Personalized Service from Anywhere: The Benefits of Remote Concierge
May 3, 2023

Personalized Service from Anywhere: The Benefits of Remote Concierge

The latest concept in remote concierge is 1:1 human interaction. For years, Chatbots and AI-driven customer service platforms have provided efficient and cost-effective solutions, but nothing can replace the personalized touch that comes from a real person.

The concept of a remote concierge is simple: it’s about providing customers with an excellent experience no matter what they need, from anywhere around the globe. A few years ago, this would've been only available to guests of high-end hotels. But recently, with advances in technology, the remote concierge has now become a core function of hospitality, banking, and healthcare and is even being used by retailers like Taylormade Golf and consumer product manufacturers like Unilever to guide shoppers through a personalized experience.

What is a Remote concierge?

The concept of a concierge is not new. In fact, it dates all the way back to the 15th century when wealthy families employed individuals called “valets” to assist them in their day-to-day tasks. These valets were responsible for taking care of mundane tasks such as running errands, making appointments, and even managing the household. These valets were the "right hand" of the wealthy and allowed them to enjoy a curated lifestyle.

Today, remote concierge services bring this same concept into the 21st century. But, It’s no longer limited to high-end hotels — a remote concierge can be used in any industry where shopping for high-consideration items is integral to success. The modern remote concierge is now able to provide world-class customer service from anywhere around the globe. This type of service offers incredible advantages for online stores looking to boost customer satisfaction and loyalty while building real human connections with their customers.

A remote or virtual concierge can be accessed by opening a text window or via SMS (whichever is easier for a customer on the go!) very similar to the way you would find answers or get directions on a website through a chatbot. However, with platforms like Humankind, you're actually connected to a real human expert who's been trained on the products and services of your bran

These individuals are part of one of the fastest-growing new remote job trends known as the virtual concierge. LinkedIn Jobs, Indeed, and SimplyHired all list hundreds of new openings in the concierge professional category, and the industry CAGR (compound annual growth rate) is over 15%. The rapid growth over the past few years has led companies like Humankind to create leading-edge technology and training that empowered better human connections between shoppers and brands.

What are examples of remote concierge services?

Concierges offer personalized assistance to guests at any locale - from hotels to websites, and beyond. They take on a wide range of tasks depending on the individual's needs and their current location. Examples of this service could be booking a restaurant, making reservations and booking accommodation, booking for the spa, advising on nightlife hot spots, booking transport (like taxis, limousines, flights, boats, or planes, etc.), or even locating the best local places to shop.

American Express Concierge is one familiar example of a remote concierge service. Platinum and Centurion level card Members have full access to exclusive lounges, booking, and travel services, concert tickets, restaurant reservations, and more.

Many hospitality companies are now beginning to offer remote concierge services as well. For example, Hilton Hotels & Resorts has launched its own concierge app called Hilton Honors Concierge. Guests can customize their hotel stay with exclusive offers, activities, dining recommendations, and more.

A new interpretation of the traditional concierge is the conversational commerce platform. Shoppers visiting online retailers can now open a chat window and walk through their purchase experience with a concierge serving as their personal shopper. 

These “remote concierge” services are available 24/7 and can help shoppers navigate the purchase process, recommend products, and offer a more personalized shopping experience. Companies like REN Skincare have embraced this concept to guide shoppers through an intimate, unique experience that increases AOV (average order value), and LTV (lifetime value).

There are potentially endless possibilities for a remote concierge.

What Is The Job Of A Remote Concierge?

The job of the remote concierge in any industry is to provide a personalized experience for customers and shoppers - most often this means the coordination of services and products to meet the customer's needs. In conversational commerce, we use it slightly differently. Individuals with excellent communications skills, product knowledge, and a passion for what they do can now make money anywhere in the world with a laptop and an internet connection.

Many of the up-and-coming travel influencers and frequent fliers you see on Instagram and TikTok have jobs like this that allow them to work remotely and see the world.

The job of a remote concierge may include:

  • Connecting customers to information, services, and products in a timely manner
  • Creating an engaging user experience tailored to their needs by working alongside customers.
  • Anticipating customer needs before they arise.
  • Helping with product research, and increasing customer convenience.
  • Effectively managing time with customers.
  • Asking great questions.
  • Creating customer loyalty through connection...

All distinctly human activities that chatbots struggle to perform.

Crafting exceptional customer experiences is what the brands hiring for remote concierge roles want. Brands like SHEFIT realize that women have quite a few options when it comes to sports bras, workout clothing, and athletic gear. Competitors like LuLuLemon, Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour have huge retail stores and online presence - SHEFIT wins through superior products that are specifically tailored to the lifestyle of a modern active woman, and an excellent customer experience - that's why they work with Humankind.

Is Being A Remote Concierge A Good Job?

Obviously, like any other job, being a remote concierge will have ups and downs, remote concierges are among the fastest growing and hottest new professions today. It’s a rapidly-changing field with plenty of opportunities to build a career and make good money while enjoying the freedom of remote work.

For people who are organized, enjoy working with customers directly, and want the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world, this could be an ideal job. Plus you can gain experience and exposure to many of the world's top brands.

Remote Concierge Best Practices

We'd be remiss in visiting this topic without also talking about the best practices for being a remote concierge. It's no small responsibility, so it's important to make sure you know what you're getting into before taking on a remote concierge role.

Fast response times, organization, and proactivity are key to providing customers with an incredible shopping experience that keeps them coming back time and again. Remote concierges must be great listeners, pay attention to details, and not be afraid to ask lots of questions - which is a primary focus of Humankind’s “expert” training program. 

Training from the Humankind team helps product experts develop the skills to refine questioning, build credibility, and confidently make relevant shopping suggestions. Once the expert is trained, Humankind’s platform helps you scale your efforts, enabling a concierge to support 20+ shoppers at a time with ease.

Finally, remote concierge roles require excellent communication skills—you need to be able to make yourself understood easily and clearly in both written and verbal communication. A deep understanding of the business’s services/products is a must to be able to provide expert advice.

Remote Concierge vs. Chatbots

Chatbots & Ai assistants have been a growing trend in the customer service industry for years. Most often used to give directions, familiarize guests with facilities, deliver shipping or tracking numbers, and solve customer problems, chatbots are best used for handling quick customer solutions. Although there are many similarities between remote concierge and chatbot technology, there are also differences - mainly in terms of personalization and customer service.

Chatbots are great at providing quick answers to simple questions that can be mapped out on an IF/THEN chart, but they lack the human touch that comes with a real person on the other end of a text window with real industry knowledge providing expert advice.

The main difference between chatbots and a remote concierge is that chatbots are automated software programs that try to simulate or mimic a natural conversation while responding to customer inquiries, while a remote concierge provides real-time assistance to customers with personalized services.

As we briefly touched on in the last section, a great remote concierge will be organized, personable, and able to quickly respond to customers. This sets them apart from a bot that simply responds to inputs in a way that they were programmed to.

They'll also be familiar with the brands and products they're representing and have a knack for delivering top-notch customer experiences that go way beyond bots.

What are the benefits to online stores of using remote concierge and conversational commerce?

In two words, human connection. Conversational commerce is the ability to interact with customers in a personal, human way. By adding remote concierge services to your online store, you can give customers the personalized attention they crave.

PwC showed in a recent study that more than 82% of consumers and online shoppers wanted their shopping experiences to offer more human connection. This connection leads to repeat business and a whole host of other benefits.

Think about it this way, if you have a shopping experience where you can't find the right item, can't get the items you like in the right size, or have shipping issues, it's unlikely that you'll revisit the same brand again.

With Humankind, you can quickly get help from a real human being. This builds trust with the customer and increases their chance of having a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience.

It also helps to reduce customer queries and complaints, as they're quickly answered by someone who knows the product or service inside out - so it's an efficient way to provide customers with information, advice, reviews, and product recommendations related to their needs. This is why a remote concierge and conversational commerce also help with customer retention.

One of the biggest hidden costs of business that we often forget is CAC (cost to acquire a customer). Ultimately, paying to acquire a customer only once is far more beneficial for your bottom line. Once you've recouped those initial costs, if you can increase your CVRs, AOV, repeat purchase rate, and CSAT, you can dramatically increase the customer's LTV to your brand.

In summary, remote concierges are an excellent way to improve customer service and increase customer loyalty by providing real-time support, advice, and guidance. Concierges can help customers through the decision process around high consideration, and luxury products far better than a chatbot.

If you're looking for a way to see meaningful increases in metrics that matter most to your bottom line, book your demo of Humankind to see how we've helped stores like Wine Enthusiast increase CVRs by more than 27%.

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