Having a transcription company transcribe your audio/video absolutely can save you time to handle other chores and business, in the long run saving you money, because how valuable is your time to you, your family and your business? How can you be sure that you’re getting everything you can out of the transcription company handling your projects?
Here are some tips for anyone who is thinking about recording audio for transcription, or has audio they would like transcribed:
When setting up for your recording, take into consideration your surroundings. Background noise will interfere with the recording. A good transcription company understands you do not record in a bottle and there will never be absolutely no background noise, but limiting the circumstances allows the transcription company to focus on the words of the speakers, and allows them to research any possible questions with the content.
Try not to place the recording device flat on a desk. This provides openings for echos of chair movement, glasses or other items on the desk being moved. Even the keyboard keys or paper shuffling can interfere with the spoken words you are trying to capture. Keep in mind, whatever is on the desk is closer than the mouth of the speaker and will be the loudest thing on the audio.
Be mindful of the volume being recorded. Be mindful of cell phone usage during an interview. And most importantly, be mindful that the device is turned on.
When speaking, try not to cut the other person off. This is not always possible, but even repeating your comment or question if this occurs helps the transcription company develop more complete transcripts for you.
When choosing a transcription company, there may be questions or concerns that you should have asked but were not aware of until AFTER you have assigned your project. Be specific in what your demands are.
Do you want verbatim-verbatim – every um, er, false start and stutter transcribed, or do you wish the transcript to be cleaned up, removing false starts and stutters? Do you want the speakers grammar cleaned up, or leave the transcript as spoken? (In most cases, false starts and “sounds” are cleaned up automatically, but grammar, if spoken incorrectly, is not. Many transcription companies understand that the way a person speaks is unique to them, and shows their personality.)
Is there a particular format you want? Do you want the speaker’s names noted or just generic headings used? Do you want contractions used if spoken? How many spaces after a period would you like? What font size or page margins?
Is there any portion of the audio that you do not want transcribed? If paying per minute of audio, this is very important, and could save you money. Is there chit chat before or after an interview that you do not need transcribed?
Is there a deadline? Many transcription companies note standard TAT for a return of your work (24, 36, 72 hours), and may hold it using a first in, first out method to assigning. If you need your audio the same day, next day or even a week later – let your transcription company know. This not only ensures you that you will get it in time to meet your deadline, but will allow the transcription company better handle their workload.
Name your audio file before you send it to the transcription company, or tell them what you would like the transcript saved as. Inform the transcription company of who the speakers are, especially when names may not be clear or have odd spellings. If there are topics or words you feel may be foreign to the transcription company, let them know. This too, allows the transcription company to have a heads-up on potential research for terms and phrases if needed, or even decide to assign to a particular transcription with strengths in that area of topic.
Lastly, it is always a good idea to let the transcription company know how long the audio is. This allows them to verify that your audio has been received in full with no disconnects on download or other problems.
Some questions you may want to ask your transcription company:
Is there a specific format that the audio / video file must be for them to transcribe and develop a quality report from it?
Do they off shore their work?
Do they utilize speech recognition?
Do they have a pool of transcribers to help with your workload so that multiple transcriptionists can cover your audio, all familiar with your demands?
Do they utilize independent contractors and are they all bound by confidentiality. Having a confidentiality contract with a transcription company alone does not safeguard your projects if those actually transcribing the work are not bound by the same confidentiality.
Are their rates negotiable and what does their regular rates include? Is the per minute rate for any audio, no matter the length and no matter how many speakers, and no matter the TAT expected on regular assignments? What is their priority or stat rate?
If you do not communicate these things to your transcription company, you may not get what you were looking for. If your transcription company doesn’t allow you to make these demands, then maybe you should review other companies and what they can offer you.
CLK Transcription never sends their workload offshore. We never use speech recognition. We know nothing understands the human voice as well as the human ear.
CLK Transcription uses independent contractors and each must sign a confidentiality agreement before any work is assigned.
CLK Transcription never holds work and does not use a first in-first out assignment schedule. We have a team of transcriptionists that are each trained on every account so that your work never has to wait to be assigned. This also allows us to work on those large projects of multiple hours simultaneously offering a quicker TAT for multi-day seminars, focus groups, and conferences.
CLK Transcription can accept all forms of downloadable audio, as well as CD, DVD and cassettes, utilizing the best of available programs to convert to MP3, and if you wish, can forward the converted file to you when the project is complete. CLK Transcription can also transcribe hard copy white paper into a word document for you.
CLK Transcription offers standard proofing on every project received, and when a difficult audio is received, we have multiple people listen and fill in as many gaps as possible – at no extra charge. Although we treat every client as our only client, we have found it necessary to charge a nominal fee for priority files (files needed back immediately ASAP), however in most cases, files are returned well within 24 hours, regardless of length of audio anyway.
CLK Transcription’s rates are below the national average, and we offer discounts for education projects, discounts for referrals, and many times throughout the year, we offer dollars off to our regular clients. We review each new client and the projects they will be assigning to us and develop a rate that works for them.
CLK Transcription is servicing the world with professional, quality transcriptions. We offer the quality you demand at a cost you can afford. Contact us at CarolLee@CLKTranscription.com or visit WWW.CLKTranscription.com for details on how we can assist you with your transcription needs. We are LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/clktranscription where our recommendations can be viewed. Follow us on Twitter @clk_shortcake.
It will be our pleasure to offer a $5.00 discount to any new or standing client who mentions this blog or retweets on Twitter.