A great deal of business tech-related articles these days start with a reference to the Covid-19 pandemic. Why? That’s because the pandemic has been such a disruptor to the way businesses were operating. The major area of disruption has been communication. Conference calls have replaced direct communication. While conference calls have already been the mode of communication between the companies and clients as well as outsourcing partners, they are increasingly being used for internal communication as well. That’s why conference call transcription is such a sought-after service.
Despite the successive waves of the pandemic, the brunt of Covid-19 has ended. Still, the new trends that were put in place could continue as their efficiency is being realized. Remote workplaces and conference calls are two of these most prominent trends. Deals can be made or broken, based on conference calls. Employees can also be given vital instructions. So, you really need to get this right.
How Conference Call Etiquette Helps in Producing the Best Outcome
Professional transcription services transcribe videoconferences and conference calls for businesses in diverse sectors. However, it takes some effort to ensure these can effectively replace face-to-face communication.
Effective communication requires not just the flawless technical performance of the devices involved, but also the right body language. Transparency in communication is also essential. So let’s take a look at what’s needed to make the communication satisfy all the members involved, and fulfil the desired objectives. These steps make up what you could call “conference call etiquette”:
Ensure Technical Efficiency of All the Components
The first step is to ensure that all the concerned devices are working properly. You don’t want to drop calls to annoy participants at the other end:
Your microphone and computer must have no gremlins.Ensure that the other participants at your end have their mobile phones turned on and functioning well.Their headphones also need to be working well, since listening via the headphone and speaking via the attached microphone ensures greater clarity.Internet connectivity should be fast and without interruptions. So, ensure your system and those of the participants at your end are connected to your office’s Wi-Fi hotspot.Phone systems should provide almost 99% up times, which would eliminate the risk of your calls dropping.You also need to ensure that your provider offers the HD voice feature so that your voice quality is enhanced and you don’t face the annoying static that disrupts conference calls.
Apologize for Voice Disruptions
Transcription outsourcing companies often report difficulty in transcribing audio files with background noise. Despite your best efforts, there could sometimes be disruptions in the voice. This usually happens when you’re not carrying out the conference call indoors, are travelling, or are in some outdoor location. In any case, you need to make it clear to those at the other end that you’re in someplace where there is a great deal of background noise. Apologize in advance so that the others would know that you aren’t responsible for the disturbances. Otherwise, those at the other end would feel that you haven’t taken this conference call seriously and are disrespectful. Such impressions would compromise your communication from the start.
Behavioral Aspects of Conference Calls
Now that we’ve dealt with the technical elements, let’s look at the other important aspects of conference call etiquette:
Introduce Yourself Before Speaking
Usually, at the start of the conference call, the moderator would introduce everyone present at their side. Despite that, before you start to speak, it is important that you identify who you are. That will help clear any confusion on the other end as to who is speaking. If someone from the other side speaks without identifying themselves, you can wait for the person to finish speaking and then politely request their name.
Don’t Introduce Yourself If You Come in Late
Alternatively, you don’t need to introduce yourself when you’re late to a conference call. Introducing when you join late causes a disturbance, particularly when someone is talking. Even if you don’t introduce yourself, the call software would emit a sound which would tell everyone that someone has joined. The username would be displayed and the moderator could introduce you after the person on the other end has stopped speaking. If the person stops the call and asks who has joined, you can say who you are. However, that still could disrupt the flow. So, there are ways to mute the joining sound. The moderator could take care of that.
Using “Mute” When Needed
Participants should know where the “mute” button is. They should use it when someone else is speaking and there are background noises coming from their side, particularly when they’re outdoors or at home.
When someone else speaks, you don’t need to keep any audio coming from your side. That could spoil the experience for everyone involved since they wouldn’t be able to hear clearly. It would also annoy the speaker, Ideally, you should participate in a conference call from a quiet room, but sometimes sounds such as the cry of a baby, a calling bell, or someone watching television could come into the call.Since you only need to hear when someone else speaks, you can mute your audio. If the background sound refuses to die, though you should try everything you can to cut it or move away from the location to a quieter place, you can keep yourself mute for the entire videoconference and just type your inputs, questions, suggestions, etc through the call software’s chat option. You can also email them.
Don’t Consume Food during a Conference Call
Video may not be present in a conference call. But a lot of what you do can come through to the call. Eating, for example, can quite easily be felt by others in the conference since the sounds of munching and ruffling bags of chips in the background are all clearly audible. You should at least turn on the mute button to ensure those sounds don’t get through. However, it is better to avoid eating. You should absolutely not eat while talking as well.
Importance of Body Language Even Without Video
Finally, maintain good body language. In a video conference, basically a conference call with a video feature as well, people can see how you and your team are sitting. They can watch your posture. However, research states that even in a conference call where you don’t see the participants, your posture is reflected in your voice. Ensure that you’re in a sitting posture and are upright since that will reflect how energetic you are when you speak. Standing while talking also brings out a positive impression, according to communication expert Dianna Booher.
With these basic steps, you can ensure the conference call fulfils all your desired objectives of getting the message across. This would eventually result in greater client satisfaction and better employee performance. Conference call transcription providers can transcribe conference calls so you can refer to the points discussed, strategies formed and decisions made in these calls, whenever you need them.
When the COVID-19 pandemic broke out, offices quickly slipped into remote mode with employees logging in from their homes. Video meetings supported by conference call transcription services became the norm, allowing team meetings and other activities to proceed smoothly without losing effectiveness. Companies learnt that while routine tasks that involve coordination and collaboration can be done virtually, face-to-face meetings continue to be important for problem solving, building rapport with clients, developing a strong culture, and connecting with people on a deeper level. Now, with offices opening up, people are asking if the future of work is a hybrid environment.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a permanent change in the way we work. Experts say that flexible work or a hybrid work culture or is here to stay. A CNBC survey found that about 50 percent of US companies are considering pursuing the hybrid work model. This has prompted discussions about technology, collaboration and productivity.
The hybrid work model is one that allows employees to combine working in the physical office with working remotely. Companies across the world have come up with different variants of this model based on what will benefit both employers and employees so that they get the best of both worlds. An April 2021 survey of remote workers by Zoom found that 65% of respondents preferred the remote work model and only 15% said they wanted to work from home all the time.
Different Types of Remote and Hybrid Work Models
Here are 5 emerging hybrid and remote work models:
- Office centric: In office-centric hybrid companies, employees have to come to the office most of the time, though they can choose to work from another location on one or two days each week.
- Fully flexible hybrid: In this model, employees can choose when they want to work come to the office and when they want to work from another location.
- Remote-friendly hybrid: Here there are restrictions on which employees can work remotely. Most may be required to come to the office all the time, while others may be allowed to work remotely full-time.
- Hybrid remote-office: Employees can choose from various options which usually include a remote option, a flexible work option, and an in-office option.
- Virtual-first: This arrangement usually involves most employees working remotely either from their homes or other settings.
Top companies that have opted for hybrid work include Ford, Microsoft, Citigroup, Spotify, Amazon, Okta, Allen & Overy, Apple, and American Express. Ford has adopted a flexible hybrid work model. Citigroup has implemented a 50% division between remote/hybrid and in office. Amazon is looking at an office centric model and is laying a standard of a minimum of three days a week in the office.
Key Considerations for a Successful Hybrid Workplace
Companies need to build a strong hybrid work culture that enables employees to adapt to this new way of working. Here are some important considerations for the success of a hybrid workplace:
- Type and mix of team tasks: The success of the remote work model depends on how tasks are segregated between the virtual and physical setting. According to an MIT Sloan Management Review article referencing the Future of Work survey, tasks that can continue to be done virtually include reporting, performing administrative tasks, making simple decisions, sharing information, drafting documents, and performing financial analyses. These activities don’t require much integration. On the other hand, essential tasks that require team members to combine their knowledge, achieve breakthrough innovation, discuss and solve difficult issues in a safe space, and build culture can be more done effectively only in person.
- New leadership skills: Managing the new hybrid work environment requires distinctive leadership skills. In fact, companies need leaders who can successfully operate in both modes – the virtual coordination mode and the face-to-face collaboration mode (sloanreview.mit.edu/). By establishing goals, tracking progress, sharing information, and maintaining connections, team leaders will need to effectively manage their remote workforce so that employees stay focused and productive. Open communication can reduce the need for micromanagement. While operating in the face-to-face collaboration mode, leaders will need to promote deep learning, innovation, acculturation, and dedication. They need to implement strategies to boost collaboration while ensuring that their actions are in the best interests of their employees and the organization.
- Visibility and inclusivity: A hybrid work culture will be successful only if remote work is ensured visibility. When working from home, people should be given the opportunity to share their work experiences and concerns. Using tracking software is a good option to monitor and provide visibility for key pointers like schedules, overtime work, hours worked, etc. Likewise, an inclusive work culture is essential to succeed in a hybrid workplace. This is important to create a sense of belonging in an environment where people may not be physically working with and meeting each other all the time. Having company get-togethers to establish bonding is a good idea in the hybrid scenario.
- Transparency and trust: In a hybrid model, building transparency and trust matters a lot in order to maintain a seamless workflow and productivity. There must be clear and transparent policies for every employee. It’s important to build transparency clarity and consistency in any communication about work updates. Negotiating working hours should be done in a way that it does not affect the benefit of hybrid working. Virtual teams can also socialize via Zoom meetings to get to know each other better. Building trust within the team can overcome many unnecessary hassles and difficulties.
- The right tools and communication channels: Well-established processes and communication with the right technology are critical for the success of hybrid work. Effective video conferencing processes supported by efficient audio transcription are indispensable. Tools that allow for asynchronous collaboration are also being widely implemented. However, a Harvard Business Review article points out that hybrid work is much more than just online meetings and recommends that organizations should have technology that is adaptable and flexible for any role, working style, collaboration method, device, and geographic location.
As the hybrid model evolves, there will be greater clarity on the factors essential for its success. As a business transcription company, we are committed to ensuring quick, accurate and secure transcription of meetings, conferences, workshops, presentations to support hybrid and remote work policies.
Phone calls are planned for some particular purposes right? When it comes to business, you may be discussing valuable information via telephone calls or audio/video conference calls. You may need to check back on those important conversations, from customers or your partners or other important clients. Telephone calls may be made for business deals, interviews, conferences, and market surveys. Even though you record many calls for potential reference purposes, referring to those records without a transcript could be time-consuming. Finding a particular text in an audio file is not that easy. Spending a long time listening to the whole conversation will impact your core business. Accurate conference call transcription ensures seamless business operations and performance. You get the opportunity to improve support and more effectively assist customers on a regular basis.
Read the Benefits of Recording And Transcribing Customer Service Calls
Transcribing a phone call provides diverse benefits such as
- You can save and store a conversation for future reference, as long as you need it
- You can easily refer to the thread of wherever the last conversation ended
- Transcripts can be shared to any one in your team
- You can refer to specific highlights, keywords, and phrases quite easily
- Transcripts can be used as evidence in case of any litigations or lawsuits
- Written transcripts of calls make the conversations accessible to those with hearing disabilities
- You can also compile the results of market research and evaluate employee performance
How Do You Transcribe Business Calls In Real-time?
Use Google’s Live Transcription Tools
Consider using Google Chrome’s Live Caption. With just a single tap, Live Caption automatically captions speech on your device. You can use it on media like videos, podcasts, phone calls, video calls, and audio messages. Users just need to turn on Live Caption and captions appear for speech in media playing on the device.
Another option is Real-time text (RTT) lets you use text to communicate during a phone call. RTT works with TTY and doesn’t require any additional accessories. Users can either place a call with RTT, or you can switch from voice to RTT during a call. RTT calls include an audio stream. To mute or un-mute your microphone, tap Mute. However, RTT isn’t available when roaming abroad.
Consider using Live Transcribe that works on Android devices to capture speech and sound and users can see them as text on screen. Pixel phones and other selected Android phones come pre-installed with Live Transcribe. This app can save transcripts in Live Transcribe for up to 3 days and are automatically deleted after 3 days. Users can also delete transcription history any time. Audio and transcriptions are encrypted and processed by Google Cloud Services and are not stored anywhere except on the device. Saved transcript is stored securely on the device within the app.
Use Any Call Transcription Software
Diverse call transcription tools are available that can assist businesses with call recordings and other customer service or business tasks. Such tools come with real-time transcription feature to add live captioning when speaking to a group of people at a conference.
Some of the popular options are
There are some more tools with advanced features that we can discuss in our next blog.
Benefit From Call Transcription Services
Professional digital transcription services can transcribe your audio or video recording in a short period with high-level accuracy. With services from experienced hands, you can get sharable transcripts of these interactions too. Such companies provide – support from skilled transcribers, stringent quality checks, and safe file transfer options.
At MOS Legal Transcription Service, our team can even handle calls with multiple speakers efficiently, and can provide verbatim or non-verbatim transcripts.To get 99% accurate, reliable, and high-quality transcripts, contact us at 1-800-670-2809!
Many businesses are working remotely and providing their employees with the opportunity to work from any location. Organizations are relying on technology to streamline their workflow and achieve growth. Instead of face-to-face meetings, they are using conference calls for real-time collaboration with teams and to communicate with their clients in different locations. Video and phone conference calls are easy to set up, secure, and can accommodate multiple participants. The interactions can be recorded and converted into text for future reference using conference call transcription services.
According to a recent report from Coherent Market Insights, the global conference call services market which was valued at US$ 8.4 billion in 2017 is expected to reach US$ 12.5 million by 2026, exhibiting a CAGR of 4.6% over the forecast period 2018-2026.
Key Drivers of the Conference Call Services Market
The major drivers of this market include increasing demand for time-saving communication methods and for security of data and confidential conversations between the users.
- Increasing demand for time-saving methods for communication
Conference calls can reach multiple people who are at different locations and cannot attend the meeting in the office. Teams can be connected at one place, saving time and money on travel. This increases the demand for conference call services globally in different sectors.
- Increasing trend of adopting advanced technology
Conference call services have evolved to augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), and this emerging trend is expected to drive growth of the market over the forecast period. As participants can see each other, they can enjoy a hands-free collaborative experience. The major advantage of AR is that it brings remote conferencing from a computer screen into the real world. Conference call technology also helps in the effective management of resources, improves your workflow and enhances productivity.
- Increasing demand for data security of the conversation between conference call participants
Security is a matter of great concern during a conference call, as confidential business data needs to be secure. Reliable conference call platforms are designed to ensure the security of all data and conversations. They also allow conversations to be recorded for reference, which is important to run a business efficiently. These capabilities are driving the growth of the global conference call services market.
Our online transcription company provides conference call transcription services for a wide variety of industries.
Get real-time transcripts! Ask for a Free Trial! Call 1-800-670-2809!
The report segments the market on the basis of call service type (On-premise, Cloud-based, and Managed Conference Call Services), End User (Corporate Enterprises, Healthcare, Government & Defense, Media & Entertainment, and Others) and Region (North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, The Middle East, and Africa).
Owing to factors such as low initial investment and predictable costs over time and cost savings of additional hardware investments such as server infrastructure, the cloud-based segment is expected to grow at highest rate during the forecast period.
Due to high demand for connecting multiple important people during business meetings and implementation of business plans, the corporate enterprises segment held the dominant position in the end user’s segment, followed by the media & entertainment segment. Because of the increasing implementation of augmented and virtual reality in the conference call services industry, the media and entertainment segment is expected to grow at a higher rate.
By region, North America is expected to hold the dominant position in the market, followed by Europe and the Asia Pacific region. Owing to the presence of major multinational firms, continuous innovations, and high inclination of consumers towards advanced technologies, North America is the largest consumer of conference call services. The Asia Pacific region is expected to show good growth over the forecast period, due to the increasing demand for and implementation of new technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality-based video conference calls in China.
Key players operating in the global market include Microsoft Corporation, Zoom Video Communications, Dialpad, Polycom, Infinite Conferencing Inc., GlobalMeet, Arkadin SAS, AT Conference, ConferenceCalls, RingCentral Business Phone Services, Zip Conferencing, InterCall Online, and Budget Conferencing Inc. Professional transcription services can ensure error-free transcripts for conference calls, meetings, seminars, Zoom meetings etc.
While attending conference calls, it is very important to note down whatever is being discussed. However, it can be time-consuming and may also interrupt the natural flow of conversation. But technology has grown over time to make conference call transcription possible; reliable tools are available now to record and transcribe meetings without causing disruption.
According to threads.cloud, 89% of business professionals have shared that they feel utilizing technology in future meetings will boost their overall productivity. Informing the participants that the meeting will be recorded, and that they don’t need to worry about taking down notes will make them stress-free and more focused on the speakers and what is being discussed.
Here are the 7 best call transcription tools to ensure an efficient meeting and a productive team.
While attending the meeting, it is important not to miss any valuable information, so it becomes necessary to note down the points. However, it is not easy to write down the points in between. Meeting or conference call transcription tools for automatic speech transcription make it easy to record and transcribe the meeting without causing any interruption, thus ensuring an efficient meeting and a productive team.
With much of the global workforce shifting to working from home, video conferencing has become the norm. While video conferencing platforms come with built-in transcription, their reported accuracy level is less than 90%. This leads most organizations to rely on digital transcription service providers to document the discussions with utmost precision. However, one thing that continues to remain a concern when conducting video calls is security.
In January, serious security risks were reported with popular video conferencing platform Zoom and the company took quick action to address them. Reports say that working remotely may continue for some time even after the COVID-19 pandemic subsides. Organizations need to be mindful about the security and privacy aspects of video meetings. Implementing the following best practices can help meeting hosts rein in the risks associated with video conferencing tools:
- Set a complex password for sensitive meetings: Research from the cyber security research team at Check Point found that meeting hosts don’t use passwords (www.forbes.com). Security experts strongly recommend that those who conduct sensitive meetings use the ‘set password’ security feature of video conferencing apps. People cannot enter the call unless they know the password. Set a robust, unique password with a random string of numbers, letters, and symbols. Also, make sure you change password every time you conduct a meeting. In large meetings, it may be difficult to validate new entrants, but having a strong password can take care of this issue. Don’t share meeting passwords publicly.
- Ensure that only intended guests can participate in the video conference: Using the waiting room feature of conferencing software will ensure that only intended people can access the call. This feature allows the host to control who can attend the meeting by placing people in a virtual waiting room. You can review the names of persons requesting entry into the meeting and grant entry only to those you want. When you are meeting with one person, you can put another person in the waiting room. You can later admit the person waiting to join the meeting. Enable “Announce When User Enters” for meetings. Best practice is to conduct a roll-call before the meeting to ensure that only intended participants are present.
- Turn on channel moderation: This feature is meant to allow team owners to control who can start new posts and reply to posts in a particular channel. In Microsoft Teams, team members who are moderators of the channel and the team owners are responsible for managing content and context within a channel. Only moderators can start new posts in a channel for which moderation is turned on.
- Turn off file transfer and automated screen sharing options: It’s important that your software allows you to manage activities like file transfer and screening sharing. Computer World points out that disabling file transfer features can prevent hackers from trying to spread malware. Blocking screen sharing can prevent authenticated attendees from accidentally sharing confidential information.
- Pay attention to where information is shared: Avoid posting links to teleconferences on social media or on your company website. If the public can access the call, leveraging a registration process equipped with a CAPTCHA mechanism can help weed out potential attackers, says Security Intelligence. On the other hand, invitations to internal meeting can be sent out via email.
- Turn on your webcam only if you need to: Background objects can give away information. To prevent this from happening, turn on only audio and use your webcam only if necessary. If you do turn on your webcam, consider what people can see on camera, says Tech Explore. For example, if an envelope with a home address is visible on camera, it can cause a security issue. The best way to avoid such concerns to use a neutral background or create a virtual backdrop when video conferencing.
Other strategies to secure video conferences include:
- Don’t personal rooms for meetings. Disable private chat if possible
- Lock/unlock the meeting every time a participant joins/leaves the call. Re-lock it after they return
- Enable “mute participants on arrival”, especially in a big meeting
- Share specific applications only in accordance with your organization’s policies
- Monitor everything the platform allows
- Educate your employees on how to keep video conferences secure
- Use the latest version of the software
If you record the meeting, inform all the participants that they are being recorded. Getting the discussion transcribed by a reliable video transcription service provider will ensure secure, well-formatted, accurate documentation of the recording.