Haven’t you always wanted to be the person who’s in the know? I’m talking about the guy or gal who has the low down on the best clubs and restaurants or helps you find your way around whenever you’re traveling.
Creating a concierge app may be the way to go.
What Can You Do With a Concierge App?
A concierge is an individual, usually employed by a hotel, who arranges services for guests. These services can range from scheduling transportation to locating a dry cleaner or pharmacist to providing information about local hot spots and eateries.
They are considered invaluable for improving the quality and enjoyment of the entire guest experience. It’s based upon a luxury business model that’s even more in demand as travel and leisure become more affordable, commonplace, and global.
Concierge apps use advanced technology to streamline these services. With the inclusion of AI and mobile app development, they make scheduling and locating support or entertainment services on the road faster and more convenient.
Say, for example, that a business traveler needs to find a gym in each location while they’re touching base with branches in different cities or countries. They’ll also need local transportation to and from their various meetings or service locations, such as gym, restaurant, and entertainment venues. Your concierge app could have everything scheduled and arranged before they land at their destination.
By incorporating data analysis and AI, such services become intuitive. Using the map app built into the member’s smartphone, your concierge app could anticipate their needs as they travel and book reservations, transportation, and other activities accordingly.
Whether it’s a pocket personal assistant or used for business/pleasure travel, a concierge app will:
- Provide direct access to customer data
- Expand your client base
- Improve service delivery
- Reduce costs
- Support customer retention
- Improve branding
- Boost staff productivity
- Increase transparency and accountability
State of Concierge App Development
The rise of AI and IoT have expanded the possible markets and use cases for such apps. Once considered the domain of luxury hotels and resorts, they can now be incorporated into home services along with IoT devices like Alexa or Alfred, used by cruise lines to improve guest services, or marketed to individuals who want to take travel and pleasure arrangements into their own hands.
As such, these apps are now being used by providers like:
– Travel agencies
– Premium car rental companies
– Private airplane, helicopter, and boat charter companies
– Personal shoppers
– Personal assistants
Why Build a Concierge App?
Because these types of services are no longer chained to a single person at a particular high-end establishment, developing a concierge app allows you to put VIP services into the hands of ordinary people.
This makes the service itself more accessible to those who aren’t high rollers and broadens the reach of service providers.
For these reasons, app creators have plenty of opportunities to monetize their creations. You could offer a premium or subscriber-based app, allow rental companies, restaurateurs, and other service providers to advertise on the app, or include a combination of monetizing features.
Use Cases for Concierge Apps
The leading AI-based concierge app is Velocity Black. This platform is a membership-based service that costs $2,800 annually to join. Prospects must also apply for membership and become vetted before they’re approved.
Once approved, Velocity Black members have access to luxury services around the world and exclusive invitations to enjoy entertainment and events that are out of reach to most people. This platform provides access 24/7, year-round, and it uses a combination of human customer service reps, AI, and data mining.
On the other end of the spectrum is an app called Pana. It’s much more affordable at just $49 a month, but the luxury services are less exclusive than you’d find at Velocity Black. The target audience for an app like Pana is executives, people with more disposable income, and service providers wanting to add value and increase customer loyalty.
In between these two extremes is a world of possibilities.
Challenges of Digitizing Concierge Services
One of the biggest marketing hurdles to jump is the problem of exclusivity. Concierge services were the domain of luxury establishments and their clients for a reason. The type of establishments that provide access to an elite client base tend to be very conservative and less open to digitization.
This makes it difficult to add service providers to an app. Anybody may be able to download it, but you have to jump through hoops to get companies to include you in their list or agree to provide access via your app. Services like private yachts, exclusive clubs, or luxury rentals are often only available to seasoned, well-heeled travelers and those who’ve made a career out of making connections.
One of the first considerations is your target market. Will you make the service a little more democratic and accessible to more people or keep it high-end and exclusive?
Once you have your audience sorted out, you have to work on contacting and retaining service providers. If you already have ties to the business, travel, or leisure industries, your network is already well-established. Novices to concierge services will have much more footwork to do.
Developer Best Practices and Must-Have App Features
Before building any app, you need to have a plan in place. First, create a budget for the app that’s based on what you need it to do and who you want it to serve. Will it be very exclusive and have a limited clientele or more affordable and wide-reaching?
In other words, who is your target audience and what kind of companies want their business?
Next, you have to decide who will develop your app. If you’re a coder or experienced developer, you could build the whole app in-house., Otherwise, you’ll have to outsource design and back-end coding.
Whichever development path you take, there are several features that are must-haves for any concierge app:
- Service access; customers need access to a database with a list of service providers, service availability, prices, and booking or scheduling
- Integration with third-party tools and service providers such as transportation companies, tour guides, and on-demand services
- In-app chat
- Customer support
- In-app payment platforms
- Digital keys to perform digital booking, confirmations, or cancellations
- Map feature and other navigation tools
- Optional add-ons like home integration, itineraries, or emergency services
You’ll also want to devise a targeted plan to market your app that includes an email campaign, social media outreach, and other forms of digital marketing.
Final Thoughts on Concierge Services Digitization
The realm of concierge services development is a growing field that’s aided by emerging tech like AI and Big Data. By learning more about the industry and following best practices for app development, you’ll stand a better chance of creating a popular, useful, and lucrative form of passive income.
What are your experiences with app development? Does a concierge app sound like your kind of side hustle? Tell us your story in the comments.