Voicemail to text is a great time-saving feature, allowing people to simply read their voicemail.   Assuming, however, it’s accurate.


As it turns out, how the message is transcribed can dramatically affect accuracy.

Machine transcriptions are low-cost and fast, but it’s hard to get great quality.   They usually score somewhere in the 80% “correct” range, which doesn’t sound that bad until you realize that 75-85% accurate really means 15-25% wrong.  Or put another way, expect about 1 in 5 words to be wrong.  That tends to make messages very confusing, like these “bad” transcriptions cleverly set to music.

If you really want high accuracy, you need human operators to do the transcription.  That’s what we’ve done with YouMail, and it generally gets us to 96-97% accuracy.  That’s not perfect, but 1 wrong word out of every 32 is massively better than getting 1 wrong word out of every 5.

Of course, it’s not cheap, since human operators need to eat and pay rent.  But it’s the only way to go if value your time and don’t want to have to listen to messages to figure out what they really said.

If you haven’t tried really high quality voicemail to text, try it here.

As usual, don’t hesitate to tell us what you think.