Voicemail transcription: So simple and productivity-enhancing: So, why aren’t more people using it?
This morning, while in the process of setting up one of RiteTech’s newest staff additions to our team on our CloudPBX phone system, I wanted to take a couple of minutes to reflect upon a simple, yet very productivity-enhancing feature that most people probably don’t use: Automated Voicemail transcription.
The concept is simple. Traditional voice mail systems drop a message onto a traditional phone system’s mailbox. The end user then has to (typically) manually rifle through the various voice mail messages that may be awaiting them.
Some phone system users may be lucky enough to have an option that e-mails the voice messages as an attachment, as they arrive, into the user’s normal e-mail Inbox. That’s definitely better than the old-fashioned, “manually rifle through the voice mail messages and listen to them, one message at at time” approach, but it still suffers from a lot of the same limitations of the old approach. And that is where the end user has to stop, play the message, and listen to it to get a better sense of who exactly is calling, and/or the purpose or the level of urgency of the call. If you then have to forward the voicemail message to someone else for them to take action on it, this same process tends to repeat itself over again.
Enter the wonderful world of voicemail transcription. This takes the concept of the e-mailed voicemail attachment one step further. Voicemail transcription transcribes the voice mail message into a typed text email and/or a SMS (text) message. The user can then read the voicemail message, without even needing to play it – unless they really want to. This makes it oh-so-easy for the user to just glance at the message visually – e.g. most often than not, while in the middle of a meeting or some other situation or obligation which caused the call to originally go to voice mail in the first place. This needs helps the recipient prioritize the message, and/or redirect or forward it to another team member efficiently – if appropriate. Here’s an example of one such transcript (note – Personal Identifying Information [PII] has been redacted):
“Hey, David. It’s Shaq (??). I was trying to contact you to try to setup our 1 on 1 that we talk the other day. I’ll be available by cell today at 703-217-xxxx. And really any other day other than Monday all day or Wednesday morning I’m available most of the week. So just give me a buzz back and we’ll set that up. Thanks. Bye-bye.”
In the example above, the transcript turned out pretty well. The service frequently can tell when a transcribed word may be inaccurate, in which case it enters “(??)”. Now, just as is the case with human beings, the transcriber is not going to always successfully understand and interpret every word of every message with 100% accuracy. However, most frequently when it has trouble, is when the caller is mumbling, has a very thick accent, and/or is calling from a noisy area – which, well, would cause challenges even for human listeners as well. 😉
As an aside, I remember that some people may have soured on the concept of voicemail transcription due to certain low-quality offerings that they’ve encountered, such as Google voice. To quote the old adage – “you get what you pay for”. At RiteTech, we do not recommend “free” or “ultra-cheap” communications solutions, such as Google Voice, for many reasons. We have been using a professional (paid), yet affordable voicemail transcription service at our organization for over 4 years, with minimal issues or adverse affects. It enjoys a very high transcription accuracy rate, and in the rare occasions when it “goofs up”, it’s normally because the caller wasn’t speaking clearly, was in a noisy location, or etc.. And on the rare occasion when it does “goof up” a transcript, the mistaken words or the resulting sentence(s) can sometimes be highly amusing to read – and in the worst case, you can just play/listen to the whole original message.
For more information about RiteTech’s voicemail transcription and other telephone system solutions, feel free to contact us.