A Guide on Conference Call Transcriptions and How to Utilize Them
For an easier, more effective review of conference calls
Conferencing calling or virtual meetings has become a necessity in organizations, especially with the growing preference towards working remotely. More often than not, a conference call can last up to an hour or more. This is because conference calls are often used to contact employees or individuals from different parts of the globe, therefore making it ideal that every key item is discussed in just one sitting in order to save time. In addition, conference calls have become prominent in companies as it brings with it a lot of benefits. However, these benefits might be harder to achieve if the calls are lengthy and not recorded properly.
Aside from taking notes, when it comes to conference calls, there are two ways to record it for future perusal – through audio recording and conference call transcription. Unfortunately, listening to an audio recording might take longer and difficult to digest - it would be harder to find the specific information being searched for especially if the particular call is hours long. Getting your conference call transcribed is a better alternative - not only does this make it easier to review everything that was discussed, but it’s also less time-consuming.
In this guide, we will discuss the importance of conference call transcriptions as well as provide which features a transcription service must have in order to deliver quality conference call transcriptions.
What is Conference Call Transcriptions?
Conference call transcriptions, simply put, are data recorded via conference calls – whether they were corporate board meetings, earnings conference calls, investor relations calls, HR and intellectual property calls, marketing strategy calls, amid other types – held between a number of people that was then translated and presented in word format.
Such transcriptions hold an undisputed importance within the business world, for it helps C-level people focus on their task of making the decisions that matter, the decisions that can either drive forward the business and let its name and services echo and be known throughout the ever-chaotic world of business – where it is more often than not sink or swim, do or die - or bury its name into sand and mire, to be forgotten within due time.
Recording Conference Calls
- Why record conference calls?It is actually far easier to say why companies should not have conference calls than it is to make a list explaining the multitude of benefits that having conference call recordings can bring, as there are only two reasons one can easily think of as to why any company would decide not to record conference calls: the C-level people in it are either geniuses who accurately remember anything and everything that is talked about, or they want their company to be dragged through the mud.This may sound like an exaggeration, and perhaps on some shallow level it is, but really, with the ease of use that many conferencing programs offer and bring into the field, there are no other excuses as to why companies would not want their conference calls recorded. Just a simple push of a button or a mouse click or two away separates a company’s failure to its growth. Why make it hard for you and your peers, then?
- Recording best practices for conference calls Recording best practices exist to ensure that conference call recordings are made with as good a quality as possible. This would then help facilitate the transcription process and make a company’s life easier.First and foremost, conference calls must be made in sound-proof rooms or the quietest and most isolated of places. Background noises and the like make conference calls - and its subsequent recording and transcript, should the company choose to have them transcribed - less productive and clear, and contribute to decisions that are abstract at best and incomprehensive at worst.
The second most important recording best practice is having a clear agenda to tackle when making conference calls. What is the point of having a conference call when there is no clear agenda to speak of, no important matter to discuss, no pressing issues to tackle? People would just be wasting time that could be better spent doing something else.
Another recording best practice is to have the participants introduce themselves anytime they talk. This is so that participants in the conference call know who exactly is speaking at any given moment and thus note down information accurately. This would also help facilitate speaker labeling, if the company decides to hire a conference call transcription service to piece together a transcript of the call.
Lastly, it is important to use quality equipment in conference calls. This extends not only to the type of phones and recorders used, but also the conferencing service. It must be noted that some conferencing services do not natively offer offline audio recording but only give links that can be streamed. This can pose a problem in areas with sporadic or weak Internet coverage. Some conferencing services, meanwhile, can have problems with their data security protocols and may thus be subjected to breaches and hacks. Still other conferencing services may work in many countries but not in specific ones, which will be a hindrance for when a company has people on those countries that need to participate in the call.
Different Types of Conference Call Transcriptions
- Corporate Board MeetingsCorporate board meetings are one of the most integral processes that a company’s owners and C-level executives engage in. Typically held once per quarter, with some companies deviating from this norm depending on their culture or their needs, corporate board meetings are essentially where the CEO gives a general report on the state of the business, such as how it is doing against its competitors, its sales, the current risks in its field of business and the like, to company shareholders, who are free to raise questions concerning the future of the business. Companies may hold this in-person or over-the-phone using conferencing tools, depending on the availability of the board members and shareholders.
Given its importance, it is thus essential to have corporate board meetings recorded and then transcribed. Decision-making and reviewing of key statements made and questions asked are far easier if text copies of the meeting minutes were made available to all that would need it.
- Earnings Conference CallsLike its name implies, earnings conference calls are where a company’s executive discuss their company’s financial results during a particular reporting period, such as a quarter or fiscal year, with investors, analysts, and even members of the media. This is important for companies and businesses because it provides a road map, as it were, of where the company is currently headed, which paves the way for better decision-making on how to increase profit and revenue and decrease loss, and bounce back from unexpected crises or better take advantage of opportunities and windfalls.
Given that numerical data and the like are far harder to understand without it being written down – after all, who would actually remember all of those complicated-sounding words and numbers? – it is imperative that earnings conference calls be transcribed for relatively easier scrutiny for those involved.
- Investor Relations CallsInvestor relations calls are conference calls that provide both prospective and current investors with an accurate account of affairs and going-on within a company. These accounts help investors small and large decide on whether to invest in a given company or to avoid it like the plague.
Such conference calls are vital to the success of a company because if done well, it can persuade large numbers of investors with substantial amounts of money to invest in a company, thus providing capital that can be used to further drive up the company’s value and natural growth. Transcriptions of these types of conference calls should thus be provided for investors’ ad executives’ perusal and review.
- HR & Intellectual Property DiscussionsHR and intellectual property discussions, in its most basic definition, are discussions centered around – you guessed it – HR and intellectual property matters. These kinds of discussions often border around and include matters which are often filled with legal jargon and legalese that is incomprehensible to the average investor, thus making it a matter of importance that these types of conference calls have transcripts so that both investors and executives can more easily and comprehensively consult with legal experts and the like.
- Marketing and Strategic PlanningMarketing and strategic planning conference calls are where C-level executives decide on matters regarding marketing their products and services as well as make road maps and plans that will guide or dictate how their company will act going forward. As any executive can attest to, it is extremely important that one knows which way their company is going so that they can propose bold and audacious plans that will capture your target audiences and flatten your competitors to the ground. Transcripts of these types of calls would then allow you to keep your company’s road maps in mind, and review them in critical moments so that you don’t lose your way.
Must-have Features of a Conference Call Transcription Service
In choosing the right conference call transcription service for your company, one must keep in mind several things to ensure that you get the transcript that you and your company deserve, and the best bang with your buck. After all, you and your company – from the owner to the newest investors and employees – deserve only the best.
- Thorough review process - This is the most important factor to consider when choosing a conference call transcription service. After all, what good is a transcript of your corporate board meeting when it is all but unintelligible and full of glaring mistakes? That kind of transcript isn’t going to do you favors any time soon. In fact, it will bring you and your peers not only a headache, but may also pave the way for bad business decisions and mistakes. When those happen, you won’t have anyone to blame but yourself. Let a quality conference call transcription service transcribe your recordings so that you get extremely accurate transcriptions that will be extremely helpful to your company.
- Flexibility - Anyone with even the barest of experience with using computers know that computers, even as advanced as they are today, sometimes just don’t do what you want them to do. Sometimes, audio recordings on even the most common of formats, such as .mp3 and .wav, may not work due to a bug or oversight or some such small but rather irritating factors. This presents a layer of trouble for companies that need transcripts quickly. When that happens, you know that it is time to get a quality conference call transcription service to work on your audio recordings so that you can sit back and not have to stress yourself out so early in the grind. Many services that offer conference call transcriptions use a variety of programs, and even proprietary ones, to work on those tricky audio recordings, programs that will either convert those files to other formats that will then play. Focus on the decision-making part and let conference call transcription services do their job and provide you a transcript for easier fulfillment of your needs.Conference call transcriptions are also useful for when a company has to post its reports to websites for public perusal. The extremely small file size of conference call transcriptions, which are in text format, help with facilitating easy sharing across the web.
- Security - Data security is an integral component in 21st century companies, and with good reason, too. In this day and age where just about anybody can become skilled data breachers within a matter of days, it is now of extremely great importance that companies protect their data to their last breath. Hiring a quality conference call transcription service with foolproof security protocols and a history of having never been breached would allow you and your company to rest easy with the knowledge that your data is secure and in the right hands.
- Regulatory/Privacy Compliance - As security becomes more and more important, regulatory boards all over the world are now passing versions of data protection and privacy compliance regulations that cover a specific area, country, or region. These regulations, of which some examples are HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, designed to protect US individuals’ medical information) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation, which protect EU and EEA individuals’ personal data) are designed to protect companies that regularly deal with sensitive data that may cause harm for individuals if it falls into wrong and malicious hands. Not all conference call transcription services comply with such regulatory and privacy regulations, which then make transcription services that do comply with these regulations invaluable. Thus, make sure that you choose a conference call transcription service that follows the rules and regulations applicable in your country or region.
Benefits of Transcribing Conference Calls
There are quite a number of benefits as to why companies should have their conference calls recorded and then worked on by a quality conference call transcription service. The most important is that conference call transcriptions facilitate easy review of critical data. It is very easy to misunderstand or misconstrue data, especially when it is presented to people in bulk, as is often the case with conference calls. Conference call transcriptions would allow investors and executives to have a look over at key decisions, important statements and data, and thus better determine the future of their company.
Another benefit to having conference calls transcribed is that the sales and marketing people of a company can better their sales pitch with transcriptions. Salespeople who target specific channels or markets would find that transcriptions allow them to record potential customers’ thoughts and ideas regarding their offered product and review sales agreements when they are made. For example, a customer may agree to a deal only if the company complies with his own terms or arrangements. Salespeople with conference call transcriptions would find it a simple matter of typing in keywords such as “terms of arrangement” and the like to find out what these arrangements were again.
Conference call transcriptions can also help resolve disputes with both financial institutions and customers. Those who have represented companies in discussions with financial institutions and customers at least once in their lifetime know that disputes between these two parties can often result in, at the very least, a verbal back-and-forth involving much shouting and pointing of accusatory fingers, to, at worst, legal disputes and challenges that would drain a company’s funds and sap what strength and momentum it has. Having records of these types of discussions would prevent those kinds of disputes from ever happening, or at least mitigate its consequences.
Lastly, conference call transcriptions would allow companies to avoid running against the law, which can happen even with a company taking the utmost of measures to prevent it. Of the many opponents that your company can have, the state or the country is the toughest to fight. It will bring in a legion of lawyers and legal experts that will succeed in bringing your company down, unless you are ready to fight them with your veritable weapon of doom: conference call transcriptions that will prove your point and validate your stand on matters.
In this day and age where decisions are made in the blink of an eye, companies’ values fall down or go up within seconds, and silent but intense battles are being fought left and right for ever-limited space in business sectors, it is doubly important that decisions concerning a company’s activities are made quickly and then disseminated to each and every individual within it. Conference call transcriptions would facilitate this data dissemination and pave the way for a company’s growth.