How to Find the Right Transcription Service Providers for Your Project
As businesses go digital, there is now an increasing demand for services that convert content into different formats so that it can be distributed to various platforms. One of these services is transcription. With a growing number of service providers, choosing the right fit can be time-consuming. And in a fast-paced world, time is a scarce resource.
A quick search on Google for keywords like “transcription services” or “transcribers” will display literally millions of search results. Just how do you begin to wade through that? You would probably check out the companies on the first page of Google results. It’s the most logical thing to do considering all the options available.
Before you can make a shortlist of transcription companies, you must have a list of factors that would help you decide which one is the right fit. On paper, all these transcription service companies look competent and professional, but you’ll only find out how good (or bad) they are if they are once you start working with them.
So before you decide which company to entrust your projects to, consider the following:
Price will vary across transcription service providers. Expensive doesn’t necessarily mean the best and the cheapest ones don’t mean their work is total garbage. Some might say “you get what you pay for” but you’d be surprised that it’s not always the case. What you need to do is set a budget for the project. It must be reasonable and fair to you and to the providers as well. This is not to say that the price should be the only factor that should govern your decision. It must be a balance of other factors that would meet your transcription requirements.
Number of Transcribers
Right off the bat, you must ask how many experienced transcribers are assigned to a project. This is so you can get an idea if the company can deliver at your required turnaround time. If there is a shortage of transcribers, the tendency is to rush the work to make the deadline. This means there’s little time to go over the work and iron out the kinks, resulting in poor quality. The transcription company must have the capacity to deliver high-quality work at the specified time frame.
Suitability of Transcribers
Not all transcribers have the same level of skills and experience. If your transcription project requires specific skill sets, say medical transcription or legal transcription, then the transcribers should have the required credentials to ensure the quality of the work.
New transcribers may do well in general transcription but may not be suitable for other transcription projects that may be more complex and require a level of expertise. Some companies provide training to equip their new transcribers with the necessary skills to do the job right. Whatever the case, always ask about the skill level and experience of the transcribers.
Excellent Command of English
There seems to be a preference for Native English speakers for English audio (the same goes with other languages) because there’s this perception that native speakers can recognize words and phrase better. This is not always the case. It all comes down to the transcriber’s strong command of the English language. There are non-native English speakers (or other languages for that matter) who can pick up words, accents, slangs, and other nuances of the language. Combined with training and experience, anyone from any background can deliver high-quality transcripts.
A transcription service provider should have a dedicated team of editors, proofreaders, and quality checkers. Accuracy is extremely important and the only way to guarantee a high accuracy rating is to have a group of people overseeing the quality checks.
Transcribers should self-check their work to ensure accuracy, but another pair of eyes can find mistakes and correct them. Transcription editors and proofreaders will have to listen to the audio and fill in the "inaudibles" or correct misheard words and phrases.
Set-Up and Equipment
Professional transcription service companies use transcription software and other necessary tools and equipment to deliver high-quality transcripts. It’s important to know the transcription software, subtitling platforms, and editing tools they use to see if they are compatible with your audio materials.
If you are providing access to your platform, it’s important to know if their computers can handle all system requirements. This is to avoid technical problems which can cause delays. A transcription company should be able to easily switch to other platforms without difficulty. It’s important that they can adapt.
These are just some of the things that you need to consider when choosing a transcription company. Quality is of utmost importance and it can only be provided if the company has a dedicated team of highly-skilled, well-trained, and experienced transcribers. Contact Us and Let's Make it Happen!