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Skip the Front Desk (Contactless Check-in) - Best Practices

Skip the Front Desk - Best Practices


Always issue mobile keys by default and only create plastic keys when the guest specifically requests one.  Hotels that issue mobile keys as the primary method of guest access have significantly better usage numbers over properties that position mobile key as an additional amenity.  Physically moving the stock of plastic keys away from the front desk (but still accessible when needed) is a great way to transition to issuing primarily mobile keys. 

Create a list of rules to determine eligibility for Skip the Desk.  Be sure to address payment verification requirements, whether guests are required to have booked directly versus through an OTA like Expedia or Booking.com, whether guests must have stayed at the property previously, etc.

Require team members to ask for mobile phone numbers and email addresses when creating new reservations. If possible, set these fields to 'required' in the PMS. 

When entering phone numbers in your PMS, make sure to add +countrycode for all international phone numbers. If your hotel uses Automated Key Delivery, each reservation should have a country code listed for all international numbers.  US and Canada numbers are not required to have the +countrycode (+1) appended to the front of the phone numbers.  NOTE: Adding a + without a country code WILL NOT properly validate in OpenKey HOST, and the guest WILL NOT receive a mobile key. For example, +12145550123 and 2145550123 will both validate.  +2145550123 will not validate. 

Add mobile key collateral to your pre-arrival emails, sales information, website and within the hotel common areas.  On average, it takes a consumer seeing a message 7x to fully absorb it.  Employing different mediums allows you to showcase mobile key as the primary guest access and leads to higher guest adoption rates.  View OpenKey’s available collateral here.

When creating group bookings, always try to get separate contact information (mobile phone number and email address) for each guest within the group.  If all reservations have the main person's phone number on file, the mobile keys will not reach the appropriate guests and the main guest will receive multiple notifications. 

If you are using OpenKey's Pre-Arrival Confirmation emails, be sure to leave OpenKey notifications active for any new Pre-Arrival Confirmations from guests.  These will be emailed to the email address on file in the Hotel tab under Information & Images. More information on these notifications can be found here.

Always check guests in through the PMS and allow the key to be issued automatically via the integration.  Issuing a key directly from OpenKey HOST will not associate the key with the guest's reservation, so any changes made in the PMS will not update the mobile key automatically. 

Never “pre-key” or create plastic keys prior to arrival for any reservation that has been approved for Skip the Desk.  If guests would like plastic keys in addition to the mobile key, they can request one after they arrive at the hotel.  Creating plastic keys in preparation for a guest’s arrival can lead to overriding the mobile key – or vice versa.

Review your Guest Feedback via OpenKey HOST regularly. Guest feedback is vital to maintaining the best experience for your clientele.  Comments submitted in the Guest Feedback tab can give your team an opportunity to correct a service issue with a guest before they receive any post-stay survey requests.  More information on Guest Feedback can be found here.