Delayed Delivery? Here’s How to Avoid It
Transcription involves listening, typing, researching, proofreading, editing, and formatting. A simple 60-minute recording can take 4-5 hours to transcribe and complex recordings can take much longer.
It’s a time-consuming process and it’s usually hard to predict exactly how long a recording will take until one starts transcribing. Therefore, it’s not surprising that delay in delivery of transcripts is a fairly common problem in the industry.
But deadlines are important, right? So here are some things YOU can do to ensure that your transcripts are completed on time and turn out more accurate.
1. Provide Clear Recordings
The #1 factor that increases transcription turnaround time (and delay in delivery) is poor audio quality. Listen to these sample audio recordings and you will know why:
As you might have guessed, audio #2 will take much longer to transcribe because the interviewee is barely audible.
So the most important thing you can do to speed up delivery of your transcripts is to record high quality, clean audio. You can do this by:
a) Using good recording equipment.
b) Ensuring there is minimal background noise at the time of recording.
c) Using an external microphone whenever possible.
2. Minimize over-talking
Participants who are talking over each other can be very difficult to understand. Experienced transcriptionists can still capture a good part of such audio, but it’s rarely possible to achieve 100% accuracy.
Now, if you are recording a focus group, it’s usually not possible to avoid over-talking, but in most other cases you can minimize it by laying down some ground rules for the participants before you hit the record button. More about ground rules in this post.
3. Share notes
A good transcriptionist would conduct extensive research to get all the spellings right in a transcript, including names, places, technical terms etc. mentioned by speakers. But research takes time and it’s not 100% accurate.
You can ensure higher accuracy and faster turnaround time by providing a list of unique words, speaker names, technical terms etc. used in the recording for the transcriptionist to use for reference.
4. Plan ahead
Transcription service providers are usually fully booked week-on-week, so when you request something last minute it becomes difficult for them to meet deadlines. But, if you plan ahead and make an advance booking, the service provider will make sure they have resources available when you need them and you’re more likely to get your transcripts on time.
So next time you need files transcribed, send in your recordings to your service provide in advance or drop them an email to let them know when you’ll be needing their services!
Have you ever experienced delayed delivery of transcripts? What’s your advice to others using transcription services? Leave a comment to share your experience!