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Audio concept boosts AVIS kiosk service

By Retail Technology | Monday July 12 2010 | UPDATED 15.06.22

Car rental firm takes advantage of Panphonics directional audio in its new Virtual Service Desk concept

Car rental firm takes advantage of Panphonics directional audio in its new Virtual Service Desk concept

Face2Face Kiosk has launched a self-service kiosk and a new service concept that enables personal interactive customer by connecting the company's back office to the kiosk.

The first roll out of the Face2Face kiosk will be with AVIS, one of the world's leading car rental brands. Panphonics of Finland took the challenge of developing a directional audio speaker designed according to the customer specifications of the project.

Personal service at a distance

The AVIS concept unites the back-office as an integral part of the service delivery process in self-service kiosk stations. With its kiosk concept, Face2Face said it is possible to cover large geographical areas with optimised back-office service resources, combined with several service kiosks.

The AVIS kiosk features all of the functions needed for car rental, including document handling, payment, a car key safety locker and even an alcometer.

One of the key benefits of the Face2Face kiosk concept is the ability to serve efficiently even those travellers who arrive to their destinations with the last flights of each day. The kiosk service stations enable them to pick up keys and process rental documents smoothly, eliminating the need for local AVIS employees to be present during late hours.

AVIS is starting to roll out the new concept in Scandinavia. The first installations are in use in Stockholm, Copenhagen and Haparanda. European and US roll out are to follow Scandinavia next year.

Maximising kiosk audio capabilities

The prime reason for using the Panphonics speaker is the directional audio property it provides, according to the manufacturer. The sound from the speaker is designed to be clear with good speech intelligibility, but audible only to the person being served at the kiosk. Personal conversations at the service station remain confidential, thanks to the Panphonics directional audio capacity. This is especially useful in open spaces with poor acoustics, such as airports and lobbies, it added.

An additional benefit of the Panphonics speaker is the possibility for customisation. The Panphonics Sound Shower directional speaker was modified especially for the Face2Face kiosk. In the AVIS Virtual Service Desk, the AVIS logo is printed straight into the custom-sized speaker frame, making the audio speaker an integrated part of the serice station.

Vesa Sihvola, Face2FaceKiosk chief executive, stated: "Panphonics directional audio is crucial part of the interactive concept."

Numerous possible applications

Unlike other information kiosks on the market, the Face2Face kiosk is interactive, enabling a service attendant presence and communication in real time with the customer. The customer experience is very similar to that of actual live service attendant in front of them, added its developer.

The concept enables efficient way of handling several front desks from any remote location, saving staffing costs, improving overall customer service levels and providing enhanced security to staff, as well as to customers, particularly during unsociable hours.

The AVIS Virtual Service Desk concept is expected to be only the first one in a multitude of possible application areas. Its developer added that the concept can be used in numerous business situations, like hotel booking or theater ticket reservations.

The Face2Face concept was developed in collaboration with the University of Oulu and Luleå University of Technology.

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