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Friday, January 30, 2009

State of the Transcription Industry

January is typically a slow month for transcription, but in light of the current economy, I think we've all noticed a considerable slowing overall. As companies are taking drastic measures to cut back costs, transcripts may be eliminated altogether or at the very least outsourced to other countries where they can be produced for pennies on the dollar versus what an American-based company can offer. Thus it is more important than ever that we take the time to ensure that the transcripts we are producing meet the exact standards of our contracts or clients.

Just a few things that you'll want to pay extra attention to in these difficult times:

Quality – Review your client or contract's standards and adhere to them as closely as possible. If you have questions, ASK. I find it very disconcerting when people are embarrassed to ask questions, but you appear far more foolish when you just forge ahead heading totally down the wrong path. That said, there's a fine line between hand-holding and taking some kind of ownership, but if you've read instructions several times and still are unsure, you should be safe to inquire for clarification. Obviously taking the time to proofread your transcripts would fall in this area as well.

Timeliness – Meeting deadlines is always important. However, in the even that you're going to be late communication is key. Mandi provided us with some important tips on handling missed deadlines earlier this week, and I would encourage you to look those over if you have not already.

Confidentiality – Confidentiality pertains to not only keeping information regarding your contract confidential (e.g., clients, rates, volume, etc.) but also maintaining confidentiality surrounding the content of a particular audio file.

Professionalism - You could make the case that all of the previous points fall under professionalism, and they do. However, I'm talking about overall professionalism in everything you do, in your communication, in your invoicing, as well as quality, timeliness, and confidentiality. You want to stand out from the pack in this tough economy, so keep this in mind at all times.

With more people out of work, as well as cutbacks and outsourcing becoming more frequent alternatives, the competition will be fierce. Using the tips above will go a long way towards keeping the work coming in.

1 Comment:

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