How to Choose the Right Human Transcription Service for Your Business Needs

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By Adrian Cruce

If you need to convert audio or video data to text, you may be considering whether to use an automated or human transcription service. While automated transcription might be quick and inexpensive, it frequently comes at the expense of accuracy and quality. Human transcribing, on the other hand, can provide higher accuracy and attention to detail, but it can also be more expensive and time-consuming.

So, how can you choose the best human transcription service for your specific requirements? In this piece, we’ll define human transcription, explain how it works, and go over the advantages it offers. We will also provide some recommendations and best practices for choosing a reliable human transcription provider that meets your demands and budget.

What is human transcription and how does it work?

Human transcription is the process of transcribing audio or video files into text files by real people who listen to the files and type out what they hear. Unlike automated transcription, which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to convert speech into text, human transcription relies on the skills and expertise of trained and experienced transcribers who can understand different accents, dialects, slang, and jargon. Human transcribers can also edit and format the transcripts according to the client’s specifications, such as adding timestamps, speaker labels, punctuation, grammar, and spelling corrections.

Human transcribing services often proceed as follows:

  • The client uploads audio or video files to the website or app of the provider.
  • The service assigns the files to one or more transcribers who correspond to the files’ language, industry, and subject matter.
  • Using a computer or specialized software, transcribers listen to the files and convert them into text.
  • Quality assurance (QA) specialists evaluate and proofread the transcripts for flaws and discrepancies.
  • The transcripts are sent to the customer in their desired format by email or download link.

What are the benefits of human transcription?

Human transcription offers several benefits over automated transcription, such as:

  • Higher accuracy: Human transcribers can achieve up to 99% accuracy, while automated transcription can range from 60% to 90% depending on the quality of the audio, the clarity of speech, and the complexity of the vocabulary. Human transcribers can also handle background noise, overlapping speech, multiple speakers, and technical terms better than machines.
  • Greater flexibility: Human transcribers can adapt to different types and styles of transcription, such as verbatim (word-for-word), edited (cleaned up for readability), or summary (condensed for key points). They can also follow specific formatting and layout requirements, such as adding headings, bullet points, tables, or charts. Additionally, they can transcribe files in different languages and dialects that may not be supported by automated transcription.
  • More confidentiality: Human transcribers are bound by strict confidentiality agreements that protect the privacy and security of the client’s data. They also use encrypted platforms and tools that prevent unauthorized access or leakage of sensitive information. Moreover, they can delete or destroy the files after completing the transcription if requested by the client.
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How to choose a reliable human transcription service?

With so many human transcription services available online, how do you find one that suits your business needs? Here are some tips and best practices to help you make an informed decision:

Evaluate their credentials and expertise

Look for a service that has a proven track record of delivering high-quality transcripts for clients in your industry and niche. Check their website for testimonials, reviews, ratings, samples, case studies, and certifications. You can also ask for references from previous or current clients who have used their service for similar projects.

Compare their prices and turnaround times

Find out how much they charge per minute or per word of audio or video, and what factors affect their pricing, such as language, file length, file quality, transcription type, formatting options, etc. Also inquire about their turnaround times and whether they offer rush or express delivery for urgent requests. Compare their prices and turnaround times with other services to see which one offers the best value for money.

Ensure their data security and confidentiality

Make sure that the service uses secure methods of uploading and downloading files, such as SSL encryption or password protection. Also verify that they have a clear privacy policy that outlines how they handle your personal and business data, how long they store your files, who has access to them, and how they dispose of them after completion.

Communicate effectively with the service

Before you place your order, make sure that you provide clear and detailed instructions to the service about your expectations and requirements. For example, specify the type and style of transcription you want, the format and layout of the transcripts, the deadline and delivery method, and any special terms or acronyms that need to be included. You can also request a sample or a trial before committing to a large project. During the transcription process, keep in touch with the service and provide feedback or clarification if needed. After receiving the transcripts, review them carefully and ask for revisions or corrections if necessary.

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Some additional points to consider when choosing a reliable human transcription service are:

  • Check their availability and scalability: Find out if the service can handle your project size and deadline, and if they have enough transcribers and QA specialists to meet your demand. You can also ask if they can scale up or down depending on your changing needs and preferences.
  • Verify their language and industry expertise: Make sure that the service can transcribe files in the language and dialect that you need, and that they have transcribers who are familiar with the industry and subject matter of your files. You can also ask for samples or references from previous clients who have used their service for similar projects.
  • Read their terms and conditions: Before you sign a contract or agreement with the service, read their terms and conditions carefully and make sure that you understand their policies and procedures. For example, check their payment methods and options, their refund and cancellation policies, their liability and dispute resolution clauses, and their guarantees and warranties.

What are some examples of businesses that can benefit from human transcription services?

Human transcription services can be useful for businesses in various industries and sectors that need to convert their audio or video files into text for different purposes. Some examples are:

  • Legal: Lawyers, paralegals, court reporters, and other legal professionals can use human transcription services to transcribe depositions, hearings, trials, interviews, interrogations, and other legal proceedings. Human transcription can ensure accuracy and compliance with legal standards and formats.
  • Medical: Doctors, nurses, researchers, and other medical professionals can use human transcription services to transcribe patient records, medical reports, consultations, lectures, seminars, podcasts, and other medical content.
  • Media: Human transcription services can be used by journalists, podcasters, filmmakers, and other media professionals to transcribe interviews, speeches, documentaries, programs, webinars, and other media material. Human transcribing can guarantee accuracy and adherence to media standards and formats.
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Human transcription is an important service that may assist you in converting your audio or video recordings into text with great accuracy and quality. It can also provide you with more freedom, secrecy, and a wider range of transcribing kinds and formats. Not all human transcribing services, however, are made equal. You must select a dependable and respected provider that can match your company’s objectives and expectations.

To do that, you need to consider several factors, such as their credentials and expertise, their prices and turnaround times, their data security and confidentiality, their availability and scalability, their language and industry expertise, and their terms and conditions. By following these tips and best practices, you can find the right human transcription service for your business needs and enjoy the benefits of human transcription.