Call transcription is becoming more widely used in modern call centers. Learn what call transcription is and how to choose providers that offer this feature. As an integral part of modern call center software platforms, call transcription offers a benefits that can greatly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of your call center.
Call transcription is a feature that converts spoken language during a call into written text. This can be done either in real-time or post-call, providing a text-based record of the conversation. Call transcription works hand-in-hand with call recording (as the recording is required to perform the transcription, unless streaming transcription is used). This feature can be essential for various functions in a call center, including quality assurance, training, compliance, and dispute resolution.
How Call Transcription Works
Call transcription services are underpinned by Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR), a technology that converts spoken language into written text. ASR has its roots in artificial intelligence and machine learning, and its efficiency and accuracy have improved significantly over the years.
At a high level, ASR involves three main steps:
- Feature Extraction: The first step in ASR is feature extraction, where the raw audio is transformed into a format that can be processed by the system. This typically involves converting the audio into a spectrogram, which is a visual representation of the frequencies present in the audio over time. The spectrogram serves as the input for the subsequent steps.
- Acoustic Modeling: In the next step, the system uses an acoustic model to match the features extracted from the audio with phonemes, which are the smallest units of sound in a language. This is often done using deep neural networks, which have been trained on large amounts of labeled audio data to recognize the patterns that correspond to different phonemes.
- Language Modeling: Once the system has a sequence of phonemes, it uses a language model to convert this sequence into words and sentences. The language model is trained on text data and learns the probabilities of different words and sequences of words occurring in the language. This allows the system to correctly transcribe the audio, even when the sound of individual words is ambiguous.
These steps are used in both real-time and post-call transcription. However, real-time transcription requires highly optimized models and systems to ensure that the transcription can keep up with the pace of the conversation.
There are several different approaches to ASR, with the most common being:
- Hidden Markov Model (HMM): This is a statistical model that assumes there is an underlying process generating the sequence of observable outputs. In the case of ASR, the observable outputs are the features extracted from the audio, and the underlying process is the sequence of phonemes being spoken.
- Deep Neural Network (DNN): DNNs are a type of machine learning model that are particularly good at recognizing patterns in data. When used for ASR, they are typically combined with HMMs, with the DNN replacing the Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM) that was traditionally used for acoustic modeling in HMM-based systems.
- End-to-End ASR: More recently, there has been a move towards end-to-end ASR systems, which use a single neural network to go directly from the audio features to the transcription, without the need for separate acoustic and language models. This approach can simplify the system and potentially improve performance, but it requires large amounts of training data and computational resources.
Once the speech is transcribed, the text is stored and made available for further analysis or review. Depending on the software, the text may be searchable, and it may be possible to tag or highlight specific sections for later reference. This makes it a valuable resource for call center managers and quality assurance teams.
Types of Call Transcription
There are generally two types of call transcription: real-time and post-call transcription.
- Real-time transcription: This type of transcription provides a live text version of the conversation as it happens. It's especially useful for managers who want to monitor calls live or for agents who need assistance during the call.
- Post-call transcription: This type of transcription is done after the call is completed. It's most commonly used for quality assurance, training, and dispute resolution, as it allows for a detailed analysis of the call after it has ended.
Key Factors to Consider When Choosing Call Center Software with Call Transcription
When evaluating call center software with call transcription capabilities, consider the following:
- Accuracy: A good transcription service should be able to accurately capture the conversation, including understanding different accents and dialects.
- Real-time vs. post-call: Depending on your needs, you may prefer one type of transcription over the other. If live assistance or monitoring is important, look for real-time transcription. If your focus is on post-call analysis, then post-call transcription will be more suitable.
- Searchability: Being able to search through transcriptions can be a major advantage, especially when looking for specific conversations or when dealing with a high volume of calls.
- Data Security: The transcription service should comply with all relevant data security and privacy regulations, as it will be handling potentially sensitive customer information.
Benefits of Call Transcription
Call transcription offers numerous benefits:
- Quality assurance: Transcripts can be used to review and assess agent performance, helping to identify areas of improvement.
- Training: Transcripts provide real-life examples of customer interactions that can be used for training purposes.
- Dispute resolution: In case of disputes, having a written record of the conversation can be invaluable.
- Compliance: In regulated industries, keeping a record of all customer interactions is often a requirement. Transcription makes it easier to comply with these regulations.
- Improved customer experience: By analyzing transcripts, you can gain insights into customer needs and preferences, helping you to improve the overall customer experience.
Example Call Center Software Providers with Call Transcription
There are numerous providers that offer call transcription as part of their call center software:
- Five9: Five9 provides real-time call transcription capabilities powered by AI.
- Wingman: Wingman is a conversation intelligence platform that not only transcribes calls across various platforms but also uses AI to analyze these transcriptions, providing valuable insights about your customers' wants and needs.
- Aircall: Aircall's AI transcribes calls and voicemails to help ramp up representatives and deliver a superior customer experience.
- Bright Pattern: Bright Pattern's call center software uses automatic speech recognition and artificial intelligence to transcribe customer conversations accurately, enabling call recording and the creation of call transcripts.
- Dialpad: Dialpad's AI-powered contact center platform comes with real-time, state-of-the-art call center transcription. The software is built on a speech recognition model trained on over 50 million hours of voice and messaging data.
- CloudTalk: CloudTalk is a modern VoIP phone system with over 70 advanced features, including call transcription. It is particularly suitable for mid-sized companies and offers easy integration with existing business software.
How to Effectively Implement Call Transcription in Your Call Center
- Identify Your Needs: First, identify why you need call transcription. Whether it's for quality assurance, training, compliance, or customer insights, knowing your needs will help you choose the right software and use it effectively.
- Choose the Right Software: Not all call transcription services are created equal. Some are more accurate or offer additional features like real-time transcription or advanced search capabilities. Choose the one that best fits your needs.
- Train Your Team: Make sure your team knows how to use the transcription feature effectively. This includes understanding how to access and read transcriptions, and how to use them for their role – whether that's for training, quality assurance, or customer service.
- Regularly Review and Analyze Transcripts: Transcriptions are a goldmine of information. Regularly review and analyze them to gain insights into customer behavior, agent performance, and potential areas of improvement.
- Ensure Compliance: If you are in a regulated industry, ensure that your use of call transcription complies with all relevant laws and regulations. This may include obtaining customer consent before recording and transcribing calls, and ensuring that transcriptions are stored securely.
By understanding the workings, benefits, and implementation strategies of call transcription, you can leverage this powerful tool to optimize your call center operations and provide a superior customer experience. The future of call centers is here, and it is transcription-enabled.