How to Record & Transcribe a Phone Call

How to transcribe a phone call

When conducting professional phone calls, there are plenty of situations where recording and transcribing the call might come in handy. Perhaps you want to use exact quotes from the conversation for an article or a report, or you want to use the audio transcription for training purposes. Maybe you want to keep a record of the conversation for legal purposes, or perhaps the thought of taking accurate notes while staying on top of the conversation is just too much.

By taking the pressure out of note-taking, you can fully engage in the phone call, knowing you'll get a full transcript once the call has ended. In this guide we'll outline how to record a phone call using your phone or computer, followed by step-by-step instructions for how to transcribe your phone call.

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Why record and transcribe a phone call?

A written transcript is easy to skim-read and search, so that you can quickly find important parts of the conversation and pull out key quotes. This might be particularly useful if you're a journalist or you're in charge of your company's marketing efforts.

If you work in a customer-facing role, then recording phone calls means that you can keep track of conversations, refer back to your notes and pick up where you left off, avoiding repetition of conversations for better customer service.

Call transcripts can be shared as part of the training and onboarding process for customer support staff, as an example of what works well (and what doesn't) when communicating with customers.

Hopefully you won't ever be in this situation, but there are times when phone call transcripts can be used as evidence of what's been said and as proof of how situations have been handled.

Is it legal to record a phone call?

This is an important point. The legality of recording phone calls is different in different countries, states, and jurisdictions. Federal law in the US, for example, requires one-party consent, enabling you to record a conversation over the phone with the permission of a single participant, so long as you are participating in the conversation. Certain states, however, require two-party consent, which means everyone on the call must give their permission.

Make sure you know the local laws and regulations related to recording phone calls in your area before recording a call. And if in doubt, ask everyone's permission. Not only will this help to cover your back, it's also the ethical and polite thing to do!

How to record a phone call

There are various methods for recording a phone call, depending on the device you're using. Here's how to record a phone call on both your phone, and your computer.

How to record a phone call on your phone

Recording phone calls is a common business practice, but it isn't as straightforward as it could be, as neither iPhone nor Android have a built-in function for recording calls. But fear not, there are solutions!

  • Record a call on speakerphone

The simplest way to record a phone call is to put your phone call on speakerphone and then use another device - either another phone or your computer - to record the call.

Simply open up the Voice Memos app on your Apple device (iPhones, iPads and Macs all have the same built-in app), or the equivalent on your Android/PC and start recording. Make sure the device is near to your phone's speaker so that it captures the audio effectively. The clearer the conversation is, the more accurate your transcription will be.

  • Use a third party app

If the speakerphone method is a little too rudimentary for you, then using a phone call recording app like RingCentral, Cube Call Recorder or Google Voice is a great alternative. Download your preferred app and follow the in-app instructions to record your phone call.

How to record a phone call on a computer

If you're making a phone call from your computer, then chances are you're using a platform like Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Google Meet. Check out our individual guides on how to transcribe a Zoom meeting, a how to transcribe a Teams meeting and a how to transcribe a Google Meet recording for step-by-step instructions for these specific platforms.

How to transcribe a phone call

There are several methods for transcribing audio:

If you have all the time in the world, then the good old-fashioned method of playing-back-the-phone-call-and-typing-up-a-transcript-yourself is still an option. It's not one that we would recommend though, especially for long phone call recordings, as manually transcribing takes even longer than you might expect!

Services using real-life humans to transcribe your phone calls promise the best possible accuracy. But since humans can only work so fast and, of course, need to be paid, these services are typically slower and more expensive than automated transcription services.

In fact, an hour of audio takes approximately four hours for a professional to transcribe, and the average price charged is 75 cents to $1.50 per minute.

The most efficient and cost-effective way to transcribe a phone call is to use a transcription app, like Transcribe. Transcribe uses AI-powered technology to automatically transcribe your phone call recordings, so you'll receive a clear and high-quality transcription in minutes, at the best possible price.

There are many extra perks of using Transcribe too, including a high number of import and export formats, more than 120 supported languages, cloud storage, and professional support when you need assistance.

How to transcribe a phone call using

Once you've recorded your phone call, it's quick and easy to turn your call into a transcript using the Transcribe app or online editor. Here's how:

1. Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor

2. Upload your recorded phone call

You can import audio files from any app or cloud storage system, including Google Drive and Dropbox. Supported file formats include mp3, m4a and wav. If your phone call is in a format that isn't supported, get in touch and we'll help you to convert your file.

The clearer your phone call recording is, the more accurate the transcription will be, so take care to ensure that voices can be clearly heard, speakers don't talk over one another and there's no background noise or echo.

3. Choose your language

Select the language of your recorded phone call from more than 120 languages and dialects.

4. Start the transcription process

Your phone call transcription will be ready in a matter of minutes. Have a tea break, stretch your legs, and we'll send you a notification when it's finished.

5. Your transcription is ready!

Now that your phone call transcript is ready, you can proofread and polish the text in the app, online or in your preferred file format - with or without timestamps. When you're ready, export it to TXT, PDF, DOCX, SRT or JPG.

And there you have it - a written version of your phone call recording that's ready for you to skim, repurpose, condense, and share.

Ready to transcribe your phone call? Download the Transcribe app or launch the online editor to get started.

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