Digital transcription saves the client valuable time, money and resources in terms of manpower. How does a client choose a digital transcription provider who can also provide project management?
Reputation and credibility
The client should ensure that the service provider has years of experience in the field. Are the transcriptionists employed by the provider native speaking or is the work outsourced to non natives? Feedback on the services provided to others is a good indication of how the provider delivers. Has the provider been able to keep to deadlines and what is the shortest possible turnaround time? Reviews should be available on the provider’s website.
The service provider bases the pricing for a digital transcription on the volume of work on an hourly basis. That is, the duration of the interview decides the pricing, and there usually is an extra charge for quick turnarounds. Translating from one language into another, or adding more information through research, will escalate the charges. They may even have a monthly fee, for regular customers. Storage and filing electronically will be charged accordingly. Transcription from audio formats like cassettes are charged extra as this involves transferring into a digital format.
The service provider should have transcriptionists who are familiar with the terminology that is used in digital transcription. This is especially useful in dealing with legal, medical, and police recordings. Effective writing skills call for a good grasp of the language. Listening skills have to be cultivated as accents and intonations may detract from what is actually being said. Sometimes the interviewee may not be very articulate and the transcriptionist has to make sense of the conversation and put it down in an intelligible form. The client should check out the experience and qualifications of the transcriptionists. Voice recognition software maybe used but if the end product is edited and corrected by a qualified human, then this can save time.
Confidentiality of data
The service provider should use a web based secure FTP server to receive audio files, and transmit all files over a safe portal. A confidentiality agreement should also be signed between the client and the provider so that sensitive information is not misused. All data must be copy right protected. Ebooks made from the digital transcription should be the sole property of the client and the service provider should follow a strict ethical code. If a breach of trust takes place, then the provider is liable for criminal proceedings.