News for the Hospitality Executive
By Pascal Metivier
June 1, 2012
Whoever said "Patience is a Virtue" must not have had to endure long lines during hotel check-in. In a paper titled: "The Psychology of Waiting in Lines," author David Maister references a Federal Express advertising campaign that claimed: "Waiting is frustrating, demoralizing, agonizing, aggravating, annoying, time consuming and incredibly expensive." Stating the claim's undeniably, Maister said: "The waiting-line experience in a service facility significantly affects our overall perceptions of the quality of service provided. Once we are being served, our transaction with the service organization may be efficient, courteous and complete: but the bitter taste of how long it took to get attention pollutes the overall judgments that we make about the quality of service."
So how does this translate to today's travelers and the hotel check-in experience? Consider this: Patience is defined as: "An ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay; tolerant, quiet, steady perseverance, even-tempered care, diligence; without complaint, loss of temper, irritation or the like." Impatience is defined as: "Being intolerant of anything that causes delays; An eager desire for relief."
For those who are truly patient and don't mind long waits and delays from front-desk staff providing personal attention to other guests during the registration process (on average four to five minutes per non-loyalty club transaction or longer), traditional check in is tolerable. But many travelers today -- especially Generation Y travelers (ages 18 to 32) who spend approximately $200 billion annually on travel, will never be caught without a cell phone, love instant gratification and are notorious for not being willing to wait in line -- are intolerant of delays and are eager to get to their rooms.
Thankfully, due to advances in mobile technology, today there are options available for all travelers to bypass the front-desk and avoid waiting in lines altogether. By using their cell phones – any model, any carrier – as convenient, secure room keys for their entire stay, the restlessness and annoyance of guests with traditional on-site registration is eliminated.
To better understand the value a front-desk bypass alternative provides, especially on the psyche and mental health of today's travelers, Maister said managers need to consider guests' wait experience. He wrote: "If managers are to concern themselves with how long their customers wait in line for service, they must also pay attention to how those waits are experienced. A two-minute wait can feel like nothing at all, or it can feel like 'forever'. "
Gretchen Rubin summarized Maister's paper in a Psych Central (the Internet's largest and oldest independent mental health and psychology network) article titled: "8 Reasons Why Waiting in Line Drives us Crazy." Here are the eight wait irritations summarized in the article by Rubin PLUS eight reasons why a Mobile Key front-desk bypass alternative removes those annoyances:
1. Unoccupied time feels longer than occupied time. When you have something to distract yourself, time passes more quickly. Some hotels put mirrors by the elevators, because people like to look at themselves.
Mobile Key eliminates unoccupied time. By removing steps upon arrival that require guests to stop at the front desk to register and obtain a plastic room key, customers don't have to worry about occupying their time while in line. No need to wait in line means no need to stay occupied.
2. People want to get started. This is why restaurants give you a menu while you wait, and why doctors put you in the examination room twenty-five minutes before your examination actually begins.
Mobile Key jump-starts the hotel experience. By enabling guests to bypass the front desk and go immediately to their rooms upon arrival, their travel experience is not interrupted.
3. Anxiety makes waits seem longer. If you think you've chosen the slowest line, or you're worried about getting a seat on the plane, the wait will seem longer.
Mobile Key removes anxiety over delays. Guests who choose the front-desk bypass option are instantly opting to remove any stress associated with further delays. Even before they arrive at the hotel, as long as they brought their mobile devices, their secure and encrypted room keys are in hand, along with room number and instructions on how to open their doors.
4. Uncertain waits are longer than known, finite waits. People wait more calmly when they're told, "The doctor will see you in thirty minutes" than when they're told, "The doctor will see you soon." Maister gives an amusing illustration of a phenomenon that I'd noticed in my own life: if I arrive someplace thirty minutes early, I wait with perfect patience, but three minutes after my appointment time passes, I start to feel annoyed. "Just how long am I going to have to wait?" I think.
Mobile Key means immediate service "upon arrival." With Mobile Key, bypassing the front desk is instant. There is no wait or time associated with "when" a guest can bypass the front desk. A traveler moves from front door to guestroom door instantly.
5. Unexplained waits are longer than explained waits. We wait more patiently for the pizza guy when there's a thunderstorm than when the sky is clear. We wait more patiently on the plane when we know that there's another plane at the gate.
Mobile Key means NO WAIT . . . period. With Mobile Key, no explanations are needed on behalf of the hotel as to why there may be a wait upon arrival, because there simply is no wait. Consumers are already traveling with some form of mobile device, so their room key is always present. A quick data transmission via SMS delivers the data-driven room key from hotel direct to guest in a secure fashion. The guest was provided a data room key without wait, plus he or she is contributing to the environment at the same time by avoiding use of the environmentally-harmful plastic key.
6. Unfair waits are longer than equitable waits. People want their waits to be fair. I get anxious, for instance, when I'm waiting on a crowded subway platform, when there's no clear, fair way to determine who gets on the next car. The "FIFO" rule (first in, first out) is a great rule, when it works. But sometimes certain people need attention more urgently, or certain people are more valuable customers. Then it gets trickier. Often, when people are treated out of sequence, it's helpful to have them be served elsewhere - e.g., people giving customer service by phone shouldn't be in the same room as people giving service in person.
Mobile Key treats travelers equally. With Mobile Key, it doesn't matter what time you arrive at the hotel, how you arrived or with whom you arrived. Once the reservation is made at an OpenWays equipped hotel and the traveler has enrolled in the Mobile Key service prior to the check-in date, he or she will receive a text message containing both the room number and a secured link to retrieve the room key on the day they will arrive. It's that simple. Once at the hotel, the guest walks directly to his or her room.
7. The more valuable the service, the longer the customer will wait. You'll wait longer to talk to a doctor than to talk to a sales clerk. You'll stand in line longer to buy an iPad than to buy a toothbrush.
Mobile Key provides instant gratification via self service. OpenWays believes that service value is in the eye of the beholder. Hotel guests that prefer attended service and wish to speak to a front desk attendant while registering may do so. Guests also have the option to obtain plastic key cards in addition to a Mobile Key based on data during their stay. The beauty of Mobile Key is its flexibility and ability to let travelers choose how they prefer to experience the hotel.
8. Solo waits feel longer than group waits. The more people engage with each other, the less they notice the wait time. In fact, in some situations, waiting in line is part of the experience.
Mobile Key makes everyone comfortable. Whether traveling solo or in a group, Mobile Key gives everyone the equal opportunity to engage in the hotel experience more quickly. Those people traveling alone can avoid any uneasiness from standing in line alone and can immediately get to their rooms while those traveling in groups can quickly access their rooms, drop off their luggage and re-group with their party to start enjoying their stay.
Rather than creating more nuisances that require guests to stop at the front desk, findings from a recent Harvard Business Review survey on Self-Service state that oftentimes front desk interaction -- especially among Generation Y guests and business travelers -- is unwanted, and hotels that provide an alternative front-desk bypass solution are heightening service and improving their competitive advantage. Mobile Key is the alternative that helps provide an exceptional guest experience.
About Pascal Metivier and OpenWays
Pascal Metivier is Founder and CEO of OpenWays. Previously, he served as President of ASSA ABLOY Hospitality EMEA, parent company of VingCard, Elsafe, TimeLox, Uniquey and SafePlace companies. He also led a major ASSA ABLOY group NFC mobile phone initiative. Metivier possesses 16 years of experience in access management and electronic lock/door hardware solutions. He also held leadership positions with Onity, Senercomm, CISA Security Products, CISATRON LTD, CISA Spa and SECURIDEV/FONTAINE.
OpenWays is a global solution provider of mobile-based access-management and security solutions. With offices in Chicago, Las Vegas, Seoul and Paris, OpenWays provides technology solutions allowing for the secure issuance and delivery of access rights and keys processed via any cell phone operating on any network. The OpenWays solution is truly unique as it is built on the concept of credential dematerialization. The OpenWays mobile room key solution works on ALL the 6+ billion cell phones in service in the world today. For more information, please contact Pascal Metivier at ++ 33 6 85 622 306 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Barb Worcester at +1 440 930 5770 or email email@example.com. www.OpenWays.com.
Tel: (440) 930-5770
Inn Express Hotel & Suites Marion, Illinois, to Open Doors with
Mobile Key by OpenWays; New construction hotel is scheduled to open in
early May with OpenWays' front-desk bypass option that enables
travelers to unlock their room doors via mobile device / April 2012
interTouch Announcing 'FREEDOM CHECK IN' Powered by OpenWays Mobile Key
to Add Front Desk Bypass Solution to its Offering; DOCOMO InterTouch
announces its strategic alliance with OpenWays / April 2012
Luxury Property 'The Hotel' Brussels is First in Belgium to Adopt
Mobile Key by OpenWays; Highest building in Brussels is bristling with
technology, including offering OpenWays' smartphone apps to allow
guests to bypass any front desk line and get straight to their rooms
without delay / March 2012
Only of Data, Mobile Key by OpenWays is 'Key' to a Greener Earth; There
are no keycards greener than the OpenWays Crypto Acoustic Credential
that enables hotel guests to unlock their rooms via mobile phone /
Hotels & Suites Sees Mobile Key by OpenWays as Key Differentiator
for New Brand / February 2012
Ascott Limited to Assess OpenWays Mobile Key Front Desk Bypass at
Citadines Apart'hotels in Lyon and Cannes, France / February 2012
Announcing: Mobile Key DUAL© with Pure NFC™ in Cooperation with
Nordic Choice Hotels, NOKIA and NXP / January 2012
Key by OpenWays Named 'Top Innovation' by Lodging Magazine /
CEO, Pascal Metivier, Addressed Hospitality Technology Leaders at
HTNG's European Event About Front-desk Bypass Solutions / November
= More Service with Mobile Key by OpenWays; Hospitality industry's
leading provider of front-desk bypass solutions is equipping
mobile-centric travelers with tools that get them to their destination
quicker and hoteliers with a means to deliver more services /
Announces Next Generation Mobile Key Apps for Smartphones; Mobile Key
Apps now available for ALL smartphone operating systems; Visit OpenWays
in Booth #3172 at IH/M&RS Nov. 13-15 in New York / November 2011
Introduces 'Mobile Key' for Independent Hotels;To meet the growing
demand among non-branded hotels wanting a Mobile Key Front-Desk Bypass
Solution, OpenWays is introducing a cost-effective and secure option
for Independents that harnesses mobile technologies to reduce costs,
improve financials, and drive guest loyalty / October 2011
Introduces Mobile Master Key; OpenWays simplifies hotel master key
management by harnessing mobile technologies to make all locks 'on
line' without costly infrastructure: Visit OpenWays in Booth #3172 at
IH/M&RS Nov. 13-15 in New York / October 2011
Guests Does Not Drive Loyalty; Reducing Their Effort Does; Mobile Key
by OpenWays is driving loyalty and brand stickiness by easing
check-in/out processes / October 2011
Impressions Count: Five Things to Set the Scene for Your Guests’ Stay,
Make their Arrival More Enjoyable, and Build Loyalty via Convenience
and Choice / Andrew Sanders / September 2011
Key by OpenWays: The 'SMARTER' and 'Greener' Check-In; At HITEC 2011,
OpenWays will present -- with Ariane Systems and KABA® Saflok™ --
the 'SMARTEST' check-in solution deployed TODAY! / June 2011
Unveils its Next Generation Door Lock Upgrade Module for Mobile Key
Front Desk Bypass Service / June 2011
and KABA Unveil All-In-One Saflok RFID Lock with Factory-Integrated
OpenWays Mobile Key / June 2011
Self Service Mean More Service? YES! With OpenWays' Mobile Key /
Self-Service Options is Key to Hospitality Loyalty; OpenWays is the
'Mobile' Key to Making it Happen / January 2011
5 will be Compatible with OpenWays CAC™; All next generation
smartphones, including the iPhone 5, Google Android Phones, Windows 7
Mobile Phones, Nokia C7 and N8 Smartphones or Next Generation
Blackberry's will be able to operate the OpenWays Crypto Acoustic
Credential™ / November 2010
Check In Today All the Way to Your Room Using 'Your' Cell Phone, ANY
Model and ANY Carrier / November 2010
Technology Veteran Andrew Sanders Joins OpenWays as VP Business
Development / November 2010
Platform Displayed at IHMRS Aiding in National Industry GREEN Efforts;
There are no key-cards greener than the OpenWays Crypto Acoustic Data
Credential that allows hotel guests to check in to their rooms via
mobile phone / October 2010
IN YOUR WAY" OpenWays Launches New Campaign to Aid Hotels' Mobile
Marketing Initiatives / October 2010
Mobile Application is Live at a Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express
Hotel; The world's first mobile front desk bypass solution is up and
running at two IHG properties / September 2010
Agueda Joins OpenWays as VP of R&D; Twenty-five year hospitality
and security systems veteran instrumental in designing the most
installed and successful electronic-locking systems in North America
joins OpenWays to lead R&D efforts; Maurizio Zama promoted to Chief
Operating Officer / September 2010
|OpenWays Cell Phone Based Front Desk Bypass Solution is Adding to the Business Traveler Experience; HITEC attendees using OpenWays app to enter Guestroom 20X said the mobile room key solution, which gives travelers freedom to completely bypass the front desk by using their cell phone for guestroom access, is ideal for all guests who want to avoid lines at the front desk; Company answers new questions posed at the premier technology event / July 2010|
|Front-Desk Bypass Cell Phone Solution: OpenWays Announces First Pilots at a Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express Hotel; OpenWays and IHG will pilot a new cell-phone-based front desk bypass solution that offers guests the option to use their personal cell phone as a mobile room key / June 2010|
|OpenWays Mobile Phone Front Desk Bypass Solution Selected for Guestroom 20X at HITEC; Attendees of the 38th Annual Hospitality Information Technology Exposition & Conference will have an opportunity to check into a virtual hotel, bypass the front desk, and open their room door securely using nothing but their cell phone -- any mobile device, any carrier works! / May 2010|
|OpenWays Opening Doors to Gen Y Travelers Wishing to Bypass Front Desk; Allowing guests to check-in remotely by equipping door locks to open via any cell phone is ideal for attracting this green-conscious, tech-dependent, instant gratification generation / May 2010|
|OpenWays Selected by Microsoft® to Join Its BizSpark™ Start-Up Program; Developer of the world's first crypto acoustic solution for check-in/out and room access via any mobile phone to receive full Microsoft marketing support, tools, licensing, and global visibility / April 2010|
|ITB Berlin Attendees Flock to OpenWays' iPhone App for Front-Desk Bypass, Acoustic Room Keys; Attendees at world's largest trade show for the travel industry flocked to see world's first crypto acoustic solution for check-in/out and room access via any guest's mobile phone; OpenWays was one of 11,127 companies from 187 countries that exhibited at the record-breaking event / April 2010|
|OpenWays Presents its iPhone Application to Bypass Front Desks and Open Room Locks; Mobile solution provider that developed the world's first crypto acoustic solution for check-in/out and room access via any guest's mobile phone announces new services to further enhance operations and guest services. / February 2010|
|OpenWays Responds to FAQs Regarding its Front Desk Bypass Solutions that Securely Open Hotel Room Doors by Cell Phone; Mobile solution provider that developed the world's first acoustic solution for check-in/out and room access via a guest's mobile phone regardless of type answers hospitality industry's most frequently asked questions / February 2010|
|100% of the World Cell Phones to Open Doors with OpenWays' Apps; Hospitality's FIRST Check-In /-Out Solution with Mobile Room Key Delivery for ALL Cell Phones is at IH/MRS! / November 2009|
|4 Billion Cell Phones Now Opening Doors to Better Guest Service Thanks to OpenWays / October 2009|
|OpenWays Introduces the Fastest and Greenest Way to Check In and Open a Hotel Room Door; Mobile room-key application for ALL cell phones NOW AVAILABLE / October 2009|