Essential Guide to Transcription Services

When we think of transcription, we might imagine transcriptionists hunkered over their computers, transcribing audio and video content into written text. While it certainly has a ring of truth, it doesn’t paint a complete picture of the process. Transcription is a varied and nuanced industry. There are different transcription processes, types of providers, and advantages and disadvantages. Businesses looking to reap its benefits need an essential and comprehensive guide to transcription services to maximize their benefits, and that’s what I’m here to give all of you. 

In this article, you’ll learn how:

  • There are two types of transcription services: manual and automated.
  • Manual transcription is significantly more accurate than automated transcription.
  • U.S.-based transcription services are more accurate than offshore transcription services.
  • Ditto Transcripts is a reliable and reputable transcription service that provides 100% US-based human transcription.

The Professional Transcription Process

Let’s start with the basics with this transcription service guide. Transcription is the process of converting audio and video recordings into written text. The usual steps are:

  • The client submits an audio or video recording via email or the transcription service provider’s secure platform.
  • The transcription provider assigns the video or audio recording to one of their transcribers with the appropriate skill and experience.
  • The transcriber listens to the recorded file word for word and transcribes all utterances if doing verbatim transcription. If doing a cleaned-up or edited transcription, the transcriber lightly touches up the text for grammar corrections and removes filler words. 
  • The transcriber submits the transcript for proofreading. (Look for reputable services that offer high accuracy rates.) 
  • The completed transcript is returned to the client. 

Benefits Of Outsourcing Transcription

The demand for transcription services is increasing annually, with the industry valued at nearly $26 billion and expected to grow by almost 6% until 2030. 

That’s not surprising, as here are some benefits of outsourcing your transcription needs to reputable service providers: 

Cost Savings

Enlisting the help of a reliable transcription provider can help your company save in many ways, including savings on salaries, benefits, hiring, training, equipment costs, and office space. 

Time Savings

Transcribing may sound easy. However, it can be tedious, as an hour of audio usually takes three to four times as long to transcribe. Transcription providers can take that burden off your workflow, allowing you to focus on more critical tasks. 

Improved Communication

Transcription can permanently unlock the values of essential conversations by preserving such instances in written format. This can be used to promote learning or increase communication and work efficiency throughout the organization. 

Improved Accessibility

Spoken words shouldn’t barricade information for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. Transcriptions knock down those barriers, as caption files display dialog alongside the video while full transcripts present multimedia narratives in scannable text. This makes your content accessible to more people. 

SEO Boost

Transcription fuses the power of engaging multimedia with the search visibility of written keywords. Video captions can help keep viewers engaged. At the same time, search engines can crawl transcripts for keywords, resulting in more visibility and higher ranking in searches. 

Multi-industry Appeal

While the process is often linked to business, legal, and medical transcription, everyone can benefit from the service. Academic institutions can have their lectures and research meetings transcribed for faster access. Law enforcement can have body cam or vehicle footage transcribed for court use. Content creators can put captions on their videos or podcasts to improve audience engagement and search rankings. There are endless possibilities when using the right transcription services. 

What Makes Ditto Stand Out

Leading transcription services offer all of these benefits. Meanwhile, Ditto Transcripts offers all these benefits and more. We have increased security, affordable and flexible services, the best customer service, and some of the highest accuracy guarantees in the market right now. 

Types of Transcription Service Providers By Location

There may be variations in the steps, depending on what type of service provider you hire. Most transcription service guides fail to consider these, so we’ll dive deep into this concept.

Generally, the categorizations can be divided into two groups: by location and transcription process. We’ll start with the former. 

There are two types of online transcription providers according to location: offshore and onshore (or U.S.-based). Each has different advantages; knowing them is essential when choosing the right transcription provider. 

Offshore Providers

An offshore transcription provider is a foreign company that offers services to different countries worldwide. Depending on the specialization, they cater to different industries and may comprise full-time transcriptionists or freelancers.

Outsourcing to foreign countries can be alluring as it may be cheaper than hiring here in the U.S. The primary reason behind this is the countries where they’re located may have lower salaries or overall labor costs. 

So, offshore transcription may be cheaper. However, since English is likely not their first language, their services will not be comparable to U.S.-based providers. They might have trouble with jargon or unfamiliar audio content. 

This is the big risk of using non-native English speakers from overseas. When you outsource your audio transcription needs, errors, miscommunication, and misinterpretation are more likely to occur. Accuracy and turnaround times suffer, and fixing the issues may be more time-consuming than doing the transcription yourself. 

U.S.-based Providers

Onshore or U.S.-based transcription companies are service providers that conduct all their operations in the United States and hire native English speakers as transcriptionists. Their services often come with distinct advantages over offshore outfits. Here are some of them: 

Accuracy and Proficiency

American English has many idiosyncrasies compared to plain English. We have different grammar, spelling, punctuation, and slang. Multiple speakers, noisy backgrounds, and poor audio quality can exacerbate any problems they have. Furthermore, the United States has so many distinctive accents that only native transcriptionists might be able to identify where a speaker is from based on that alone. 

When hiring onshore transcribers, you ensure the best, most accurate results based on proficiency alone. They are more familiar with the language, the culture, the accents, and how people talk. Due to this, U.S.-based transcription companies hiring native speakers, like Ditto Transcripts, are your best choice to ensure accurate transcription and deliver quality results. 

Compatible Working Hours

While many people prefer email to phone, there are times when you need an immediate response. There are four standard time zones in the contiguous US, which means that worst case, there is a 4-hour difference between the client and the company. Hiring U.S.-based companies ensures that communication can be answered within the typical 9 to 5 workday. This makes it easy for companies like us to respond to all customer queries fast.

Furthermore, U.S.-based providers offer the most benefit for businesses looking for fast turnaround times as we work on your schedule. There’s no 12-hour difference to muck up the schedules and cause delays. 

Security and Regulatory Compliance

Often, this leads to additional payment for expanded security demands—and that is if the provider can even meet the prescribed security standards. 

Types of Transcription Services By Process

No transcription service guide is complete without discussing humans vs. machines. The two generally accepted ways to perform transcription are manual and automated transcription. Businesses looking for the best transcription service need to know the benefits and pitfalls they can expect from each. 

Automatic Transcription Services

Automated transcription services use speech recognition technology to provide fast or real-time transcription. These automated transcription tools are often hailed as the next big thing due to their quick transcription capabilities. However, for all its speed, AI still cannot transcribe with acceptably accurate results. 

Speech recognition software and other transcription technology have difficulty with background noise, overlapping speakers, different accents and dialects, and poor audio file quality. It cannot identify nuance and utilize context to create a more accurate verbatim transcription — things that come naturally to experienced human transcriptionists. 

As a result, such transcription software or services can only guarantee up to 86% accuracy—well below the level of accuracy required for any respectable institution. 

Manual Transcription Services

Manual transcription services, or human transcription services, use human transcribers when converting spoken language to text. Human transcription provides the highest possible levels of accuracy, as close to perfection as they come. 

This is because humans understand humans better. Audio and video files are taken in their context, and human transcribers can utilize their extensive skills and experience to provide the best results. It also comes with a slew of other benefits, including: 

  • Ability to handle complex, industry-specific transcription jobs
  • Ability to adapt to audio issues, context, accents, and dialects
  • Enhanced security and privacy

Choosing The Right Transcription Service

FeatureManual TranscriptionAutomated Transcription
AccuracyHigh (99%+)Low (86%+)
Speed4 hoursFast
CostMediumLow
Human expertiseYesNo
Use casesBusiness, legal, medical, educationBasic transcription tasks
Ideal forProjects that require high accuracyProjects that need quick turnaround times

And so comes the end of our ultimate guide to transcription services. 

However, with all that being said, which type is the best transcription service? 

In my experience, a 100% human, U.S.-based transcription service like Ditto Transcripts is your best bet. We guarantee more than 99% accuracy rates, fast turnaround times, affordable prices, unparalleled security, and excellent customer service. 

We handle different specializations and services, including medical transcription services, legal transcription services, academic transcription services, business transcription services, law enforcement transcription services, document-to-document transcription services, translation services, and more. 

So, what are you waiting for? Contact us now and experience the Ditto difference. 

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

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