Hiring personnel in-house to take care of your transcription needs adds significantly to your overhead costs. In addition, transcription needs tend to rise and ebb, making it even more problematic to maintain dedicated staff for this task. The professionals at a transcription company have the experience necessary to transcribe your records quickly and accurately.
A transcription service has individuals trained in the terminology and procedures related to your business, saving you the trouble of finding and training your own staff. In most cases, transcription companies offer specialized medical transcription services and legal transcription services, for example.
General business transcription can include interviews, board meetings, conference calls and business discussions. Rather than scrambling to take notes, you can have any discussion recorded and transcribed for your records. The days of dictating letters and notes to a secretary may be gone, but you can still have your thoughts transcribed onto paper by a transcription company. In fact, many offer a convenient phone-in dictation service, 24 hours a day.
There are a number of basic questions to ask before choosing a transcription company. Ask what formats they accept: Will they accept audio and video recordings? What file formats will they take for digital recordings? Can they accept analog formats such as cassette tapes? Also ask how completed transcriptions are returned.
Be sure you understand the pricing structure, which can often be quite complicated. Transcription companies usually charge either by line of transcribed text or by minute of recording, and there may be a flat fee per transcription as well. Rates can vary based on audio format, audio quality, number of speakers and type of discourse. Some companies will give volume discounts.
Turnaround times for transcription can also depend on recording format and discourse type, as well as on the length of the transcription. Most companies offer a rush turnaround, but the price may be significantly higher.
Finally, ask how the company ensures accuracy in its transcriptions. How many reviews or proofreadings does each transcription get? What guarantee can they provide? Many companies will guarantee 95 percent accuracy, and charge more for the extra work involved in ensuring 100 percent accuracy.
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