If you’ve ever stayed in a large hotel or resort, you’ve likely seen that area near reception occupied by the hotel concierge. A pillar of guest services, the concierge has long been the connection between hotel guests and local businesses, events, and attractions. They play an essential role in guest satisfaction and have the opportunity to make a stay extra special. But, what does a concierge actually do?
Duties of a Hotel Concierge
Essentially, a hotel concierge has one core objective – to aid guests in enjoying their stay. Whether that means organizing activities, arranging reservations, or acquiring goods or services, the concierge acts as a guest liaison within the hotel walls as well as throughout the community. Hotel guests are diverse, and so are their needs. To help them best enjoy their stay, hotel concierges may offer the following:
- Reservations/Tickets: Most commonly, concierges book restaurant reservations for guests. This may mean a rooftop dining experience at the best local restaurant or securing tickets to a sporting event or theater performance. Often, concierges maintain close relationships with local establishments to guarantee they accommodate and care for hotel guests.
- Custom Itineraries: Most guests at a hotel have traveled from another city, state, or even country. So, they likely aren’t familiar with local establishments and attractions, other than knowledge acquired through research pre-trip. A good hotel concierge is a local expert and brings extensive knowledge of the best things to do in the area. They can then easily suggest potential itineraries for guests, taking the guesswork out of the trip and allowing them to simply enjoy their travels stress-free.
- Transportation Arrangements: Another common task of the concierge is arranging transportation to and from the hotel. This may begin even before a guest initially arrives at a hotel, as concierges often organize transportation from the airport.
- Event Planning: If a hotel stay is centered around a special event or important date, the concierge may assist in planning a party or event either in the hotel or at another local establishment.
Technology and the Effect on Guest Services
Before the days of accessible internet and mobile phones, the hotel concierge was the easiest way for guests to plan their trip. However, sites like Yelp and Google Maps have made it easier for guests to plan their trips without assistance. Some travelers find it easier to book reservations from their phone or to navigate around the city on their own. Still, many travelers continue to appreciate being able to relax while traveling and thus continue to use guest services to ensure they have a stress-free experience.
Becoming a Hotel Concierge
If you enjoy customer service and making others feel welcome and cared for, hotel concierge may potentially be your next role. However, it isn’t one that suits everyone. As the main responsibility is both recommending and booking local activities and reservations, you must be very knowledgeable of the establishments and attractions in the area. Additionally, it’s helpful for hotel concierges to know the city layout and where things are located to easily provide directions.
Along with being a local expert, concierges must be highly skilled in customer service. The role entirely relies on guests enjoying their stay, so being willing to go the extra mile to make that happen is essential. This not only refers to meeting guest demands. It also refers to anticipating the needs of guests before even they realize them. Identifying these needs and preemptively fulfilling them is the easiest way to achieve high guest satisfaction.
While most hotels don’t require a degree or certificate in hospitality, it definitely helps when applying for concierge roles. However, often what is more essential is a proven track record of maintaining customer satisfaction in a service-related role. The skills learned working in other hospitality roles, such as front desk agent or bellhop, very much transfer to concierge responsibilities. Those who have dedicated years to the hospitality industry will likely bring with them strong communication skills and a desire to go above and beyond to keep guests happy.
Lastly, if you are considering a concierge role, you must consider the potential working environment to determine whether it is a fit for your lifestyle. Hotel concierges often work abnormal schedules, including weekends and holidays. Many who work at luxury establishments are even on call around the clock if a guest needs something. There may be downtimes in between guest interactions. There may also be times when guest requests and demands come in back to back or even simultaneously. Concierges must often juggle many tasks and guests at once, which can be stressful when it comes to keeping everyone satisfied. If this isn’t an environment you are comfortable with, plenty of other hospitality roles exist in which both hours and responsibilities are more consistent.
Finding a Hotel Concierge Role Near You
You’ve got the experience and are willing to take on the demanding responsibilities of becoming a hotel concierge – now what? When applying for this type of role, be sure to deliver a resume or application that highlights your customer service experience as well as your extensive knowledge of the local area. Heading into a job interview with one or more planned potential itineraries can set you apart from other applicants as well. It shows initiative and a commitment to bringing guests the best that your area has to offer.
Check out our updated list of hospitality openings to find opportunities in your area. Whether you are looking for a concierge role or an entry-level position such as a front desk agent to hone your skills first, our database is chock full of openings to further your career in hospitality.