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8 Reasons Why a Mobile Key Front Desk Bypass Solution
Aids Travelers' Psychological Health

An article in Psych Central titled "8 Reasons Why Waiting in Line Drives us Crazy" identifies key factors
that make waits seem longer; Mobile Key by OpenWays eliminates those eight factors and more

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 or Barb Worcester at +1 440 930 5770 or email


Barb Worcester
PRPRO /OpenWays
Tel: (440) 930-5770

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