Advancing the Value of Ethnography

The Concierge Diaries: Research by Analogy


Download PDF

Cite this article:

2014 Ethnographic Praxis in Industry Conference Proceedings, ISSN 1559-8918.

The Concierge has been a ubiquitous staple of the service industry for centuries. How has this industry stood the test of time, and what can we learn from the analog Concierge that might inform better digital experiences? Is there a ‘secret-sauce’ that can be applied to other channels? In today’s self-service world, customer service personnel are being marginalized. As these individuals disappear, brands are increasingly claiming they offer digital Concierges in an attempt to reestablish longed-for human connections. But can digital Concierges ever equal their human counterparts? Derek Kopen sees an opportunity to learn from the century-old craft of the hotel Concierge and examine how looking at analogies can inform digital strategy. Through his Concierge research, Derek presents a simple framework that can be used as a foundational model across any human service that digital is trying to enhance.

Derek Kopen is an Experience Strategist at SapientNitro. He is passionate about qualitative and how it can be used to influence business strategy and improve people’s lives. If Derek were not a researcher, he would probably have a daytime talk show and if you were lucky enough to be a guest, he would make you cry. Derek holds a BBA from Emory University.