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Apple was onto something.

Apple StoreYes, 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.

Employment ImageIt’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?).

Freedom_Waving American FlagsIndependence Day shouldn’t be celebrated just once a year. It should be celebrated every day. We 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.

Wolfe was an American first.

 

Here’s a little history lesson on when our country adapted the concept of a concierge. It wasn’t until the 1970s that the actual position emerged in the United States—even though hotel bell captains and front desk staffers had been unofficially performing the same duties for years. And a drum roll please…its Thomas Wolfe whom is known to be one of the first American concierges. He worked in Europe for several years before taking a position with the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco circa 1974, and he founded the original West Coast chapter of Les Clefs D’Or (an organization that enables 3,000 concierges throughout 39 countries to share ideas with one another).

bellhopToday, not all hotel concierges are the real things. They may wear the concierge uniform and provide the same services, but many are actually contract employees of second party hospitality companies—just like Portero Concierge. Outsourcing saves hotels on benefits, and some hotel industry insiders say it helps lower-tier (two- and three-star) hotels provide a service they couldn’t otherwise afford. Portero has even expanded into providing Onsite Concierge for retail centers to meet on-demand needs of employees, visitors, and merchants. The unique service helps businesses benefit from increased productivity, elevated engagement, and total customer satisfaction.

So thank you Thomas Wolfe for crossing the pond and becoming a pioneer concierge in our country. You’ve paved the way for high-end personal assistance and provided a platform that’ll keep Portero Concierge poised for growth. USA! USA! USA!

Will you marry me?

 

We’re rapidly approaching the middle of the year and you know what means? Yes, Flag Day is on the fourteenth and let’s not forget good olé dad on Father’s Day. Speaking of dad, June is also a popular month to give the bride away. Yes, the Saturdays of June are biggest days of the year to get married. Heck even Stevie Wonder knows this and he’s blind. “No April rain, no flowers bloom; no wedding Saturday within the month of June.”Bride

So if you got so lucky that your lover has proposed to you, congratulations. And now that the biggest day of your life is finally arrived, you’ve got some decisions to make. I need a dress. I need a chapel. I need a cater. I need a DJ. I need a drink!

Breathe girl. It’s all going to work out just fine. In fact, Portero Concierge can be a girl’s best friend. We’ll take away the pain of planning. The invitations. The reception. The cake. Check. Check. Check. We’ll turn an ordinary wedding into an extraordinary event. Heck we can even handle the honeymoon. You just sit there look pretty. Pretty amazing, right?

I now pronounce you man and wife. You may kiss the…

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