What IS a concierge, anyway?

kon’ syerzh: Noun. 1) A caretaker of an apartment complex or small hotel, typically living on premises. 2) A hotel employee whose job is to assist guests by making theater and restaurant reservations, etc.

Boy, is that out of date!

Though concierge have been around for centuries (early concierge tended to castle-visiting nobles in the medieval era), the duties (and location) of a concierge have changed drastically. Today’s professional concierge is expected to “achieve the impossible”, dealing with any request (no matter how strange), relying on an extensive list of contacts with local merchants and service providers.

You can find a concierge in a hotel, residential complex, retail store or corporate lobby. You can even find them in their pyjamas at the computer (ahem – no pictures allowed!). A concierge is put in place (even if starting your own business) to provide the peak of service to the customer base. If someone uses the centuries-old title, they should always have the customer’s best interest at heart, without worrying about WIIFM (what’s in it for me?). Every (legal) request and its requestor is given the utmost respect and time deserved.

When is someone NOT a concierge? When they keep trying to steer you to buy their employer’s products, or stay at their employer’s hotel/apartment complex. When you, as a customer, don’t feel like you’re being listened to, or respected, or even liked. Lately, the job title is thrown about without thought.

We search, negotiate, plead and sometimes connive to get our customers what they want (though we stick to our good ethics and morals). We rarely give up. We want to make our customers happy – because when they’re happy, we’re ecstatic. We long to be appreciated (for you therapists out there, we know it may be an illness!), and love to see a smile – knowing we helped create it.


  1. Hey Michelle! Love the article, made it a guest post on my blog at http://concinnityconcierge.com so check it out!

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