File Formatting Favors for Spire Energy

Making Sure Voice Prompts Are Up to Specs

About Spire

spireAt Spire Inc. (NYSE: SR) we believe energy exists to help make people’s lives better. It’s a simple idea, but one that’s at the heart of our company. Every day we serve 1.7 million customers making us the fifth largest publicly traded natural gas company in the country. We help families and business owners fuel their daily lives through our gas utilities serving Alabama, Mississippi and Missouri. Our non-utility operations include Spire Marketing, which provides natural gas marketing and related services. We are committed to transforming our business and pursuing growth through 1) growing organically, 2) acquiring and integrating, 3) investing in infrastructure, and 4) innovation and technology. Learn more at SpireEnergy.com.

The Problem

At GM Voices, we pride ourselves on making customers happy. Sometimes we accomplish that by recording thousands of words in 15 languages for a global IVR implementation. Other times, it’s using our editing and post-production expertise to get a long-time customer out of a small jam. This falls into the latter category.

GM Voices had been working with Alagasco, a prominent natural gas provider serving north and central Alabama, for over four years. When its parent company, the Laclede Group, decided to rebrand all its subsidiaries as Spire, the re-organization revealed several inconsistencies with its caller experience, including voice-over providers. One holding was using a voice recording company unequipped to handle the formatting for a legacy voice application. With an implementation deadline looming, GM Voices, having already fulfilled two dozen orders in English and Spanish, was contacted to reformat the files for Alagasco/Spire, and help get them out of the voice messaging pinch.

About u-Law: Phone Format of Choice

The u-Law file extension (pronounced “mu” or “mew” like the Greek letter) is a specialized encoding commonly used for digital telephony. It requires a unique outputting and QA process to ensure proper playback and audibility on phone systems. Some voice recording companies and many independent voice-over artists are unfamiliar with this format and its requirements, and are more accustomed to delivering common digital file formats like .mp3, which are appropriate for many audio-visual projects, but not large telephony applications.

GM Voices was happy take the file bundle from Spire and reformat in u-Law, taking care to achieve the required dynamic range, file naming, and folder organization. The result was a ready-to-load ZIP file of voice prompts.

The Final Word

With Spire’s immediate need taken care of, GM Voices will now work with them to bring consistent, great-sounding voice recordings to all its subsidiary voice applications. “You all have been amazing,” said Misty Peel, SAP Functional Consultant at Spire Energy. “I can’t even express how much I appreciate this!”

About GM Voices’ Service Organization and Post-Production

GM Voices has specialized in voice recording for telephony applications for over 30 years, with a business model built around keeping large IVR systems up to date and consistent. With partnerships established with many of the major platform providers and their biggest resellers, we know exactly the file formatting requirements needed to make voice recordings sound their best on phone systems. For more information on our voice prompt services, including formatting particulars, please contact us today.