Are you searching for a new, high quality transcription company to work with? In order to ensure you are getting the best service possible, it is always important to thoroughly vet all potential recorded statement transcription firms prior to signing any contracts. But how do you know what questions to ask and how to tell if a provider is subpar?
At Allegis, we only offer top-notch transcription services to insurance carriers. However, we understand that there are many other industries requiring transcription services, such as medical, legal, education, and others. This guide is designed to be helpful no matter what industry you are in.
Here are six tips for hiring a quality transcription company.
Tip #1: Find Out Their Level of Expertise within Your Industry
One of the most important steps to take when hiring a quality transcription company is to find out their level of expertise within your industry. Many vendors focus on a specific industry. Find out who some of their past and present clients are as well. Have they served numerous universities and only one police department? Well, if you’re in law enforcement, they’re probably not the best vendor for you.
On the opposite end of the spectrum are vendors who say they can meet the needs of just about any industry. This isn’t an impossible business model to execute on – but it’s very difficult to do it well. If you are speaking with a vendor who serves numerous industries, make sure they segment transcriptionists by industry expertise and transcription type (type: meaning, verbatim, edited, slightly edited, etc.). The important thing is you don’t want the same transcriptionists switching from one industry to another. The same goes for transcription styles.
Also consider that industry expertise also means you get transcriptionists who understand industry-specific nuances, specific jargon, abbreviations, and unique phrases. Thus, it is vital that you find a quality transcription provider who has extensive experience with your particular industry and use case.
Tip #2: Inquire About Their Data Security Procedures
In some industries, the audio information being transcribed to text doesn’t include personal or confidential information. However, many companies requiring transcription often do have sensitive data within their recordings, including social security numbers, health records, financial data, and more. This is especially true for the insurance industry; recorded statements are fully of sensitive and personally identifiable data (PII). If your firm falls into this category, it is imperative that you work with a quality transcription team who places a high emphasis on data security, and who have documented, vetted security procedures and technology in place.
Hackers these days are smart. They know what companies to target to get the information they need for identity thefts and can easily find weaknesses within company systems. Any recorded statement transcription company you work with should utilize the latest tools available to keep your client’s personal data safe—from the moment the audio files arrive until the moment you receive the final transcript and beyond. They should also continually monitor their systems and adapt to changes in information security technology as they arise.
Tip #3: Ask About Turnaround Time and Scheduling
Another important thing to inquire about when hiring a transcription firm is their turnaround time. Are there set guidelines as to how many days a file should take to be transcribed before it is returned or is the schedule open-ended? It is important to be wary of any company that leaves the timeframe open because it could signal delays in your project, which might be a deal breaker for you.
You’ll also want to know whether or not they offer any sort of rush ordering. Working with a company that offers this type of service can be crucial during moments when an unexpected incident comes up that leaves you in a tough spot. Instead, find out what their policy is on emergency orders and the fastest turnaround time possible. Also, see if there’s a simple process for initiating these types of orders. Can you submit the rush orders online or do you have to call up customer service? The former method is much more convenient.
Tip #4: Determine How They Handle Changes in Workload
It is also important to ask any transcription companies you are thinking of hiring how they handle changes in workload. Certain industries, such as the legal and insurance fields, have a particular ebb and flow of the number of transcriptions they require at any given time. Some months can be insanely hectic, while other months can be slower (December is a good example of a slow month for insurance transcriptionists).
You’ll want to ask any potential transcription provider if they have the staff to handle a large surge in transcriptions and whether they scale their workers accordingly. This simple detail plays a major role in the quality of your final transcription project, so it is vital that you inquire ahead of time to give you an idea of what to expect if the situation ever arises.
Tip #5: Request Examples of Previous Projects
Another thing you should do when trying to find a high quality transcription provider is request examples of previous projects and references. This can include sample transcriptions, prior project details, and references from customers willing to speak with potential customers such as yourself.
While you can simply ask these questions, it is often better to speak with existing customers and review sample work before taking the plunge. You want to pick the right firm because, ideally, you’ll work with them for years to come. Switching is a pain and you want to minimize the chances of a switching headache as much as possible.. Marketing can make a company sound better than they really are, but example data from past projects provides a much clearer picture of how a firm performs when it comes down to getting the job done.
Tip #6: Learn What Quality Standards They Require for Their Transcriptionists
When it comes to verbatim transcription, quality is everything. Ask any company you are considering working with what standards they hold their transcriptionists to. Is it ninety-eight percent or higher? How many mistakes do they allow on a review? The greater the standard, the more likely your piece will come back complete and free of error.
In short, it is important to do thorough research before deciding on a recorded statement transcription company. Failure to do so can spell tons of trouble for your firm, but fully vetting a quality provider can mean a happy business partnership for many years to come.