In conclusion of a four-part series of industrial visits, Kristina Stanislavkaia, Founder and CEO of BLL Relocation and Concierge Services visited GBSB Global Business School Barcelona Master in Fashion and Luxury Business Management students. The company presentation was a part of Professor Jaime Romeu’s Luxury Sector Analysis class at GBSB on March 7, 2017.
A little about the company’s visionary, Kristina is 27-year-old business owner, Russian born foreigner, has lived in Barcelona since 2011. She earned her Master in Human Resource Management degree three years ago, that is when Ms. Stanislavkaia began collaborating with her then Catalan business partner who helped her launch the business. In this sector of luxury services, that is reliant on an international audience, it is to Kristina’s advantage that she knows four languages and has experience relocating herself. During the presentation, Kristina described how the term concierge has changed over time, how her business works, who her clients are, and what market tools have led her to her success.
Traditionally the word concierge was used in the hotel industry to describe those team members who assisted guests with requests regarding tourist sites, transportation, dinner reservations, theater tickets, etc. Today, the word has evolved to define concierge businesses as those that offer a variety of services that are special, personal, and attentive. The services can be anything from the functions traditional concierges perform to being a personal assistant, having a client’s clothes laundered, walking their dogs to arranging a personal jet or doing the client’s shopping.
The huge attraction Barcelona has to offer is that it is a major international city that draws a large market of foreigners with expendable incomes that are looking for these services. The main premise behind BLL’s founding was that it would be a company assisting foreigners who come to Barcelona, offering them the best solutions to make the relocation process seamless, with little to no stress. Ms. Stanislavkaia’s clients range from individuals to families, students, and tourists primarily from Russia or English speaking countries looking for assistance navigating the relocation to Spain.
How Does BLL Work?
The following is an outline of what Kristina identified as the key points to understanding how her company works, and how they promote customer loyalty and retention.
- Getting to Know the Client | Understand what the customer is looking for, what their needs are and what expectations they may have.
- Analyze the Situation | Know what is possible and provide realistic solutions within an appropriate timeframe.
- Proposal of the Relocation Process | BLL handles home research, paperwork, personal assisting, and school enrollments. It is necessary to make sure to value time fairly. This caliber of client will pay for quality service.
There are other amenities that BLL can arrange from coordinating entry into social elite clubs, football tickets, car hire, private yacht and jet rental to scheduling a personal driver and offering 24-hour assistance.
Ms. Stanislavkaia’s clients prefer to pay for comfort. Opting for these services helps customers save time and stress, allowing them the freedom to enjoy life in Barcelona more fully.
It is important to know that when providing concierge services that communication is clear, concise, and professional. The ability to create a solid network is a must. Fostering trust will not only enhance a company’s reputation but will help to build a referral system. Having the right appearance sounds superficial, but it has weight. If, as the provider, you do not convey a certain standard of luxury, many customers will not take you seriously. BLL’s slogan "We are like you. We understand you", exemplifies this notion.
In the end, quality customer service is the umbrella that takes all these points into account. Trust and transparency are two key terms that help build future relationships. It is a fine line that concierge walk, according to Kristina, one where you have to be social, but not annoying, delicate but direct.
Students had the opportunity to interject their questions throughout the presentation making it a very dynamic, interactive class. The class was forthcoming with helpful insight and advice when Kristina covered her marketing tools, objectives, and challenges. Having an engaging website is not enough for this sector of luxury branding. Ms. Stanislavkaia has built out her Instagram platform to identify with a particular lavish lifestyle that many aspire to have.
Her current success has been established through experience. Advising students that some of her major challenges and failures have helped her navigate the world of business, constantly forcing her to be reflective and have the flexibility to evolve.
The BLL presentation rounds out Professor Romeu’s four-part series of industrial visits, where students were asked to find a challenge within each company that the class can address and offer solutions. The Luxury Sector Analysis class has been a popular class for this reason. It provides students with real-life scenarios that help students understand and engage in the industry even before graduation.
GBSB Global Business School Barcelona’s Master in Fashion and Luxury Business Management degree prepares students for the constantly changing industry full off opportunities for those willing to go above and beyond.
Written by Emily Dawn Szajda, GBSB Content Manager