VOL. 129 | NO. 189 | Monday, September 29, 2014
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT
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Level Nine Provides Concierge Staff on Call
By Amos Maki
Jimmy Farrell, a partner at Benefit Recovery Inc., a health care cost-containment firm, was searching for reliable and enjoyable transportation to and from Memphis International Airport for himself, his clients and employees.
After trying a couple of other options, Farrell reached out to Level Nine Services, a full-service concierge firm.
When Level Nine’s limousine arrived to pick him up, the driver greeted Farrell with snacks, refreshments and intelligent conversation on everything Memphis.
Muffy Liebenow, from left, Jeff Howell, Chip Liebenow and Kirsten Howell of Level Nine Services, a full-service concierge firm.
(Daily News/Andrew J. Breig)
Farrell, whose clients include several Fortune 500 firms, was so impressed by that first ride he quickly bought a Level Nine membership and has used the Memphis-based service company for a variety of work and domestic needs.
“They are the total package,” said Farrell. “Our entire family uses them all the time now, and all my friends use them. They’re so well-rounded. It’s a top-notch group.”
Founded by Chip Liebenow on Oct. 1, 2013, Level Nine Services offers individuals and businesses what amounts to their own personal manager, one who can pick up clients at the airport, go grocery shopping, meet the cable guy or plan a birthday party or corporate retreat.
“What we want to do is save people time and provide them with convenience and peace of mind,” said Liebenow. “We’re a staff on call is what we are.”
As more families increasingly rely on two incomes to make ends meet and work hours and commute times grow longer, shrinking the amount of time available for personal business, Level Nine offers a much-needed helping hand, Liebenow said.
“People are so busy today every time you sit down with someone and you ask how they’re doing they talk about how busy they are,” said Liebenow. “What we do is take all the small rocks off people’s plates so they can focus on what’s important.”
Level Nine acts as a central point of contact for clients’ service needs. Using a network of trusted vendors, Level Nine will do everything from set up an appointment with a plumber or electrician – and meet them at the home – to providing meals, which can be cooked at the client’s house or prepared by a chef and delivered to the home.
Level Nine offers a la carte services, but Liebenow said the most rewarding experience comes from becoming a member.
After buying a membership, clients meet with their personal concierge, who gauges their needs and develops a customized package of services.
“It’s more of a warm introduction,” said Liebenow. “(Clients) actually get their own concierge assigned to them, and the concierge gets to know everything about them.”
From 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. each day, the concierge is dedicated to providing his or her client with all the support they might need.
After taking care of whatever assignments they were tasked with for the day, concierges often greet clients, who may be returning from a stressful day at the office or a long flight, with their favorite adult beverage or snack.
Liebenow’s background – he’s a U.S. Army veteran who also spent 12 years at Home Depot as a customer relations specialist, visiting troubled stores and interacting with customers – blends logistics and coordination with a deep understanding of customer service, a combination of skills he deploys daily with Level Nine.
Liebenow said Level Nine relies on understanding the wants and needs of clients and that the service he provides.
“We can’t be just a great service,” said Liebenow. “We have to connect with people on a personal, emotional level.
“It’s hard to put what we do into five words on a business card. We’re making people a little happier every day, and that’s what’s great about it. I guess you could say we’re selling happiness.”