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CONCIERGE DUTIES

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The duties and responsibilities of a concierge depend on where the concierge service is being provided. Concierge services may be provided at hotels and resorts as well as residential establishments like apartment complexes and private homes. In general, a concierge professional will have a wide variety of duties that ensure that the needs of the residents or guests are met, within reason. Some specific tasks include greeting, managing, maintaining security, coordinating, and informing. At a hotel or resort, the concierge will serve as a temporary assistant to guests, ensuring that their requests are met and that questions are accurately answered. At an apartment complex or private home, the concierge will serve as a more permanent and familiar personal assistant, performing duties based on the requests of residents and employers.

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Building Access and Security

Since the concierge is the first individual encountered when a guest and/or resident enters the building, it is their duty to respond in an appropriate manner to those who enter. Essentially, the concierge monitors who enters and exits the building, and thus assumes the role of a guard. Each establishment will have different policies and procedures regarding who enters the building and how much freedom or access they have within the building. The concierge should watch for suspicious activity as well as any specific individuals prohibited from entering the building. Some concierge professionals may be equipped with telecommunication devices so that open communication can be established with other employees during hazardous or dangerous situations. Building access and security duties performed by the concierge provide safety and security to the occupants.


'''Figure 1: Concierges monitor access to the building and notify staff of any disturbances or emergencies'''


'''Figure 2: Concierges use various forms of telecommunication to stay in contact with building management'''

Professional Conduct

In the hospitality industry, the concierge is regarded as a highly prestigious and esteemed position. Because of this, it is important that the concierge conduct themselves in the most professional manner possible. The concierge is visible to guests and residents, and therefore should be professional in dress, appearance, and attitude. If a uniform is provided, it should be clean, pressed, and free of stains, rips, and tears. Shoes should be clean and shiny. If a uniform is not provided, men should wear crisp suits and tailored shirts, and women should wear dress pants or skirts and blazers. The first impression should be that of first-class business; a concierge should contribute commercial appeal to their place of employment. Concierge professionals should have well-groomed hair and nails as well as fresh breath.

'''Figure 3: As the first contact of the building, concierges must be professional yet approachable in appearance and demeanor.'''

Since the responsibilities and duties of a concierge are diverse, it is important that they possess a multitude of qualities. These include a friendly and pleasant demeanor, the ability to multitask and network, excellent communication and problem solving skills, outstanding customer service and organizational abilities, leadership, patience, and extensive knowledge of the area in which they work. A concierge may perform tasks as simple as saying good morning or as difficult as obtaining tickets to a popular local attraction. All tasks should be completed with the utmost courtesy and thoroughness. A concierge should never be rude or short with a guest or resident and should treat them with respect.

'''Figure 4: Concierges need to be knowledgeable, patient and have good communication in order to help residents with their inquiries. Multitasking various requests, concerns and responsibilities are a standard necessity for a concierge.'''

They should also be extremely fluent in the native language; however, being bilingual or multilingual is definitely an advantage. If a guest or resident needs assistance when dealing with a stressful or unpleasant situation, the concierge should be socially perceptive and understanding during their difficult situation. They should also be able to provide suggestions, advice, and directions to those who inquire. This is where networking and knowledge of the area are essential. Being able to tailor advice to specific people or groups of people is a good quality to have. Being a concierge means you are sincerely committed to hospitality and assisting others. All in all, the concierge should refrain from unprofessional behavior such as swearing, smoking, eating, gum chewing, personal phone conversations, and excessive conversing with guests/residents.

Deliveries

Handling packages and mail deliveries is one of the responsibilities of the concierge. This includes sending packages, receiving packages, and delivering packages. Depending on the location of the concierge service, the methods in which packages and/or mail is handled will differ. Therefore, each concierge professional will need to become familiar with the delivery procedure of their workplace. Packages and mail may need to be picked up from the local post office or they may be delivered directly to the building. The time and date in which the packages are received should be recorded in a log book every time. Once the packages are in the possession of the concierge they are distributed in one of two ways: delivered directly to the recipient of the package, or picked up by the recipient of the package at a specific location. Once the package is in the recipient’s possession, the time and date should be logged or recorded and a signature should be obtained. If packages need to be sent out, the concierge will either retrieve the packages from the sender or the sender will drop the packages off at a specific location. These packages will either be picked up by a local shipping corporation or dropped off at a local post office. The date and time in which the packages are sent should be recorded in a log book. It may also be necessary to obtain receipts that verify date and time of shipment so package tracking can be done. It is also important that a concierge be aware of the characteristics of suspicious packages.


'''Figure 5: All deliveries must be logged to keep track of parcels for the building and for guests'''

Emergency Situations

Every staff member and employee should receive formal training on emergency situations and how to respond if and when one occurs. This training must include the practices and procedures that should be followed before, during, and after an emergency situation takes place. These emergency plans should delineate each employee’s responsibility during an emergency, details regarding the building’s emergency equipment, the various alarms and warning signals, and those in charge of notifying emergency responders. These trainings should be done on a periodic basis and records should be kept to document the employees who have received the continued training. Since the concierge has a wide range of responsibilities, their role during emergency situations is essential.

Examples of emergency situations include fires, inclement weather, natural disasters, and nonweather threats that endanger life and/or property. The type of emergency situation the concierge may experience depends on their location. Each region experiences different emergency situations, so it is important to be familiar with the ones that may affect the area. Some factors to consider when approaching these situations include preparation, management, and prevention. Preparing for an emergency situation includes all of the activities that are done prior to a situation occurring. Managing an emergency situation includes the activities that help minimize the risks and impacts of an event by addressing it. Preventing an emergency situation includes the policies and programs to prevent the emergency situation from reoccurring. To successfully prepare, manage, and prevent there are many things that can be done, including: becoming informed about the hazards and emergencies that may affect your area, developing an emergency plan and practicing it, gathering supplies and organizing a supply kit, learning evacuation routes and shelter locations, and becoming familiar with warning systems and alarms.


'''Figure 6: In case of emergencies, a concierge should be aware of and able to follow the appropriate course of action for the building.'''

Fires are one example of an emergency situation. They can occur by natural phenomena, e.g. a lightning strike, by malfunction, e.g. an electrical fire, or by accident, e.g. an unsupervised candle. In the event of a fire, the first thing that must be done is to make the fire known by activating the fire alarm. This alarm will notify the occupants of the building so that fire emergency procedures can begin. If the concierge is present in the area where the fire is occurring, they should make a judgment call by assessing whether or not the fire is small enough to be contained using a fire extinguisher or fire blanket. A fire should not be approached with heroism; if there is any doubt that the fire is too large to be controlled with extinguishers, evacuation of the building is necessary. A hotel or apartment complex should have an updated fire emergency plan and all staff should be trained on the plan’s procedures. The concierge should be familiar with the locations of the fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and escape routes. During a fire emergency, the elevators should not be used. Occupants must evacuate the building using the stairwells. The concierge should assist in safety and evacuation procedures.


'''Figure 7: In case of a fire, a concierge should execute proper tactics to get the people out of the building safely and quickly.'''

Inclement weather is any extreme natural occurrence including hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, snowstorms, excessive ice, and extreme temperatures. These conditions can create dangerous situations for those in the affected area. Safety is the number one priority of a concierge during inclement weather. Being knowledgeable about the most up to date weather conditions and forecast is essential to providing guests and/or residents with accurate information. If a severe weather alert is issued, the proper preparations and procedures should be followed. The concierge should be familiar with these procedures. Essentially, the concierge should be prepared for all situations where weather can directly affect the guests or residents. In fact, all staff should be informed and trained on inclement weather procedures and policies. These will differ from region to region.


'''Figure 8: Severe weather can often cause damage to trees and other vegetation surrounding the building. It can also block off major roadways to and from the facility. A concierge must know how to handle these problems with diligence and levelheadedness.'''

Examples of natural disasters include earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, winter storms and extreme freezing, tsunamis, hurricanes, volcanoes, and landslides/mudslides. The concierge should be familiar with the natural disasters that could affect their area. Being prepared for natural disasters ensures better safety for the occupants of the building during a disaster and after a disaster. To guarantee the best preparation possible, the concierge should know the protective measures taken prior to, during, and after a disaster; this includes knowing the procedures and the supplies.

  • Earthquakes strike suddenly, violently, and without warning. They are one of the most frightening and destructive phenomena of nature. In areas where earthquakes pose a potential hazard, the concierge should practice advanced planning so that the dangers of injury or death from an earthquake can be reduced. Being aware of safe areas as well as the location of the disaster supply kit is especially helpful. Some supplies needed include a flashlight and extra batteries, portable battery-operated radio and extra batteries, first aid kit, emergency food and water, nonelectric can opener, essential medicines, cash, and sturdy shoes.


'''Figure 9: Effects of earthquakes can be drastic and severe, often causing traumatic damage to the building and creating hazardous obstacles that could be harmful to occupants of the building.'''

  • In the United States, floods are one of the most common disasters to occur. The concierge should be aware of flood hazards, especially if the building is in a low-lying area, or near water. Every state is at risk for potential flooding, so the concierge should be familiar with the protective measures associated with this disaster. Each establishment will have its own protective measures that are taken before a flood, during a flood, and after a flood. The concierge should be knowledgeable about these measures.


'''Figure 10: Floods cause damage to a building and its property, a concierge should start cautionary procedures while the weather permits for the safety of the occupants.'''

  • Tornadoes are the most violent storms in nature, causing death and devastation in seconds. Like earthquakes, they may occur quickly, and with little or no warning. The concierge should be aware of tornado alerts and changing weather conditions. They should also be familiar with the protective measures that are taken before, during, and after a tornado. They should also be familiar with the safe areas and the location of the tornado supply kit.

'''Figure 11: Tornadoes occur quickly, without notice and inflict massive damage to any building in its way.'''

  • Winter storms and extreme freezing can immobilize an entire region. These winter storms can cause flooding, power outages, storm surge, closed highways, and hypothermia. If the concierge works in an area that receives snowfall, even areas that typically experience mild winters, they should be familiar with the protective measures that are taken before, during, and after a winter storm. They should also be familiar with the proper attire and the location of the disaster supply kit.


'''Figure 12: Winter storms can cause a lot of destruction that require immediate protective measures by a concierge.'''

  • Tsunamis, or seismic sea waves, are caused by underwater disturbances such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, or meteorites and result in a series of enormous waves. These waves can travel hundreds of miles per hour in the open ocean and can collide into land with waves measuring as high as 100 feet or more. If a tsunami warning is issued, evacuation to inland or to high ground is necessary. A concierge should be aware of tsunami warnings by tuning into weather broadcasts.

'''Figure 13: Tsunamis are devastating to communities that usually require evacuation. A concierge must be aware of the warnings and know how to proceed in these cases.'''

  • A hurricane is a type of tropical cyclone that can cause devastating damage to both coastlines and inland areas. They are generally accompanied by thunderstorms with winds exceeding 155 miles per hour. Hurricanes are classified into five categories based on wind speed, pressure, and potential threat. Torrential rains produced by hurricanes can cause flooding that results in major destruction. This abundance of rain can also cause landslides or mudslides. If a hurricane is present, the concierge should be aware of the warning and advice given by the local weather stations. They should also take the appropriate protective measures prior to, during, and after a hurricane. If evacuation is possible, it should be done. If evacuation is not possible, appropriate safety procedures should be taken and hurricane supply kits should be retrieved.

'''Figure 14: Hurricanes have five categories of severity that are usually indicators of the amount of damage that will occur. Concierges should be aware of what to do, what to have on hand and who to call in the event of a hurricane.'''

  • A volcano is a vent in the earth’s surface where molten rock can escape. A volcanic eruption takes place when the pressure of the gases within the molten rock becomes too great. Eruptions can cause lava flows, flying rock and ash, poisonous gases, and flattened landscapes. Such effects are devastating to people, structures, and nature. If a volcano erupts, evacuate immediately. Wear clothing that protects the body from falling ash. Also, be aware of mudflows and avoid low-lying areas. In areas where volcano eruptions occur, the concierge should be aware of these weather conditions and react in an appropriate manner by following protective measures.


'''Figure 15: Volcano eruptions can cause damage to the areas around the volcano as well as release poisonous gases and ash into the air that can affect areas several miles away from the volcano.'''

  • In all U.S. states and territories there is a possibility of a landslide. A landslide occurs when masses of rock, earth, and/or debris travel down a slope. They are the result of earthquakes, storms, volcanoes, and man-made modifications to the land. When water quickly accumulates in the ground due to heavy rainfall or rapid snow melt, mud flows develop. These rivers of rock, earth, and other debris flow like a river, growing larger in size as they pick up trees, boulders, cars, and other objects. They are also referred to as mud river or slurry and can travel several miles from their source. If a landslide occurs, the concierge should follow all protective measures associated with landslides.

'''Figure 16: Landslides generally occur in locations where they have previously. Concierges should stay aware of warning signs associated with these events and be aware of the preparedness of the staff in the event that evacuation is not possible.'''

A threat can be any person, thing, or situation that endangers life and/or property. One familiar type of threat in the United States is terrorism. Terrorism occurs when force or violence is used against people or property as a means of creating fear or gaining attention. Terrorism attacks may be done through assassinations, kidnappings, hijackings, bomb threats, bombings, cyber attacks, and biological, nuclear, chemical, or radiological weapons. Although it is very unlikely that a concierge would be faced with a terrorist attack threat, it is possible for other types of threats to occur. Robbery, burglary, and assault are all possible threats that a concierge could encounter. To prepare for such threats, the concierge should always be aware of his or her surroundings and report any suspicious activity or unusual behavior to authorities. If a threat becomes present, a concierge should notify the police immediately and notify building security if it is available.

'''Figure 17: Concierges must be aware of any safety issues that occur on or near the premises and be willing to work with authorities to solve any issues that develop.'''