Why hotels should adopt mobile key to unlock a great guest experience

18th March 2019

A digitally demanding generation

While airlines and other travel companies have adopted mobile check-in as a standard solution, hotels have been slow to adopt mobile solutions that would help streamline the guest experience and solve the pain points around the check-in process. However, there is a clear demand for hotels to speed up the arrival process. Research shows that waiting more than 5 minutes to check-in leads to a 50% drop in guest satisfaction.

The new generations are growing up in a technologically advanced world, where travelling and communicating go hand-in-hand and are easier than ever before. It’s estimated that 85% of international travellers have some kind of mobile device while exploring the world, with millennials soon to be the biggest bookers of hotel rooms, and also the biggest critics.

Looking for a more personalised experience, while at the same time prioritising sustainability over financial rewards, they are looking to interact with their hotel digitally, from the initial booking experience to online chat. They are looking to easily find information about local restaurants and facilities available. When information are easily available to guests and they can simply enjoy their experience, they will happily leave good reviews and, as we know very well, reviews are vital to any online business today.

While leisure travellers might still enjoy spending time speaking with the hotel staff at the reception to receive tips and recommendations, business travellers value their time probably more than anything else, and welcome any digital solution that makes their life easier and speed up lengthy activities.

How to adopt mobile key solutions

Self-service solutions can help you save time while improving the guest experience. Plastic key cards or traditional room keys are becoming a thing of the past. Keyless entry solutions offer a convenient and modern solution, and seamless guest experience while saving hotels time from programming, tracking and replacing old-style keys. Mobile key solutions give hoteliers the time to focus on what’s more important - delivering an excellent guest experience.

Today, the majority of hotels operate with familiar key card technology, developed by organisations like Assa AbloyOnitySalto and SmartKey. However, for hotels, integrating these key card systems is very often a headache, but setting up a keyless door lock system it doesn’t have to be with the right technology partner offering the right mobile solution that integrates with an efficient PMS.

Four years ago, the Hilton hotel group started to trial the mobile digital key. The trial was certainly successful as today the keyless mobile entry technology is available through the Hilton app in more than 1,700 hotels in the US and Canada, with more than 11 million uses to date.

Hilton offers its guests an app, that they can use to activate their digital key a day before arrival. Using the app, they can check-in early and also choose their preferred room. On arrival, customers press an unlock button on their phone to access to their room.

Today, independent hotels can offer mobile digital keys through their own branded app. With guests increasingly expecting to be able to do most actions from their phones and to book the perfect room for their requirements, why not help them to speed up their checking-in process by allowing them to unlock their room directly via their own mobile device? After all, after a long journey, the last thing they need is a lengthy queue to check in.

We all know that it’s not always possible to reach your destination exactly when you planned to, so give your guests the reassurance that as soon as they arrive, they can go straight to their room without having to check-in when all they want to do is unwind.

Keyless entry systems also unclutter guests’ pockets and bags, taking the stress of perhaps losing or damaging an unfamiliar key and giving peace of mind regarding security. Mobile access functionality enables guests to quickly and easily access their room simply using the hotel app. For the hotel staff, there is no longer the need to cut keys at reception, saving time as well as focusing on other tasks that are important for hotel operations and guests.

In the digital age, hoteliers can embrace new technology to enhance the guests’ experience, which now lives, along many others, on their own smartphone. So ensure that the hotel website is mobile responsive and offer an app to enhance the guest experience is more important than ever before. With over 4 million locations across the world offering hotels, serviced apartments, holiday lets, guest houses and B&Bs, how confident are you that your business is offering the best possible booking and guest experience possible?

Understanding what different customers’ needs are is never easy, but by making their stay as effortless as possible by providing an app that evolves with your business and supports your guests pre, during and post stay, will give them a hassle-free experience they will want to repeat, time and time again.

A mobile or web-based app that includes a digital door key facility allows your guests to do things they are used to doing in their everyday life. An autonomous check-in, with complete control during their stay, increases satisfaction and brand reputation.

Give yourself the competitive edge, make sure your hotel’s app includes a keyless door entry system and never keep a guest waiting again.

You might be interested in Top 25 tips to increase hotel revenue and boost direct bookings

How Criton can help you?

At Criton, we give independent hotels and serviced apartment operators access to the same technology that big chains already adopt. We have built bespoke apps with a wide range of functionalities (including push notifications, messaging, ordering, PMS integration, digital key) for clients including luxury boutique hotels and national chains of serviced apartments. Get in touch today to find out how we can help your business.