WHAT YOU SEE ISN’T ALWAYS WHAT YOU GET
Living in the internet era can be a mixed blessing when looking for a professional transcription service. While you have the ability to upload or download digital audio or video files with a single click, you could also be easily tricked. Sometimes, even the inexperienced freelancers design their websites so beautifully that you mistake them for a substantive professional organization capable of delivering the most complex work with the highest degree of accuracy! Then there will be vague testimonials that endorse accurate work delivered in amazing turnaround times at unbelievably low prices. All these can be very persuasive to stressed managers looking to get something transcribed quickly and cheaply.
However, if your only criteria are availability and price, you may be setting your company up for headaches once you hand over your files. After all, if the finished work (assuming it gets finished) doesn’t live up to your expectations, what options will you have? Starting over with a new service on an even more urgent deadline will create even more stress, not to mention your nagging concerns over what the unsatisfactory service might now do with your file.
QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS, QUESTIONS
Always ask questions when contacting a service provider. Remember that once a final commitment is made, your transcription project will be at the mercy of the service you’ve chosen. Assigning your work to a party should ideally bring you peace of mind, and not sleepless nights.
First and foremost, web content represents a promise at best, and extreme embellishment at worst. A suitably cautious prospective client should be able to look behind that curtain and ask for specific information before moving forward. Are your transcriptionists native language speakers? What specific industry experience do they have? “Sally always handles our medical transcription work,” is not an acceptable answer to that question!
Process transparency is also a critical component. You should be able to understand every step of the process that your file will follow, including the vital quality control steps to ensure the highest degree of accuracy. If the best you get is a promised delivery date with no supporting information as to how that date will be met, alarm bells should start to ring.
SUCCESS REQUIRES PRODUCTIVE DIALOG
In order to deliver a high quality product, professional transcription services expect to be able to ask questions of you, in addition to answering all of yours honestly and comprehensively. Before they can provide accurate information on cost and anticipated turnaround time for delivery, professional services would want to review the audio or video file first. They may be able to give you a “ballpark figure” to reassure you that you will not blow your entire budget on one file, but beyond that, the quality of the recording and the specific type of transcription you are looking for would have a significant impact on the final price for the project.
Professional transcription services have nothing to hide and everything to prove. A happy customer is their greatest asset, and that commitment should be clear in every aspect of their interaction with you. If you find yourself desperately filtering through dozens of websites all promising the same quality work at progressively lower prices, take a moment to ask some questions. The best way to verify that you are working with experienced and qualified professionals is to ask a few basic questions.