What is a concierge?
A concierge plays a central role within the hospitality industry. Often stationed in a hotel or high-end residential building, they’re the first point of contact for guests and residents, enhancing their experiences by providing personalized services. They create an impression of the establishment’s values, setting the tone for their stay or living experience. This role is invaluable as it contributes to customer satisfaction and repeat business by providing exceptional service and attention to detail.
These individuals also act as knowledgeable insiders, offering advice and recommendations to enhance guests’ or residents’ experiences. Whether suggesting a delightful restaurant, arranging travel or transportation, or managing room service deliveries, they aim to ensure comfort and convenience. They help make sure that guests and residents want for nothing during their stay or residence, contributing significantly to the establishment’s reputation and success.
Duties and responsibilities
As ambassadors of service within an establishment, concierges perform various tasks tailored to the needs and requests of guests or residents. These duties often include fielding guest inquiries, making reservations, recommending local attractions and dining, and coordinating services such as transportation, dry cleaning, and room service.
In addition to these tasks, they may also oversee certain administrative roles, such as receiving packages and messages for guests, maintaining an updated knowledge base of local businesses and services, and working closely with other departments within the hotel to ensure guest satisfaction. Their role requires impeccable organizational skills, a friendly demeanor, and an eager willingness to assist.
The work setting of a concierge is often a hotel, resort, or upscale residential building, and their workstation is typically in a prominent area such as the main lobby. These professionals play a front-line role in customer service, meaning they interact directly with guests, residents, and service providers daily. They must manage a gracefully pleasant demeanor, even when the lobby gets busy or demands are high.
The environment in which they operate may differ depending on the size and nature of their host establishment. In larger hotels or residences, they work as part of a team and may have access to an office or back-room space for administrative tasks. These professionals might have a singular role in smaller locations, meaning they hold broader responsibilities and may operate from a small desk or kiosk within the building’s entrance.
Typical work hours
Concierge service is typically available around the clock in many establishments to cater to guests’ or residents’ needs regardless of the time of day. Consequently, schedules can vary widely, often involving shifts that cover mornings, afternoons, evenings, and even overnight periods. Some may work full-time with a regular schedule of forty hours per week, while others might cover part-time shifts or seasonal work during peak tourism times.
Weekend and holiday work are common in the hospitality industry to match people’s leisure time or travel schedules. Still, management usually maintains a standard for fair and equitable division of shifts, including much sought-after weekend or holiday breaks.
How to become a concierge
To become a concierge, you will need a combination of skills and experience. In this career guide section, we cover the steps you’ll need to take to achieve your goal:
Step 1: Obtain a high school diploma
While a college degree is not strictly required for this job, a high school diploma or equivalent is a common basic requirement. It forms the foundation that aids in various aspects of the role, such as communication and administrative tasks.
Step 2: Gain customer service experience
Having experience in a customer service role is highly beneficial, as much of this role involves attending to guests or residents, resolving issues, and ensuring high customer satisfaction. For example, this could involve working in retail, hospitality, or call centers.
Step 3: Develop key skills
You will need strong verbal communication, problem-solving, and organizational skills. In addition, being able to navigate computer software such as reservation systems or building management software is necessary. Knowledge of a foreign language can also give you an edge in this profession, especially in a hotel setting where you will likely encounter international guests.
Step 4: Expand your knowledge of the local area
Familiarity with local attractions, restaurants, and other points of interest is a major asset for these individuals. This may involve conducting research or participating in local tours and events. You should be able to provide recommendations and directions to guests or residents.
Step 5: Apply for jobs
Once you’ve built up enough experience and key skills, you can start applying for concierge jobs. Available positions can typically be found on online job platforms, through recruitment agencies, or on company websites.
Be prepared for potential employers to conduct background checks. Professionals in this role must maintain their employers’ and clients’ trust and confidence, so a clean record is usually essential.
Step 6: Continue professional development
After securing a position, continuing learning and growing within your role is important. This can mean further developing your skills, attending relevant courses or workshops, or seeking professional certifications that could enhance your career prospects in the long run.
How much do concierges make?
Concierge compensation often varies depending on several key factors. Geographical location plays a substantial role, with those in larger cities and upscale establishments generally earning higher wages. Experience is another significant factor; individuals with a longer tenure in the industry typically command higher salaries. Additionally, the specific industry in which they work can affect earnings. For example, professionals working in luxury hotels or high-end residential buildings tend to earn more. Bonuses and tips also constitute a substantial part of their income and can substantially affect their total compensation.
Highest paying industries
- Personal Management Companies – $43,410
- Hospitality and Tourism – $40,540
- Business Support Services – $39,780
- Health Care and Social Assistance – $38,920
- Real Estate – $38,825
Highest paying states
- New York – $45,820
- California – $43,740
- Massachusetts – $43,610
- Hawaii – $42,300
- Connecticut – $41,700
Types of concierges
Being a concierge involves more than just standing behind a desk at a hotel, as various specialties offer diverse career pathways in this profession. Discover all the forms this career can take and find the one that best suits your interests and skills.
Working primarily in high-end apartment and condominium complexes, a residential concierge is tasked with ensuring the comfort and convenience of residents. They might be responsible for managing packages, bookings, and domestic services. Their role is shaped by the specific needs of the residents, often including a blend of administrative tasks and personalized service.
Perhaps the most recognized form of this job, a hotel concierge aims to enhance guests’ stays by fulfilling special requests, booking reservations, and recommending local attractions. They are usually positioned in luxury hotels where they serve as the primary point of contact for guests seeking information or assistance during their stay.
A corporate concierge works in a corporate setting, providing assistance similar to that of a personal assistant. They help schedule meetings, arrange corporate events, or facilitate employee requests. These profesisonals contribute to a positive office environment, often playing a crucial role in employee satisfaction and retention.
As a personal concierge, the individual provides services to clients in their home environment. These services can range from running errands to managing household tasks or helping the client to plan and coordinate personal events. They often work for busy professionals, seniors, or families who need assistance managing daily tasks. Their work is noted for being highly personalized and adaptable to the client’s needs.
In the healthcare sector, a concierge interacts with patients, giving them a single point of contact for their healthcare needs. The role may encompass scheduling medical appointments, clarifying health plan benefits, or coordinating care among various healthcare providers. Their goal is to enhance patient engagement, satisfaction, and outcomes in a healthcare setting.
Top skills for concierges
This section outlines the primary skills and traits needed for career success as a concierge. The following descriptions provide insights into the abilities anyone aspiring to this role should focus on developing.
Exceptional interpersonal skills
Maintaining a balanced, professional, and cordial demeanor is necessary. Interacting with individuals from diverse backgrounds with distinct expectations requires patience, empathy, and assertive communication. Creating a positive impression, understanding queries accurately, and responding tactfully contribute significantly to customer satisfaction.
Effective problem-solving abilities
Unexpected issues and unique requests are commonplace in their daily duties. Identifying the core of an issue swiftly, brainstorming feasible solutions, and coordinating efforts to solve it signifies an accomplished problem-solver. Leveraging these abilities helps address guest concerns effectively and timely, improving their overall experience.
Deep local knowledge
People often look to the concierge for local insights – the best restaurants, interesting tourist spots, efficient travel routes, or upcoming local events. Being able to recommend tailored experiences to guests based on their interests significantly enhances their stay or visit. This necessitates deep familiarity with the locale and staying updated on happenings and developments in the area.
Dealing with numerous requests and inquiries simultaneously is standard in this profession. The capability of efficiently categorizing tasks, managing time, and multitasking with attention to detail are invaluable. These skills ensure smooth operation, minimization of errors, and consistent delivery of high-quality service.
Concierge career path
For those entering this profession, the career path often presents various opportunities for advancement and supplementary roles within the hospitality industry. An entry-level job as a concierge typically serves as a versatile foundation for growth, primarily within the high-end segment of the customer service sector.
As part of their career progression, they may aim to become a head or lead concierge. Usually, these roles involve managing a team, coordinating with other facility departments, and providing upper-tier services to patrons. Gaining such a position demands proven experience, advanced, in-depth knowledge of local, regional, and sometimes international points of interest, and refined people-management skills.
Another career advancement route is becoming a supervisor or manager. These roles usually entail managing an entire concierge team, setting work schedules, ensuring top-notch service delivery, and handling guest complaints, among other managerial tasks. More prestigious facilities also require supervisors and managers to contribute to PR efforts, such as organizing events or collaborating with influencers.
A seasoned concierge might eventually consider transferring into a general managerial role within the hospitality sector. With their extensive experience in customer service and operations management, they would be well-equipped to manage hotels, resorts, or upscale residential facilities. The broad range of contacts and relationships they build over their career can be invaluable for networking and business development in various managerial roles.
Individuals with entrepreneurial aspirations might opt to start their own concierge or lifestyle management company. This route requires a strong grasp of business concepts and the capacity to build and maintain extensive network connections. However, the rewards of successfully establishing such an enterprise are often substantial.
Similar job titles
Concierge position trends and outlook
Concierge positions have witnessed a monumental shift over the past few years. The traditional role of a door-side professional providing information, directions, and services to hotel guests or building tenants has morphed into a much broader field. Nowadays, they aren’t just limited to hospitality industry roles. They can also be found in many environments, such as corporate offices, private medical practices, and upscale residential buildings. This change has allowed them to use their customer service skills and local knowledge in unique ways.
In the digital space, the rise of applications offering concierge-style services has significantly impacted the industry. Many of these platforms provide personalized assistance services, such as restaurant reservations, event planning, or travel arrangements accessible at the click of a button. However, this doesn’t mean the end of the traditional concierge. Instead, it offers a new avenue for these professionals to reach a wider clientele and provide services more flexibly and conveniently, redefining their professional landscape.
Concierge career tips
Understand the intricacies of client service
The key to success often resides in how one manages client services. This role goes beyond mere hospitality; it often demands a deep understanding of clients’ needs, wants, and patterns. Knowing how to anticipate guest requests and proactively offering services can create memorable experiences, leading to successful professional relationships and job fulfillment.
Expand your knowledge of the local area
A concierge must be a local expert to offer comprehensive and current information to guests. Knowing the best restaurants, unique sightseeing spots, or secret local attractions is critical to being familiar with your area and continually learning about new establishments or activities. In addition, being knowledgeable about local transportation options, cultural habits, and safety guidelines provides invaluable assistance to guests.
Build a professional network
Networking is a key to excelling in this field. A strong professional network leads to beneficial partnerships and better guest service opportunities. Your connections with local restaurants, event organizers, tourism offices, and transportation providers can provide guests exclusive access and premier experiences.
- Les Clefs d’Or
- National Concierge Association (NCA)
- International Concierge and Lifestyle Management Association (ICLMA)
- American Concierge Association
Commit to continuous learning
The hospitality industry and consumer behaviors are always changing. You should be prepared to learn continuously to offer up-to-date and excellent services. To stay ahead and meet the changing demands, consider frequent industry training, workshops, and seminars on customer service, tourism trends, and local developments.
- Certified Hotel Concierge (CHC) certification from the American Hotel & Lodging Educational Institute
- Customer Service Skills for Success certificate from AMA
- Working on verbal communication and interpersonal skills workshops
- Attend local tourism and hospitality events and fairs
Exercise discretion and confidentiality
These professionals are often privy to guests’ personal information and preferences. Ensuring the privacy of your clients will not only protect them but also strengthen their trust in your services. Always regard clients’ information with discretion and confidentiality while providing services.
Where the concierge jobs are
- Marriott International
- Four Seasons
- Hilton Hotels
- The Ritz-Carlton
- New York
Top job sites
- Simply Hired
What skills are crucial for a successful concierge?
Concierges need unique skills, including excellent customer service, communication, problem-solving, and negotiation. Familiarity with the local area, including restaurants, events, and attractions, is also beneficial. Basic computer skills and knowledge of a foreign language can provide an added advantage.
Which industries employ concierges?
While traditionally associated with hotels and resorts, they are sought after in many sectors. This includes healthcare, real estate, corporate firms, and personal service providers. Luxury residential buildings, shopping malls, and event planning companies also commonly employ personnel in this role.
What can a concierge do to excel at their job?
Beyond simply fulfilling obvious duties, a concierge can excel by creating positive client experiences. This involves showing a proactive approach in offering assistance, keeping up-to-date with local events and places of interest, and tailoring services to suit individual clients’ needs.
What is a typical day in the life of a concierge?
A day in the life comprises many diverse responsibilities. These can range from greeting guests and clients, fielding phone calls, making travel arrangements, organizing events, and dealing with complaints. Many tasks are often spontaneous, based on clients’ requests and requirements.
How important is networking for a concierge?
Networking is an integral part of the job. Establishing connections with various businesses, places of entertainment, and service providers in the local area aids in fulfilling clients’ diverse requests. Good working relationships with these external services can also guarantee preferential treatment for clients.
What is considered as exceptional service in the concierge profession?
Exceptional service means going above and beyond the clients’ expectations. This may entail providing personalized assistance, anticipating needs before they’re voiced, providing solutions during challenging situations, and, most importantly, maintaining an excellent standard of service at all times.
What are the physical demands of being a concierge?
While the position isn’t physically strenuous, it does entail being on one’s feet for most of the day. It may occasionally require manual tasks like carrying luggage or assisting guests. Equally important, the role often involves working in shifts, including early mornings, late nights, weekends, and public holidays, which may place demands beyond regular office hours.
What kind of training does a concierge require?
While there is no specific educational path to becoming a concierge, most employers prefer candidates with a high school diploma. Training typically happens on the job and includes customer service, computer systems, policies, and procedures. Some employers may provide workshops or seminars on specific aspects of the role, such as multitasking or stress management.
How crucial are effective communication skills for a concierge?
It’s hard to overstate how important effective communication skills are in a role centering on client satisfaction. This means articulating clearly, listening effectively, and understanding the nuances of intercultural communication. Excellent written communication is equally important, as they often need to handle emails and write instructions or recommendations.
What is the impact of technology on the role of a concierge?
Technology has greatly influenced the role. From using property management systems and online booking tools to leveraging social media and review websites for venue recommendations, digital skills are indispensable. Technology can aid in handling a larger volume of requests and provide clients with quick and efficient service, enhancing their overall experience.