Today, on one what is traditionally the busiest day of the year for Amtrak, thousands of passengers will call to make sure their train's on time and hear, "Hi, this is Amtrak . I'm Julie." The automated system at Amtrak has a name as well as a lively personality. If you're a regular, you know that she responds, "Got it!" to each request, and that she even apologizes, "I'm sorry, I didn't get that."
More companies are opting for a casual script when it comes to automated service. By handling routine questions, these computerized reps ease the load on flesh-and-blood reps. Julie's 5 million calls a year save the financially-beleaguered  railroad about $13 million. And because the automated system seems less impersonal, the voice becomes memorable, another character  that customers associate with the brand. I confess, since moving from Baltimore to Chicago this year, I kinda miss calling Julie.
As for the real Julie , she's Julie Stinneford, a voice professional in Boston, whose friends will ask her to recite Amtrak Julie's lines.
Which computerized personalities do you think are charming or annoying? Which help a brand and which hurt it?