5 Qualities Of A Professional Transcription Service Provider

As a prospective transcription client, you’d want to know if the company you want to work with has the qualities of a professional transcription service provider. There are a few resources online that discuss this. However, they mainly focus on the qualities of an individual transcriptionist, not the company as a whole. I’m here to rectify that. 

In this article, you’ll learn how:

  • The qualities of a professional transcription company go deeper than just the qualifications of their transcriptionists. 
  • The five essential qualities of a professional transcription company are accuracy, fast turnaround times, proven and considerable experience, transparent pricing, and elevated security measures. 
  • Ditto Transcripts exceeds all qualities, making it the best choice for professional transcription services. 

The Qualities Of A Professional Transcription Service Provider

I’ve been around the transcription industry for more than 15 years, and while the skill of a good transcriptionist indicates how the company works, I understand that the process is more than the sum of all of its parts. So, let me highlight what clients need to look for in their transcription providers. 

Accuracy And Quality Control

One of the first things most people look for in professional transcription companies is their accuracy. Usually, these values are presented as accuracy rates or word error rates (WER). 

For accuracy rates, the higher, the better. For WER, the lower, the better. 

Accuracy is by no means the only important consideration in transcription. However, it is very important, as it dictates how much use a client gets from the transcript immediately after receiving it. 

Transcription errors can be addressed by returning the transcript to the transcription company for corrections (which can lead to more time before the client can use it) or by the client doing the corrections themselves (which takes too much time). Either way, the client gets the short end of the stick. 

Here are just some of the consequences of inaccurate transcripts:

  • Miscommunication and misunderstandings
  • Legal repercussions for misinterpretation of testimony or contracts
  • Financial losses due to incorrect data or figures
  • Damage to professional reputation and credibility
  • Misdiagnosis or incorrect medical treatment from inaccurate medical records
  • Academic inaccuracies that can affect research validity
  • Loss of trust from clients or stakeholders
  • Additional costs for corrections and revisions
  • Decision-making based on faulty information
  • Decreased client satisfaction and retention
  • Compromised security or confidentiality from misinterpreted information

How Ditto Ensures Accuracy From An Operational Standpoint

At Ditto, we work hard to ensure all transcripts are 99% accurate. Our team of specialists doesn’t just get by with understanding the basic terminologies of the industry and quickly researching the topic.

Our professional transcriptionists have proven experience in their fields and can discern the complexity of any topic and terminology within their scope. Of course, they all have excellent research skills, yet quality work can only be provided with foundational competencies. 

We also ensure that our transcription and proofreading process exceeds the standards. Here’s how we do it: 

Rigorous Transcriber SelectionHiring transcribers with proven expertise and experience in transcription services ensures they understand the specific industry jargon well.
Continuous TrainingProviding ongoing training to transcribers on linguistic nuances, industry-specific terminologies, and the latest transcription technologies.
Quality Control ChecksImplementing multiple quality assurance checks, including proofreading and editing by senior transcribers or editors.
Advanced Technology UtilizationEmploying the latest transcription software and technologies that enhance accuracy, such as typing assistance and noise-cancellation tools.
Client Specifications ComplianceAdhering to client-provided specifications for formatting, time-stamping, and speaker identification to ensure the transcript meets the specific needs.
Secure and Confidential HandlingEnsuring all transcribed documents are handled securely, maintaining confidentiality, and complying with data protection regulations.
Feedback MechanismEncouraging client feedback on completed transcriptions to identify areas of improvement and adjust processes accordingly.
Regular Performance ReviewsConducting regular reviews of transcribers’ work to maintain high standards and address any issues promptly.
Use of Glossaries and Style GuidesDeveloping and using industry-specific glossaries and style guides to ensure consistency and accuracy in terminology.
Adaptive ProcessesBeing adaptable to different audio qualities and making necessary adjustments to the transcription process to handle challenging recordings.
Technological InnovationKeeping up with technological advancements in transcription and audio processing to improve accuracy continuously.

Fast Turnaround Times

Another quality that sets a professional transcription service provider apart is its ability to deliver results efficiently and consistently without sacrificing quality. 

Providing a 99% accurate transcript is easy if your provider is not working under any deadline. However, transcription is often a time-sensitive process. 

Legal and law enforcement transcription is often required for court hearings, depositions, and other legal proceedings. 

Medical transcripts are needed for billing and patient care. Any delay here and the clinic’s or hospital’s workflow can be clogged. 

Earnings calls are another excellent example—in many cases, transcripts must be produced in as little as 30 minutes after the call, or the next morning if the call was held at night. 

Ditto’s Turnaround Times

Ditto provides options for turnaround times TAT based on the client’s budget. Our standard TAT is three to five business days. Faster TATs range from 24-48 hours; extended delivery times are six to ten business days and cost less.

Proven Experience

Experience is not what happens to you; it’s what you do with what happens to you.” — Aldous Huxley

Experience is a great quality measure for professional transcription service providers, yet it can be tricky to pin down. I mean, we can say that a company has over five years of experience in the industry, but that doesn’t tell us how those five years went. 

Was the transcription company just scraping by? Or did it flourish within that half-decade? 

Then there’s the question of how that time affected the service provider. Was it able to keep up with the evolving landscape, or did it just keep its head down and bulled on ahead, heedless of any potential lessons over the years? 

This is particularly applicable in the last two decades, as these years have brought significant technological advancements that upended the norm and demanded that companies keep pace. Anyone who can’t keep up goes the way of the dodo. 

Here at Ditto, when we say that we have nearly 15 years of experience in the industry, we mean that we’ve used every working second of those years to improve our craft. 

We’ve had our share of challenges and worked through them; now, we’re all the better for it. 

The Impact Of Experience

A provider’s experience level can heavily impact several essential aspects of their operation, such as:

Aspect Impact on Transcript Quality
Transcription SkillsExperienced transcribers have honed their ability to accurately convert speech to text, including handling diverse accents, dialects, and industry-specific terminologies.
Listening SkillsWith experience, transcribers develop sharper listening skills, allowing them to better understand and accurately transcribe poor-quality audio, fast speech, and overlapping conversations.
Typing Speed and AccuracyExperienced transcribers often have higher typing speeds with accurate touch typing abilities, enabling them to transcribe more efficiently while maintaining high accuracy levels.
Use of TechnologyThey are more adept at using transcription software and tools, which can enhance the quality and speed of transcription. They can also effectively manage software issues or glitches.
Industry KnowledgeExperience in specific industries (e.g., medical, legal, academic) equips transcribers with an understanding of relevant terminologies and formats, improving the accuracy and context of transcripts.
Attention to DetailExperienced transcribers are better at catching and correcting errors, ensuring that transcripts accurately represent the original speech.
Problem-Solving SkillsThey can resolve issues such as inaudible passages or unclear speech, often using context clues or research to ensure the transcript’s accuracy.
AdaptabilityExperience brings adaptability to different audio qualities, accents, and speaking speeds, ensuring consistent quality across various transcription challenges.
Editing and ProofreadingSkilled in editing and proofreading, experienced transcribers produce cleaner, more polished transcripts with fewer grammatical or spelling errors.
EfficiencyWith experience comes efficiency in workflow management, enabling faster turnaround times without sacrificing transcript quality.
Compliance and ConfidentialityUnderstanding the importance of compliance with legal and ethical standards, experienced transcribers ensure transcripts meet all necessary confidentiality and privacy requirements.

Professional Transcription Service Providers Offer Transparency In Pricing

Another important quality of professional transcription companies is their willingness to provide crystal clear pricing structures for their services to their clients. Sadly, hiding ancillary fees from customers or artificially inflating prices is too easy. 

This mostly boils down to how clients are charged. Here are some of the most common charging structures for transcription: 

  • Line Count Billing
  • Time-Based Billing
  • Page-Based Billing
  • Per Word Billing
  • Per Minute Billing
  • Flat Fee Billing
  • Project-Based Billing

Astute readers can immediately identify potential issues with some of these charging methods. For example, a transcription provider has no incentive to deliver transcripts quickly if they’re charging per hour. 

Per-word billing is also a potential problem. Providers advertising $0.03 per word may look like they’re offering great value (those two zeroes do most of the heavy lifting here). 

However, the average conversation has 110 to 150 words per minute, meaning the client must pay $4.50 per minute for an audio file. Some conversations can even have 250 words per minute, further inflating the final bill. 

Then, there are other considerations, like additional charges for verbatim transcripts, speaker labels, multiple speakers, and poor audio quality. 

Some providers hide these charges, making the excuse that they’re small fees anyway, almost inconsequential to the overall bill. 

However, these deceptively small charges can stack up and inflate your final bill by as much as 50%. 

Ditto’s Transparent Pricing

With Ditto, you don’t have to worry about ugly surprises when you get the final bill.

All factors that can affect transcription pricing—turnaround times, number of speakers, verbatim transcripts, and other features—are clearly laid out in our pricing guidelines. 

Additionally, we always contact our customers to discuss any potential factors affecting their final bill before any work is done. That way, everyone’s on the same page.

Security And Compliance

These days, anybody with a computer and working headphones can transcribe. However, not everyone can meet security and regulatory requirements to ensure their clients aren’t exposed to privacy and legal risks.

There are a few reasons why that is. Let’s take CJIS, for example. To achieve compliance with the CJIS, providers need to meet 13 security policies: 

  • Information Protection
  • Security Awareness Training
  • Incident Response
  • Auditing and Accountability
  • Access Control
  • Identification and Authentication
  • Configuration Management
  • Media Protection
  • Physical Protection
  • Systems and Communications Protection and Information Integrity
  • Formal Audits
  • Personnel Security
  • Mobile Devices Security Coverage

Now, implementation of these security policies doesn’t come cheap. It is also a long-term commitment that requires consistency. These are the primary reasons other transcription companies don’t bother with regulatory compliance. 

Security Across The Board

At Ditto, we don’t do cheap security. All our processes are covered with stringent security measures and protocols, including 256-bit encryption, elevated user account management, on-site security, secure file transfer protocols, extensive background checks, and NDAs. 

Furthermore, we are both HIPAA and CJIS-compliant. Only a handful of providers can say the same. 

Ditto Meets And Exceeds All Qualities Of A Professional Transcription Service Provider

Don’t settle for barely qualified when you can get the best transcription service at affordable rates. Call us, or try out our world-class transcription service for free. 

Ditto Transcripts is a HIPAA-compliant and CJIS-compliant Denver, Colorado-based transcription services company that provides fast, accurate, and affordable transcripts for individuals and companies of all sizes. Call (720) 287-3710 today for a free quote, and ask about our free five-day trial.

Looking For A Transcription Service?

Ditto Transcripts is a U.S.-based HIPAA and CJIS compliant company with experienced U.S. transcriptionists. Learn how we can help with your next project!