Why your business might consider adopting a concierge business model

Editorial Team

5 min read
Florist welcoming her customer into her shop

Not too long ago, businesses were pulling out all the stops to bring in customers—immersive experiences were everywhere and Instagrammable backdrops became the norm. But the old-school approach has returned, and is changing the business landscape–the concierge business model.

What is concierge service? 

When you hear the word “concierge,” you might think of luxury hotels or high-end spas. While luxury is often associated with concierge services, all they really mean is a personalized customer experience. That kind of experience can be offered by all types of small businesses–from restaurants to retail shops to service businesses. 

In other words, you don’t have to be a concierge business to provide personalized customer services. You can start creating a concierge experience by simply introducing a concierge service or two. 

Read on to learn more about the concierge business model, how it could help benefit your business, and how to help incorporate concierge services into your existing business framework.

Benefits of a concierge business model

The idea of incorporating personalized customer services might seem daunting, but it can be easier than you might think–especially when you consider the many benefits that come with offering concierge experiences. 

1. Brand building

Offering personalized concierge services helps add dimensionality and class to your brand identity. By demonstrating a commitment to your customers and a willingness to go the extra mile, concierge services can set your business apart from the competition and make it more attractive to your target market. 

2. Increased business

While concierge services used to target customers who were time-poor but affluent, today’s concierge customers are much more financially diverse. The pandemic was largely responsible for this shift. What started as a form of social distancing has turned into a norm for outsourcing time-consuming tasks like grocery shopping–think Instacart, Shipt, or even DoorDash. Now, a greater number of consumers are likely to utilize concierge options, and that can mean more business for you.

3. Nudging high-ticket purchases 

Personalized service can have an upselling effect on consumers. Even though concierge services are available to a wide swath of the population, they nevertheless offer a feeling of luxury. This feeling can help nudge customers towards making purchases that they might have hesitated on otherwise.

4. Social media amplification 

You may not be providing Instagrammable backdrops, but delighted customers are still likely to share their standout concierge experiences on social media. Interestingly, positive word-of-mouth can create a halo effect on the products, services, and experiences you offer–and can help enhance customer loyalty and your brand identity.

Integrating concierge services

Because a concierge approach is rooted in customer service, it’s a suitable approach for just about any business. And you don’t have to go all in–concierge services can be rolled out gradually in a test-and-see way. If they’re successful, you can expand your offerings. Eventually, you may even incorporate a list of concierge services into your business offerings.

For retail businesses, concierge services can include personalized shopping experiences, curated product recommendations, and exclusive access to new arrivals. Imagine a boutique clothing store offering private styling sessions, a children’s toy store offering personalized gift purchasing, or a bookstore curating reading lists for local book clubs.

In the food and beverage industry, concierge services can extend beyond table reservations. A restaurant might offer custom dishes based on dietary preferences. For celebrations, an eatery might arrange for custom decorations, personalized menus, or coordinate surprises like champagne toasts. Or, a food establishment might even offer a Chef’s Table experience that invites guests to dine at the chef’s table, interact with the culinary team, and enjoy a behind-the-scenes view of the kitchen. 

Service-based businesses can elevate customer experiences by offering personalized consultations, expedited service options, and follow-up care packages. For instance, a spa might offer customized skincare regimens, or a tech repair shop could provide doorstep pickup and drop-off services.

Real world examples

Whether you offer pet grooming services or healthcare, the key to a successful concierge business model is to be imaginative. 

Consider Clover merchants Lindsay Duncan and Krystal Ferguson’s of The School – Creative Arts Education, offering programs in dance, theater, aerial arts, parkour, and more. Duncan says, “We provide what we call ‘concierge-style customer service.’ That means we’re dedicated to bringing you in, having a meeting, and providing some value before we even talk about money.” Duncan says that she and Ferguson are motivated by the prospect of cultivating long-term customer relationships where students may very well start at the age of two and continue into adulthood. She says, “We want to support all our students along the way, and we want them to do more than just come in, give us their credit card, and leave.”

Clover merchant Emem Obot of Elite Practitioner features concierge services prominently in her business model. Offering both medspa services like Botox and injectables, as well as traditional nursing services, her clients have the option to schedule appointments either in-house or on location, including business offices, inpatient and outpatient facilities, schools, and patients’ homes. Obot’s concierge model highlights equity and access. As described on her website, “At Elite Practitioner, our primary goal is to even the medical playing field by granting everyone within our reach, access to premium high-quality healthcare and aesthetics services.” 

As Obot demonstrates, the appeal of concierge service is that it can bring customers an accessible form of luxury. 

Clover offers a suite of products that can help small businesses engage customers and create personalized experiences. Clover Customer Engagement, for instance, comes with Rewards, Feedback, Customers, and Promos to help businesses create a direct dialogue with customers, a customer loyalty program, custom promos, and more. Contact a Clover Consultant to learn how a Clover POS system can help you create even better customer experiences.

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