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  • Writer's pictureBernhard Lermann

Self check-in with customized avatar

An average check-in time of three minutes and automated processes redefine the role of the front office manager.

Self Check-In mit maßgeschneidertem Avatar
Guest checking in, interacting with avatar Fritz (Photo: Roland Fechter)

Digitized service for routine check-in processes has been taken over by the friendly avatar "Fritz" on the touchscreen since June 2023. The development was jointly launched in 8 months by The Chocolate on the Pillow Group as hotel operator, Humanizing Technologies as expert in AI avatars and social robotics, and agilotel as consulting firm in hotel technology.

Average check-in time of three minutes

We succeeded in developing and implementing a scalable self check-in and check-out solution at the kiosk for the hotel lobby.

The avatar "Fritz" delights the guests in the first house of the multi-brand hotel operator in Bochum with his courteous manner and digitally flanks the staff. He offers guests an innovative, efficient and friendly check-in experience. With an average check-in time of three minutes, the on-site avatar provides essential support for recurring processes and also makes an important contribution to digital transformation. Reception staff enjoy a noticeable reduction in workload, which in turn benefits the guest. Having more time for personal conversation and genuine consultation with hotel guests is a benefit that is appreciated.

Kiosk Check-In im GHOTEL hotel und living in Bochum
Kiosk check-in at the GHOTEL hotel und living in Bochum (Photo: Roland Fechter)

Redefining the role of the front office manager

Erik Florvaag, Managing Partner and CEO of The Chocolate on the Pillow Group explains the special benefit and significance of the development for the entire group: "The goal of this in-house development was to create a digital check-in solution that is appealing and fun for the guest, yet efficient, and at the same time redefine the role of the front office manager. We are proud that as The Chocolate on the Pillow Group, we have worked with our partners to develop a system that does not yet exist in the industry within a short period of time. Fritz improves the customer journey and at the same time the daily routine of our employees with a clearer focus on the guest."

Underlying processes are fully automated

Tim Schuster, managing director of Humanizing Technologies, continues, "The avatar opens up a positive, intuitive and playful approach to the check-in process directly for guests, while the software fully automates the underlying processes, from booking to payment to key issuance. The avatar's design, including its appearance and multilingual communication, can be customized to reflect the characteristics of each business. Fritz now helps 24/7 at 4 kiosks in the first hotel and is surrounded by his experienced human colleagues."

Das Projektteam (von re. nach li.): Tim Schuster und Lisa Reiche (Humanizing Technologies), Timm Backhaus und Erik Florvaag (The Chocolate on the Pillow Group) und Avatar Fritz
The project team (from right to left): Tim Schuster and Lisa Reiche (Humanizing Technologies), Timm Backhaus and Erik Florvaag (The Chocolate on the Pillow Group) and Avatar Fritz (Photo: Roland Fechter)

Sustainable digitization only works around people

Nadine Maass, Senior Technical Consultant at agilotel adds, "Humanizing's flexible platform allows us to design the kiosk process very easily according to COTP Group's needs, and to integrate with the open API of the Mews PMS via a low-code platform. This allows COTP Group to benefit from a state of the art solution that is very specific to their needs, not an off-the-shelf product, and at a manageable cost."

Everyone involved agrees that sustainable digitization solutions can only work around people. It is important to all of them to involve, train and bring along the employees in the best possible way.

Good answers to current challenges such as a shortage of skilled workers.

The rollout of the kiosk check-in solution is now to take place across the Group and will also be introduced at the franchise brands. The project team sees good opportunities to bring this holistic solution to market, as it provides good answers to current challenges such as a shortage of skilled workers, customer centricity and automation through digitalization.

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Bernhard Lermann

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