Real-time transcription for the real world

Real-time vs. Batch Transcription: Purple phone on cloud floating above phone

Voice APIs let you customize your application’s communications, and you may need the ability to transcribe your programmatic phone calls for customer uses like transaction records and receipts.

But not all voice API transcription tools are equal. As technology advances, there are more and more features, like real-time transcription, for companies to consider.

Batch transcription

Batch speech-to-text transcription lets you get transcripts of your calls and meetings all at once after the call. First, an audio recording will be created of the call itself. After the call ends and the recording has been processed, a full transcription of the conversation becomes available. With Bandwidth, there’s almost no lag time for our Standard Transcription. Most transcripts are available within a few seconds to a minute of your call ending. Occasionally though, there can be processing delays which may interrupt your application in getting your documents.

Real-time speech-to-text transcription

Real-time transcription gives you the same end result (a transcript), but you get it instantly. Your transcripts generate in real-time, the way closed captions do. This gives you two big advantages. First, you don’t have to wait for your transcripts to come through after your call is completed and has been processed. If your users depend on having speech-to-text records available instantaneously after meetings and calls, then real-time transcription is the way to go.

Second, there may be times when you want the ability to reference the text for a call while it’s still connected. This also means you can layer in keyword-based logic for your application to respond to on the fly. If that’s what you need, then real-time transcription is a no-brainer.

So, how can you choose the right transcription method?

Let’s walk through a couple of test cases to see how both batch and real-time transcription might fit some of your application’s different use cases.

National recruiting platform

Mackenzie owns a recruiting agency, and she’s in the market for a software tool that can support her team and their growing client base. Every day, her talent acquisition specialists get on calls with prospective employees. During their initial screening calls, they only have fifteen minutes to get to know their candidate’s work experience and career aspirations. Transcripts from these calls are added to each candidate’s file, and help recruiters across the company match up recruits with new roles.

Candidate calls are fast-moving conversations with a lot of details. The specialists can’t take time to jot down all their notes while keeping the candidate engaged at the same time. Mackenzie regularly overhears her team saying things like “Would you mind repeating that?” and “Sorry, I missed what you just said.”

What’s Mackenzie’s best option? A recruiting platform that includes real-time transcription! With real-time transcription for their phone interviews, her team will be able to track conversations as they happen. No more forgetting key details or asking for candidates to repeat themselves!

International CCaaS platform

Joel is the director of a large contact center, and he relies on their CCaaS platform to keep the customer experience flowing. Every day his agents have hundreds of calls with customers. When the agents can’t resolve the customers’ issues, managers get on the line to help.

Frustratingly, these call escalations often result in delays, because the customer and agent have to recap the problem before the manager can provide an answer. And although call monitoring can help if a manager has been listening in, they can’t easily monitor several live calls at once.

Joel knows there has to be a better way.

What’s Joel’s best option? Find a CCaaS platform that provides real-time transcription! With real-time transcription, managers could quickly skim active call transcripts to, or rely on the platform to deliver keyword-based triggers based on the conversation.

Let’s look at more common use cases and the methods of transcription you’d build them with:

Batch transcriptionReal-time transcription
Post-meeting analysis
Voicemail transcription
Live call captioning
Voice-enabled chatbot

Voice API tools are powering more and more enterprises

At Bandwidth, we have an API-first mindset to deliver software control. Our communications API suite sets businesses up for voice, emergency, and messaging success.