Interview Igeho 2023

Synergy between digitalisation and personal service

Personal service and digital offers in the hotel industry: What sounds like "either, or" for the first time is brought into harmony at CASABLANCA hotelsoftware.

An interview with Alexander Ehrhart, Managing Director of CASABLANCA hotelsoftware, about the complete digitalisation of the hotel reception, the added value for the guest and the developing service quality.

First of all: How is the reception digitised with the tools of CASABLANCA hotelsoftware?

Alexander Ehrhart: "The digitalised process already begins before the guests arrive, in that the business is present and bookable with our systems on all important online channels, such as, Feratel, HRS or Expedia. After booking, all correspondence is automated. Check-in can be done digitally by the guest. The reception desk is greatly relieved by these digitalisation measures."

Keyword digital correspondence: How can you imagine that?

Alexander Ehrhart: "No matter whether it's an enquiry, booking, deposit or guest information - every step is accompanied by correspondence. This used to have to be done manually by the reception staff, but now it runs completely autonomously and automatically in the background. Another advantage is that, for example, offers can be booked directly - this process then also runs without the intervention of the reception."

And what does the digital check-in look like?

Alexander Ehrhart: "After the reservation has been made, the guest can transmit all the data relevant for check-in online. Recently, a travel document can simply be scanned in and the information is automatically read out. This saves valuable time on arrival. Guests can also take care of their registration in advance - all they need to do is digitally sign the registration slip in our guest app."

Are there also digital offers while the guest is in the house?

Alexander Ehrhart: "Yes, in principle our guest app, which among other things displays all the functions of a digital guest folder, can be seen as a central information platform for the guest, as it can present all information about the house, offers, possible activities, specials and much more in a digital way. In addition, the guest can call up a live invoice overview online during the entire stay. Check-out including payment can also be handled completely independently or, alternatively, can be done cashless at the terminal at reception using various payment methods."

Final question: The complete digitalisation of the reception has already been mentioned. Will staff then become superfluous?

Alexander Ehrhart: "No, our approach was and still is that the digitalisation measures only affect recurring, bureaucratic actions in everyday hotel life. Actually, the exact opposite is the case: The reception staff is greatly relieved in terms of bureaucracy and can thus optimally take care of the service of the guests. And it is exactly this quality of service that makes a successful hotel business in the holiday hotel industry today. Personal service and digital offers must harmonise with each other. In summary, this means: digitalisation where it makes sense and is necessary, but the staff at the reception remains the number one contact person for the guest."

Thank you for the interview.