How to Capitalize on the Speech to Text Revolution

Let’s face it – when we have information that we know is valuable to our business, we make sure it’s in writing so it can be easily shared, stored and referenced. Yet there is so much more, and potentially valuable, information contained in everyday business conversations, voice messages, video conferences and face-to-face presentations that is rarely captured in any usable form, and that is a terrible waste…  

… which is why speech to text technology is going to revolutionize the way we do business.

When speech to text first emerged as an enterprise solution for transcribing voicemail messages around 2009, it was treated more as a novelty than a serious business tool. That’s because the transcription was pretty poor unless produced by live transcription agents –an expensive proposition and one that generated all kinds of privacy concerns. Since then, automated transcription engines have become far more sophisticated and cost-effective, and the accuracy of transcription has dramatically improved to the point where major businesses can easily recognize the possibilities of speech to text applications for improving operational efficiency and service delivery.

Today, unified messaging with text transcription of voicemail-to-email like Mutare’s EVM3 is pretty much a must-have for companies that place a high value on responsiveness to customers and clients. Whether on the road, on other calls, in meetings or courtrooms, employees who have been enabled with voicemail to email with speech to text transcription know when a voice message has been left, can quickly see the content of the message from their smartphones, gauge  its importance, and respond quickly and  appropriately from wherever they are. And that results in better decision making, happier customers and increased business opportunity.

But the truly exciting new frontier for speech to text is its potential when integrated with other business management tools. The fact is, once you have the text transcription, you can use it to trigger events inside any database, and that takes the value of voice transcription to a whole new level.

For instance, Mutare developed an app that helps state government agencies detect incidences of unemployment fraud, saving taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in what would otherwise have been unearned benefit payment. The app runs transcribed voice messages of job-search results against a database of actual available jobs, flagging bogus reports. Pretty amazing.

Companies with highly mobile workforces are also using applications like Mutare’s Voice Mobility so their sales people can record and store transcribed customer meeting notes directly to their CRMs. Likewise, doctors can use the application to record follow-up reports and add the transcribed notes directly to patient records through integration with their EMR systems.

And then there is endless potential for contact center operations. For instance, by having a speech-to-text voice message mailbox integrated with the contact center software, customer voice messages can be transcribed to text and routed to an appropriate agent or specialist based on keywords in the message. Not only does the caller get a quicker response, but the agent can make the callback already armed with the caller’s stored contact information and history for faster handling.

My next prediction –with automated speech to text approaching the speed of manual transcription, I can see media companies looking to use this s technology for real-time closed captioning on the fly. What a valuable tool for television, radio shows, or for recording and transcribing conference sessions at tradeshows. While they’re at it, they could make sure the session is time stamped so the entire catalog of spoken word content becomes searchable by keyword.

The fact is, once the spoken word is turned into usable data, the only limit is your imagination.

What are you seeing out in the market? How are businesses you aware of leveraging speech-to-text technologies to create business opportunity. Let us know in the comment box below.