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Tips for Choosing a Transcription Service

With so many transcriptions services available, how do you choose the right one for you? Of course, it all depends on your purpose. Is it for video production or market research? Maybe you want to widen your podcast audience?

Whatever your reasons for using transcription services, here are things you should consider before hiring one:


All transcription companies will claim high accuracy when describing their services, but you’ll never know for sure unless you’ve tried them. Ask for a free trial and see how it goes. You can also ask your business associates for referrals, or go online and read reviews. Not everything you read on the Internet is true, but it you stick to reputable consumer websites, you will be safe.

Turnaround Time

It is important to meet deadlines and you don’t have to sacrifice your schedules for a transcription services that can’t keep its word. Before hiring a provider, make sure you know its reputation regarding turnaround time. This is another good reason to dig into online reviews (remember, reputable sources!), although just talking to them can offer good clues. Remember though that meeting deadlines should not come the quality of results.

Audio Formats

For the sake of convenience and being able to save time, choose a transcription service that works with the audio format you usually use. You don’t want to have to waste time converting media files. On the other hand, you can also look for a provider that will do the conversions for you, especially from hard to soft copy.


Good transcription services are beyond accuracy and meeting deadlines. They should also do well on technical aspects, such as quick uploading of files and large upload capacity (preferably above 1 gig for each recording); customization, such as the ability to add timestamps in the transcript; willingness to work with your guides and templates, and convenient delivery and sharing of transcripts.


When considering pricing for transcription services, it all boils down to balance and predictability. You don’t want the cheapest because it will probably come with a catch, but you can’t go with the opposite either if you can’t afford it. Look for that sweet spot where you can get the most value for your money. In terms of predictability, make sure the provider lays all your costs out right from the get-go, including potential upcharges.


For obvious reasons, you need to choose a transcription service that is known for protecting their clients’ information. This will prevent hacks and information leaks that can cause damage to your business or organization. You don’t have to get very technical on this, but once again, this is a great reason to seek personal recommendations or read online reviews on trusted consumer sites.

Either security is the provider’s top concern or you have nothing to do the company at all.

Personalized Service

Finally, never take for granted the help that good personalized service can give. Trying to resolve the same issues with different customer reps can be frustrating. Ideally, you’ll want a transcription service that assigns one rep to your company so need not go back and forth with different people trying to explain yourself. With a single agent who completely understands your concerns from day one, working with a transcription provider will be much smoother and easier.

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