VIPdesk, the fast-growing Internet concierge service, won high marks from the Wall Street Journal in a story this month about online travel sites.
The lead story on the front page of the Journal`s Dec. 8 Weekend section, “I Was an Internet Traveler,” included a critical survey of travel-related websites. First among them was AOL`s Digital City, whose best attribute was called “Online concierges who field questions on most city features.”
VIPdesk provides the free concierge service for Digital City, in a co-branding arrangement launched with AOL in July 2000. VIPdesk`s online concierge model has quickly distinguished itself from others because it offers a “live” connection to personal assistants. Users of the service can have real-time exchanges with concierges via e-mail, instant-message or telephone. On Digital City and other sites, people use the service for finding unusual gifts, buying tickets, making restaurant reservations, booking travel - anything.
If a concierge cannot fulfil the request in real time, he or she will research it and send answers later via e-mail. VIPdesk also provides immediate responses from a regularly updated “Instant Answers” database, based on the service`s seven most frequently requested categories.