Navigating the Transcription Process

Seven Simple Steps to Getting the Best Written Record

As remote working becomes increasingly prevalent, more and more organizations are finding they need accurate written records of their virtual meetings and conference calls. Whether you are a first-timer or an existing customer, have you ever wondered how the transcription process works? Here’s Appen’s guide to what happens when.

1. Identify Your Need

Before you start, define what you need a transcript of. Is it a one-to-one meeting, video conference, interview or phone call? Is it formal or relaxed? A regular event or a one-off? You should also decide how you will use the transcript. Will it be widely circulated for information, or is it an official record, to be kept on file or used in formal proceedings?

2. Choose a Transcription Provider

There are five key attributes to look for when choosing a transcription provider:

  • Quality – transcripts are more likely to be accurate if they are provided by well-trained, qualified transcribers. Providers certified to ISO9001 will have demonstrated this.
  • Experience – well-established providers will have the resources, skills and connections to respond to last-minute or high-volume requests and still meet your deadline.
  • Security – check for rigorous information management systems (preferably certified to ISO27001) and members of staff vetted to the highest levels.
  • Value for money – good transcription providers offer flexible pricing. If your project is not urgent, you can choose to pay less, or you could pay more for a high-security, in-house service.
  • ‘Extras’ – some transcription providers prioritize innovation, which means they’ll have the very latest technology. Others offer additional services like foreign language transcription and translation.

3. Decide Which Service

Most transcription providers offer a range of services. Our core services are:

  • Verbatim transcription – includes every word, as well as non-verbal responses, noises, hesitations, repetitions or false starts.
  • Intelligent verbatim transcription – as accurate as verbatim but with all non-verbal content and fillers removed.
  • Summary transcription – draws out the salient points from the recording, conveying the meaning in a shorter, easier to read format.
  • Note taking – if a recording isn’t possible, a note taker can either dial in to the meeting or attend in person.
  • Language services – including translation and foreign language transcription.

4. Record Your Audio or Video

The better quality the recording, the better quality the finished transcript.

To ensure your recording is the best it can be, use a good quality microphone, choose a quiet location, switch off all other equipment in the room (even mobile phones) and brief participants thoroughly in advance. Practice using the equipment beforehand – do a test run!

Good providers can sometimes improve poor quality recordings using specialist software, but it’s always better to do it right first time.

Navigating the Transcription Process

5. Upload Your File

Once you’ve obtained your recording it’s time to send it off for transcription. This is usually done via a secure File Transfer Protocol (FTP) or another customer approved solution.

At this stage you can also provide background information, for example a glossary of participants’ names, technical terms and jargon.

6. Wait for Your Transcript

Your recording will be assigned to a remote transcriber. The transcriber will listen to the recording and create a transcript, by typing what they hear in the layout and style agreed at the outset.

Once the transcript is complete it’s sent to a quality checker, a crucial part of the process. Once we’re satisfied it’s as accurate as possible, your accurate transcript is returned to you via an agreed digital medium.

7. Tell us What You Think

Our case manager will keep in touch throughout, checking you are happy with the process. They will also make sure the finished transcript meets your needs.

In addition, at the end of every project we ask for your feedback. The best providers also measure customer satisfaction through surveys, so they can assess their own performance and continually improve.

In conclusion, navigating the transcription process isn’t rocket science, but there are some important choices to be made along the way. Knowing what you want is vital, but so is finding a skilled provider with the experience and know how to cope with every scenario.

For more information on our flexible, secure, transcription services please contact us.

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