The world has indeed become a much smaller place and it’s certainly not uncommon for organisations to have a network of global connections which allows them to ensure that projects get completed seamlessly. Yes, if you aren’t really comfortable with the idea of giving any transcription work that you may have to a local agency, off shore transcription or even employing the services of a freelancer are definitely a good option to consider especially if you haven’t found a local agency that can work within your set budget.
However, here’s a word of caution: Cost may be the driving reason behind why you would rather look elsewhere for your transcription needs, but remember to factor in all the ‘unseen’ reasons as well before making a final decision –
- Does your offshore transcriptionist speak your language, understand the rhythms and flow of words etc?
- Is your transcriptionist familiar with the accents in which your audio files have been recorded? If she isn’t,then you will have to spend a few extra minutes pouring over transcripts for likely errors/misheard words or inaudible patches which were perfectly clear, just not understood.
- Is your transcriptionist familiar and adept with the terminology used in your audio files in the context of the interview? It doesn’t make sense hiring the services of a person who has only worked on legal transcripts if your audio files deal with management terminology.
- Can your transcriptionist be trusted to keep all your data confidential? Non-disclosure of details is a very serious concern that most organisations face especially when outsourcing such services.
Is hunting on the Internet for an offshore transcriptionist really worth it? Besides the likelihood of having to deal with inaccurate information and shoddy transcripts, you would also be wasting both your time and money. So it makes sense to entrust your precious data to the hands of a reputed agency like EQ Transcription Services Ltd. which has years of experience in the transcription business. We’ll not only do a great job with a remarkable turnaround time but even sign a non-disclosure agreement so that you can have 100% peace of mind always. So, why wait any longer? Give us a call today and let’s discuss your transcription needs.
Quite often, it becomes difficult to tell a myth and the truth apart. As a prospective client, chances are that you have heard about transcription services from your friends or from other business associates but you may also have a few questions to ask or doubts to clear. In this article, we talk about a few such myths or beliefs that are associated with transcription itself:
- Myth No 1: Who needs a transcriptionist or a transcription agency when you have free dictation or transcription software available on the Internet? The truth is that if such software and other applications were that successful and effective, there wouldn’t really be a need for agencies like ours or even for freelance transcriptionists. Although there is plenty of great software out there, you would have to try them at your own risk. Plus, don’t be surprised if your free software has trouble discerning accents or doesn’t play certain file types. Such hiccups and more are effectively erased when you hire a professional transcription services provider.
- Myth No 2: Transcription, data entry and typing are all the same thing. So it makes sense to hire one person who can do all three well. The truth is that transcription requires listening carefully to audio files and then typing out each word that is heard in a format such as MS Word or Notepad. Data entry requires working with number crunching and other data which involves the use of spreadsheets, records and other databases. Typing refers to any general activity which involves the use of one’s fingers and a keyboard. So, yes all three job profiles are definitely not the same although they may appear similar.
- Myth No 3: Anybody who can type fast can become a great transcriptionist. Sound typing skills are of course a wonderful skill for any transcriptionist to have, but that trait alone doesn’t make one a great transcriptionist. A professional and experienced transcriptionist would also be required to review the transcript thoroughly, proof-read and edit where necessary as well as have some familiarity with the subject matter too. Basic knowledge goes a long way in enabling one to make corrections as and where necessary. Most importantly, one also needs the patience and ability to listen in context which requires great concentration.
- Myth No 4: We have the best anti-virus software installed on all our office computers. Our data is 100% safe so we don’t need any of our files to be transcribed at all. Let’s be honest. In this age of technology, is any data that’s on a computer really ‘safe’? If a virus attack seems like a distant possibility, what about the chances of the servers crashing one day or a few important audio files getting deleted by mistake? These are just two examples of minor issues that do crop up in all organisations and which can seriously hamper smooth workflow. Why take a risk of this nature at all? It make sense to just stay safe by having ready to use transcripts of all your audio files instead. After all, you don’t have to worry about technology related concerns with an actual transcript copy.
In the second part of our article, here are four more tips to help you in your hunt for the right transcription agency :
- Check the Client List: An agency can rave about how good it is but if they don’t have a sound client list to present to you, then your data just won’t be in safe hands! There are many types of transcription services such as medical, legal etc and by asking for client references of other organisations, in the same industry as yours, you can gauge how qualified the agency in question will be with transcribing your data. In addition, you could also call up their clients in person for a reference check and to get an unbiased review. But remember, don’t hesitate to ask!
- Visit the agency website: You’ll understand so many hidden details about an agency just by properly scrutinizing their website. An agency that is professional and serious about doing good transcription work will at all costs, have an error free and easy to surf website. Yes, looking over each sentence for punctuation and grammatical errors may be a tad tedious but it gives you the right hints about the kind of transcripts you are most likely to end up with! A website filled with sentence errors translates into an unprofessional transcript too!
- Understand the payment terms: Many agencies love to advertise just how ‘ low-cost’ and ‘budget friendly’ they are. But what they don’t tell you is about the number of hidden costs that you may end up paying for without knowing they existed in the first place. An agency that is not transparent about its charges including payment structure and payment installments is an agency to be avoided at all costs. Assuming that you have plenty of regular transcription work to give any agency, make sure that you sign on the dotted line only when the terms are favorable to you.
- Confidentiality is top priority: Many organisations don’t really think about how any data that is transcribed may be stored and used but this is a highly important factor to consider. A professional transcription agency will have a non-disclosure agreement in which it is agreed that any data sent by the customer will not be misused, given to any third parties or disclosed under any circumstances. Data theft and misuse of customer information even by an agency’s employees is a security breach that only a few transcription agencies are able to safeguard against.
Give EQ Transcription Services Ltd a call today and we’ll be more than happy to lay any concern you may have to rest. After all, we’ve been in the business of transcription for so many years, and counting.
Advertisements and general marketing do our world a whole lot of good, but when you’re swept by a wave of transcription agency ads all claiming to be the best, how do you make sense of it all? Statements like ‘We’re the best’. ‘Call us for a free quote’ and ‘We have the shortest turnaround time’ are just a few of the most commonly used phrases. Yes, do- it- yourself transcription software packages are today easily available on the Internet and if you don’t want to pay for such software, then with a little bit of Googling, you will find plenty of those too. So, is it worth really outsourcing your transcription requirements to an external agency? Of course, especially when you calculate your savings at the end of it. You have successfully avoided paying a year’s salary to a full time hired transcriptionist, you have also met all your deadlines with hours to spare and above all, you were handed error free transcripts too – all this and much more, for a low rate.
We understand that most potential clients do face a serious dilemma when hunting for the right transcription agency. We’ll address the most common concerns in this two part article, which will act as a guide in enabling you to make a better decision:
- Outsourcing from another country: The Internet is replete with many freelancers and part-time transcriptionists from other countries who take up projects and deliver transcripts within a pre-decided time frame. Although this may work out cheaper in your favour, most freelancers who work in other countries also face a problem with understanding spoken English and European accents. The inability to clearly understand what is being said on an audio file will translate into other errors while typing out the transcript. That being said, there are also plenty of online freelancer platforms which will help finding a more cost-efficient transcriptionist easier. If you decide to go ahead with one, it’s better to begin with a small assignment that enables you to check his or her skills.
- Outsourcing locally: Outsourcing any work to a local agency has so many advantages. You don’t have to worry about any ‘accent problems’ and it’s easier to get in touch with the agency directly for just about anything. In fact, this also enables the agency to serve you better and much more promptly! Google any location specific keywords, check the newspaper for local listings or scan the phone directory. You’ll be certain to come across a few agencies who can understand your industry and requirements well.