Arman Khanyan – Armenian Concierge Association
Please, tell us about the idea of Armenian Concierge Association. How it started, and what was your vision when you decided to create an association for your Armenian colleagues.
The idea of creating the Armenian Concierge Association was proposed by our colleague from Moscow, chief Concierge of the Hilton hotel Leningradskaya Garegin Avagyan with the support of Les Clefs d’Or Russia. Garegin is an active participant of concierge community in Russia and decided to help us in order to build the same professional community. He has a big project related to the development and popularization of our profession in Armenia. Everything started with a big meeting in The Alexander Hotel, where our team together with concierges of the Best Western hotel had meeting with Garegin. He prepared a presentation about concierge community in Russia and worldwide and also gave us information about Les Clefs d’Or organization. We are looking forward for the huge amount of work to be done in order to develop concierge profession in Armenia and will be pleased to have opportunity to become members of Les Clefs d’Or organization in the future.
Give us your idea and opinion about concierge services in Armenia, how do you see it in the future and what are the specifics, if there are any?
The position of a “concierge” in Armenia is a new concept, if in European countries there are already schools for the preparation of concierges, then, unfortunately, everything is just beginning in Armenia. This is due to the advent of the international hotel Alexander. The international rules state that in any four to five-star category hotel there must be a separate concierge desk. The position of a concierge is very promising and we hope that with the advent of high-class hotels, the concierge culture will develop in Armenia.
In October you represented Armenia first time in Moscow during Les Clefs d’Or event. Please, tell us more about the event itself and about the association in general.
On October 27, the annual Moscow meeting of the Russian branch of the Public Organization Golden Keys Concierge was held at the Sheraton Palace Hotel. About 70 concierges from Moscow, St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kaliningrad, Yalta, Tbilisi and of course from Yerevan attended the event. The conference consisted of several parts, after the introductory word from the hotel management and the president of the Golden Keys Concierge association the floor was given to the new members, who presented reports on the work done and on future plans. There was also an educational part, the first topic “Segmentation of clients in the luxury industry” and a master class on the topic “Trends of the modern tourist”.
‘’Les Clefs d’Or’’ (translated as The Golden Keys) is a professional association of hotel concierges, with approximately 4000 members working in over 80 countries and 530 destinations, in literally every corner of the world. Easily identified by the golden crossed keys on their lapels, these members are an elite fraternity, globally connected, committed to professional development, and driven to setting new standards for guest service perfection. With roots dating back to 1929, Les Clefs d’Or was officially founded in France in 1952 as a not-for-profit organization based on two pillars: Service and Friendship. Before earning the right to wear the golden keys, those who aspire to become a member must have several years of experience as a hotel concierge, pass comprehensive testing and prove, beyond doubt, their ability to deliver highest quality of service.
Tell us more about your work as a concierge, why did you choose it?
The concierge provides the necessary information and fulfills almost any guest request, without considering official duties. His job is to predict the client’s desires, to work in advance. Imagine how difficult this position is! Hotel concierge should know everything. He must be “connected” to hundreds of sources of information. Besides, the concierge should learn about this or that information in the blink of an eye, very promptly.
What do you like most about your work and about hospitality industry in general?
There are some reasons, why I like my work. Firstly, you make people’s day, whether you’re a concierge in a hotel, or a kitchen porter working behind the scenes, every time you come into work, you’re making someone’s day little bit better. Your business is all about people. It’s not about widgets or spreadsheets; it’s about making people happy. Second, it’s creative, as well as being a people-oriented industry, hospitality is creative. You are creating a product — be that food, drink, or an experience — and there’s always scoping to dream up new ways of making it more enjoyable for your customers.
Hospitality industry is probably the only industry that makes home feel a little closer even when you are millions of miles away from home. You get to meet & interact with a lot of people from different backgrounds, with interesting & authentic cultures in a friendly manner. These is some features that hospitality industry has.
What are the main qualities that a concierge must have?
In essence, all human and moral qualities are very important for a concierge, such as benevolence, sociability, and ability to make quick decisions. Also, some other important qualities are stress tolerance and tranquility. The concierge should be able to start a conversation and competently support it, and even more important is the ability to listen and hear the client.
Describe your one day at work.
In a typical day in my position I fulfill many tasks regarding tours, car rent, restaurant reservation and so on. Throughout the day I complete various administrative duties as well, including answering phones, drafting documents and emails, greeting customers, supporting and collaborating with my colleagues. I also provide strong customer service and resolve customer issues.