Thursday, 22 January 2015

11 steps to improving the bad reputation of hotel keycard locks - so as to pave the way for their replacements 'smartlocks and digital keys'

Everyone has experienced it before - your hotel keycard stops working and you have to go down to the reception desk to get it fixed. There is no doubt that keycards in hotels (and in offices too) have a reputation as being 'unreliable'.

Has this ever happened to you before?
We've gone through Wiki-How's 11 steps of "how to get rid of a bad reputation" and applied it to electronic hotel keycard locks. We want to see if we can actually get rid of the bad reputation of hotel keycard locks, so as to pave the way for their replacement called 'smartlocks'. Lets be clear we don't want to get rid of the bad reputation of magnetic stripe keycard locks. The bad reputation exists for a perfectly good reason - they are in fact bad. The problem right now is that homeowners often perceive a smartlock as being like an unreliable hotel keycard lock, and this is effecting smartlock sales. So perhaps you could call this little analysis here "how to improve the reputation of electronic locks".

Smartlocks use a completely different technology to the outdated keycard locks, and they should never to put in the same basket. But the average homeowner doesn't know this. So here we go with fixing the bad reputation of keycard locks, so as to improve smartlock sales.

1. Ask yourself what gives you the reputation? If you know what is causing the bad reputation, you can rebel against it.
A browse through hotel reviews on Tripadvisor will bring up endless comments/complaints about keycards not working. Its that simple - the bad reputation of keycard locks is caused by keycards failing during your hotel stay. And there is no shortage of articles out there explaining the reasons for why those pesky keycard's stop working - the common scientific explanation is this; hotel keycards (the magnetic stripe type) can demagnetize when held near mobile phones, magnets (such as on woman's handbags), other magnetic stripe credit cards, or car key fobs. Magnetic stripe keycards also scratch easy - any scratch on the magnetic stripe tape can cause it to stop working.

So this one is easy - the bad reputation for keycard locks is being caused by them not working. All the smartlocks have to do now is show that they are always working.

2. Make Friends - be kind, friendly, caring. Honesty is a must. 
So there is no way that keycards are going to make friends with people anymore. Of course, they've done their dash and they're about to become extinct anyway. But smartlocks can make friends with people by being user friendly. Being user friendly means being simple to use and easy to install.

3. Do good things - help everyone, volunteer, be kind to everyone - people will think better of you.
Smartlocks should be trying to get into community centres, sporting clubs, gymnasiums, and in hospitals and day care centres. That is volunteering their work in these types of places, rather than completely focusing on the home. Once smartlocks can prove their worth in these community places, people will see how good they are at helping people, and being kind to everyone. Then sales in the home will follow.

4. Recognise that not all labels are bad - If you are labeled as smart, whats wrong with that? It definitely isn't your fault. But listen to someones else's answer instead of giving your own intelligent answers all the time. Maybe people don't like that you are always opening your mouth and not letting others give their opinions.
Smartlocks should be focusing on all the good labels of magnetic stripe keycards. All the really smart features of keycards are right there in smartlocks too - but the homeowner may not know that, or they should be reminded of this. Smartlocks should be selling the keycard smart features to the homeowner. They keycard locks began rolling out in the first place because they offered the ability to be audited, and to be re-programmed, and you never had to replace the lock again. Smartlocks do all this too - but they are so much smarter than their predecessors because they don't have all the supporting network infrastructure that hotel keycard locks have such as wiring, onsite servers, onsite staff etc.

5. Do your best to change your behavior while still being yourself.
Keycard locks can't change their behavior of constantly breaking down. But if smartlocks break down, they can change their behaviour by getting over the air software bug fixes and updates. Smartlock companies should constantly be investing in changing their smartlocks behavior and making them better each day. This is going on right now with for example the updates to Kevo and August at CES2015.

6. Dress in what you like. 
A smartlock is not always comfortable in the shape of a hockey puck (like August, Danalock, Goji). Locks want to be dressed up on a door in a variety of different shapes and designs (see our blog here for more discussion on this).

The August and Danalock smartlocks side by side - see any similarities here?

7. If you are ever confronted or  questioned about past deeds, disregard it with a laugh and explain. Say "it was a stage I was going through", or "it  was just a stupid part of my life I'd rather forget".
Lock manufacturers should be explaining to the general public that keycard locks was just 'a stage in the evolution of electronic locks'. Admit that keycards was just a stage; its over now; it was just a stupid part of the life of locks and keys, and now we've arrived at a new smarter stage - "smartlocks!"

8. If you're labeled badly and everybody makes fun of you about it, don't let them bring you down to their level. Don't say anything bad back to them because that makes you just as bad as them; if anything they're just calling you names because when you show them that you're sad or hurt they get pleasure so don't show them or tell them!
Well we know that locks can't talk back! But the hotel staff that operate them can talk back to you when you go to see them to get your keycard re-magnetised. So what about the hotel staff saying something like this to you when you go to get your keycard fixed, "we apologize sir for this inconvenience and this problem, we are about to upgrade our keycard locks soon with smartlocks which will solve this problem, so hopefully the next time you stay with us, this will never happen again - thankyou for your patience and understanding".

9. Show people whats cool about you
How cool is a smartlock in that it allows you to bypass the reception desk (and the queues) and go straight to your room and open your door to your room with your mobile phone? And at check-out you don't even have to stop at the reception desk either, as the digital key on your phone simply expires.

10. Try to be nice to everyone
Sure keycards aren't nice to us by breaking down every now and then and making our holiday difficult. But the hotel staff's reaction to you coming back to the desk can be nicer. The reception desk should not make you queue again (perhaps have a special bell for demagnetised keycard repairs only), and perhaps they could offer you a discount voucher or something like that when it happens to say "sorry".

11. If you have problems in your life, don't use drugs to constantly get away from them. Fix your problems by directly consulting with your peers and learn what you are doing wrong.
There is no drug that a keycard lock can use to escape its reality. The reality is they are breaking down, and there is a solution to the problem, and that is smartlocks with digital keys.


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