The best thing about the hospitality industry is the personal interaction. Fantastic service with a personal flair does more for the guest experience than anything else. Creating that memorable experience for guests is what lies behind the passion true hoteliers have for their careers.
So in this age of technology, does the live concierge have a reason to fear the digital one?
Simply, the answer is no.
While digital concierge platforms can bring a new level of services to hotels that don’t already employ a live concierge, upscale brands are better served using technology to enhance, not to replace, concierge service.
Local recommendations, already curated by a concierge, should be integrated into the digital concierge system. Staff can have mobile access to these local merchants (reservation numbers, operating hours, menus, and more) if they are using a concierge app, and guests are able to find their own way if they prefer.
For instance, suppose a guest wants to find a dining establishment that dishes up local flavors and is family appropriate, but he has several food allergies. Rather than making phone calls and speaking with numerous people at the restaurant in question, the concierge can use his smartphone to check allergy information and make reservations in moments.
More importantly, access to a digital concierge system can “untether” your concierge. No need to be always at the desk if all of the information is easily accessed through a smartphone, tablet, or signage placed in the hotel. This technology is about simplicity and connecting with guests.
Some requests, such as weather information, can be taken off the shoulders of the concierge, but no amount of technology is going to replace the outstanding elements of the personal touch. These two should go hand in hand.
If you are considering adding a digital concierge platform to your existing concierge service, get your concierge involved in the process. Recommendations should be real, local, and customized. Guests should be able to contact the concierge directly for further needs. And the concierge should feel comfortable using this technology as a tool to enhance his position.