How to Convert 36 Hours Into 24
Overall, HNWI can expect to pay between € 2.500 and € 5.000 per month for outsourcing aspects of their lives that takes from themvaluable time
I’m counting, for the preparation of this article, with the invaluable assistance of Sandra Alvarez who is the CEO of The Luxury Services, a prestigious international concierge services firm headquartered in Geneva and with representation in several cities including London, Paris, Marrakech, Montenegro, Qatar, Madrid, Barcelona, Marbella, Mallorca and Ibiza among others. Sandra has been regarded by some customers as the Genie of the Lamp because she makes all their wishes come true.
The Luxonomist: Where do you see that the concierge services industryis heading?
Sandra Álvarez: Since they appeared as such in the late 90s, when there were about fifty companies, concierge services have evolved gradually, offering now a wide variety of services to make better and easier life of HENRY’s, Affluent’s and HNWI who are short on time to get more money for their business and their life.
TL: Where you see that it is addressed concierge services sector?
SA: Concierge services remains virtually unchanged for the last years. They continue being aimed at people who have no time to manage their leisure or allow access to inaccessible places and things for most mortals. In general, there is little innovation in the sector.
TL: Can you tell the customer profile?
SA: The customer profile of concierge services is precisely this, people who have little time and need someone to take for them some of the most tedious tasks of managing their daily life, what is called in the industry life management: Taking clothes to the laundry, getting tickets to an event, buy airline tickets, take dogs for a walk, etc. In this way they can better reconcile their working life, which is usually very intense (more than 60 hours per week), with friends, family and personal hobbies.Actually, it is a fact that as people are increasing their fortune, they lose focus on the money to focus on time to enjoy life to the fullest with their loved ones.
People with little money waste their time trying to optimize their money, while people with lots of money but little time waste their money trying to optimize their time. Usually professionals with incomes above 75,000 €, entrepreneurs or C-level executives of large companies who travel and need to stay in both physical and mental balance, make use of the services that provide them with betterequilibrium in their lives.
TL: Where do you see that the concierge services industry should be heading?
SA: To what the market demands: the experiential luxury. Most concierge services offer trips to sites and wonderful places, with all the amenities you can have in a luxury traveler destination: home cooks and staff, limousine transfers, yachts and more. But a good concierge service must go further. Must innovate and amaze their customer, make them live an unusual and unforgettable experience, make themfeel unique. The experiences today precede over anything else in this sector.
TL: What about the current vision and market developments?
SA: The business industry concierge services are currently in a period of its greatest growth in history. The contribution of this industry to the overall economy, is projected to increase at an average annual rate of 4.2% in the following years until 2019, according to IBIS. Moreover, GDP is projected to increase 2.7% year on average over the same period of years.
The total size of the industry has grown steadily over the past five years to 2014, the number of industry operators has increased at an average annual rate of 2.4%. IBIS estimates in 700 the number of companies in the US, while the number of companies in Europe can triple this figure as it is a more mature market.IBIS estimated concierge industry will reach $ 264 million by 2017.
TL: What do customers valuemost from a good professional concierge service?
SA: Confidentiality, exclusivity and above all the excellence of what we offer. We believe this should be the starting point for any concierge service.In addition to The Luxury Services want to go further. We are always looking for something new with what we can surprise our customers. Here something always happens and moves something. Because we don’t stop looking for the best for our customers, what we believe will generate the feeling on them of experiencing something unique. We call it the «WOW» effect. We pay special attention to the emotions to overcome any expectation. The customization ofevery detail in a caring customer service and the surprise factor are the keys.
As an example, in Morocco, one of the most frequent destinations of luxury tourism for travelers from the Middle East, we have created a concept of «magical journey» introducing «pop up» experiences. What is it about? Luxury accompanies the traveler and experiences come and go (pop up) in the course of the journey: we fitted a luxury restaurant in a store when the traveler was shopping or a spectacular dinner in a luxurious tent in the middle desert while they were away, among many others.
TL: Type of concierge services and price disparity
SA:The type of services varies as much as their rates, of course. From walking dogs by 30 € per hour until 200 € per hour apersonal stylists time, whom decide for celebrities and characters of public life, what clothes should they wear and when, through a personal assistant by 60 € per hour to answer calls, organize agenda and other «everyday» issues. Overall, HNWIs can expect to pay between € 2.500 and € 5.000 per month for outsourcing aspects of their life that takes too much time from them.
TL: How to differentiate a good professional concierge service?
SA:We believe that the difference is really managing luxury with suppliers who understand what is giving a luxury service, they know what is excellence. They outdo themselves, innovate and constantly discover new ways with which to surprise our customers.
TL: The Personal Concierge and Corporate?
SA:What many people don’t know is that concierge services are also used at the corporate level for the benefit of their employees and tend to have, increasingly, a greater role in corporate benefits programs. The average annual utilization of these services for companies with 1,000 or more employees is between 30%-50% in the first year, and over 80% in the following years as it greatly increases the performance of their employees and this affects the climate labor and productivity. They can range from wellness & fitness programs, to personal services to prevent absenteeism or travel services for attending international events.
- 85% of employees often say that the concierge service that provides them the company has made them be more focused and be more productive at work
- Over 90% of employees using the service would recommend it to a colleague and would very likely use the service again
- Companies with fewer than 5,000 employees report that save an average of 300 hours per month, equivalent to tens of thousands of euros in terms of productivity saved
TL: What is the best testimony we received from one of your customers?
SA: The fact to recommend us is, without doubt, the best testimony that can give you a customer. But above all, what we love is being told «WOW»: seeing them vibrate, enjoying and living intensely while thanking us for it. What else could you ask for?