7 Essentials: The Criteria for Choosing a Transcription Service

Modern transcription services have changed the business landscape and there’s no doubting the benefits of outsourcing huge amounts of documents and audio recordings. But, there are so many of them out there. Are you sure you have the best transcription service provider right now?

Here are a few simple criteria for a great transcription provider and steps you might want to take yourself to make sure you have the right partner.

1. Accuracy

This is the single most important quality you want from a transcription service. Nothing else matters if they can’t get this one right. They must be accurate, dependable and reliable. You really need reliable accuracy from your transcription provider and that will lead to customer satisfaction.

All transcription services claim that their service is accurate. If they do, ask them to show you examples of their work. Ensure there is a comprehensive quality assurance process that backs up any claims of accuracy – numbers don’t always tell the whole story. If a company can’t talk about their transcription quality and accuracy in detail, there is likely something amiss.

2. Value for Money

It’s good to get inexpensive services but you need to understand that value trumps cost every single time. There are providers pushing unrealistically low costs per minute services. However, if the quality is as low as the price then there is no value for your spend.

Make sure you’re happy with your provider’s output, first and foremost, and then that the price is right. You should always be aware of your costs but not at the expense of quality.

3. Security and Confidentiality

Every company deals with sensitive information on a daily basis. It’s increasingly important to audit your partners’ processes. The recent GDPR legislation makes you accountable for an outside partner’s data breaches. It’s simply best practice to make sure your suppliers hold themselves to the highest standards.

Privacy and data protection laws mean they need to have protocols in place so ask your transcription provider about theirs.

4. Qualifications and Specialties

Industries have their own standards. A transcription service provider that specializes in the legal field, for instance, has a wealth of in-depth knowledge that will show through in the finished product.

You can always opt for a less expensive generalist but you may find yourself correcting mistakes and simply passing lesser work because your transcription company didn’t have the level of specialist knowledge you require.

There are transcription firms who are set up specifically for software, insurance and legal companies. If you need the inside knowledge, it’s worth spending more.

5. Native Speakers

The power of the Cloud means that your work can be sent out to Singapore, Sweden or Santa Fe, instantly. Just because you can outsource your transcription to this extent, though, it doesn’t mean you should.

If you are transcribing vast amounts of basic data then the foreign sources can indeed be the way to go. If you need a more nuanced version of the language and you need a transcriber who can cope with dialects or specialist terminology, you’ll need native speakers. An example of this would be colloquialisms (words or phrases that are used in informal speech). These types of phrases are often not grasped by overseas translators.

6. Scalability

You need to know that your transcription service can cope with more work because you don’t want your processes grinding to a halt because your transcription service couldn’t cope with the additional work. Make sure your provider has a plan in place for the times when they’re overloaded with work or you could find that you’re stuck waiting when you need them most.

7. Simple Pricing Structure

Do you understand your transcription provider’s pricing? Some providers create unnecessary confusion with complex pricing strategies, which can leave you completely unaware of the actual price you will pay. Make sure you have a simple pricing structure that makes sense and that your transcription provider is totally transparent with their billing.

Your transcription provider should be open, honest, accurate and reliable. They also need to deliver value each and every time something is produced. They should meet the most stringent regulations and they should be ready to take on more work when you’re ready to send it. If your current or potential transcription partner does not provide all of these essentials assess your options and consider a reliable alternative.

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