What is Concierge Service?
There’s a lot of controversy concerning the exact etymology of the term or expression “concierge”. While some connoisseurs strongly believe that the term originated from the Latin “conserves” others think that the world owes its origin to the French ‘comte des cierges’. The French expression ‘comte des cierges’ means ‘count of candles’ while the Latin term ‘conservus’ stands for ‘fellow slave’.
The position of a concierge first evolved most probably during the Middle Ages when serfs were tasked with keeping the palaces of royalty neat and clean. With time, the roles and responsibilities of medieval concierges underwent sweeping changes and increased their original functions notwithstanding. In the present times, a concierge carries out a wide variety of tasks both on the commercial and domestic fronts.
Nowadays concierges can be seen working in hotels, restaurants, banks, private companies and firms, public sector enterprises, and so on. Additionally, concierges work as personal aides for the rich and famous, handling and managing almost every task you can imagine. In the modern times, the concierge was largely looked upon as a professional who attended upon wealthy visitors putting up in swanky hotels.
To put it in perspective, concierges were considered professionals who by and large worked in different segments of the hospitality industry. However, in the past few decades concierges have transcended their traditional roles and assumed new responsibilities and duties. So these days a concierge serves as a versatile personal assistant focusing on offering specialized services like vacation planning, home management, exclusive access to select events, and more.
The Duties and Tasks Carried Out By a Concierge
A concierge’s job profile at the present times could vary greatly depending upon his or her employer and the work environment. However concierges, regardless of where they work, perform the following common duties and tasks:-
- Greet and usher guests inside a restaurant, hotel, nightclub, casinos
- Performs the same duties that a receptionist does in a condo, office, hotel, and other similar settings
- Can fulfill the role of a personal aide, secretary, or a lifestyle manager
- Making reservations for hotels, airlines, spa services, special events, and so on
- Home management services including but not limited to grocery shopping, bill payments, planning monthly budgets, pick-ups/drop-offs, and much more
- Handling routine office jobs
- Take advantage of state-of-the-art digital devices for performing duties
The task(s) carried out by a concierge outlined above is not an exhaustive list as the professional accomplishes several other errands.
The Modern-Day Concierge is a Versatile Professional
Are you a jetsetter shuttling between multiple cities and towns and living life out of a suitcase? How often do you feel that life would have been more manageable and comfortable if you had someone to take care of everything? Do you need somebody to whom you can entrust all your day-to-day tasks and errands while you unwind and relax?
If you answer yes to the above questions then you should hire a personal concierge. Welcome to the world of modern-day concierges and concierge services. There used to be a time when availing of concierge services uses to be the preserve of well-heeled guests putting up at ritzy upscale hotels. However, the meaning and connotations of the term ‘concierge’ has evolved over the years.
At the same time, the roles and responsibilities of a professional concierge have also undergone a sea-change with time. Nowadays a concierge does not only work in hotels, restaurants, discotheques, and nightclubs but also can be seen working in hospitals, condo communities, and several other work environments. These days there are several well-established concierge firms and services that have personal concierges on their rolls.
If and when a personal concierge wants to hire a personal concierge, he or she simply needs to contact the service provider. The concierge company can create a personalized package tailored around the needs and preferences of the client on his request. Alternatively, the client can choose from a variety of standardized plans or packages (each having a prescribed fee) on offer.
Concierge Service Can Take Different Forms
A residential or condominium concierge is a professional who works as the personal assistant of a condominium owner. The condominium concierge may also offer his or her services to a condominium community where the individual is responsible for greeting guests and visitors, running errands for community residents, and so on. The professional is also adept in event planning, organizing wedding receptions, birthday commemoration, performing household chores, and so on.
A personal concierge, as the term indicates, is competent in accomplishing almost every task performed by a homeowner. Personal concierges pay household bills, drop and pick up kids from schools, and engage trades for carrying out repairs and renovations, helping with packing during relocation, etc. A personal concierge is capable of doing nearly everything and anything that you normally do as a householder.
Personal concierges are by and large hired by well-heeled individuals and celebrities who’re too busy to focus on household chores. The rich and the famous generally hire personal concierges on a contractual basis where the professionals draw a fixed monthly salary or are remunerated on a project basis. The personal concierge either constantly accompanies his employer wherever he or she goes or manages household affairs.
A corporate concierge also referred to as a company or communal concierge performs more or less the same tasks carried out by a personal concierge. A personal concierge carries out household chores while corporate concierges help their employers accomplish their business tasks, jobs, and errands. Corporate concierges typically organize business meets and symposiums, parley with potential clients, arrange travel plans, hire employees, and so on.
Though a corporate concierge doesn’t have to be highly qualified academically the professional needs to have outstanding interpersonal skills.
The roles and responsibilities of a lifestyle concierge more often than not pivot around enabling the client to achieve a work-life balance. Simply put lifestyle concierges’ help free up valuable time for their clientele so that the latter can devote more time to their near and dear ones. Your lifestyle concierge exploits his or her expertise and experience to complete your professional and personal tasks so that you can unwind at the end of the day.
The concept of a concierge in modern times originated and evolved with a hospitality concierge popularly known as a hotel concierge. The hotel concierge, the earliest form of concierge or concierge service, helps you with making flight, hotel, and restaurant reservations, book transportation, organize client meets, deal with trades for home improvement, and so on. In the digital age, the original roles and responsibilities of the hotel concierge have evolved hugely.
In this information age, a hospitality concierge can accomplish any task or errand that his client would expect him to achieve.
Concierge medicine variously referred to as membership medicine, direct care or boutique medicine is a more than two decades-only business model. According to this business concept, you pay a stipulated or predetermined fee to receive instant access to physicians and better personal care. Concierge medicine chiefly has to do with boosting the patient-doctor relationship where the physician provides high quality care against receipt of a retainer fee.
The concept of travel concierge (as a service-oriented professional) started gaining popularity as the well-to-do and renowned became full-scale globetrotters. The advent of the internet fully revolutionized the global travel industry as making travel plans became easier and more convenient. Nowadays one can book flight tickets, make hotel reservations, and execute all formalities related to travel online.
The past decade has witnessed the emergence of concierge firms and services that specialize in travel management and planning. These concierge services are fully conversant with the rules and regulations about foreign travel, and therefore make it easier for their clientele to create an effective itinerary. The concierge companies assign travel concierges to their clients who take care of everything when their employers plan to travel regionally, nationally, or internationally.
When a client is touring a foreign land for the first time, he or she feels confident and safe going around if they have a personal guide. And that is exactly where a travel concierge can step in to fill the shoes of a tour guide. A travel concierge is more often than not a local individual or a much-traveled person familiar with the local stipulations.
Concierge Service: Future Outlook
Internet technology together with a wide variety of digital devices has a hugely enabled concierge to offer better more reliable services. To put it precisely and succinctly, digital technologies and tools have had an across-the-board and positive impact on concierge service. The all-encompassing reach of the internet has facilitated the emergence of a completely new class of concierges called digital concierges.
The best examples of digital concierges include Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, Hound, Cortana, and Google Now. These digital assistants or rather digital concierges can perform nearly any and every task that their human counterpart usually does. On the other hand, concierges who’re proficient in exploiting the various digital devices to their advantage are also known as digital concierges.
The digital concierge functions very much like a website providing their clientele information and details on just about anything.
At the same time, digital concierges (both human and AI-based) can carry out personal and official tasks for their clients. Perhaps the most significant benefit resulting from the interface of cutting-edge technologies with concierge services is that offering services have become cheaper. Now availing of concierge services is not the exclusive prerogative of the rich and powerful only.
Advancements made in the internet and digital technologies over the years have ensured the accessibility of concierge services by the middle class. To say the last but not the least, the future of concierge service looks promising thanks to the positive effects of technology.