In the Life of a Young Hotel Concierge and The New Habits

Laurent LS. concierge at a five-star hotel in Montreal, tells us about the challenges of adapting to new travelers behaviour.

“The hospitality industry has undergone major changes in recent years. From reservation systems to task management software, the way hotel operations are managed have dramatically changed. Now, of course, I wasn’t there to witness that change, but based on testimonies from colleagues and collaborators in the industry, I can say with confidence that such an evolution has happened, and it is just getting started.

When I first started working as a Concierge at Fairmont the Queen Elizabeth Hotel, I only had two ways of communicating with my clients; phone and e-mail. Each had its strengths and weaknesses. I could e-mail clients to send them lengthy information that phone conversations would take too long to do. I could contact them by phone to quickly confirm restaurant reservations, activities or transportation, for which e-mails were useless. As a typical millennial, I soon got interested in new ways of communicating with guests; ways that would use 21st century technology to appeal to a clientele equally interested in these new advancements.

The obvious solution to using these two traditional channels was the TEXT MESSAGE. I could communicate with clients quickly, efficiently, and be able to log and track conversations that otherwise would be difficult, if not impossible, to store. Technology to improve efficiency. A millenial’s dream!

Unfortunately, having no “concierge phone” available, I was forced to use my personal number to text clients. This presented an obvious problem, where clients began texting me when I was away from the desk, at night, etc. I also didn’t necessarily have the resources available to properly respond to requests and questions. Moreover, information often got lost due to different concierges in the team giving their own personal numbers and sometimes failing to forward the correspondence to the rest of the team. To top everything off, let’s be honest, walking in to a 5-star hotel and seeing the concierge texting looks pretty unprofessional. Am I texting a client? My girlfriend? Using a cell phone, especially my own, was simply not a good option.

The solution came with Ask PAM’s CRM platform. Being given a unique phone number, only to be used through the platform by all concierges in the team was nothing short of a revelation. Suddenly, any concierge could be reached at the same number, and everything they wrote could be seen and shared by other concierges. We were able to insert message templates into new conversations, making writing generic confirmations much quicker. No more loss of information, no more personal phone numbers being exchanged. It also gave us an all-in one solution to archive those conversations, so we could review and follow up on requests and questions in a much more efficient and organized way. For the first time, we could actually have access to details in text message conversations, even months after the fact. Ask PAM really gave my desk the one and only necessary tool to text clients efficiently, which has helped exceed expectations, while saving my team a tremendous amount of time!”