How Voicemail Transcription Can Improve Your Business's Communication

Voicemail can sometimes feel like more of a hassle than a useful tool; any time you listen to voicemail, you're stuck waiting until the very end. Without voicemail transcription, it's not possible to scan a voicemail message the way you would skim over a text-based message — something people have become accustomed to in the era of TL;DR ("too long; didn't read"). Sometimes you can't clearly hear what someone has said in a voicemail, and you're left replaying the message over and over to figure out how to get voicemail transcription — or how to quickly make your own with pen and paper. At some point, most people end up thinking, "There has to be a better way to do this."

Voicemail transcription makes it easier for busy professionals to get to the point of a message.

Traditional Voicemail Just Isn't Cutting It

Given these constraints, people unsurprisingly tend to gravitate toward more flexible communication methods such as SMS messaging and email. After all, people multitask more now than ever, and time is of the essence. With the rise of communication platforms, such as social media that allow colleagues to rapidly and easily share snippets of information with one another, you naturally expect such features in all communication channels you use — including voicemail.

This also coincides with a trend in business environments that use unified communications (UC) platforms for better workplace collaboration. UC integrates with the company email system, displaying voicemail messages in the user's inbox alongside emails that can — if the user wishes — display a preview to allow for better scanning. Until recently, voicemail offered no such capability, and office professionals were left wondering why they could have text previews of their emails but not of their voicemails.

Visual Voicemail: Enhancing Productivity and Collaboration

Luckily, businesses have started to offer visual voicemail to better support their employees' need to quickly scan and respond to their incoming communications. Through this feature, voicemail is automatically transcribed into text so listeners can read it at a glance and determine its contents. This can come in handy particularly if users are on the phone or a video conference, as employees can assess the topic and urgency of the message without disrupting their current conversation. The transcription feature is also convenient for employees who use mobile apps while traveling, since it allows them to check their messages before they move on to their destination.

This is not unlike how emails, SMS messages, and enterprise messaging already work today. As with those channels, visual voicemail allows a busy office professional to sort and prioritize incoming messages to more efficiently respond. If a caller has left a voicemail message at the wrong extension, the recipient can easily forward it to the right colleague. Visual voicemail can even help streamline collaboration between coworkers who prefer to use different communication channels. For example, if one person at the office tends to rely on phone calls, while another usually prefers to receive emails, the handy voicemail-to-email feature can facilitate communication between the two.

Thanks to this enhancement, voicemail (which has been around in one form or another since the late '70s) has joined the information age.

Visual voicemail is searchable just like email, which makes it much easier for office workers to quickly locate important information in a message. It also assists in record keeping, enabling office professionals to delete older voicemail messages while still retaining transcriptions. Some visual voicemail software supports transcriptions in Spanish as well as English, enabling better business communications among a broader group of colleagues and customers. These capabilities bring the otherwise siloed voicemail function in line with how other channels are used, making voicemail more intuitive, usable, and compatible with employees' collaboration needs than it was in the past.

Benefits for Law, Real Estate, and Beyond

The benefits of visual voicemail extend to countless industries, such as the legal field, which relies on the written word for keeping records and protecting sensitive client information. Busy lawyers trying to complete a legal document under a tight deadline find visual voicemail helpful, since it lets them copy and paste snippets from a voicemail message — such as a client's request for a couple of specific changes to a document — into a file before sending it. Having voicemails transcribed also helps with confidentiality, as lawyers can privately glance at updates on a case that arrive in a voicemail without having to worry about a nearby third party possibly overhearing something.

Professionals in other industries are also finding this feature useful. A realtor showing a prospective buyer a new home is able to look at an incoming message and quickly reply without interrupting the appointment. A doctor talking with an assistant could see an important voicemail regarding a patient has come in and read it on the spot, deciding to interrupt the conversation and pursue follow-up action regarding their course of treatment.

Rather than wondering how to get voicemail transcription from a hard-to-hear voicemail message while juggling other tasks, these and other professionals can now easily integrate it into their multitasking, multichannel life. Thanks to this enhancement, voicemail (which has been around in one form or another since the late '70s) has joined the information age. Businesses and their employees can enjoy greater efficiency and productivity thanks to convenient visual voicemail transcriptions, which let them stay up-to-date with workplace communications while seamlessly keeping their day-to-day work flowing.

Rose de Fremery
Rose de Fremery Contributor

Rose de Fremery is a New York-based writer and technologist. She is the former Managing Editor of The Social Media Monthly, the world’s first and only print magazine devoted to the social media revolution. Rose currently blogs about business IT topics including VoIP, UC, CRM, business innovation, and telework for Ziff-Davis as well as HP’s Tektonika program, HP Innovation Journal, HP Channel, Intel, and Vonage’s content marketing program.

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