Crystals at ARIA in Las Vegas is home to dozens of ultra high-end luxury brands, from Louis Vuitton and Prada, to Bvlgari, Balenciaga, Gucci, Versace, Patek Phillipe, and more. Stroll along these beautifully decorated storefronts and a common sight is a waiting line, similar to those seen at exclusive night clubs. Widely adopted during the COVID-19 pandemic, these lines were a way of ensuring social distancing. But the brands also understood that they can generate buzz, a feeling of exclusivity, and provide a concierge-style shopping experience built on beginning relationships rather than achieving quick one-off sales.
Imagine a visit to Louis Vuitton, the largest LV store in the world by square footage. You are patiently standing in line waiting for a chance to browse. While in line, an attendant approaches with an iPad and begins to collect your contact information, including your name, telephone number, and email. When your turn finally arrives, you are ushered into the store and introduced to your personal shopping consultant, Jenny. With a friendly, welcoming smile, she quickly starts a conversation to get to know you, gauging your level of interest and knowledge of the brand, and gathering information to form a general sense of your taste. She then asks more personal questions such as whether you live locally, and what type of work you do. As you begin to tour the store, she continues to take notes. With her help, you decide upon and purchase a few items. As you leave, Jenny expresses how pleased she was to meet you and lets you know, for future visits, you can skip the line just by texting her.
Imagine the psychology behind this subtle gesture. The customer is made to feel special, by gaining the simple privilege of being able to enter the store without waiting in line. This tactic, this ability to make the customer feel - even a just little bit - like a VIP is the real key to the concierge hospitality approach. The right personal touch, combined with gestures that invoke a feeling of being special, are how a concierge-trained professional creates loyalty and invites repeat business.
A few days later, Jenny texts you to follow up. She wants to know how you’re feeling about your new purchases. She is excited to share an exclusive LookBook for this upcoming season, a locked PDF designed only for select clients. She highlights a few items she thinks you would find particularly of interest. The result: you feel like an important new client, privileged to be sharing exclusive perks.
Later that month, you return to Louis Vuitton for another visit. This time, you proudly walk right into the store, bypassing all the folks waiting in line. You had texted Jenny, and she warmly escorts you in, asking questions about your work, catching up on small talk, while remembering your interests in certain sneakers and shirts. She had evidently consulted her notes beforehand, and you appreciate the effort immediately. Jenny also has a gift for you, a thank you for being a valued new customer. She hands you a box of chocolates in the pattern of the famous LV monogram print. It is precisely these small details and personal touches that begin to build your brand loyalty, and you know you’ll be back again before long.
Like luxury retail, the broader hospitality industry works the same way. The hospitality industry revolves around making the guest experience feel special and unique. As hospitality professionals, it’s always our goal to make our guests feel special, like they are true VIPs. Once this feeling of specialness manifests, it can lead to repeat business and brand loyalty. In the example above, Jenny was able to make her customer feel like she was genuinely interested in them, rather than just making her commission off of a sale. It is these concierge service skills, core to a hospitality education, that are ever so important and transferable to hospitality-adjacent fields, including luxury retail.
At TISOH, the International School of Hospitality, our Art of Concierge program teaches students how to develop and embody the skills of a professional concierge. Students learn to cultivate the qualities and skills that will enable them to provide personalized, professional concierge service that will make their customers’ experience feel special and unique. The Art of Concierge certificate program is 45 clock hours, and can be completed in just one semester.
Key Program Topics in the Art of Concierge program include:
Hospitality skills are transferable to a myriad of other industries, and hospitality skills, particularly concierge service skills, can equip you to stand out, and thrive, in many different fields. The growing field of luxury retail is one such career opportunity in which concierge service skills play a large role. If you are interested in starting a career in hospitality or luxury high-end retail, TISOH’s Art of Concierge certificate program is the perfect way to develop your skills. At TISOH, the International School of Hospitality, in Las Vegas, Nevada, you can gain the professional concierge skills you need to begin a career in any number of exciting fields. Call (702) 947- 7200 to find out how you can get started with TISOH today!