Voice APIs enable call transcription, which is a valuable feature for many businesses across industries. If your sales or customer service teams have regular phone interactions with customers, you should be using call transcription—it improves customer experience, helps you analyze data, reduces onboarding time, and helps you meet regulatory and accessibility guidelines. Read on to learn more about why you should be transcribing your calls, and how it works:
What is call transcription?
Call transcription is the process of converting audio conversations into written words (also known as speech-to-text transcription). In the past, someone would have to listen to a recording and manually type out a transcript. This process was time-consuming and likely to result in errors. Today, Voice APIs make call transcription simple by automating the process and capturing data in real time.
Call transcription benefits and use cases
If you’re wondering “can my business benefit from call transcription?” the answer is most likely a resounding “yes!” Here’s 5 of the most common reasons businesses transcribe calls:
Improve customer experience
Call centers, contact centers, sales teams and customer service representatives (CSRs) should all be using call transcription to improve customer experience. There’s a few reasons for this. First, call transcription ensures that agents don't miss any important details. Second, it allows agents to review past conversations before and/or during a call, which makes the interaction more efficient and personalized.
Third, call transcription enables teams to share records across the organization—managers can see what is working well and identify areas for improvement. Finally, call transcription can help to gather customer data and keep records of all agent/customer communications. Having a complete, accurate record of every interaction gives managers a complete picture of the customer experience and helps to improve call quality over time.
Training and quality assurance purposes
Perhaps the most obvious use case is call center quality assurance, where call recordings can be transcribed and used to identify training opportunities for call center agents. By transcribing call recordings, it is possible to identify how successful employees have handled customer conversations in the past, and use these transcripts as scripts to help new hires learn the ropes. This can reduce training time for new sales reps and customer service agents, while also ensuring that they are getting realistic, specific instruction.
Call transcription is often used to monitor quality assurance—building a repository of call transcripts allows teams to highlight common customer issues, pinpoint reasons conversations go wrong and improve communication for a better customer experience. Managers can assess employee or team performance by listening to call recordings and reading transcripts, and agents can self-identify their strengths and weaknesses before making necessary improvements.
Gain new data insights
If your business relies on phone conversations, you can use call transcription records to collect data on those interactions. Once you have that data, you can leverage it to streamline your operations and improve the customer experience.
As discussed above, call transcriptions can be used to identify common issues across calls, which can then be addressed proactively. For example, if you notice that a large number of callers are asking the same question, you can update your FAQs to provide better self-service options.
Call transcriptions can be used for market research purposes. For example, you could transcribe focus group discussions or consumer interviews and use the resulting transcripts to generate marketing content or product ideas. As you can see, there are many ways in which call transcription records can be used to gain new insights and drive business improvements.
Finally, you can dig even deeper into the data and analyze the customer journey. Call transcription allows you to identify keywords that real customers use when talking about your brand, focus in on moments a salesperson lost a potential sale, and gain important information about customers’ interactions with your company.
One of the most wide-ranging call transcription use cases—which spans industries from education to ecommerce to healthcare—is accessibility. For people who are hard of hearing or who absorb information better in a print format, transcripts can be a lifesaver.
And, in many cases, transcriptions are required by federal laws—such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 regulations and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)—in order to accommodate people with hearing loss. So whether you're looking to improve accessibility for your customers or for your employees, call transcription is a great, inclusive solution.
Businesses of all types—even those that don’t have phone interactions with customers—can benefit from transcribing calls for legal purposes. First and foremost, when done right, it can help you comply with your industry’s regulatory guidelines. In many industries, there are strict rules about call recording and transcribing, and call transcription can help ensure that you are in compliance.
Additionally, call transcription can help protect your business by providing proof of what was said on a call in case of an unexpected legal situation. Many businesses choose to record both internal and external calls for this reason. In some cases, call transcription can even be used as evidence in court.
Of course, your business must adhere to applicable privacy laws when using call transcription. In many regions, everyone on the call must be aware that the call is being recorded, so make sure to let all parties know before beginning the call. Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) states that the recording must be reasonable within the context (say, for quality assurance purposes on a customer service call) and disclosed to both parties. The U.S. does not have federal call recording guidelines set by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but certain states do, so it’s important to be aware of regulations that apply to your location.
How call transcription works
There are many types of software and software intermediaries (like APIs, which allow applications to talk to each other) that enable call transcription. There are many ways to transcribe calls, but it doesn’t need to be complicated.
Here’s how to transcribe calls with Telnyx:
1. Get set up
You need two things to get started: an account with a provider that offers call transcription and a phone number that can make outbound voice calls.
If you’re using Telnyx for call transcription, your first step is to create an account and get set up by using our quickstart guide. Next, you’ll grab an API key from the portal.
2. Configure your call control application
Once you've created your call control application, you'll need to do some configuration, telling it where to send the transcriptions that it generates. These transcriptions will appear in the form of webhooks and can be sent to any web destination or URL.
3. Use code and commands to begin transcription
It’s time to transcribe! Initiate a call using the “Dial” command and API key, then begin transcription with the “Transcription start” command and API key. (Our developer docs give you ready-to-copy code for the Dial and Transcription Start commands.) Once you get an “ok” status, text transcription begins and shows up as webhooks that are delivered to the webhook URL. Now you can sit back and watch as your call transcript appears on the screen.
Getting started with call transcription is pretty simple—in fact, our transcription video demo walks you through it in just 4 minutes!
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