An Internet search for local transcription companies will return around 750,000 results, depending on your location. This number can look very attractive when compared to the nearly 13 million search results for transcription services that will include companies from all over the world.
The Feel Good Factor
If you review any of the marketing collateral for those local transcription companies, you will find some very persuasive arguments for “going local.” The company is in your city or county. You can meet representatives face-to-face, and they’ll even offer you a cup of coffee. They speak your language and, most important of all, doing business with them supports your local economy, which should make you feel good about the decision.
All of these points are valid, and if you, as a potential customer, have a preference for working with service professionals face-to-face, the message may resonate strongly with you. However, none of those points have anything to do with the primary selection criteria that most customers use for picking a professional transcription service — specifically, accuracy, speed, and competitive pricing.
Geography as a Marketing Strategy
If a local company is focusing more on where they are rather than the services they can provide to you that should be a concern to you as a potential customer. Being down the street may have been useful in the days of transcribing reel-to-reel tapes or even microcassette recordings, but the arrival of digital audio and video files made the geographic location a non-issue.
The services of native language speakers with relevant expertise and experience can now be accessed worldwide, which allows you to focus more on getting the highest quality at the most competitive price. In this context, your search criteria should include the quality control process that supports the work of the individual transcriptionist, rather than where in the world that transcriptionist is located. Time zones may need to be clarified when stipulating delivery deadlines, but beyond that, the delivery of digital information is now measured in minutes and seconds rather than days.
Enhanced Customer Service
For professional transcription services that operate on a global scale, the issue of geographic location has now become an opportunity to offer enhanced customer service to their customers. In the absence of a local office down the street, overseas services have begun to offer service packages that address any and all concerns customers may have about the issue of distance. The experience and expertise of their personnel are transparent and verifiable, and the best services now offer a three-tier quality control process that includes final review of customer files by subject matter experts to ensure the highest possible accuracy.
For those customers concerned with the security of their proprietary data, professional transcription services offer extensive document security including firewall and antivirus protection of data servers, data encryption for all customer files, and real-time monitoring and auditing of assigned transcriptionist access to customer projects.
For customers looking to achieve the highest level of accuracy at the most competitive price, the geographic location of your specialist candidates should carry significantly less weight than the expertise and experience of the people that will work on your files, and the detailed scrutiny that their work will receive from experienced quality control specialists.