Voicemail transcription is a voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) business phone feature that converts audio voicemail messages into text transcription to read in your email inbox or smartphone messaging app. It may be a standalone feature or bundled into visual voicemail. Either way, both are easy to activate in the user settings section of your system’s dashboard.
Nextiva, a top-rated VoIP provider, offers voicemail-to-email with all service plans and voicemail-to-text for an additional $2.95 per line. Features include unlimited domestic calling, an auto-attendant, and conference calling, with plans from $34.95 per user, per month. The company offers a 30-day free trial of its product when you contact the sales team. Visit Nextiva’s website today for details.
Free Voicemail Transcription Setup Checklists
To begin using the voicemail-to-email transcription business phone feature, workers will need to tweak a few settings and turn on message notifications if they want to be notified of new messages. They also may need to choose whether to have an audio file of the voicemail message attached to each transcription. We’ve created two free, downloadable checklists for you to print and use to help set up either voicemail-to-text or voicemail-to-email transcription.
How to Set Up Voicemail Transcription to Email
Every VoIP system has its own way of setting up voicemail transcription to email and voicemail to text, so you’ll want to check your provider’s product documentation for instructions for your system. For instance, voicemail transcription can be set up in Nextiva’s VoIP business phone system in just a few clicks.
Here’s an example of Nextiva’s method so you can see how easy it is:
1. Log In to the VoIP System
If voicemail transcription wasn’t turned on during the VoIP installation process, you’ll need to do it manually. In order to protect user settings and data, no VoIP settings can be changed or altered without logging into the system through the user dashboard or management console. Check with your manager or admin if you don’t remember your credentials.
2. Head to User Settings
The area to select for user settings may go by different names, depending on the VoIP service provider. Look also for a section labeled “Customer Settings” or “User Dashboard.”
3. Select the Voicemail Settings
Again, this section may be labeled differently from VoIP system to VoIP system. In Nextiva’s case, it’s called Voicemail and Notification. However, the setting could be named “Voicemail Transcription” or simply “Voicemail.”
4. Click the Edit Icon
Nextiva’s edit voicemail icon is a pencil. Other VoIP systems may label this step “Edit” or feature a pencil and notebook. This action will give you access to your voicemail transcription settings.
5. Choose Your Voicemail Transcription Settings
Nextiva offers you two choices of transcription settings: Alert Me of Voicemail and Send Attachment of Message. Both choices require you to provide an email address for where you want the notification or attachment sent. You can select both or either choice, and have notifications sent to a different email address than attachments.
6. Click Save & Exit Settings
When your settings are arranged how you want them, click save to ensure you don’t lose any changes. You should see a confirmation pop up that your changes have been saved. Then exit the settings area and return to the dashboard.
How to Set Up Voicemail Transcription to Text
Some VoIP phone system users may prefer to have voicemail transcriptions sent to their text messaging app in addition to, or instead of, their email inbox. Setting up the voicemail to text feature is as easy as setting up voicemail to email.
Once again, the exact method will vary by VoIP or mobile provider, but here’s an example of how it works with Google Voice:
1. Log In to Google
In this case, you’d log into your Google account, which automatically signs you into your Google Voice account at the same time. The login page has an assistant to help you reset your username or password if you’ve forgotten it.
2. Navigate to the Google Voice Page
In the upper right-hand corner of your screen, look for the circle with nine dots in it next to your avatar. Click to reveal the drop-down menu and select Voice from the options.
3. Head to Google Voice Settings
On the Google Voice page, click on the Settings icon that looks like a small cog. You’ll find it in the upper right-hand corner of your screen, next to your avatar.
4. Choose Your Voicemail Transcription Setting
Scroll down to the voicemail settings and look for the “Get voicemail via message” setting. Slide the toggle switch to “on” (it will turn green).
5. Exit Settings to Save
Once you’ve made your selection, you can exit the page at any time. Although you won’t receive a confirmation, your choice is automatically saved.
How Voicemail Transcription Works
Voicemail transcription gathers the audio data from a voicemail message and transcribes it into text content with the use of artificial intelligence (AI) technology. Depending on the VoIP provider, human translation may also be an option, or may be offered in place of transcription by voice recognition. Transcribed voicemails are available to read in your email inbox, on your mobile device’s texting app, or both depending on your VoIP service.
Setting up transcription routing to your email inbox or texting app are two distinct but similar methods. However, once complete, voicemail transcription is a hands-off feature for users who require no effort once it’s set up and running. The VoIP system monitors voicemail inboxes for messages and automatically routes them to its artificial intelligence technology or live transcriptionist for processing, usually in under a minute.
How to Troubleshoot Voicemail Transcription Issues
Voicemail transcription is very easy to set up and use, but no technology is perfect. The system may fail to transcribe messages or messages may also appear garbled or unreadable. If this happens regularly, you will want to troubleshoot your setup and settings.
Here are some things to try if your transcription feature isn’t behaving as expected:
Double-check Your Settings
When setting up a VoIP system for the first time or making changes to an existing system, it’s easy to accidentally make unintended changes to some of the settings. Before contacting tech support about voicemail to text or email issues, double-check your settings are correct and nothing has changed.
Update Your Apps
Make sure your mobile and desktop VoIP apps are up to date to ensure the best voicemail transcription experience. VoIP desktop apps should update automatically when your computer is connected to the internet; however, mobile apps may need to be manually updated via the system settings in your iPhone or Android device.
Give It Time
If you’ve recently set up your VoIP provider’s voicemail transcription service and the message content is inaccurate, the system’s AI technology may just need a little time to “learn” how to interpret voicemail messages. Let the system cycle through a few messages to see if it improves. If not, contact your admin or the VoIP provider for guidance on how to improve transcriptions.
Benefits of Voicemail Transcription
Voicemail to text and email is useful in a number of business scenarios, including:
- Recordkeeping: Transcribed voicemails are automatically sent to a user’s voicemail inbox and, if specified, their email inbox and text message app. That provides permanent visual documentation of voicemail messages for future reference.
- Discreet message checking: Users can discreetly check voicemail messages during meeting breaks, while on public transportation, or other times when listening to audio messages would be inappropriate.
- Inbox prioritization: Business owners can scan a list of transcribed messages and prioritize their response without opening and listening to each voicemail message. Messages that don’t need immediate attention can be forwarded, archived, or set aside to answer later.
- Offline access: Once messages are synced to a mobile device or user dashboard, voicemail transcriptions can be reviewed and managed at the user’s convenience, even while offline or in airplane mode.
- Messages all in one place: Voicemail to text or email transcription keeps all messages in a single place so it’s easier and more efficient to check them all at once instead of bouncing between an email inbox, voicemail, and text messages.
- Easier management of long messages: It’s much easier to process transcribed messages with long sets of instructions or detailed information rather than listening to a recorded message.
Voicemail transcription is a completely hands-off feature for users and requires no further maintenance once it’s set up and running. The VoIP system monitors voicemail inboxes for messages and automatically routes them to its AI or live transcriptionist for processing. Once ready, the voicemail transcription appears in the user’s email inbox, text message app, or VoIP mobile app, typically in under a minute.
Voicemail Transcription Providers
Voicemail transcription is a feature of many VoIP business phone services. Some offer it at no additional cost, while others make transcription available for an additional cost. Service plans include features like unlimited domestic calling, call recording, professionally recorded greetings, business app integration, and conference calling.
These VoIP business phone systems offer voicemail transcription:
Nextiva, which ranks as our top-rated VoIP business phone system, offers service plans from $19.95 per user, per month. It features unlimited domestic calling, an auto-attendant, and call conferencing. Voicemail transcription to text is available for $2.95 per line. Users can receive transcriptions via email inbox or SMS message.
Nextiva is best for companies that want a VoIP phone system with voicemail transcription that’s easy to set up and use, and is backed by reliable customer service. The company offers a free demo of its product when you contact the sales team. Visit Nextiva’s website for details.
Grasshopper is a virtual phone number provider with price plans from $29 per month. All service plans include voicemail transcription delivered to your Grasshopper dashboard that’s accessible from a computer, iPhone, or Android device. The company also offers the option to have your transcriptions verified by a human transcriber at no extra cost.
Grasshopper is an excellent choice for solopreneurs and small business owners wanting a virtual phone number on their personal mobile device to take business calls. Call the sales team or visit the company website today to try Grasshopper with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
Phone.com is another highly rated VoIP phone service provider with service plans starting at $12.99 per month. Voicemail transcription is $1.50 per month, per user extension. For business owners wanting the most accurate message transcription, human-assisted transcription is available for 25 cents per message.
Phone.com is a good match for business owners wanting a VoIP system with voicemail transcription as an add-on feature, so you only need to buy it for the number of extensions you need. The company offers a free demo of its product when you contact the sales team. Base plans include a 30-day money-back guarantee. Visit Phone.com’s website for details or to set up an account.
Google Voice is on our list of highly rated cheap VoIP phone system providers. The free service includes voicemail transcription to email and voicemail to text at no additional cost. It also features a free virtual phone number that works with any mobile device or landline phone for calls and voicemail, call block, and text messaging.
Google is a good match for business owners who want a free virtual phone number and free VoIP phone service with voicemail transcription built right in. If you already have a Google account, log in to choose a virtual number provided by Google or to port your mobile phone number. To sign up for a new account, visit Google’s registration page.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Does voicemail transcription require special hardware or equipment?
Typically not. The VoIP phone system’s desktop and softphone apps that come with your VoIP business phone system do the heavy lifting behind the scenes. To get the most out of your voicemail transcription feature, be sure to keep your VoIP apps updated to the most current version.
Is voicemail transcription private?
Not necessarily. Some VoIP business phone systems offer Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)-compliant voicemail transcriptions services with built-in safety and privacy features, but it is not a standard offering of most transcription services. If your business is governed by industry privacy standards, be sure to check with your VoIP provider before turning on the voicemail transcription feature.
Voicemail transcription & voicemail to text—are they different?
That depends on the VoIP provider. Some VoIP services use the term “voicemail to text” to describe a feature that sends transcribed voicemails to your email inbox as well as to the text messaging app on your phone. Other providers use the term to describe the act of transcribing a voicemail to readable text. Check with your VoIP service provider to learn which definition most accurately describes their voicemail transcription feature.
Voicemail transcription is a VoIP business phone system feature that helps workers quickly read through lists of voicemail messages that have been transcribed from an audio message to written text. Most transcription is processed using artificial intelligence, but some VoIP providers also offer human transcription services for greater accuracy.
Companies wanting a comprehensive VoIP business phone system with voicemail to text and email should consider RingCentral. It also includes unlimited domestic calling, voicemail, and conference calling at an affordable price. Visit RingCentral today for a 15-day free trial.