Depending on your perspective, change can be seen as either a sign of better things to come or a harbinger of pending turmoil. From a technological point of view, change is often synonymous with innovation that can make our lives easier, more efficient, and more productive. In the hospitality industry, for those companies that are willing and able to embrace innovation in a well-planned and organized manner, technology can redefine the guest experience for the betterment of both the consumer and hotel(s).
Mobile key technology is the embodiment of this notion, providing significantly enhanced security, convenience, and cost efficiencies that can help transform the guest experience while giving hotel operators another tool to gain competitive advantage and leverage technology in a meaningful manner.
Promoting Mobile Key Over Keycards To Guests
Often, embracing technology and convincing guests to use it are two completely different things. Thankfully, given our experience and expertise in this particular space, OpenKey has some useful tips on promoting the benefits of going keyless to your guests who are used to using those expensive plastic keycards.
Tell Them About Going Keyless Before They Arrive
Many hotel guests don’t travel often and likely haven’t been exposed to digital keys. Introducing your guests to the many benefits of mobile key through a pre-arrival email can lay the groundwork and get them excited about the idea of using it. Statistics have shown mobile key usage increases by 25% when guests are educated about it in pre-arrival communications.
Make certain to highlight the many benefits mobile key can provide your guests – including the option (if you’re using OpenKey) to remotely check-in and potentially skip the front desk by receiving a secure digital key on their smartphone. Research indicates guests that use mobile key rate their stay an average of seven points higher on TripAdvisor so, in the particular case of mobile key technology, both the guest and brand benefit.
Use Marketing To Drive Awareness Of Mobile Key
Increasing mobile key usage amongst your guests will not only improve their overall experience but also provide you, the hotelier, significant long-term cost efficiencies by eliminating expensive physical keycards. To that point, mentioning mobile keys on your hotel website is a great way to increase awareness, leverage the competitive advantage in your market(s) that mobile key provides and, ultimately, increase the number of guests that download the app before they arrive at the hotel.
Promoting mobile key throughout your hotel can also be helpful for driving awareness in guests who arrived unaware that your property offers mobile keyless entry. Pop-up banners and video displays promoting mobile key in high-traffic areas like the lobby and elevators are effective locations for this kind of messaging. Some hotels promote mobile key on their plastic keycard holders and put table toppers in guest rooms and restaurants to further increase visibility.
Become A ‘Mobile First’ Hotel
Hotels that have invested in offering their guests the mobile key experience will realize maximum ROI and benefit by adopting a ‘mobile first’ perspective when it comes to issuing guest room keys. With 60% of guests now more likely to choose a hotel that provides room access via their smart phones, the mobile key option will be greatly appreciated by guests who might not have known mobile keys were an option at your hotel.
Offering mobile key technology as a first option will instantly increase adoption rates and, perhaps more importantly, create a greatly enhanced guest experience while saving your property the costs involved with physical keys. Of course, if a guest prefers a traditional key, they will ask for them. A major benefit of digital key is that it doesn’t preclude the hotel from still issuing traditional keycards (or keys) to those guests who would prefer to use them.
Mobile Key Benefits Go Beyond The Obvious
Aside from the added convenience of a streamlined check-in process, guests experience other benefits from using mobile keys. For instance, they don’t have to take the time to ask the front desk for a replacement when their keycard stops working. Likewise, they are far less likely to lose their phone or forget it in their room than a physical key card that they’re unaccustomed to carrying with them. There’s even environmental benefits of using a digital key rather than a plastic keycard.