t time of writing, hotels owners around the world are enduring the same lockdown situation as the rest of us. When the COVID-19 virus began spreading from country to country, the tourism and hospitality industries were one of the first to be hit hard. Bans on mass gatherings and travel meant that no hotels, restaurants, travel agents etc were taking bookings, and trade swiftly slowed down, and in most cases stopped completely.
Sure, this is a worrying time, not knowing when the situation will improve and normal life will resume again. But it’s not all doom and gloom! While hotels owners stay at home social distancing like everyone else, this may actually be the perfect time to strategise and think deeply about ways to improve and innovate your business.
The question to ask yourself is this: how can you emerge stronger and more profitable after coronavirus?
The status quo
Whatever your line of business, when you’re in the crux of your daily operations it’s often hard to find the time to step back and re-evaluate what you’re doing. Customers coming in through the door and bills needing to be paid means that often business owners can find themselves stuck in the daily grind without the free time to think about creativity or innovation.
In the case of hotels, contemplating any change to standard operations feels like a massive disruption, and with rooms booked up for months ahead, it’s hard to think about undertaking such a mission. However, it is important. Improving your processes, big or small, keeps you not only ahead of the game, but in it to start with. Hospitality players are fiercely competitive, reliant on new technologies and keeping up with the latest trends, and if you’re not doing the same, you can quickly find yourself in trouble.
Starting the journey
Keeping your customer satisfied in a hotel starts at the very beginning of their journey with you: check in.
As a hotel guest, is there anything more disappointing than arriving to your hotel and facing that seemingly endless line of guests ahead of you, all waiting for their turn at the reception desk? Whether you’ve only travelled cross country, or internationally and just come from the airport, by the time you get to this scene at the hotel with the queue, all you really want to do is get to your room...and fast!
Imagine being able to provide your guests with some way of bypassing that queue completely and allowing them to check in themselves, independently, without the need to wait?
Accessing their room
Whether you’ve had to check in the old-fashioned way, or been able to bypass the queue completely, by this point every hotel guest wants to get into their room as quickly as possible.
Many hotels are still providing their guests with plastic key cards. But they’re usually accompanied by a large pile of forms, leaflets and other paperwork, and easily misplaced. By the time you’ve located your specific room, you could be stood in a hallway for ages just searching for that little piece of plastic, just to get in!
Either you find it (eventually!) and get into your room, or it’s a journey back down to the reception desk to start the process all over again...
Hardly ideal, right? It’s a process that leaves hundreds and thousands of hotel guests dissatisfied and unhappy, right at the start of their journey with you. And it begs the question, can this process be simplified, and can it be brought into the 21st century?
Plastic free solutions
The easy answer is yes! Here at FLEXIPASS, we’ve been experts in smart mobile access solutions for nearly 30 years, fixing this exact problem.
We specialise in keyless access solutions and provide technology to hotels, hostels, student accommodation, serviced apartments and more. The one thing we’re focused on doing is making the accessibility process easier for anyone that uses our systems.
We started off by considering what item users have access to the most, and that’s a smartphone. Most people are never without a phone in their hand or back pocket, and that becomes even more so when considering the lifestyle and personality of most Gen Z and young Millennials.
Checking into a hotel and accessing your room is a breeze with mobile access. Using FLEXIPASS’ technology means using your phone as your new key - simply download the App onto your phone, enter in the relevant code and open the door. Nothing more is required than that.
The process is fast and easy because users expect access nowadays to be fast and easy. Consumer trends dictate that guests don’t expect to wait in those long queues any longer or face using physical cards, and if they do, they’ll have a negative experience and possibly never come back to your property again.
With the rise of sustainable practices and a general awareness of green technology, travellers are expecting to find businesses doing their part to fight climate change. Reducing their use of plastic within their operations is a great start, and mobile access caters to that effortlessly.
The average life span of a plastic key card is 2.5 days, but once discarded by the hotel guests, it will remain in our ecosystem for far longer, causing a devastating impact on the environment in the process. Mobile keys eliminate all that unnecessary plastic waste and focus on fast access, guilt free.
Being able to check into the hotel and access your room so fast, and just through your phone, means that you put the customer in a far better place from the offset, and that’s an immensely rewarding thing. It can set the tone for a far more pleasurable experience at your property and will go further in ensuring repeat business and positive referrals. All that, just from eliminating plastic and downloading an App!
Setting it up
So, we’ve established that plastic-free solutions and smart mobile access seem an obvious choice for better hotel access. But, going back to those self-isolating hotel owners across the world – however much they may agree it would improve the process, most would confess that they see a complicated installation process and massive dollar signs ahead of them.
The reality is the polar opposite. In most cases, FLEXIPASS technology can actually be integrated into your current system, involving a simple upgrade process to your existing locks. In all cases, our team would conduct a full assessment of each property’s requirements and existing systems to see what’s required, liaising with a hotel’s regional representative.
The easy setup, conducted by an in-house team, ensures that there’s no disruption to any operations. And we make sure everything is setup as quickly as possible, leaving you to get back to your job seamlessly.
In this unprecedented time, business owners find themselves in a crossroads: whether they sink or swim. There’ll be some who will dwell over the profits lost and number of days their doors have remained shut – but there’ll be others who will rise up from this time, more confident than ever, determined and ready to find new ways of doing business.
We focus on smart mobile access for hotels, because that’s something we believe is necessary, easy and massively rewarding to your hotel business – but it applies to every business out there in every sector. Through positivity and looking at your model with fresh eyes, you can come out the other side with better ideas, a powerful focus and an action plan.
Our team are here to support you and proud to offer you a personal demonstration. Contact us at https://flexipass.tech/