How important is keyless access?
“Consumers have come to expect this service as part of an integrated digital guest experience platform. It’s an essential service but not a driving feature any longer. Unlike other providers on the market, AeroGuest’s web check-in and the all-in-one AeroGuest app are fully integrated with the three major door lock providers that cover 90 percent of the market. This way we’re able to create a completely immersive digital experience without guests experiencing the disconnect of having to download an additional app for keyless access – this is vital to conversion, ensuring that guests actually use the service.”
What happens when arriving guests have not already checked in digitally?
“For those guests arriving at the front desk needing manual assistance with check-in, we have developed a patent-pending SNAP check-in option. Using NFC, our system lets the receptionist retrieve a booking using a single piece of unique information, such as the guest’s name, and then SNAP-send the booking directly to the guest’s own device for further mobile check-in. Besides SNAP check-in, we also provide hotels with GRAB booking, allowing the guest to find their booking by simply using their own mobile phone without using a check-in kiosk.”
Touchless technology has been given a boost during the coronavirus crisis. Does this spell the end of self-check-in kiosks?
“I believe the mobile phone has won. I love my phone and it’s my preferred device. With AeroGuest, the guest journey is entirely mobile-enabled and touch-free. The last thing a hotel needs in the current coronavirus crisis is self-check-in kiosks. You would need someone to sanitise the keyboard or screen after each user – or provide plenty of hand sanitiser. AeroGuest, on the other hand, puts check-in and check-out, keyless access and payment in the palm of your hand – on your own phone.”
What is your vision for the AeroGuest app?
“There is a lot of talk in the industry of web-enabled technology as opposed to mobile apps. However, around 70 percent of guests currently using our web check-in also download our app. Currently, the AeroGuest app is mainly used as a wallet for bookings and for keyless room access.
“We also offer an aggregated choice of available hotels for booking, but we have no ambition of becoming an OTA. What we would like to do is create a travel app featuring a collection of AeroGuest-affiliated hotels and chains and support their loyalty programmes. This would allow hotels to keep even better contact with guests, also after their stay.”
If a major hotel chain asked you to develop an own-brand app platform, what would your advice be?
“We could definitely do that from scratch – but it would be a hugely costly enterprise. They’d need to be ready to burn at least a million euros. My advice would be to opt for our out-of-the-box platform and customise it to their needs. Naturally, we could incorporate added tools, such as integrated brand loyalty programmes. A really interesting current development among hotels is offering subscription programmes for stays or co-working concepts – these are also new business areas we would be keen to develop as part of a customised solution for dynamic hotel businesses.”