When it comes to voice communications, it’s easy to think along traditional lines. The main reason someone picks up the phone is to speak to another person. This type of dynamic, real-time communication is the bedrock of many customer service experiences.
However, plenty of applications for voice exist outside of real-time conversation. One aspect of voice that many businesses don’t take advantage of is transcription. This is the process of taking an audio file, processing it using machine learning, and transforming the spoken word into digital text.
In other words, transcription turns analog audio sounds into digital text. Once you have digital text, the possibilities are almost endless to what you can do with that information. It is exponentially faster to analyze, manage, store, and manipulate digital text than to work with that same information in audio files.
Here are some sample use cases where having voice-derived digital text provides a business benefit.
Customer experiences continue to be a major differentiator between businesses and can be the difference between customer retention and attrition. This is one of the driving motivations behind Voice of the Customer programs. These programs solicit customer feedback and actively use it to measure success and drive improvements.
The challenge with these programs is actually getting customers to participate. Email, web surveys, net promoter scoring, and other methods help companies obtain customer feedback. But from a customer perspective, these can take longer than they’d like to complete. This is especially true if their feedback requires context, customers may not want to spend the time to write in detail about their interaction.
What may take 5–10 minutes to write out can be covered in 30–60 seconds of a voice recording. Providing customers an open-ended forum to say–quite literally–what’s on their mind allows them to quickly have their say and move on.
The process of ‘writing out’ customer comments is left to the transcription process. Therefore, transcription enables companies to reduce the burden on customers in these situations, while still obtaining detailed feedback. Once companies have the digital text of the customer’s comments, they can utilize that data as they see fit. It is easier and faster to search, sort, organize, and detect trends in digital text that can drive improvements in customer experience compared to listening to audio files.
Transcription can be used to facilitate the payment verification process for ACH payments. In some use cases, in order to verify a customer’s identity financial institutions require an audio recording of the customer saying their name. A transcription of that audio clip is also required.
Combining voice recording and transcription services allows the voice channel to easily handle both of these verification requirements in one quick interaction.
Busy workplaces, like pharmacies and doctor’s offices, often screen calls because employees are dealing with a constant stream of customers and can’t take focus off those interactions to answer calls.
Customers that have questions about their prescription, for example, can leave a message for the pharmacist. These questions get transcribed into text and pushed to a custom dashboard so the pharmacy employees can see questions and address them as necessary.
These interactions can also be automatically associated with a known customer account, creating a new record with each request that contains the transcribed information. Depending on how the company’s system is set up, this can generate its own set of notifications and response options to ensure a timely follow-up.
Transcription can be a critical process for building conversational voice applications. For businesses looking to add this type of next-generation voice automation, transcription can help with the on-going maintenance and tuning of the grammars for these systems.
When a customer calls and talks to an automated system, the customer’s speech can be transcribed and passed to a database for further analysis. Identifying trends in customer word choice enables companies to tune their artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies to be more accurate and efficient. This is especially true for companies or industries with specialized vocabularies, like healthcare.
Whether you’re looking to improve customer experiences, generate better customer data and analytics, or simply make recorded audio more flexible in the digital age, audio transcription can help. To learn more about how to leverage the Plum Voice platform for your transcription needs, see the transcription API details and our transcription How To guide.