What does it *really* take to excel as a concierge?

Concierge

When we talk about the talents of a top concierge, we often hear “you either have it, or you don’t.”  Is this a legitimate belief? What does it *really* take to excel as a concierge?

While the industry is very segmented with different needs and fields, there are undoubtedly some characteristics that behoove concierges across all industries.

This career path is open to a wide variety of people, but all concierges should excel in the following five areas:

BEING A PEOPLE PERSON:

Because you are the go-to person for anything and everything, you need to be able to interact positively with clients, colleagues and suppliers no matter your emotional state or frustration level. You really must love people; even when you’re feeling down, you have to put other people’s needs first.  (We also call this empathy – while I believe that everybody should nurture this skill, concierges should master it…)

COMMUNICATING CLEARLY & EFFICIENTLY:

This is one of my favorite concierge skills, and it is the one that requires the most experience, practice, and observation. A concierge should be able to communicate anything, not only with excellent manners, but also very clearly. Every detail counts–word choice, the facial expressions maintained (even when speaking on the phone), explanations given– you mustn’t miss a detail. It’s essential to keep a positive tone at all times.  As concierges, we must never assume that our clients already know something, a reality that requires patience and skill.

METICULOUSLY ORGANIZING THEIR WORK:

Successfully managing clients’ requests and delivering an outstanding experience requires excellent organizational skills. The best concierges establish thorough processes to ensure they never miss anything because a single mistake could ruin a client’s experience. A high level of organization is also the only way to keep things under control and never lose your cool.

BEING CONSISTENTLY CURIOUS: 

The best and most successful concierges are the ones who enjoy life and what it has to offer. They are gastronomes, socializers, people who enjoy museums and galleries…the things that make life vibrant and interesting.  They’re curious about everything and like to experience, feel and live life to the fullest. Clients are more inclined to trust and feel good about a concierge who projects intelligence and awareness, so continuous learning is a key component of a concierge’s daily routine. Our relationships with clients are built upon our ability to have engaging conversations and get to know them. One of the best ways to do this is to legitimately have at least a basic knowledge about most subjects.  Google is your friend!  If you don’t know something, teach yourself.  It will serve you well in your work.

BEING PROACTIVE AND INTUITIVE: 

It’s not going too far to say that a concierge needs to be a bit of a mind reader, anticipating clients’ needs. There is no magic formula for this other than excelling at the above skills and developing a strong, experienced-based intuition. A good concierge is attentive enough to see patterns in his work. He becomes a mathematician who has the ability to calculate the specific persona or needs of a client the minute he starts interacting with him. For more complex issues, he will know the questions to ask to solve the mystery and act very proactively.

 

Conclusion

The first step to being a great concierge is to project a friendly and welcoming vibe so your client will open up to you. What differentiates you from another concierge is your ability to master and seamlessly integrate these five necessary skills. Follow your process, keeping in mind that while every situation is unique, they also share certain characteristics, commonalities you will discover as you gain more experience. The more you know, the better you perform, and the better you look in front of your client.