The Impact Technology Has on the Role of the Concierge
By Chanel Mongeon Assistant Chief Concierge, Marriott Chateau Champlain | December 22, 2013
Technology is so ever changing that as soon as we start to become comfortable with it, a new version or more advanced product enters the market and we have to adjust and re-educate ourselves. This technology is changing our way of living and doing things and we can especially see the effects in the tourism industry; whether it is for business or pleasure. Working against modernization would be the equivalent of digging our own grave. We have to find ways to adapt our working skills and become proactive with our clientele.
This reality affects all hotel departments and seeing how the concierge is in the front line of the action, we have to deal with this on a daily basis and be able to react instantaneously. The mutation of this affects directly the role of a concierge and his or her relationship with his or her guests.
To understand the changes that technology has brought to the world of tourism and more specifically to our profession we have to go back a few years. Being the ambassador of his or her city and hotel property, the concierge is the KEY person in trying to process all this new information being thrown at us and being able to deliver it in a fashion that is clear and efficient. Not so long ago the rolodex was the concierge's best friend but suddenly the internet (i.e. Facebook, twitter, you tube, my space, etc…..) has revolutionized our profession.
The internet makes everything possible and makes our job a lot easier but at the same time a lot harder. It forces the new generation of concierges to be quick on their feet and have answers to everything and anything in an instant... everything is in real time!
The concierge is the most knowledgeable person on site in a hotel to give you advice on what to do, how to do it & where to do it! A travel guide book or a web site, although very informative, cannot replace the first-hand knowledge and experience a concierge has to offer. Along with being a source of information the concierge has to give his or her clients a high level of service. Being able to fulfill our client's needs and going above and beyond their expectation is an everyday challenge for the concierge because there are no 2 guests a like. The concierge is the only way a visitor can take advantage of all the benefits the city has to offer because of the relationships we establish with our suppliers.
In today's reality, technology makes it very easy to find information on line even before actually arriving at the destination. Internet is helping people gather information from the comfort of their home (i.e. Google). All our suppliers have no choices but to get on board if they do not want to miss the boat. They have to create a web site in order for them to gain visibility and to be competitive and be able to sell their services in advance.