More and more hotels are starting to replace key cards with apps that guests download to their smartphones that offer access to other services during their stay.
Use of the mobile check-in carried at chains such as Hilton or Marriott provides an interesting perspective on how organizations incorporate a given technology into their daily operations through gradual change and monitoring its impact: the adoption of solutions based on the smartphone is mostly happening through processes that incorporate functionality to the locks of the rooms but that do not require you to dispense with key cards, which can still be used by people if they wish.
These types of solutions also allow us to reimagine interaction between a hotel and its guests: for the first time, at least in establishments where there is no legal requirement to register at reception, guests can go directly to their rooms and then at the end of their stay even check-out, all with a single app, and with virtually no interaction with a human being.
Are we turning into sociopaths? No, at least not in this case: we simply recognize in a practical way that the interaction with a reception employee to check-in or check-out is not going to prove a practical or positive experience and is in fact rather a nuisance. What’s more, on many occasions, such as peak times when other guests are trying to do the same as us we have to stand in uncomfortable lines to do so.
A growing number of people, particularly the younger among us, have become accustomed to using their smartphone to interact with the world around them. For them, waiting at a counter to be incorporated into a database and receiving a key card makes no sense, as well as being uncomfortable and possibly creating uncertainty. The alternative of checking in via an app, receiving a room number, being able to view it and access it as soon as it arrives is an advantage. Even the legal requirement to show an identity document when entering the hotel is easier: as proof of identity, a smartphone with biometric data verification such as fingerprint or facial recognition is more reliable than showing a document with an out-of-date photograph.
Would apps be cheaper than key cards? Probably and that may be driving the change. But the most important thing is improving the customer experience, recognition of the benefits of using a smartphone to interact with a hotel and the possibilities of streamlining the processes related to it. As ever, it is not so much the technology, but what we are capable of doing with it, and to what extent we allow logic and common sense to guide adoption processes. Next time you check into a hotel, remember to have your smartphone charged.
This article was originally sourced from here.