How to Transcribe Phone Calls Like a Pro

Have you ever wished you could go back and listen to or read a transcript of a conversation you had over the phone? Did you know you could hire a transcription service to do this for you if you don’t want to do it yourself?

With text messaging and chat apps, phone calls are seen as a thing of the past. So when we make a phone call these days, it’s almost always for something significant. After all, customer conversations, business deals, and meetings over the phone are almost always better to do if it is important.

However, not every word said during a call can be written down. And I’m sure you’d agree that completing specific tasks after your calls would be much easier if you had a written and searchable version of all your meaningful telephone conversations.

This is precisely where phone call transcription comes in handy. The question is, how do you even begin to transcribe a phone call?

In this article, we’ll share the different ways to record and transcribe phone calls. We also talk about the benefits of phone call transcription and some helpful tools you can use.

Let’s get started.

How to Record Phone Calls

The first step to getting a transcript of your phone calls is to have them recorded.

Before you hit the record button, it’s best to advise the other party first that you’re recording the conversation and tell them the purpose of the recording. It doesn’t matter if it’s an incoming call or an outgoing call, advising the other party is mandated by law in many jurisdictions.Plus it’s usually the polite and correct thing to do anywhere and anytime.

Recording Phone Calls on a Smartphone

Recording incoming or outgoing calls on your smartphone is easier than ever with free apps you can download online.

Here’s how you can record phone calls on your Android and iOs devices at no cost.

Android Device: Use the Phone by Google app.

Google’s Phone application features built-in call recording software; availability depends on several conditions, though. First, the app must be preinstalled on your phone before you can record the call. Likewise, having the app updated to the latest version won’t hurt. Your Android phone must also be running on Android 9 or higher. Lastly, your country/region, carrier, and device must support call recording.

Note: Make sure you’re using the Phone by Google App, not Samsung’s Phone app. There could be some confusion there because the Samsung App will already be on your phone and you have to download the Google App.

Phone by google app
Courtesy: Google Play

Once you have the right app, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app and tap the three-dot icon in the upper right.
  2. Select Settings and tap Call Recording to set up the types of calls you intend to record.
  3. Tap the Record button the next time you’re on a call you want to record. Once done, press the Stop Recording button.
  4. Find your recording in the Recents section of the Phone app.
  5. Select the name of the caller you recorded.
  6. Tap Play to listen to your recording.

iPhone: Use TapeACall

If you’re an iOS (iPhone) user, you can download the TapeACall app. It offers unlimited recording for both incoming calls and outgoing calls. Not only that, there are instant sharing options and cloud backup. However, you’ll need to unlock some of its features with in-app purchases. You can also purchase the pro version.

To start recording calls on an iPhone, follow these steps:

Courtesy: TapeACall
  1. Open the TapeACall app.
  2. Tap the red record icon to enter a conference call with a TapeACall line.
  3. Add the person you’d like to talk to on the call.
  4. Your conversation will then be recorded.

At this point, you can take advantage of TapeACall’s automatic transcription option. This option could work well if the audio is clear and there are two speakers (speaking one at a time). That said, automated transcription tools use AI, and are provided on a best-effort (usually 50% accurate) basis.

If you need 99%+ accuracy, you can download the TapeACall audio file and upload it to our secure portal for transcription. Ditto Transcripts uses US-based transcribers who are used to dealing with difficult audio situations (we perform exceptionally well when the audio on phone conversations are bad) and will provide the accuracy needed in those situations that require it.

How to Record Phone Calls on a Landline

Busy lady talking on smartphone and writing in notebook while working remotely at home

Recording voice calls through a landline, or office phone is trickier. Here are some methods you can try.

Put the landline on speakerphone

Many landline telephones today have a speakerphone feature. Before starting a call grab your smart phone and make sure you have the recording app open. Once the call starts on your landline, set your smartphone next to it and tap the red record icon on your smartphone recording app.

Check for a headphone jack

Office, and cordless phones usually have a headphone connector which can also be used to connect to a voice recorder. If you’re a journalist, you probably have one.

Newer voice recorders automatically save your recordings as mp3 files, so you don’t have to worry about tapes.

How to Export Recorded Calls

An online audio converter can convert your call recordings into several formats. Most are free, so there’s no need to worry about extra costs.

Let’s say you used TapeACall. In this case, select a recording and press the arrow button on the right of the player. You will then see a screen showing different ways to share your recording. You can transfer your recordings to your computer or mobile device via email, Google Drive, or Dropbox.

3 Ways to DIY Transcribe Phone Calls

Now that your phone call recording is stored on your device, you might wonder if you can transcribe it yourself. You can; however, it will most likely take you longer than it would for a professional. That said, if you want to take on the challenge, you have a few options:

Use Google’s Live Transcription

If you have the call on speakerphone, Google Chrome’s live caption tool allows you to transcribe speech with a single tap automatically.

Aside from voice calls, you can use this tool on other forms of media, such as video meetings, podcasts, audio messages, etc. All you need to do is turn on Live Caption, and play the media (i.e., audio files, video files, etc.) The media playing on your device will then be captioned in real-time. That said, the accuracy of this feature will never be as good as a human transcriber.

Use Audio-To-Text Converters

Audio-to-text converters work by utilizing speech recognition technology. Also known as AI (artificial intelligence), this technology combines language, mathematics, and computing to understand human speech and convert it into text. Some packages offer real-time transcription (i.e., from mobile devices, a microphone attached to a computer, etc.), while others allow you to upload an audio recording for transcribing later.

If your recording is clear and only has one speaker doing most of the talking at a steady rate, then audio-to-text converters could be a good choice. They can save you time by automating what is otherwise a very tedious task.

Although a cheaper solution, the downside to using AI to transcribe a voice recording is that it’s not always perfect. Its accuracy is even lower for recordings with multiple speakers. That means you’d still have to proofread the text, as computers only recognize a limited set of words and cannot catch nuances, and don’t understand the context in speech.

Suppose you have no time to proofread, and your recordings have multiple speakers, contain below-average audio quality, and are technical. In that case, there are better options than audio-to-text converters.

If you need 99% or better accuracy, you are better off using a company like Ditto Transcripts, which uses US-based transcribers who are used to working with industry-specific jargon, filler words, and heavier accents.

Our transcriptionists have been through rigorous training and specialize in specific industries, so they have a better grasp of common terminologies and what’s being said.

Use a Reliable Audio Transcription Service

There are plenty of audio transcription services to choose from, unfortunately, most are foreign companies, using foreign transcriptionists that mask themselves as American.

Since 2010, Ditto Transcripts has provided transcription solutions, including business transcription services, legal transcription services, and academic transcription services. We’ve transcribed audio for authors, writers, journalists, city councils, museums, oil and gas companies, law enforcement agencies, and even families.

Ditto Transcripts can transcribe your phone calls for $1.50 per audio minute. We can bill you after each job, or once a month, depending on what works best for you. You can also pay upfront via our secure online payment platform with your credit card.

As for the turnaround time, we’re lightning-fast. We can deliver your completed transcripts in as little as four hours. Please remember that this will still largely depend on the duration of your recording and how many files you have.

The Benefits of Transcription

Here are four reasons why you should transcribe phone conversations on a regular basis:

Improved clarity and understanding: When you transcribe audio or video recordings, you can review the content more quickly than if you only had an audio recording. This will help you catch essential details you may have missed the first time.

Increased accessibility: Transcriptions make your content accessible to a broader audience, including people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Better searchability: Typed or written transcripts can be searched much faster than audio recordings. This allows you to find specific information in your content using the Control F function, even if it was mentioned briefly.

Improved accuracy: You can ensure the transcribed text is accurate by reviewing and editing it yourself or having a trusted editor do so before publishing it.

Transcribe Phone Calls with Ditto Transcripts

benjamin walker, CEO of Ditto Transcription Services

Hi! My name is Ben Walker, CEO of Ditto Transcripts. I’m proud to say that since 2010, we’ve worked hard to provide the best customer experience possible. Ditto Transcripts provides accurate and affordable audio-to-text transcription services to the legal, medical, and academic fields.

When you partner with us, you can be assured that you’ll only get the highest-quality phone call transcripts at the best prices.

If you’re ready to get started, call us at (720) 287-3710. We’re open between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. (MST) Monday through Friday.

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