Even though hiring a transcription service is supposed to save you time and trouble, if you do not approach it carefully, it can create extra work that you may not have planned. Here are some common mistakes to avoid when pursuing transcription services.
There are many reasons why it's a good idea to ask questions before hiring a transcriptionist that you have never worked with before. Do not assume that all transcriptionists have the necessary experience that you need. Make sure, for example, that the transcriptionist knows your native language well. That means they should understand the culture and grammar as well as the vocabulary.
Finding a transcription service online can save a lot of time and possibly money, but you need to be aware of where the service is based. If the site is based in another time zone then it can cause the transcriptionist to inadvertently miss your deadline.
Waiting until Friday to order a transcription may lead to the work not being done by Monday. That's why it's better to contact the transcriptionist earlier in the week, so that you can get a better gauge on the exact turnaround time.
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Keep in mind that many transcriptionists set their own hours as freelance workers. Chances are, many of them do not work on major holidays. They may also take off certain days of the week besides weekends, so be aware of the scheduling limitations that may be involved.
You need to give the transcriptionist time to complete the assignment since rushed jobs can lead to multiple errors or omissions. If you need several hours of audio transcribed, don't expect it to be done by the next day unless it's a reliable transcriptionist whom you already know.
The more complex the audio is that needs transcription, the more thorough instructions are needed to avoid misunderstanding. Do not assume that transcriptionists know how to figure out an assignment on their own.