Essential Questions to Ask a Transcription Service
Knowledge is a valuable asset
If you’ve never used a transcription service before, but need to, for whatever reason, here are essential questions you should consider and verify before agreeing to hand over your files to be transcribed.
- Who exactly will do the transcribing of your film, video or audio files? Is it farmed out, done in-house, or is a software application used? Will multiple transcriptionists work on the task or will one person be dedicated to the task? Many agencies tend to split tasks, especially if it’s a large project and required in a hurry, which can lead to problems such as inconsistent formatting, labelling, and quality.
- What is their pricing structure? Is it clear? Are there any hidden fees? Does the rate they quote include everything you need, or will there be additional charges for timestamps, speedier delivery, or because of poor recording quality? Pricing transparency is good – make sure you know exactly how you’ll be charged and for what.
- How fast is their turnaround time? How fast do you need the transcription of your files completed? If your task is urgent, will it cost more than the advertised rate? Can they do it within the timeframe you specify and is delivery within that time guaranteed?
- What is their accuracy rate? Have you considered just how accurate the transcription needs to be? Is proof reading included? Is there a difference in pricing or delivery time depending on the level of accuracy required?
- What is the experience and background of the agency you’re considering? Are they experienced with the type of transcription you need doing? Do they have experienced medical or academic transcriptionists if that’s what you need?
- What formats of file do they support? Most transcription agencies should be able to handle most common formats.
- Can they transcribe multi-speaker files in which there is more than one person speaking? For example, conference debates, board meetings, etc. Is there any additional charge for multi-speaker transcription? Is there any limit to the number of speakers?
- If you have more than just a one-off transcription project, ask about any discounts offered for large bulk, or frequent work. How is discounted pricing structured? Is there an option to open an account, if that would be more convenient than dealing with each task individually?
- Which payment methods does the transcription agency accept, and when will payment be due? Are there any other terms or conditions which will apply if you choose to use them?
These are useful questions to help you make an informed choice. Contact Alphabet today on +44 (0) 1707 260027.
The Founder of Alphabet, Denise Elsdon, commenced her training at British Aerospace. Having gained her RSA and Pitman qualifications, she embarked on her chosen career path as a personal secretary. Back in 1995, Alphabet Secretarial Services was born. Since then, Alphabet has provided professional transcription services to amazing clients like the NHS, Chatham House (The Royal Institute of International Affairs) and others.