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Monday, September 15, 2008

The Importance of Communication

One very crucial thing to remember with any job is the importance of communication. I think in our industry it is doubly important to be in contact with the clients and companies that you work for, especially when you are working on a job for them.

If you were in an office and things were going poorly because your computer was acting funny, there was construction going on in the parking lot making it impossible to work, or you received a call from school saying you had to go pick up your sick child your boss or supervisor would be there to see what was going on and make adjustments as necessary to complete the work. The same situations arise in a work-at-home position; however, there is no one staring over your shoulder to see what's going on. Sometimes it's those pluses about the job that we love so much – my two-year-old stares over the top of my keyboard tray, but no one is standing over my shoulder – that we need to be careful not to take advantage of.

When contracts and clients hand audio files over to you, they expect them to be returned on the agreed upon time. They do not know what difficulties there may be in the file itself or in the physical world around you that cause things to take longer than expected. It is imperative that these be conveyed to your client as soon as possible to maintain a level of trust and professionalism with them.

In the case of unforeseen problems in your personal life (i.e. sickness, power outages, runaway animals you're chasing after) you should tell your contact right away. You never know what the reaction is going to be. If you give them enough time they may be able to extend deadlines, split the job or find someone else to complete it if you are unable. However, the longer you wait to let them know there is an issue, the harder it is for these things to happen seamlessly.

If your file has audio issues that need to be addressed, the same is true. Letting people know early is always better so the original client knows the quality of the product that will be delivered to them. Oftentimes you can also raise the rate yourself for difficult audio or a client may offer one to you for audio issues.

It doesn't matter if you are contracting with transcription companies or dealing directly with your own personal clients, communication is a key ingredient to a professional relationship. Be sure to convey the status and any issues that come up with files that may affect the deadline or quality as they arise. This will keep the relationship in good standing.