovered sales and marketing resource. Savvy hoteliers can make a strategic move in their overall sales strategy by harnessing the power of the concierge position. Before I tell you how and identify six ways to maximize this often underused resource, let me explain why this strategy will work. Read on...

Elaine Oksner

Occupancy numbers appear to be disturbingly lower than usual for this current off season. No doubt that this is due, at least in part, to rising prices across the board, the inevitable reaction to soaring fuel costs. Many of our guests, both the individual travelers and the corporate meeting planners, are finding the need to do some serious belt-tightening. Even our wealthy travelers are reconsidering their vacation plans. What that means to the hotels and resorts is that we need to sell more to the people who are already in our properties. We must encourage everyone on staff to find all the opportunities to "cross sell" our facilities and motivate our guests to spend, spend, spend, beyond just paying the basic room rate. Read on...

Marjorie Silverman

There may be no bailouts possible for us in hotels. For our financial and service challenges, we must rely on old-fashioned virtues and hard-won skills. Professional hotel concierges have shared some of their best practices for survival in these difficult times. There are lessons to be learned. Many writers have extolled the virtues of our grandparents during the Great Depression: thriftiness, shared sacrifice, team spirit, and greater efficiency. Read on...

Leigh Anne Dolecki

The hotel executive must be very sensitive to the relationship between the Hotel Concierge and the guest, as it is undoubtedly a key element in the success of your property. The concierge is the link between the guest and your property and a professional concierge can develop and nurture loyal relationships between your guests, your brand and your property. After careful examination of this relationship, we must acknowledge that every element of this relationship comes down to one word, and that is "trust". Let's examine some of the qualities that a concierge must present in order to gain and build the trust of their guests. Read on...

Marjorie Silverman

More major chain and niche hotels are now focusing on building an outstanding service environment rather than emphasizing their bragging rights for the best spa, most comfortable beds or most elegant furnishings. One of the keystones to building this culture is the Concierge Service. In this article we will explore how to find these service specialists, how to keep them motivated and inspired and working to improve your turnover statistics as well as bottom line. We will discuss the techniques for creating loyalty and using their unique skill set to best advantage. Read on...

Leigh Anne Dolecki

Wow, has it really been less than 15 years since were introduced to the World Wide Web? It's not news that modern technology has completely changed the way we live in the past ten to twenty years. At this point in my career, I can't even imagine being a concierge without it. By nature, concierges are information junkies; many of us find this new frontier absolutely irresistible as it appeals to our sense of curiosity and problem solving. Many of us have spent late nights clicking and learning, clicking and learning...clicking and, of course, learning. Read on...

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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.