Here and happy to help

Here and happy to help

A concierge always puts the guests first and will do whatever it takes to ensure visitors to our city have an enjoyable stay in our top hotels

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Concierge clerk Marco Lee from The Langham Hong Kong loves his job.
Concierge clerk Marco Lee from The Langham Hong Kong loves his job.
Photo: Jonathan Wong/SCMP
From helping guests to find transportation to assisting them to look for relatives who are held up at immigration, Marco Lee Kok-ching, concierge clerk at The Langham Hong Kong, does his best to serve visitors.

Get started:

Having a high education level is not a key requirement for a concierge. It is more important to know your way around the city and have great connections. Many concierges worked as bellboys before moving up. They learn on the job how to serve guests and build up their connections with those who can help them in town.

Moving up:

The steps to climb in the career are concierge clerk, senior concierge clerk, assistant chief concierge and chief concierge. The chief concierge is a management role. He or she has to lead staff and co-ordinate with other departments to serve guests.

Race to the top:

My job is to get customers what they want. Arranging transport, organising sightseeing and booking tickets for shows and events are some of my most common duties. A concierge must maintain good relationships with restaurants, clubs and ticket agents around town, so they can get their guests bookings that not everyone is able to.

We also keep ourselves up to date with the hottest events going on in Hong Kong to give guests the best experience. It is not easy for the staff of one hotel to gather all the entertainment and dining information about the city, so Hong Kong's concierges formed the Society of the Golden Keys of Hong Kong to help each other out.

Rewards and benefits:

Concierge clerks receive a basic salary of HK$12,000 to HK$15,000. There will also be tips from guests.

Where to apply:

Major hotels.

A day in the life:

Concierges work three shifts. The early shift runs from 6am to 4pm, the mid-shift from 10am to 8pm and the night shift from 4pm to 1am. Some hotels offer services around the clock.

When I come in, I first check the reports written by colleagues from the previous shift to look for requests from guests that need to be followed up.

Throughout the day guests come to us for help. Once a guest asked me for help because his daughter was being held at airport immigration. I called the guest's airline to try to get in touch with immigration. After a couple of hours I was finally able to confirm the girl was safe at immigration. The guest was very grateful.

Serving guests is all about having the heart to help and being patient.

At the end of my shift, I write down what I have done for the day so the colleague who takes my place will know what to do.

I get six days off a month and I usually take them on weekdays.

Jargon:

See counter: If a guest needs to reclaim lost items, receive packages or has any problem, a concierge will bring the guest to the see counter.

Piling: When a concierge says piling, it means the guest's request needs more than one person to make it happen.

Let's eat: Concierge and bellboys say this to describe a huge number of guests who have just arrived.

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