Les Concierges, www.lesconcierges.com, is a premier provider of assistance-based loyalty solutions. Industry leaders rely on the company's concierge and personal assistance programs to acquire and retain customers, and to increase employee productivity.

Les Concierges offers and arranges for its customers anything the imagination desires that is legal and ethical, from finding rare horses to locating a unique necklace or a specialized contractor. Although individual, private memberships comprise about 5% to 10% of our business, the majority of our focus is on corporate members. We do limit the number of members, and have about 120 concierges and 40 headquarters staff based in 32 U.S. cities and in other parts of the world.

From file "016r1_urs" entitled "10Min3.qxd" page 01
From file "016r1_urs" entitled "10Min3.qxd" page 01

OFFER DISTINCTION Our aim is not to be different, but to be distinctive. Even the language we use in our business is distinctive compared with that of our competitors. They offer customer service; we offer “concierge” service.

There are numerous firms out there that, for example, can book a table for a customer at a fine restaurant. But Les Concierges creates a distinctive experience by getting the client a nicer table location, a special dessert not on the menu, and a personal visit from the chef. We offer an experience beyond the customer's expectations.

The philosophy of not replicating what your competitors offer but of offering services in a distinctive way can be carried over to the remodeling industry. When it comes time to select kitchen product, arrange a private showing at the kitchen dealer just for your client — complete with refreshments. Or arrange a visit to another client's completed kitchen to see a real-life example of the style in which they are interested.

BENEFITS OF TECHNOLOGY Les Concierges uses customer relations–list management technology. The technology allows us to make every interaction with the client personal because it places the client's history and preferences at the concierge's fingertips.

Create a database to store information about your clients so that staff interactions can be personalized and you have the option of marking special occasions with a card or gift to impress your clients beyond their expectations.

PROVIDE OPTIONS When a concierge makes suggestions, he or she will never just send a link to a Web site for clients to click on to dig for information. Rather, the suggestions will be accompanied by all the necessary information and the client will be given specific choices.

When renovating a space, it's important to give the client choices and to convey the sense that you as the expert have selected the best options for them to review.

Affluent clients are wary of being charged more for the same product or service than less affluent clients. We try to provide an unbiased view and find them the best deals in the brands we suggest — and so can you.