"Tom" is one of several digitization initiatives as part of the Swiss tour operator's new strategic direction. In three months, the first consulting avatar was designed and implemented in co-creation between Hotelplan Suisse, the Zurich agency TMI and the ETH spin-off Animatico.
"Tom" has recently started working at the Hotelplan branch in Shoppyland Schönbühl in the canton of Berne, advising customers who want to travel. Tom" has his workplace in a large, interactive screen on which customers can communicate with him playfully through voice and motion recognition. The touch function offers further input options: By scanning a QR code on a smartphone, customers can download the desired information documents, such as vacation catalogs, directly and take them with them or have them sent to them by e-mail.
"Tom" was made fit for a total of five customer use cases. He is able to offer inspiration and advice for the next vacation destination, take catalog orders and - very helpful in the pandemic - provide information on current entry requirements. In addition, it forwards customers with concerns about existing bookings to the appropriate office.
"Tom" supports the Hotelplan team in Schönbühl at off-peak times and is intended to be a reinforcement and not a replacement for branch employees. Tim Bachmann, CEO of Hotelplan Suisse, explains: "If the pilot project with 'Tom' is successful, we can imagine deploying further virtual employees in other branches."
Responsible at Hotelplan Suisse: Nicole Pfammatter (Director Distribution & Marketing), Manuela Wedemeyer (Change Manager Distribution), Stefan Thanner (Branch Manager HCC Glattbrugg). Responsible at TMI and Animatico: Alban Haas (Head of Operations), Caroline Breitenmoser (Art Director TMI), Anuschka Iten (Project Support TMI), Markus Wanner (Managing Partner TMI), Patrick Glauser (Managing Partner TMI); Sven Näf (Chief Business Development Animatico), Riccardo Roveri (Co-Founder Animatico), Pascal Bérard (Co-Founder Animatico).