Dos and Don'ts of Hiring a Transcription Company

By: Alex Chrum | Published: September 24, 2013

Finding the right company when you’re searching for a transcription agency is akin to finding the perfect pair of shoes for running a marathon. The wrong pair leaves you uncomfortable, in pain, cramped and blistered. While you might only be thinking of the finish line, once the race is underway, all those little details that would have made the journey more comfortable become ultra-important.

Do: Know what you want in advance

If you don’t have a goal in sight when you’re running a marathon, success is unlikely. The same is true for transcription agency services. Know what you want before looking. Do you need medical, legal or business transcription? Are your files audio or video? Is confidentiality a concern? Do you need verbatim transcription? How quickly do you need polished transcripts? Be able to answer those questions before you ask a company to deliver the benefits of transcription.

Do: Research different companies

Like running shoes, not all transcription companies are created equally. Some might get you over the finish line, but how quickly? What shape will your final transcripts be in when you receive them? Look for information on each company’s video and audio transcription services, work ethic, turnaround times and accuracy levels, and read customer testimonials to find the most reliable company that best suits your needs.

Do: Consider accuracy

An accurate fit for your marathon treads makes or breaks your race time. For transcription, accuracy is equally important for several reasons. You want a transcription agency that guarantees 98% or higher accuracy. Inquire about the training of transcriptionists and types of video and audio transcription services offered for different file types. Likewise, provide accurate information on numbers of speakers, audio quality and speaker accents to receive the most accurate quote.

Don’t: Outsource to companies with foreign workers

You wouldn’t run a marathon in ballet shoes, so don’t hire transcription companies that outsource to foreign workers. Using transcriptionists with impeccable, natural English is critical for the accuracy and quality of your transcripts, especially when you provide difficult audio.

Don’t: Forget about non-disclosure agreements

Your feet are sensitive, and their health depends on giving them the proper protection. Your transcripts need protection, too. Ask about nondisclosure agreements, and steer clear of any company that refuses to sign one. Be confident that your data and transcripts are safely handled and stored, especially when you need to transcribe highly sensitive business, customer or patient files.

Don’t: Fail to factor in turnaround time

The right running shoes affect your race time in a big way, which affects your satisfaction over your performance. Time is also critical for your transcripts. When you need audio and video files transcribed quickly, promised turnaround times matter. Do they meet the time requirements your business or data demands? More importantly, is on-time delivery without sacrificing transcript quality possible?


Not sure where to start looking for a company that delivers everything you need to cross the finish line? Look to our crowd-powered transcription company to cross that line on time and on budget with speedy turnaround and proven accuracy rates of 98% and higher – without ever sacrificing the quality or the security of your files and transcripts.


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