Why Your Hotel Needs Digital Key

Why should your hotel make the switch from keycards to Digital Key? Let’s take a look at the numbers. According to a recent Pew Research survey, 95% of adults in the U.S. aged 30-49 own a smartphone. Among older adults, 83% of people aged 50-64 are smartphone owners, and unsurprisingly, 96% of people in the 18-29 age range own smartphones, as well.

Further, in a recent poll, 76% of travelers said that their smartphone was their most important travel accessory. With the overwhelming majority of Americans owning smart cellular devices – and depending on them when they travel – it no longer makes sense to rely on antiquated keycard technology. But guests’ smartphone usage isn’t the only reason your hotel needs digital key technology. Let’s explore a few of the ways Digital Key can improve efficiency, boost guest satisfaction, and increase revenue for your hotel.

Increase Guest Satisfaction with Enhanced Efficiency

Did you know that guest satisfaction can drop as much as 50% in just a five-minute wait at check-in? Digital key technology makes check-in and check-out as easy for your guests as tapping a button or swiping right in your hotel’s app. Forget about making guests stand in line when they arrive. Instead, give them the freedom of mobile check-in.

With mobile check-in and digital key, guests can bypass the front desk entirely, letting them settle in and relax right away. When your guests think of your hotel, they’ll think of the convenience of going directly to their room to unpack and unwind – rather than standing in even a short line at reception.

Improve Guest Safety with Digital Key

As of this writing, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States has reported nearly 38 million confirmed COVID-19 cases. And, with concerns and uncertainty around the emergence of new variants, now is the time to double down on health precautions – such as reducing touches and offering contactless options to your guests.

Even beyond the current situation, in a post-COVID world, guests will continue to be more aware of their safety and health than ever before. Today and in the future, they’ll be looking for safe, sanitary experiences. With Digital Key technology, you can significantly reduce touches and increase safety by allowing guests to check in on their smartphones and then use their phones as their room keys.

Enhance Security for Guests and Hotel Staff

Digital Key is the fastest and easiest way to give guests access to their room – it’s the mot secure and efficient way as well. Digital Key doesn’t just increase guest satisfaction, it also helps you enhance your hotel’s security. OpenKey uses 128-bit encryption code within the app, making Digital Key the most secure method of guest room access.

If a guest loses a keycard, there’s always the chance that the wrong person will find it before your front desk staff have a chance to recode your guest’s new keycard.With Digital Key, a guest’s phone becomes their key. If they lose their phone during their stay, the person who finds it is much less likely to gain access to their room – or even know where they’re staying. 

Improve your Hotel’s Sustainability

Along with enhancing safety, efficiency, and security, Digital Key gives you an easy way to improve your hotel’s sustainability. Consider how much plastic alone is used in the production of keycards. Now, consider how often cards are lost or damaged. On average, 15-20% of magnetic keycards will be accidentally demagnetized by guests or malfunction for other reasons. And, even with a replacement rate as low as 50%, with an average of two keys per stay, you could easily lose as many as 36,500 keys per year.

That’s a lot of plastic that can’t be reused and likely won’t be recycled. By empowering guests to use their phones to access their rooms, you can cut down on the waste that goes to landfills each year and decrease your hotel’s carbon footprint while giving guests a more streamlined experience.

Maximize Cost Savings with Reduced Waste

Speaking of lost keycards, let’s talk about the cost of replacing cards. The average hotel spend more than $2,000 per month on keycard replacements. Traditionally, hotels have factored this expenditure into their operating costs. After all, when depending on RFID cards or magnetic keycards, they would need to account for damaged, malfunctioning, or demagnetized cards, as well as lost and unreturned cards.

Want an idea of how much your hotel spends per year on keycard replacement? Check out our key cost savings calculator. A hotel with 250 rooms and 80% occupancy with a 50% average key return rate spends over $18,000 annually on lost keys alone. Think of what you could do for your hotel with an extra $18,000 in your yearly budget. Replacing lost keycards doesn’t exactly give you a huge return on investment (ROI), but allocated to the right place, a few thousand dollars could help you promote your hotel and/or build more brand loyalty with your guests.

Next Steps: Digital Key Could Make all the Difference for Your Hotel

When it comes to guest satisfaction, efficiency, and cost savings, Digital Key is an easy win for almost any hotel. If you’re looking for ways to save and reallocate budget to areas with greater ROI, and if you want to boost your reputation with guests while improving sustainability – Digital Key is the way to go.

Want to learn more about how innovative technology like Digital Key can enhance your hotel? OpenKey is the leading provider of digital key services. Schedule a demo today to see how Digital Key technology can streamline check-ins and improve guest satisfaction.