Amtrak Passengers Use SpeechWorks Solution to Purchase Tickets

BOSTON, MA - Julie, the voice of Amtrak's automated speech system, is now able to handle credit card transactions from train passengers over the phone. Amtrak has added this new capability to its 1.800.USA.RAIL reservation line with SpeechWorks International, Inc, a global leader in speech technologies and services. Since the initial rollout in April 2003, Julie's credit card payment function has already successfully handled more than $2 million in credit card transactions - approximately 75 percent of those who asked to pay for their reservation through the automated speech system. The SpeechWorks solution runs on a platform from Dallas-based Intervoic. "The new speech-enabled credit card application from SpeechWorks is helping us advance our commitment to excellent customer service," said Matt Hardison, Amtrak's chief of sales, distribution and customer service. "Speech recognition works, as evidenced by the high level of customer satisfaction rates we've achieved to date. It was a natural choice for us to expand our speech system to allow callers to pay for their tickets by credit card." To date, over 10 million callers have called Amtrak's Julie to access train status details, schedules, fares and reservation information. The automated speech system has increased customer satisfaction by 53 percent over Amtrak's previous touch-tone system and saved the passenger rail company approximately $13 million.
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