Aspire Lifestyles: A Customer Experience Company that Achieves through Concierge
Through innovation, Aspire Lifestyles Americas has grown its Concierge service into more than just a customer service/fulfillment service. Aspire Lifestyles provides its clients with a marketing solution that drives the differentiation of the customer experience through the use of Concierge.
Aspire Lifestyles’ Concierge services are contracted by major brands who offer Concierge services to their customers as part of a loyalty or best customer program.
As SVP of Service Delivery, it is Tim Gordon’s job to ensure every customer has a memorable experience with the Concierge teams that he oversees. In this role, he has seen the change in both Aspire Lifestyles’ customers and the nature of their Concierge requests.
Given his immediate visibility into the changing face of requests that customers make of the Concierge, Gordon understands first-hand the need for Aspire Lifestyles—as well as the entire Concierge industry—to consistently innovate to meet and exceed customer expectations and to remain competitive.
“Our big challenge is to make sure we stay relevant,” Gordon said. “Fifteen years ago, the Internet was completely different than it is today—meaning that our customer’s needs were completely different. In 2000, people might call the Concierge and ask what movies are playing downtown. Today, no one needs to call anyone for that information.”
How does Aspire Lifestyles stay relevant?
“One way we are staying relevant is by providing our customers with things that they can’t get on their own such as special access, perks and privileges,” Gordon said.
Gordon also emphasizes the importance of embracing technology. “As customers are changing—Millennials especially—their expectations of how companies interact with them are as well,” Gordon explained. “We provide our customers with digital access to Concierge via our Concierge website and mobile app—which is for many customers a given in this digital age.”
Aspire Lifestyles is taking its use of technology one step further by providing its Concierge access to real-time customer analysis.
“This information is derived from a relevancy algorithm based on the customer’s past behaviors, preferences and usage patterns,” Gordon added. “It provides our Concierge, and thus our customers, with the right marketing assets—the right perks, privileges, and value-adds—at the right time. This could mean providing the customer with a rental car discount via their preferred provider, a VIP table at their favorite restaurant, or an upgrade in the same hotel they stayed at the last time they traveled. Or we can send a little token to a customer to commemorate their birthday or anniversary. The ways in which the Concierge provides a memorable experience is completely individualized for each customer, depending on their preference profile.”
Lori Byrne, SVP of Sales and Marketing with Aspire Lifestyles Americas, says that while Aspire Lifestyles offers a high-end technical service to its clients, “We always strive to make it a personal interaction. Customers get a live person greeting them, engaging them and asking how they can help. This makes every Concierge interaction more interactive, special, and very focused on the customer.”
Byrne shared a special story about a man who received a call from a Concierge to thank the company for helping him through a very difficult time two years ago when he and his family were traveling.
“While they were in flight, a family member died,” Byrne explained. “This customer and their family landed at their destination and received this tragic news. They didn’t know where to turn. The customer took out their credit card and called their Concierge who got them on the first flight home the next morning. The Concierge also made hotel reservations and inquired about transportation. The Concierge service made such an impression that this customer repeated the story to us two years later. It just shows how this service can help a family through a very difficult time. That feedback is emotional and very special to us. We keep track of those across the company and make special mention of it to everyone here.”
Aspire Lifestyles’ Concierge model is such that customers, very often, deal with the same Concierge. This is often by design, as offering clients a “Named” Concierge service is another offering that sets Aspire Lifestyles apart. “Named Concierge” service is a form of Concierge service where customers have a dedicated Concierge that they always contact.
“Certain customers want that very high-end service—a Concierge that they get to not only know by name, but who also learns their personality and their preferences,” Byrne explained.
What’s more, Gordon said the relationship that develops with a Named Concierge and his or her customers really enables the Concierge to be proactive regarding providing services.
What’s more, Gordon said the relationship that develops with a Named Concierge and his or her c“For example, if someone was a Springsteen fan, their Concierge would let them know when he is going on tour, when tickets go on sale, and be on the lookout for great seats,” Gordon said. “What we’ve become with many of our clients is a sort of ‘lifestyle first responder.’ If a customer has developed a relationship with a Concierge, they will know his or her hours and their extension. Being able to develop a relationship with someone who you trust and knows your likes and dislikes is a game-changer for us.”ustomers really enables the Concierge to be proactive regarding providing services.
Gordon said happy customers become brand advocates.
“Aspire Lifestyles, at the end of the day, is providing service to our customers through our client’s brands,” he said. “We are a completely white-labeled service. That means that Concierge service reinforces the value of our client’s brands. Customers are thinking that—because of the certain credit card in their wallet, or organization that they are a member of, or company that they do business with—because of this brand that provides them with access to Concierge service, they are able have this incredible experience.”