Apple was onto something.       

Yes, we all know Apple products are great and hail the almighty Steve Jobs. But the one user experience that the company truly reinvented was the brick-and-mortar storefront. Before the idea of entering into the retail store space, Apple held focus groups to discover ways to distance themselves from the competition. When the groups were asked about the best service they’d ever experienced—16 out of the 18 demographics said “it was in a hotel.” Huh. But of course. The concierge desk at a hotel has no other agenda, but to be at your beck-and-call. So, they came up with a bar—a bar that “serves up” helpful advice. Essentially, what they did was put high-tech versions of a concierge desk in each of their retail stores and populated them with “Geniuses.” Concierges—the excellent ones—are geniuses, magicians in the art of hospitality. They have the spirit that separates not only concierges from other professionals, but also the good concierges from the great concierges. So how can your business improve upon your customer experience? How can you take the Genius Bar concept to a whole new level of service? You can start by logging onto www.porteroconcierge.com and see how they’re helping companies reinvent the shopping experience. Then, make your dent in the universe just like Apple did. God we miss you Steve Jobs.

Unemployment rate drops. Job growth rebounds. Retention rates need to spike—now.  

Job growth rebounded strongly last month as the unemployment fell below 6% for the first time in over six years. What does that mean for businesses? A tighter workforce. Less highly-qualified professionals. Huge market demand. Which makes it harder to attract—and retain top talent.blog_employment It’s time to get creative with compensation packages that place more emphasis on individual value rather than monetary worth. What can a company do to make it more competitive on acquiring and keeping their top brass? Well a few of the businesses on Fortune’s 100 Best Companies to Work For list have figured out what perks help their employees stay dedicated and happy at their jobs—concierge services. From Accenture to American Express, Goldman Sachs to Google—they’re all taking care of their employee’s important chores. Each service is different, obviously, but they all help time-strapped workers take care of pesky tasks such as take in your dry cleaning, finding someone to care for your pet while you’re away on business, or book tickets for your upcoming vacation. So now that the economy is showing signs of more life after a less-than-stellar start to the year, it’s time to secure the perks that are going to keep your professionals happy. To learn more about how your business can implement concierge services at your office, visit www.porteroconcierge.com

Making freedom roar.

So it was just the Fourth of July this past weekend. America. The land of the free. Celebrating 240 years of being free to be exact. Envied. Replicated. Hated. Love us or leave us alone—we proudly lit up the sky with bombs bursting in air (well there were a lot of illegal fireworks this year, wouldn’t you agree?). Independence Day shouldn’t be celebrated just once a year. It should be celebrated every day. blog_freedomWe as Americans need to flex our freedom. And frequently. At work. At home. As employers. As employees. Is the red, white, and blue running through your veins yet? If you’re fist-pumpin’ and flag-wavin’ right about now, you’re going to be onboard with my idea for a Declaration of Independence. It’ll benefit the fine, hard-working Americans and their families as well. Let’s start with employers. Whether you’re a Fortune 500 company or an ecommerce start-up, you can set the freedom tone, attract and retain new talent, while rewarding your star staff members with the ultimate work/life balance. Individualized perks can increase productivity and enhance company culture. If you’re in the property management business freedom can ring right through your retail centers by offering your merchants the development of onsite events to drive traffic and enhance visitor experiences. By catering to on-demand needs, your business will benefit from elevated engagement and total customer satisfaction. Freedom can be habit-forming. For employees, removing them from their daily personal-life stresses will create a happier, more focused team member. Listen to the call of freedom. Discover what it’s all about at www.porteroconcierge.com and let it roar through your rank.