Transcription Rates – What are the factors that help you get the best pricing?

business transcription, insurance transcription, purchasing transcription services, transcription services company, verbatim style transcriptionTranscription Rates - Things to Consider:

There are many things to consider when you are negotiating for the best transcription rates.  If you believe you will need the services of a transcription vendor on a regular basis, it’s best to find one you can have an ongoing relationship to improve your ability to get the best transcription rates.  This not only provides continuity and familiarity for both parties, but it also gives you better negotiating power when trying to get a fair and reasonable price.  Overall, you will find that most transcription vendors value long-term relationships with actual clients versus those with one-time projects.

Many factors are involved when a transcription company sets their transcription rates.  Some of these factors include how quickly you need your transcript, the length of the audio, the quality of the audio, the style of transcription (i.e., verbatim, legal), the language/dialect, the number of speakers, what type of document layout you would like, and whether or not the pricing is done per page of transcript or per minute of audio.  Transcription rates reflect all or part of each of these categories typically.

Customer Tips for getting the best transcription rates:

Here are some more tips to help you understand more about the factors involved when pricing transcription rates:

Timing:  One of the things you can do to minimize the cost of your transcription is to plan ahead.  Sometimes those last minute needs cannot be avoided; however, when you can, give your vendor as much lead time as possible.  Transcription companies may charge additional fees for “rush” projects, so planning ahead can help potentially save you a significant amount of money.

Audio length The length of your audio is also a factor when determining transcription rates.  For non-medical transcription, most transcription companies charge either by the audio minute or by the page.  One of the factors that greatly impacts this portion of the price is the format of your document.  Less white space on a page as you might have with a single speaker may increase your per page cost.  However, if you request a format with larger margins, bigger font, less lines per page, this will also affect the overall transcription rates to your benefit from a price and readability standpoint.

Audio Quality Be sure your recording is the best it can be.  This is helpful, not only to the transcriptionist, but most importantly, in achieving the best possible quality transcript.  Even a very skilled transcriptionist can only be as accurate as the recording, and if your recording has areas that are muffled, static, volume changes, etc., the finished product will reflect this.  If you require the areas that are inaudible to be noted as such with a time stamp, some vendors charge extra for this service.

Verbatim Transcription?  Legal Style Transcription?  The style of transcription you’re requiring is also a factor when determining transcription rates.  Are you looking for verbatim style transcription (every word and sound typed exactly as spoken) or legal style (grammar and sentence structure edited for a professional look and sound)?  These transcription styles vary greatly, and the transcription company may have different transcription rates for each of these.

Translation If you require your audio to be translated into a language other than English, this will very likely increase your cost, sometimes substantially, depending on the language and what type of translation you need.

Number of Speakers & Speaker Designation:  Plan on paying a little bit more for your transcription if you have several speakers and if you are also requiring each speaker to be designated throughout the transcript.  If you do have multiple speakers, providing the spellings of all individuals involved is extremely helpful, especially if you are requesting speaker designation throughout your transcript.

Editing & Formatting:  Transcription rates may have additional costs added on if you’re requiring a certain style of formatting for your transcription.  When possible, stick to a basic format but be sure and get what you need.

As mentioned above, the editing process is a much smoother and quicker process when it’s done with a clean, clear audio.  Many transcription companies will assess a fee for audios that are difficult to transcribe from, which goes back to my earlier comment on the importance of procuring the best sound audio quality as possible.

Per Page or Per Minute?  Depending on how much talking there is on your audio, paying by the page may be best versus paying by the minute.  If your recording has a lot of “dead space” in it, your transcription vendor may charge you by the audio minute.  This is done not to nickel and dime you, but to make it fair for everyone.  When you have an audio that is 90 minutes in length but 70 minutes of that is “dead air,” that’s an enormous amount of time for someone to sit and listen and for you to end up being charged as a result.

TRANSCRIPTION RATES, Words of Wisdom:

Do your research.  Contact a few different vendors to get a quote.  Ask if the price they’re quoting you is the best they can offer.  Keep in mind that transcription can be a labor-intensive task, and asking for a big price reduction on a rush job probably shouldn’t be a part of your negotiating strategy.  Knowing what your requirements are before you commit yourself to a transcription provider and making sure they have your best interests in mind will help you in your search for a transcription service.

There are so many transcription companies available out there, and they all have their own promises and guarantees.  It’s hard to know which one really knows their craft.  Transcription Express, Inc. has been in business for over 17 years and has clients that have been with them for that period of time.  This doesn’t happen without satisfied, happy clients.  We handle each and every project as though it were our own personal project, and we price each and every transcript at a fair and very reasonable price.  Our motto is: “We do what we say we’re going to do, each and every time,” and we believe our track record proves this.

Give us a call today and let us work with you on whatever your transcription needs might be.  We would be happy to provide you with our transcription rates for your individual project or need.  You never know, it just may be the beginning of a mutually satisfying, long-term relationship.

Transcription Services – Why should you choose Transcription Express, Inc?

business transcription, corporate transcription, legal transcription, transcription, Transcription Express, transcription service, transcription services companyOkay, so you need a transcription services company that delivers the best transcription.  How do you know which one is the right one?  You’ve never needed a business transcription services company before, you don’t know of anyone who has used a transcription services company and their advertisements are everywhere on the internet!  They make all sorts of promises and guarantees.  Some of them even actually require a membership.  But how do you know which one is the right one for you?  We’ve all been there, and we’ve all found what we thought was the “great find” only to realize we should have researched a little more.  Well, when it comes to transcription service providers, Transcription Express IS the best choice.  Read on to find out why and how we’re different from the others that you’ve read about.

Proudly, Transcription Express Inc. has been in business since 1995 and has transcribed over 12 million pages.  We do tremendous amounts of verbatim transcription and/or interview transcription, but have experience in many areas, including corporate transcription and legal transcription.  How much better can it get?  Well, we believe it can get a lot better, and we work long and hard every day to make sure we continue to surpass all the other transcription services companies out there.  Serving companies across the country has given us the opportunity to experience various language nuances that other transcription services companies do not encounter.

 

When you’re searching for a reputable transcription services company, be sure to consider the following:

Let’s start off with customer service.  If it weren’t for our excellent customer service track record, we would be just one of those other companies that you’ve found on the web.

Customer Service:  Customer service at Transcription Express, Inc. is worth its weight in gold and as I’m sure you’ve experienced with other service providing companies, unfortunately, this isn’t the case.  Customer service is our #1 priority!  Our mantra at Transcription Express is we do what we say we’re going to do, each and every time!  No exceptions!

Turnaround Time:  Have a rush job?  Need it tomorrow?  No problem!  We are able to return completed transcripts in as little as a couple hours or as long as five days, just depending on your needs and the size of the project or job.  We pride ourselves on being responsive and flexible to our customers’ needs.

business transcription, corporate transcription, legal transcription, transcription, Transcription Express, transcription service, transcription services companyLocation:  Transcription Express, Inc., located in Gilbert, Arizona, has been in business for over 17 years and counting.  Not only do we have extensive experience in various fields of transcription, but we’re also located in an area of the country that experiences virtually no catastrophic events, i.e., tornadoes, earthquakes, etc., which means we can meet each and every deadline for our clients.

business transcription, corporate transcription, legal transcription, transcription, Transcription Express, transcription service, transcription services companyTraining:  What?  You actually train your transcriptionists?  Yes, we do!  To ensure ongoing and consistent document quality, each transcriptionist must complete our on-site training program before completing transcripts for any clients.  This in-depth and hands-on training ensures the quality of their overall transcription skills and in-depth knowledge about each client they will be servicing.

Each transcriptionist receives regular 100% reviews of their transcripts to make sure they are maintaining our high quality standards.  Additionally, as an ongoing learning tool we provide beyond the initial training period, we have an in-house team of employees that mentor and guide each transcriptionist.  This team helps them with any questions or situations that may arise from transcript to transcript.

business transcription, corporate transcription, legal transcription, transcription, Transcription Express, transcription service, transcription services companyQuality Control:  Our document quality review program is an important part of our success.  Our Quality Control department is larger than most of our competitors’ entire company.  We use two very distinct methods to determine quality and would really like to share those with you.  Company wide, our word accuracy score consistently averages above 99%!  While this is only one of our many teaching tools, it also creates confidence among our clients because they know they will consistently receive quality documents, each and every time!

business transcription, corporate transcription, legal transcription, transcription, Transcription Express, transcription service, transcription services companyPricing:  The US economy the last couple years has brought every business owner different struggles and obstacles to overcome.  At TEI, we don’t think of these as negatives, but rather, incentives to improve the way we operate our transcription services company.  One of the challenges for any business is competitive pricing.  We are competitively priced, while at the same time, confident that we provide the highest quality documents possible.

business transcription, corporate transcription, legal transcription, transcription, Transcription Express, transcription service, transcription services companyTurnaround Time:  Fast and consistent turnaround times on clients’ documents is one of the keys to keeping happy customers.  Our state-of-the-art digital technology helps us process incoming and outgoing documents quickly and efficiently so we can meet your completion timetable.

business transcription, corporate transcription, legal transcription, transcription, Transcription Express, transcription service, transcription services companyTechnology and Security:   Transcription Express has invested heavily in keeping our technology up-to-date.  While dictation and transcription services technology is changing and improving, we intend to stay in the forefront, so we can meet or exceed your expectations, each and every time!  Additionally, to ensure the safety of any sensitive data contained in your transcripts, all our data is stored in an off-site data storage center with the highest security standards.

In addition, a background check is conducted on each and every transcriptionist we hire to ensure that they are on the up and up.

Outsourcing Transcription Services:

A great deal of transcription has been outsourced overseas, and a great deal has now returned to the United States.  Transcription Express, Inc. is proud to say that we keep all our work and jobs here at home in the United States.

Transcription Express, Inc. is a one-of-a-kind transcription services company that measures their clients’ retention by decades, not years.  Sure, you’ll find other transcription services companies out there, but you won’t find one that offers all that we offer.  Our quality work, secure processes, and flexibility not only provides an unmatched level of service, but it does so while meeting your highest expectations.

So what are you waiting for?  Give us a call and let us impress YOU!  Our contact information is:

Toll-free Sales Number:  1-800-371-4315

Or email us at Sales@TranscriptionExpress.com

Does a Corporate Ethics Code like “TruthAtWork” improve Transcription Quality in a Vendor/Client Relationship?

business transcription, insurance transcription, legal transcription, transcription qualityBusiness code of ethics is getting a great deal of play these days.  We had Enron, which was beyond deplorable. Then we had the financial meltdown that has devastated so many people while a few have gotten rich.  Now we have a new potentially messy situation with JPMorgan and their risky investments; the question of government funding of institutions making these investments and losing.  Let’s not forget parts of Europe who are rejecting the necessary austerity plans to deal with ethical issues along these lines.  What will happen in the U.S. at election time when these issues are brought up?  Many of our state and local governments are facing financial ruin due to unethical business practices in their organizations and at the federal government level.

Are Ethics Really a Factor in Transcription Quality?

Smaller businesses face business ethical questions regularly.  I own a transcription services company with 140 people, and we specialize in the business transcription, insurance transcription, and legal transcription with emphasis on large workloads and excellent transcription quality.  If the issues above are not enough to stir controversy, I’m going to add fuel to the fire by asking people’s views of organizations like “TruthAtWork.com” and others organizations which work with Christian business owners to apply Biblical principles in their businesses.  Business owners who are trying to integrate their faith in the running of their businesses?  Business codes of ethics that require owners to wrestle with employee issues in terms of applying a servanthood approach to problems or a stewardship approach?  In competition with other vendors, we’ve seen any number of situations that seem to skirt ethical behavior.  For our industry, business ethics include transcription quality and the quality assurance process that includes grading of transcripts.  We’ve competed so many times against companies that do not have the staff to maintain excellent transcription quality.  In fact, our quality assurance team is larger than many of our competitor’s entire companies.

What Do Ethics and Transcription Quality have in common?

We all can tell stories of working with someone we thought espoused business ethics and it wasn’t the case at all.  Do any of you have thoughts about the topic of using one’s faith as not only a guiding force in determining business ethics but a stated resource in choosing their business ethics?  Do you think it would make a significant difference in transcription quality?  Are businesses a place that are in desperate need of business ethics that intentionally include faith, or is this a recipe for further problems with all the sentiment against faith in the workplace?  Even in visiting about this blog topic I received warnings that maybe this is not a topic to blog about.

In terms of full disclosure, I do belong to the TruthAtWork Roundtable located in Phoenix, Arizona.  I do feel compelled to operate my business and maintain high transcription quality for my customers as a part of that belief system.

#1 Buying Mistake when Purchasing Transcription Services

business transcription, insurance transcription, legal transcription, purchasing transcription services, transcription services, transcription services vendorsWhenever you’re purchasing transcription services in the business, legal, or insurance industries, many companies find that they have both good and bad luck.  This seems to be the case year in and year out, and it’s easy to see why, with all the purchasing models and purchasing decisions that must be made annually.  Decision makers are putting their reputations and careers on the line only to have it come back and bite them just by purchasing transcription services.  One decision maker once told me that during his tenure with his last transcription services company he hoped that no audits were done to determine whether or not the company is getting what they are paying for.

How SLO&As Increase the Amount of Customers Purchasing Transcription Services

With all the effort and time spent interviewing or designing and reviewing Request for Purchases (RFP), the mistake that I oftentimes see is when the process is complete, contract agreements are written that appear to shy away from Service Level Objectives and Agreements (SLO&As).

When I first got into the transcription services business 17 years ago, we didn’t have anything close to SLO&As.  Over time, they became important to a few of our clients, and they also came with big financial penalties.  At first, there were feelings of fear on our part, but we finally determined that if we do what we say we’re going to do, there should be no issues at all.  The fact that our client retention with major clients has been 17 years, 11 years, 10 years and 7 years would indicate that we do honor our commitments and will continue to do so.  This is when I realized that the company that had the stated SLO&As in their agreements with us was actually a tremendous benefit.  The companies that don’t use SLO&As in their contract language do themselves a potential disservice.  It is a lot easier for the transcription vendor to not have them and as a result can be a bit sloppy or sell services they really don’t have at all, such as their quality assurance.

Do SLO&A’s Really Work Out When Purchasing Transcription Services?

We’ve seen purchasing transcription services with SLO&As work out very positively.  Companies consistently get the best the vendor has to offer day in and day out, year in and year out. If the vendor has been rock solid for years, companies can make a business decision to not exercise a SLA if they desire, which builds loyalty with the transcription services vendor and encourages more purchasing of transcription services.

Do you feel that audio transcription is a viable service?

Audio Transcription and Its Importance

audio transcription, business transcription, insurance transcription, transcription service, verbatim style transcription, verbatim style transcripts, voice transcription, witness interviewsSeventeen years ago, I wondered if technology would eliminate the need for audio transcription within five years in terms of verbatim style recorded statements.  Although we are working heavily in the area of speech recognition for some of our clients, it will not have an affect on recorded statements to any great degree at all.  The reason for this view is because of two shortcomings of technology and the one major issue of the desire to win:

  1. With insurance transcription, technology will not get in the way of recorded statements because of the unique person being interviewed every single time.  Although speech recognition can be trained by the everyday individual user (although I can’t seem to make it work quite the way I want it), it has no effective way to handle a unique person being interviewed each and every time.
  2. The other problem with speech recognition technology in terms of replacing human transcription is that it has no way of doing verbatim style transcription.  Verbatim style transcription is an art, and live transcriptionists are taught to remove their natural inclination to auto-edit when they type.  This is why audio transcription training needs to be so extensive and consistent grading and tracking must be done to avoid the transcriptionist from slipping back into their auto-editing, everyday world.  In fact, when I’ve seen trained transcriptionists from other countries that know English very well try to do verbatim style transcription for a U.S. company, it’s surprising because they do not truly know the nuances of our North American brand of English.  I talked to one high-level manager about their effort to take the recorded interviews overseas and it was a disaster.  They brought the work back very quickly as a severely failed experiment.
  3. Last but not least is in the area of preparedness and/or winning.  From what has been shared with me, a verbatim style transcript is not going away because it has nuances that can be used in the preparation of a claim and determining whether to spend valuable resources on the claim.  She said that at the moment when recorded interviews are taken is when the value of the information can be exceptionally high.  Quality verbatim style transcripts can be the key to their preparation, controlling costs and winning.  She viewed the recorded statements and verbatim style transcription as the key to saving money rather than just another expense category!

Other feedback regarding audio transcription would be very interesting! This area has become one of my favorites to visit about so feel free to add your feedback or touch base with me at 1-800-371-4315 or terryh@transcriptionexpress.com.

Business Transcription turnaround time– Why it’s Critical!

audio transcription, business transcription, digital transcription, transcription vendor, voice transcriptionWasted Money on Business Transcription Services:

Business transcription, imagine the waste by so many companies because they send in audio files for business transcription several days in advance to make sure it gets completed, only to find that it isn’t needed by the time it actually is done.  By then you are usually stuck with an unnecessary expense.

When talking to those who send the audios, I hear them asking themselves two questions:

  1. “Am I sending this far enough in advance to the vendor or word processing center so that I’m guaranteed to get it back prior to my needing it?“
  2. “Do I really need this to be transcribed?  Just in case, I’m going to send it in!”

Very often, the underlying viewpoint I hear when talking to the senders of audios for business transcription is: “better safe than sorry!”  Imagine all the money wasted on transcribed interviews that becomes irrelevant three days later, but they had to send it far in advance to ensure it gets back “in time.”  I know that in other primary areas of their business they demand more, but with business transcription, this is common.

Current State with Business Transcription:

Many companies negotiate 5-10 business-day turnaround times in their contracts in hopes of procuring a better price.  Then, due to the “better safe than sorry” viewpoint and the lack of centralized knowledge regarding turnaround time performance, they sometimes don’t really have a handle month-to-month what the cost is to unnecessary transcript being performed.  That’s when you get the “better safe than sorry” attitude.

What’s the annual cost of sending audios too far in advance and then not needing them?  I spoke with a business transcription vendor recently, and they said they were getting calls on 10-15% of their transcription orders asking for cancellations due to no longer needing the interview transcribed, but they sent it in too far in advance to ensure it gets completed in time (many of which couldn’t be cancelled from a payment standpoint).  That vendor also thought there were many more that would be cancelled but are not!

Just Imagine:
Imagine saving that 10-15% off your business transcription costs by having a vendor who guarantees AND CAN PROVE that they have the ability and performance track record to guarantee that transcripts will be completed accurately and on time (two days instead of five for instance), whether the company sends one or 100 audios in for business transcription in any given day?

Again, what’s the cost of “better safe than sorry” for business transcription? 

I would love your comments about business transcription!  If you would like to call or email me, please do so at 800-371-4315 or email me at terryh@transcriptionexpress.com.

Thank you!

Terry Hurst