Listening to Voicemail messages can be a pain. Some people simply aren’t good at leaving voicemail messages, and so it can be a chore to listen to them bumble and stutter their way through recording a message for you.
Additionally, voicemail is the most inefficient way of receiving a message. If you’re in a meeting and send a call to Voicemail, you can’t quickly glance at the message to see if it’s urgent as you could with an e-mail or SMS – you have to stop the meeting to listen to the voicemail.
Therefore, one of the most useful tools I’ve been using over the past couple of years has been the function to turn any incoming Mobile ‘Phone Voicemails into SMS text messages and e-mail.
If you’re an iPhone user, you have Visual Voicemail – but this service is not supported on all networks in the UK.
If you’re a Google Voice user in the US, you’ll be familiar with Voicemail transcription – but for us here in the UK, where Google Voice is not currently available, an alternative service is VoxSciences.
VoxSciences offer a Voice recognition technology that I’ve found to be really effective. The service works through you changing your mobile phone settings so that instead of re-directing your missed calls to your Network Carriers voicemail, you forward those calls to a geographic (01642) number provided by VoxSciences.
Callers leave you a voicemail, as usual, and shortly afterwards both you and the caller receive an SMS with a transcribed copy of the message. You’ll also receive an e-mail with a transcribed copy of the message, as well as a link to listen to the original voicemail.
If you’re not convinced, try it yourself – from your mobile phone (in the UK) ring 0203 111 22 00 and leave a message. VoxSciences will transcribe the message and send it to you as an SMS.
VoxSciences also provides a web interface so you can listen to old Voicemails and see an audit trail of who left you messages and when.
The service costs £5.00 a month, or 30 SMS messages – whichever is sooner, and VoxSciences offer a 7 day free trial.
I’ve not found another Voice-to-Text service in the UK as good as VoxSciences – but if you know of one, please feel free to let me know about it!