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

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

Thank you!

Terry Hurst