The Parts Competence Center (PCC) of AMAG Import AG processes up to 2,000 calls per day, and is responsible, among other things, for ordering spare parts. The callers expect the quality leader in the segment of parts and equipment supply to always process and fulfill their orders impeccably, quickly, and most of all, in a straightforward way. They also expect first-class customer service. To meet this demand, AMAG offers availability of about 98% of spare parts, a delivery service across Switzerland with two daily deliveries, as well as personal customer service by skilled personnel. In this context, the interface between the company and its customers over the phone channel as well as its fast operation are particularly important. The goal is to further improve the efficiency of the ordering and customer support process and to make it as smooth as possible for the customer. For that reason, AMAG has recently opted for the operation of independent garages via an automated speech recognition solution made by the leading Swiss provider – Spitch. This brings added value for callers with shorter waiting times and more time for personal customer support.
Up until now, customers always had to read the 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN), for which the delivery of spare parts was intended, to the AMAG clerk at the beginning of the ordering process by phone. The clerk then entered this number into the system and identified the corresponding vehicle. Only then did the actual conversation regarding the order begin. This part of the process is repetitive and is always the same in the first phase of contact. The solution provided by Spitch automates this initial phase. The customer’s call reaches the new automated system, which asks for the vehicle identification number. This information can be given in Swiss German (all dialects) and standard German. Based on this information, the corresponding vehicle data immediately appears on the screen of the customer service representative who receives the call. Therefore, at the beginning of the actual conversation, the employee already has all the relevant data. By making the initial phase easier and shorter, the AMAG customer benefits from a significantly shortened waiting time. This also leaves more time for the actual conversation with the customer and for customer services. As a result, orders and customer needs can be met more efficiently and customer satisfaction can be increased.
This process might sound simple, but it is by no means trivial. A 17-digit number will usually not be spoken without interruptions and often there is a considerable noise level in the background due to the workshop environment. Taking this into account, it quickly becomes clear that the Spitch solution has to be very robust in its speech recognition capability in order to handle incoming calls seamlessly. For this purpose, a tailor-made language model had to be developed. The above-mentioned conditions, albeit challenging at times, were all taken into account.
The experiences gained with the new system to this date have been evaluated as consistently positive by AMAG. Frank Kremer, Manager of the Parts Competence Center at AMAG, comments on this as follows: “We can’t afford to anger garage owners with speech recognition that doesn’t work properly and lose revenue. Within the first three months, the speech recognition system has shown that it met the set goals. By using speech recognition, we can leverage the resulting efficiencies to reach higher service levels during consultations while maintaining the same level of staff resources. This provides added value for the garage owner, while the costs remain the same.”
Jürg Schleier, Country Manager DACH at Spitch, adds: “The first phase solution built for AMAG clearly shows that even a speech solution introduced step-by-step can contribute greatly to increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction. These kinds of solutions also have the great advantage of gradually introducing the target audiences to automated speech solutions. This allows them to get familiarized with the solutions and convince them of their benefits.”