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.

#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.