Twenty years ago, concierges developed on a manic scale, in order to answer every request for help. Information was generally sourced from libraries, telephone books, atlases, five inch thick guides to hotels around the world, a dictionary to cater to multilingual requests, flight schedules for national and international travel, restaurant guides and an incredible amount of brochures on local attractions and so on. Almost all of which are now replaced by computer access.
Over the years, the profession has gone through a major transition, more so after the advent of the internet. For instance, hotel guests who in the past placed blind trust on the concierge at their destination to orient them to their new surroundings and connect them with tourist destinations, local shopping, street food joints and serve a myriad other needs — have started independently scouring the internet for reservations and more. And why wouldn’t they? When along with access to pictures of the rooms, authentic information about owners etc. is given along with unbelievably attractive rebates on advance bookings.
Before the internet age, when an unusual request was made to a concierge, it could sometimes take innumerable hours of research, countless telephone calls, digging through endless books. An example comes to mind, there was one time a request was made by a certain VIP guest from the Middle East. He’d read about a cane with laser beams. It was specifically designed to aid a blind person and emitted laser beams to sense the person’s surroundings. He wondered where he could purchase one for his father. You can imagine the amount of research and man hours that must’ve gone into procuring this very article. But the internet age has changed the entire game. From hours and hours of manual effort — that sometimes got no results — we’ve reached an age where we can simply “Google it” as we say. And voila you’ve got your answer in less than a micro second. Why then would you need a concierge? Another valid question.
And here’s the answer:
1) Because humans trump over technology:
Keeping all Terminator references aside, ask yourself, for something as simple as which new sushi joint you should try, would you rather trust a friend’s suggestion or an internet based poll?
Point being, we’re constantly looking for someone who can understand us. Someone who’s really listening to us. That one person who notes the highs in our expressions and the lows in our voices. When you’re commanding a computer, it’s mechanical. Its knowledge is restricted to what you’re feeding into it. But when you’re communicating with a human being — they understand you at a whole different level. They can sense your impulses. They can relate to your reasons, your choices. And out of years and years of experience know what to advise. For instance, they’ll recommend a restaurant to you, not because it’s got the highest ratings or an Oscar winning movie — but because they can sense you would appreciate it — at a natural, human level. It is the human contact, the sympathetic ear that makes the impact on the guest.
2) For personalised, proactive and honest service:
When you’ve had a long day at work and want to hit the bar with your friends, you don’t want a technical ‘no results found’ (or worse, 404 error) response to your query. You want quick recommendations and a table waiting for you when you reach.
Users, worldwide, prefer to rely on someone with experience. Whether they need help planning a budget trip abroad, tips on where they can find the antique vase they’ve been hunting for since ages or even for the more mundane but essential things, like quickly getting a shoe repaired or which bar is open till 6 in the morning — what they’re looking for is someone with the expertise, wisdom and a hands-on experience to guide them. They need help from the one person whose sole aim is to fulfill their requirements. And that’s exactly the kind of insight that the concierge loves to share with its users.
3) To save valuable time:
Mainly the most important reason people still use the concierge, despite the guests’ own prowess with the internet, is time, or the lack of it. Juggling high profile careers and family responsibilities leave no time for anything else. It can be excruciatingly time-consuming to do research on a computer. Also what you may find on the information highway is not always accurate or timely. All of us have heard the horror stories that family and friends have related to us about the hotel or inn that looked gorgeous online, only to be dirty, dilapidated and in some cases, even dangerous. If only they had checked with a trusted, knowledgeable concierge, especially one with local or international connections, they could have saved themselves both time and grief. A professional concierge has expertise and access to colleagues all over the world and can get accurate information through that network to avoid disappointments that come with misleading advertising.
4) For first hand knowledge:
While we’ve all got access to the search engines, half knowledge is a curse. Why shoot in the dark on the internet when you can ask for a personal recommendation from a reliable local expert? Your concierge service will be able to remove the unknown element and give you trusted information out of experience. Which roads to avoid during the rains, how to get an instant travel visa for business trips abroad and the like. The internet is not always a reliable, real time source.
5) All you need to do is just ask:
What’s the difference between a dedicated concierge and a web service? It’s that all you need to do is just ask. It rules out the need to go through a whole list of complicated processes and procedures. All you need to do is simply pick up the phone and communicate your requirements and rest assured that it’ll be taken care of. For instance, say you need to surprise your girlfriend with a bouquet of flowers, You don’t need to scroll through endless pages online, trying to find the exact bouquet that fits your budget and your girlfriend’s choice. You just need to either email, text via phone or call your concierge and ask them to send flowers to a particular address and the rest of it will be tailored to your needs.
Lastly, a concierge service is not for everyone — some people will always choose to do things themselves, others will enjoy spending hours on research and some will feel they just don’t need external help. Concierge services are for people who lead busy lives, who need someone to help with running their lives. It’s for people who would rather spend their time actually enjoying life instead of planning to enjoy life. And for those in the know, there are countless benefits of a concierge service that can help clients with every travel, lifestyle and leisure needs that they don’t have the time, expertise or inclination to do themselves.
Several Rustomjee residents often have requirements that can be handled by concierge services, but due to busy schedules, it is usually hard for them to reach out to the necessary agencies and then manage it on their own. We understand how time consuming it can be to do things perfectly, with high standards and attention to detail. This is why Rustomjee Oriana has partnered with Radius7.
What’s Radius7 and what do they do?
Radius7 is a members only concierge service for high end properties – perfect for those who are interested in the finer things life has to offer. With a team of passionate experts, Radius7 bridges the gap between retailers and you, the customers. They provide members with the most fulfilling human experiences – including last minute reservations, travel itineraries, clubhouse bookings etc.
Now, we’re proud to announce that Radius7 is also available to you, the residents of Rustomjee Oriana. They are dedicated to delivering a flawless experience, so that you can focus on what’s really important: spending quality time with your loved ones. Whether you need someone to plan, organise and execute your anniversary party – or just some help with smaller but essential daily tasks, they’re here to assist you from dawn to dusk.
How to raise a request:
If you’ve attended the launch party last week, you must have received a customized welcome kit. Use your access credentials to log into the app. If you haven’t received your kit yet or are having trouble while signing in, feel free to contact the Radius7 help-desk inside the Rustomjee Oriana premises.
Once you login, scroll through the eclectic experiences on the platform and book services from the Radius7 app (available for IOS and Android), through their website directly (www.radius7.in) or by phone. For bespoke services, you can chat with the Radius7 team. There is literally nothing they can’t do!
For now, the Radius7 team will be operating from the 4th floor, near the entrance of the gym. Residents will be able to raise their requirements through the app or by visiting the lifestyle expert on the building premises. Cheers!