Becoming a hotel concierge requires good people skills. In many ways, a concierge must be all things to all people. In a typical day, a concierge might recommend restaurants to guests, get tickets to a show for other guests and make sure yet another set of guests is provided with necessities they forgot to pack.
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The main responsibility of a concierge is to take care of guests’ needs. This could include making reservations, providing information, booking transportation, making entertainment suggestions, doing errands and taking messages for guests. Sometimes guests may make unusual requests, and a concierge must have the tact and maturity to deal with those requests respectfully and responsibly.
While some concierge positions require only a high school diploma, an associate’s degree or courses in hospitality may be helpful. A local college may offer some hospitality-related courses. In order to be more competitive and to have access to the largest variety and the highest-paying positions, a person could get a bachelor’s degree in travel and tourism or hospitality.
Being a Concierge
Education can set a person apart from other candidates for a concierge position, but there is no substitute for an intimate knowledge of the local area and a genuine interest in making sure that people who are looking for a particular dining, theater or other types of experience get exactly what they want. Conde Nast Traveler profiled a high-level concierge who described how his familiarity with his city impressed his employers initially as well as the training process he went through. According to him, he has a number of contacts and also spends some of his time off simply exploring other areas of the city. In a way, the job of a concierge is similar to that of a journalist or a politician because a great concierge builds up a wide network of contacts who can be relied upon when something is needed.
Many of the skills needed to become a concierge are what is often referred to as “soft skills.” This does not mean that these skills are unimportant. In fact, they are vital for a concierge to have. Soft skills are skills that are often related to personality and the ability to connect to people. Some soft skills can be taught, such as better communication. However, some people simply have a natural inclination for connecting with people, engaging them and making them feel at ease. A concierge needs to be genuinely interested in people and helping them. In addition, a concierge needs strong organizational and problem-solving skills and a good memory. For example, a great concierge would remember a regular guest at the hotel and what that guest normally requests.
The job of a concierge is an important one. A concierge can make or break a guest’s stay at a hotel. For leisure travelers, a concierge can make a good vacation a great one. For business travelers, a concierge can help ensure the success of the trip. People who love connecting with and helping others and who know their city well may want to consider becoming a hotel concierge.