Here’s a scenario hotel managers all know too well: A guest checks in at the front desk and receives his key card. After stopping by the room to get ready, he goes out on the town with his friends. He comes back hours later, but can’t seem to unlock his door. His magnetic keycard is no longer working. Now he must walk all the way back to the lobby, and find an available staff member during the middle of the night.
The truth is that demagnetization of key cards can be a major hassle not only for your guests, but also your staff. Hotel staff have been dealing with this problem for decades, but it’s actually completely avoidable.
Here’s how we helped one hotel owner keep his magnetic keycards working.
An Unnecessary Inconvenience
One of our clients, a California hotel owner, was having issues with their LoCo magnetic keycards (the most common type). Her team was regularly getting complaints of demagnetization, and guests were contacting the front desk at all hours of the night because they couldn’t access their rooms.
This was leading to dissatisfied guests, as some visitors had to come back for new magnetic keycards multiple times during their stay. But the team at Front Desk Supply had their back.
An Innovative Solution
We advised them to contact their lock manufacturer and upgrade from LoCo to a HiCo setting. This wasn’t a very heavy lift, as the change is actually a very simple software adjustment. From there, we supplied new magnetic keycards that were compatible with the updated lock settings. We love HiCo key cards because they use the same magnetic stripe as credit cards, offering more protection against demagnetizing than their LoCo counterparts.
This simple change immediately put a stop to the demagnetization problem. Guests had a better experience, and the hotel owner had one less thing to worry about.
The Difference Between LoCo and HiCo
There are two different levels of coercivity that magnetic keycard stripes can be equipped with. The most common of the two is low coercivity, or LoCo for short. LoCo cards are designed for short-term use, so their data can easily be erased and changed by hotel staff. But that benefit is also its biggest issue, as even the slightest electromagnetic field can render these cards useless.
The higher the coercivity level of a key card’s magnetic stripe, the stronger the magnetic field has to be to erase the data on that card. This means high coercivity (HiCo) key cards are much less likely to be demagnetized by hotel guests during their stay. And with the technological solutions we have available today, staff can still code and recode these cards just as conveniently as they used to with the LoCo cards.
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Choosing the right hospitality supply partner should never be taken lightly. Front Desk Supply is here to support the needs of hotel owners around the country.
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