11 Proven Strategies to Boost Digital Key Adoption and Maximize Utilization in Hotels

Digital keys are reshaping the hotel experience, offering guests swift and secure access to their rooms with a simple tap on their device, and becoming a favored feature for those who value convenience and efficiency. This technology is advancing beyond a mere trend, setting new standards in guest satisfaction and operational efficiency. As the industry evolves, we’re here to show you how hotels can get the most out of this technology. This blog will explore comprehensive strategies for not only encouraging guests to adopt digital keys but also for hotels to maximize their use, enhancing operational efficiency and guest satisfaction alike. By embracing these strategies, hotels can elevate their service and operations, ensuring guests and the business equally benefit from the digital key revolution.

Maximize App Features for Enhanced Guest Experience:

To truly harness the power of the OpenKey app, it’s essential to fully utilize its range of features. Building out detailed profiles for your hotel, adding on-site amenities like pools, gyms, and dining options, along with interactive property maps, can significantly enhance the value guests receive. Integration with services like OpenTable for restaurant reservations adds another layer of convenience. By not fully utilizing these features, hotels may miss out on opportunities to provide guests with valuable information and experiences that can elevate their stay. Encourage your team to regularly update and expand the app’s content to ensure guests have all the information they need at their fingertips, making their stay not just comfortable but memorable.

Tailor Staff Training and Engagement:

The role of hotel staff in promoting digital key technology is crucial. With the high turnover typical in the hospitality industry, it’s essential to maintain a continuous and comprehensive training program. This program should educate staff about the nuances of digital keys, their benefits, and how they enhance guest experiences. Staff who are well-informed and enthusiastic about the technology can effectively communicate its advantages to guests. Regular training sessions and incentive programs for staff can foster an environment where the promotion of mobile keys becomes a natural part of guest interactions.

Front Desk Staff as Ambassadors of Digital Key Technology:

Front desk staff are often the first point of contact for guests and thus are instrumental ambassadors for new technologies like digital keys. It is imperative that they are well-versed in the functionality of the app to confidently offer it as part of the check-in process. Hotel staff should feel empowered with the knowledge to answer questions, address concerns, and showcase the app’s ease of use. By suggesting digital keys as a valuable complement to the hotel’s offerings, front desk personnel can effectively showcase the hotel’s commitment to integrating modern technology with traditional hospitality. This balanced approach can ensure that guests feel well-informed about their options and appreciate the added convenience that digital keys offer as part of their overall experience at the hotel.

Integrate Digital Keys in Pre-Arrival Communications:

Begin introducing digital key technology to your guests even before they step into the hotel. Through pre-arrival communications, you can effectively familiarize them with the convenience of mobile keyless entry. Emphasize the enhanced security, easy access, and the overall improvement it brings to their stay. Simplify their experience by including a direct link or QR code for easy app access, smoothing their transition to this innovative feature. This straightforward approach helps guests understand the advantages of digital keys, setting the stage for a hassle-free adoption upon arrival.

Offer Exclusive Promotions and Special Offers Within the App:

Incentivizing guests through the app itself can be a powerful motivator for digital key adoption. Exclusive promotions and special offers available only through the app can encourage guests to not only download the app but also to use the digital key feature. For example, offering a discount on dining or spa services, or a complimentary drink at the bar, can enhance the guest’s stay and provide an immediate, tangible benefit to choosing the digital option.

On-Site Signage to Promote Digital Key Use:

Effective on-site signage plays a crucial role in informing and encouraging guests to adopt digital key technology. Strategically placed signs can catch the eye and pique the interest of guests as they move throughout the hotel. Place signage with QR codes in strategic locations around the hotel, inviting guests to download the app and try the digital key feature. This can be particularly effective in the lobby, elevators, and inside the rooms.

Optimizing PMS Integrations for Comprehensive Guest Data Capture:

Choosing to integrate digital key technology with your Property Management System (PMS) streamlines operations and enables automated key delivery. This seamless connection simplifies the check-in process, enhancing guest convenience and elevating their overall experience. Additionally, this integration aids in capturing detailed guest data, allowing for more personalized services and targeted marketing opportunities.

Maintain Lock Health: For Properties with Bluetooth-Enabled Lock Upgrades: 

Properties that have upgraded their locks to include Bluetooth functionality need to ensure comprehensive system maintenance. This encompasses not just the physical aspects of the locks but also the vital back-end elements such as IP address updates and system integrations. Consistently maintaining these interconnected components is key to the smooth operation of your digital key technology. It ensures seamless and secure access for your guests and operational efficiency in your property’s service offering.

Highlight Security and Convenience Benefits:

Security and convenience are paramount concerns for travelers. Emphasizing the superior security features of digital keys, such as advanced encryption and the ability to quickly deactivate a key if a phone is lost, can address security concerns. Moreover, underscoring the convenience factor – like the ability to directly access rooms and share their key with their travel companions– can appeal to guests seeking a streamlined experience.

Leverage Guest Feedback for Continuous Improvement:

 Guest feedback is a valuable resource for continuous improvement. By actively soliciting and analyzing feedback from guests who have used the digital key, hotels can gain insights into user experiences, preferences, and potential areas for enhancement. This feedback loop can aid in refining the app’s features, addressing usability challenges, and tailoring communications to better resonate with guests’ needs.

Foster Ongoing Relationships with Customer Success Managers:

Building a strong relationship with your Customer Success Manager is key to maximizing the benefits of digital key technology. They serve as your primary point of contact for any updates, troubleshooting, or advice on how to better leverage the technology. Keeping this line of communication open and active ensures that you’re always in sync with the latest advancements and solutions, further enhancing the guest experience and your operational efficiency.


Embracing digital key technology is about stepping into the future of hospitality – where enhancing guest experiences and boosting operational efficiency go hand in hand. Through these strategies, hotels can not only encourage guests to adopt digital keys but also fully leverage their potential for greater operational success. It’s a journey of ongoing engagement and innovation, tailored to meet the evolving needs of guests and the industry. As we embark on this path, the benefits become clear: more satisfied guests and smoother, more efficient hotel operations, marking a new era in hospitality.

Are you ready to elevate your hotel’s experience and efficiency with digital key technology? Schedule a demo with us and discover how your property can lead the way in innovative guest service.

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