poor transcription service

Transcription Services
The Not So Funny Side!
Transcription Customer Care

Right from the beginning…

Let’s start with the basics: when an enquiry comes in, forget to reply to the email, forget to take down a phone number, pass the enquiry to a colleague who isn’t really listening, pronounce the client’s name wrong….or in other words, treat the client as unimportant right from the start.

Mess up the quote: either misread the country of origin, assuming AUS is Australia rather than Austria, for example, and quote the potential Austrian client in Australian dollar. Or better yet, pay no attention to who is doing the quoting and you and your colleague each send a quote, and perhaps they will be different! Show the client straightaway your strong and savvy attention to detail!

After a client uploads, ‘mistakenly’ delete the audio so the client is forced to re-upload. And also, don’t suggest that the client convert the file into a small format….rather let the uploads (two now!) drag on for hours while the client waits!

Spell client’s name incorrectly in email correspondence and in the transcript (if applicable): this builds trust, unity and cohesion. A sign of respect!

Make promises you cannot keep: “sure, that’s no problem, we can certainly transcribe your 60 minute audio file in an hour”; “yes of course we will gladly throw in free time-coding”; “well of course we can transcribe that patch of Italian in the middle”; and “why, certainly, it will be an absolutely perfect transcript as we NEVER make mistakes”!

Doing the job…

Listen and when a file comes in with heavy-accented speakers recorded in a bustling restaurant with people at nearby tables chattering and glasses and cutlery clanking and, oh yes, that train chugging by in the background, allocate the file to one of your newest, beginner transcribers (for valuable practice, you know)!
or….allocate to an inadequately trained transcriber:

  • one who pays no attention to the special client instructions;
  • one who can’t punctuate properly (i mean why would a client care if there are no full stops in his transcript people speak this way anyway and after all isnt the transcriber supposed to mimic the speech patterns of the speaker in the recording);
  • one who doesn’t bothering ‘googling’ – whew! too much extra time and effort;
  • one who doesn’t hear well and likes to take guesses. (Really, what does it matter is the criminal was resisting arrest or resisting a rest??);
  • one who doesn’t proofread or double check upon completion;
  • one who returns the job back to the Operations Manager, incomplete, right before deadline, and claims she can’t finish it!

Returning the transcript…

Forget to open and check the transcript: send an empty template by mistake!

Despite that fact that Data Protection is of increasing concern for clients, erroneously send a client’s extremely confidential transcript to the wrong client (works especially well if you have signed a very strict NDA supplied by the client)!

And most important of all, exude an utterly nonchalant concern for deadline. I mean after all, if the client says he MUST have the transcript for a 2:00 meeting, surely the meeting can be delayed to 3:00!

Closing the deal with flair…

Ignore ALL client complaints: I mean, really, truly, we know that the client is wrong and we are right!

Mess up the invoice: I mean, what harm is there in a little tiny extra ‘0’ at the end of the figure owed! Surely the client won’t notice the small print!

And finally, by now, don’t even bother to send that amended invoice after the client explodes vehemently! In fact, gently and sweetly just hang up the phone on him or her …. and perhaps begin looking for another job!


3 thoughts on “How to Botch a Transcription Job!”

  1. Yes, many risks with trnascription jobs these days. Very few service seem to have awareness of the risks, so good on you for this. I think there is much more to be careful about. This work is not easy when you think of risk!

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