Win your customer’s hearts by understanding what they really need

Pamela Alfred • 6 February 2017

As a concierge, you want to know who your clients really are. Not just their labels, but who they are personally – what type of business travelers they are.


 As part of our customer development, we interviewed hundreds of business travelers to understand better who they are, what they do, how they do it, and even did a count of their favorite kind of bars to go on a business trip.

The process was not easy, because one simply cannot find business travelers online. Their online presence is so minimal; you can’t even locate them on social media. Business travelers don’t have time. They are very busy and always on the road in between flight and cities.

Finally, we located them through our networks and did some amazing interviews. These interviews helped us understand more what they need and brought us closer to their personalities, and eventually, helped us formulate our service better according their real needs.

After the prolonged investigation process, we learnt a lot from our target clients, and we’d like to share what we learned with you. We found that business travelers are simplicity searchers. They value ease and planning so as to make decision making on the spot very easy. Neither of them want to go through extensive research to reach their various personal and professional goals. What we want to do for them is to help them navigate the huge amounts of information and shape a personalized travel experience according to their profiles.

Though business travelers come from various backgrounds, through the course of investigating and drawing conclusions, we discovered that there is in general, three types of business travelers:

  • The Busy Man
  • The Bon Vivant
  • The Explorer

The Busy Man

The Busy Man is a frequent traveler and convenience would be what matters most to him, meaning that everything that will be done for him has to lead towards convenience and productivity. His time is very valuable to him and he likes to use it into things that make him more productive and get him nearer his goal. He is a work oriented person, very demanding because he knows what he wants and needs (and importantly, what he doesn’t need). He is looking for suggestions in choosing restaurants, or bars according to his preferences and location. He also likes to use time saving directions around the city and well timed, pro-active and relevant suggestions.

How to best assist him: Things need to be planned and organized and leave little room to improvisation for he doesn’t want to have to chose between options. Gain his confidence and he will trust your judgment blindly.  What he hates most is an irrelevant and poor quality service that makes him feel like his time was wasted.


The Bon Vivant

The Bon Vivant travels less frequently than the busy man, less than once a month. What matters most to him is reward. The Bon Vivant do not find the business trip itself exciting and therefore is looking for ways to associate that with personal pleasure. He doesn’t like to fumble around the internet and prefers a very tailored service. He likes to feel privileged and rewarded for things that he does. He is interested in luxury and refined things as well as memorable experiences (not really into the basic tourist’s attractions of a city). He likes to come back from a business trip and say “I have been to this amazing bar/restaurant and you have to try it!”

He is looking for high personalization of the service and no mass market things since he likes to feel unique and special. He is looking for experiences that are a little bit above the common everyday.

How to best assist him: Contrary to the Busy man, the Bon Vivant can be reached anytime and likes suggestions that inspire him, especially when they are out of the ordinary (in-demand restaurants, VIP lounge etc.

What he hates most is being isolated from anything worth his attention and feeling that he is not going to get anything out of his business trip, so the challenge is to find what is going to satisfy his need for memorable/privileged experiences!


The Explorer

The explorer is very interested in the culture of the place he visits (he often has the time to since he travels less than once a month and often takes a couple of spare days to visit the city). Discovery is what matters most to him.

The explorer is part of the “Bleisure” trend (compile Business and Leisure), one of those who try to take a few spare days to enjoy/discover the city. He is a curious person, interested in the local culture, who likes to discover the local communities, habits and customs. His goal in his business travels (out of the business realm) is to discover the local scene for its uniqueness and understand the locals. He likes authenticity, diversity, discovery and inspiration.

How to best assist him: He is looking for a form of immersion (as much as he can for he is still traveling for business) and is totally open to a very flexible and varied service with an “à la carte” option. He is trying to get as immersed as he can in an unfamiliar culture, looking to break from his day-to-day home life. What he hates the most is the sanitized, impersonal unauthentic version of a city, and an automated random service. The challenge is to inspire him with a local immersion while helping him be as productive as possible.

With all those been said, we’d like to point out that these three different personas are just a starting point. With the changing industry circumstances and the evolving technology trends, these types of business travelers should be constantly redefined, specified or repositioned.

By learning and defining all the different characteristics of business travelers, we want to maintain the human touch at the center of our service. Because ultimately, by been a personal travel companion to our clients, it’s the personal connections and professional service what makes a best concierge.