How To Choose A Transcription Service: Top 8 Factors

If you’re not used to the job, transcribing video or audio files can take time and effort. As a result, many businesses that require safe, secure, and accurate transcription prefer to outsource the job. 

Unfortunately, there are quite a few transcription providers out there. So, it’s essential to choose a provider that is right for you. Finding one might seem easy at first, but only after the first jobs are provided will you know if you made the right choice.

In this article, we’ll explore the most important factors to consider when choosing a provider that offers both video and audio transcription services, with accuracy guarantees, varied transcription methods, a decent price range, and a reputation. That’s not to say these are the only factors, as there are others, and we’ll discuss them in detail.

So, let’s dig right in.

8 Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Transcription Service Company

Making a mistake when choosing a transcription company can lead to consequences like loss of reputation and lawsuits, depending on the industry. 

Choosing a transcription service provider might not be as easy as it sounds, so we’ve compiled a list of what to look for to make your search as easy as possible. 

The Right Transcription Service Offers Specialized Transcription

You’ll want to work with a company that offers the kind of specialized transcription that you need for your industry. A reputable transcription company will have a team of professional transcribers with expertise in various fields. 

For example, legal transcription companies have extensive experience dealing with the ins and outs of the law, while medical transcribers have a firmer grasp of the healthcare industry’s jargon and terminology. This is no different for business, academic, and even general transcription work. 

Specialized transcription services don’t have to be expensive either: >90% of our clients pay $1.50 per audio minute.

The more defined your niche is, the better you can find the best transcription service to meet your needs. 

Evaluating Transcription Quality and Accuracy

When evaluating a transcription service, look for a company that offers high-quality and accurate transcriptions. You can look at their website for accuracy guarantees, read customer testimonials, and ask to provide previous samples. Are there mistakes or things missing that change the meaning? That could be a red flag.

85% of clients who use transcription service providers with an accuracy rate of >99 (like Ditto) are happy to make referrals. 

The best way to evaluate is to give the company a try. For example, we’re so sure you’ll love our services that we’ll offer you a 5-day free trial.

When looking at the deliverables, pay attention to the details. Their ability to get technical language and other tricky aspects right goes a long way toward accurate transcripts. That can give you confidence they’ll apply that diligent approach to transcribing your content. 

Method of Transcription

One of the best ways to tell if a company can provide quality transcription results is through its transcription process. Different transcription services now offer automated transcription powered by automatic speech recognition (ASR) or artificial intelligence (AI). These tend to be cheap and fast—and we all know that cheap and fast is not a good combination for transcription. 

Automated transcription is inaccurate: you’ll spend more time proofreading and editing the transcripts than if you’d done the audio and video transcription yourself. 

Furthermore, why pay for automated services when there’s free transcription in word-processing programs and almost every device right now? Free transcription is available and can work well for rough, one-off projects that don’t need polish. 

However, for legal, medical, and law enforcement fields, inaccurate, low-quality transcription resulting from AI is simply unacceptable. Manual transcription by human transcribers for every step of the transcription process, from listening to typing to proofreading and editing, is essential for the above professions. Not only that, it ensures the highest possible accuracy and quality. 

Turnaround Time and Delivery Options

Consider the turnaround time the transcription company offers to ensure your deadlines are met. Standard turnaround times for transcription are all over the map. Our clients typically accept 6-10 business days for delivery. The important thing is to ensure they sync with your project deadlines. Flexibility in delivery options is also a great indicator, as it allows you to tailor-fit your requirements with your budget. 

While you’re at it, ask if they offer rushed services for faster turnarounds. Even if you don’t need it now, it’s good to know they can step up when tight deadlines come knocking. Research shows that transcription firms offering a turnaround time of less than 24 hours witness a conversion rate increase of up to 78%. That reliability is what to look for in avoiding transcription slow-downs. 

Pricing and Billing Options

The transcription price is a valid concern, although it’s not the only concern. When considering outsourcing transcription services, you want transparency on what you’ll pay–and get– before signing. 

Compare pricing options and choose a transcription company that offers competitive rates without compromising quality. 

Start by taking a look at how companies lay out their pricing. Is the pricing offered upfront in an easy-to-understand manner? Or do the details feel murky? A reliable company will break down all rates and fees so you know what to expect.

Make sure the costs align with your budget needs. Some services offer different packages based on the turnaround time, complexity, and other services. You can also check if they have a money-back guarantee. Transcription companies that offer a money-back guarantee receive 73% more positive customer reviews. It’s also important to ask about hidden charges that might pop up later, such as premiums for a rush delivery. 

Confidentiality and Security Measures

Choosing a secure transcription company should also be your top priority. Insecure transcription can lead to serious repercussions, including but not limited to loss of business, exposure to legal action, privacy violations, damage to reputation, financial costs, and more. 

Look into how they keep your files secure from start to finish—not just while someone’s typing them up. Are their transcriptionists trained for data security? Can they follow strict confidentiality agreements? 

It’s a good idea to check their security measures. Do they have encryption, secure data centers, elevated user access control, and a secure facility to work in? These are often indicated on their websites. Companies that offer vague security measures or, worse yet, none whatsoever are often a sign of a bad choice and don’t deserve a second glance. 

Some specialized transcription companies must also comply with certain laws. 

HIPAA, or the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, outlines the required level of security and confidentiality for healthcare transcription. 

Meanwhile, the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) oversees the storage and transfer of all criminal justice information in the U.S. This is required for companies offering law enforcement or legal transcription. 

To earn compliance with both the CJIS and HIPAA, a transcription company must invest in high-level security measures and must be able to prove that their privacy protocols work consistently. That’s why CJIS and HIPAA compliance should be considered when choosing a transcription service provider. In case you’re wondering, Ditto is both HIPAA and CJIS-compliant.

Customer Support and Communication Channels

Start by looking at what support options your prospective transcription company provides – do they have email, phone numbers, and live chat features? You want an easy-to-reach human to ask questions? Or are you happy with a chatbot that routes you to irrelevant pages within their website? 

Read customer reviews and testimonials to understand the company’s reputation and customer satisfaction.

Please take note of how quick they are to respond to customer requests. Timely communication prevents you from feeling ignored or stuck, even if you need status updates or have more urgent queries. Also, see if they offer round-the-clock assistance. Companies that provide 24/7 customer support have seen a 68% increase in client satisfaction. Look for a service that shows commitment to addressing customer needs through accessible communication. 

Furthermore, look for companies that have streamlined customer service processes. Clients should have a single point of contact to ensure that any concern or task is addressed and done quickly. 

Supported File Types For Your Transcription Needs

The first point to consider is the file types you need for delivery. Can your prospective transcription company deliver transcripts in a format that syncs well with your systems? Does the company handle your audio formats or just a few handpicked ones? 

Asking questions about file types might seem trivial, but doing your homework now means you get perfect transcriptions the first time. The bottom line is that the more precise your instructions are, the better the final transcripts will be for your needs. 

How To Make a Final Decision & Choose the Right Transcription Company

The best transcription service provider for you must balance quality and cost while offering the highest levels of accuracy and security. They can help you save time, provide error-free transcripts, ensure that projects are delivered on time, cover any specialized needs, and customize their results according to your requirements. 

We advise investing the time necessary to look for a transcription company that offers high-quality and accurate transcriptions.

Or, you can save some time and give us a call. Ditto already has everything you need right here. 

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!