How Voicemail Transcription Can Improve Your Business Productivity

Voicemail recording light on an office phone

Many companies and sales teams continue to rely on voice messages and voicemail. However, listening to voicemails and catching up on calls can be tedious at times. Now, more are relying on voicemail transcription to read out the details left in voice messages and find the messages more helpful in a text format.

Previously, listening to voicemails multiple times was the only way to ensure details like correct callback numbers or addresses were captured accurately. 

Now, voicemail transcription, the method of transforming the audio in your voicemail messages into text, is being embraced. While iPhones have been generating text automatically for quite some time now, you’ll notice that they can be riddled with errors with automatic speech recognition doing the work.

However, when it comes to transcribing business voicemail messages across different devices, accuracy is key. Now, there are many solutions available to help transcribe these messages quickly and more accurately than built-in tools, such as professional services such as Take Note.

Why you should transcribe voicemail to text

Women taking notes while listening to a voicemail

Here are some reasons why business professionals are turning to transcription to help with their voicemails and working more efficiently as a result.

Save time over accessing voicemail

Although voicemail has been around for a long time, it can sometimes feel like a hassle to get to the recordings. It usually takes a few taps on your mobile phone or multiple key presses on a landline to get through the menu that enables you to listen to the message.  

It’s even more frustrating if after that effort the voicemail didn’t contain worthwhile content. A transcription solution can save you valuable time by listening and writing things out for you, which you can digest quickly in text format.  

Access messages when it’s challenging to listen to your voicemail

It’s not always convenient to access the audio of your voicemails. If you’re in a meeting or on another call, or simply somewhere noisy, dialling your voicemail to retrieve your messages might not be possible.  

A text version allows you the option to quickly scan over the content. Transcription offers an efficient way to consume your voicemail messages.  

Avoid listening to pocket dials and irrelevant calls

You may receive an alert that you have a voicemail message and take the time to access the message only to find out you’ve been left a message of white noise. The dreaded pocket dial strikes again.  

You may also get spam or junk calls that you’d prefer to avoid. Having a transcript of a message helps you quickly identify the recordings that are worth listening to.  

Search and filter messages

Audio is inherently difficult to search and filter. Text instead makes searching and filtering a breeze. You can easily find the details you’re looking for, group your calls into helpful categories, set up workflows to ensure the right information reaches the relevant people, and create rules to help prioritise actions. 

Free up storage

Voicemails can take up storage space on your devices. Text files are much smaller and can be searched, making them a more useful format to store your voicemail messages in. 

Easy sharing

When you transcribe voicemail to text, it’s quicker and easier to share the key content with other people. You can choose to share the message in its entirety or pluck out the important details, saving the recipient time that they would have otherwise spent listening to the voicemail or reading the complete message. 

Summing up business voicemail transcription

Business voicemails can contain vital information that you need to act on. Listening to the audio content to identify the important details can be time-consuming, especially when there is a high volume of calls.  

Simply put, there are a host of reasons why having voicemail transcribed is a great idea. Receiving the audio in a text format can speed up the process of reviewing the calls, allows you to easily search for the details you need, and delivers the content in a format that’s quick and easy to share with others.  

If your business is signed up to a cloud-based phone system, a voicemail transcription service may be available as part of your existing package. Alternatively, you can integrate your business voicemail service with a transcription service. It will turn your calls into a text format that can be delivered via email or SMS, depending on your preferences. 

Voicemail transcription services either rely completely on technology to produce the transcript or include a level of human intervention. Fully automated services provide an extremely quick turnaround of transcription, but this comes at the cost of accuracy. Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) can struggle to provide high levels of accuracy. This can be problematic if you’re relying on the service for important details, such as names, dates, numbers, and addresses.  

High-quality transcription services, such as Take Note’s, introduce humans into the process to significantly improve accuracy. While a bit more time is required to produce transcripts which are at least 99% accurate, when it comes to business use cases, it is often well worth the short wait. The right transcription service for your business will be one that is accurate, as well as within budget. Take Note can serve as a vital partner in helping to deliver on both requirements.  

Mobile phone voicemail transcription

The ability to transcribe voicemail to text is particularly useful when you’re on the move and may have trouble hearing a message or have limited ways to note down any important details. 

There are services built-in to certain devices which are available on specific networks. If you can’t find the relevant option on your mobile, it’s likely the built-in service isn’t available on your device currently. You may see the service listed as voicemail transcription or under the ‘Visual Voicemail’ app. 

iPhone voicemail transcripts

For many, the ability to transcribe voicemail to text will be active on your device and require no further action to get it up and running. iPhone voicemail transcription typically works on a message-by-message basis and will transcribe each voicemail in turn when requested.   

The option to turn voicemail to text for iPhone is currently only available in certain countries. It only works for voicemails that are in English.  

As software is used by the iPhone, it’s very quick, especially if your voicemail messages aren’t particularly long. To see your voicemails in text format on your iPhone, follow the steps below. 

  1. Navigate to the voicemail tab on your phone. You’ll find this in the phone app – the green phone icon. 
  2. Tab on the voicemail you’d like to read. 
  3. If the message has been transcribed before you should be able to read it straight away. If it’s the first time accessing the text version of a specific message, you may have a brief wait while the text version is returned.

Once you have the text version, you’ll be able to copy the message, or key parts of it, paste it into emails, or other text files, or send it on to relevant contacts.  

Even when the service is available you may receive the error message ‘transcript not available.’ The service uses Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR) to provide a text output of the speech in the voicemail message. In some cases, the software will be unable to decipher the words and you’ll receive an error message instead.  

You may also find that you receive a partial document if certain passages or words in a message can’t be identified. This is usually a problem if the voicemail contains background noise, which understandably makes it challenging for the machine to recognise the required details.  

Android voicemail transcription

As with the iPhone, the availability of an option to convert voicemail to text will depend on the device you have and your mobile phone provider. Many will include a visual voicemail app on your device automatically. Visual voicemail apps will provide a list of your voicemails. You can choose to listen to the voicemail or read the transcript instead. The text version is handy as you can copy and paste out key details to use later, ideal for long numbers or addresses that are difficult to memorise quickly. 

If you can’t find a visual voicemail app on your phone it may be possible to download an app to use instead. You’ll need to check compatibility with your specific device and mobile phone network.  

Why professional voicemail transcription continues to be embraced

Red light indicating a voicemail on a phone

Free apps and services rely on technology alone to transcribe audio to text. Unfortunately, relying on technology alone leads to issues with accuracy. In most cases, the ASR technology will not be able to provide a text version at all. If you receive a limited number of messages and are using the service for personal purposes, the inaccuracies may be something you can put up with. However, if voicemails are vital to your business, a paid-for service with accuracy guarantees and the ability to perform against background noise is a safer and more reliable option.

Take Note provides high-quality and secure audio and video transcription services. We work with businesses and individuals looking for accurate outputs and a reliable service with guaranteed turnaround times. Discover more about the services available and receive an instant online quote today.

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Kat Hounsell