Make Your Concierge the Voice of Your Hotel’s Safety Program: How the Concierge Can Be the Difference For Your Guests in a Post COVID-19 Reopening
Concierges have always been a staple in luxury hotels. For a lavish experience, travelers want to taste, see, and be at popular, rare, pricey, unobtainable and sold out experiences - and they want it now. Exclusivity is key, and a Concierge can provide that.
Concierges are magicians - constantly pulling off the impossible and if they sweat it, they certainly don’t show it. They are caretakers and nurturers, solving problems, and remembering details that you have forgotten yourself. Concierges are the essence of hospitality.
The First Wave of Travelers
In the first week of June 2020, we saw over 100 of our customers reopen their hotels, and an additional 250 will be reopening their hotels before July 1, 2020. What is perhaps most interesting, however, is not the fact that hotels are finally reopening their doors, but that this first wave of guests is interacting with hotels differently than expected.
Most of the first wave of travelers are leisure travelers, as many businesses are not yet allowing or encouraging their employees to travel. The hotels that have reopened have been surprised that leisure travelers have not been asking them for PPE. This is surprising, as many hotels spent the last few months stocking up on PPE to provide to guests when reopening.
“Concierges will be more important than ever before in a post COVID-19 world: all the social isolation everyone is suffering from today is going to create a world of travelers craving personal attention tomorrow,” says President of Les Clefs d’Or USA, Nathan Goff. “We are poised and ready for that day. We look forward to celebrating life as it should be - together.”
As Hotels Reopen, What Does The Role of The Concierge Look Like?
It’s great to see hotel’s evolving quickly to adopt new safety guidelines which are being introduced throughout the industry. Because hotels are customer-facing businesses, adopting these guidelines is only half the battle. The second half is educating your guests about your hotel’s efforts.
Who better to communicate this than the very individuals who have had years of experience interacting with your guests? Nearly every hotel is being asked to introduce a Safety and Compliance Officer.
Our suggestion? Your Concierge.
Concierges will be the first point of contact for your loyal guests who are looking for assurances from trusted sources about your new sanitization standards, and your city’s public health status. A Safety and Compliance Officer will be tasked with fielding questions about cleaning procedures, products used, and how the hotel is tracking it all.
The Concierge’s most important roles in a post COVID-19 world will be to communicate to and reassure guests that their safety -- inside and outside of the hotel -- is being taken seriously. The level of comfort travelers have will greatly vary. While some travelers may jump right in, others may have a bit more trepidation to put their personal safety into the hands of others. For travelers in the latter group, their first call might be to your hotel’s Concierge.
Contactless Communication can be used by Concierges to communicate with guests before, during and even after a guest’s stay.
Guest Safety Extends Beyond A Hotel Property
Few people know a city better than a Concierge. And no one has more connections. A Concierge will always have their finger on its pulse. Where to eat, what to order, where to go, how to get tickets to special events, and who to ask for are all questions that a Concierge can answer without skipping a beat, and this will never change.
With pent-up demand for the experiences they were unable to partake in during the coronavirus outbreak and mandatory stay at home orders, guests have been asking which facilities are open, which restaurants can be booked, and where to explore… it’s fascinating. The first wave of the recovery has been led by the domestic leisure traveller who is looking for an escape back to normal.
We have spoken to several ALICE Concierge users and they have been busy calling every single business in the local area to map and document their COVID-19 policies, their opening times, and their outdoor dining options and menus so that they can help their guests safely enjoy the local area.
Is Luxury Being Redefined?
Concierges are the employees you want taking care of your VIPs. They bring the highest levels of attention and care to each guest. The VIP guest requests will never stop at a hotel, but they may begin to look different.
Luxury is now being redefined in terms of safety and cleanliness. What was once a request for champagne in the room may now be a request for the mini bar, and other physical assets, to be removed. What was once a request for a dinner reservation at the most exclusive restaurant is now a reservation at a restaurant with expansive outdoor seating areas.
Concierges have always had the power to deliver and that hasn’t changed. The definitions of safety and luxury may not be that different post COVID-19, and you’ll need a Concierge to build a knowledge base of your valued guests and record their new preferences and requests so you can continue to go the extra mile during their next stay.
The Concierge Difference
As properties reopen, those with a concierge will be well positioned to cater to guests’ new requests. As always, they will be the confident, comforting voice providing information and stability within a hotel. The core purpose of the Concierge has not, and will not, change. They are the ultimate providers of hospitality, and we look forward to supporting them as they continue to deliver outstanding experiences and exceptional service.
Want to learn more about how ALICE can help your Guest Services and Concierge operate more efficiently in a post COVID-19 environment? Download our eBook today!