Transcription Services

How Market Research Firms Can Choose the Right Transcription Services

By Thomas Carter on May, 9 2019
Thomas Carter

Market research firms rely on transcription services to make sense of the insights they gather. But, there are a lot of choices on the market. Are you getting the best outcome you can?

Getting accurate transcripts is essential. Choosing a secure service is a must. But, you also want a service that delivers these outcomes without breaking the bank.

This is the market researchers guide to the types of transcripts that are available, what priorities market research firms should have and how to choose the right transcript for every occasion.    

Transcription services that deliver accuracy

If accuracy is lost, insights are lost. For a transcription service to be worth anything to a market research firm, it needs to be accurate.

Automatic speech recognition (ASR) software has steadily risen to prominence as a disruptive force in transcription services — delivering per minute price points more than ten-times cheaper than budget human-transcription services. But, market research firms should be hesitant about relying on this service.  

ASR has a max accuracy rate of around 80%. By itself, this is reason enough to have pause. But, it can be further compromised by cross-talk, background noise, multiple speakers, complex grammar and low quality audio. There are cases in which ASR comes up with completely illegitimate outcomes. The price points make it affordable to experiment. But, you have been warned.

Human transcription services deliver 99%+ accuracy guarantees, can precisely identify speakers, handle cross talk, and even deliver edited transcripts that are strictly to the point.

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Transcription services that provide options and experienced transcriptionists

Market research companies produce a lot of data. Access to transcription services make assessing that data simpler. It is faster to read a transcript than listen to a recording. But, what if it could be even easier?

Quality transcription services will deliver access to transcripts that capture different levels of detail. The best transcription services will supply access to transcribers with relevant industry and market research experience, allowing them to succinctly edit your transcripts to your benefit.

The most common options you will encounter from market research specialist transcription services are verbatim, full-verbatim and detailed notes transcripts. Here is a run down of all three different options:

Verbatim Transcripts — also known as intelligent verbatim, these transcripts are one of the most versatile and useful options that transcription services will deliver. Sticking close to a word-for-word account of the recording, verbatim transcripts edit ‘ums’, ‘ahs’, stutters, false starts and pointless interruptions to deliver a transcript that is far easier to read while still delivering details.  

Full-Verbatim Transcripts — this is the delivery of every single detail, including false starts. For an extra fee, you can even get annotations on tone, pauses and laughter. For particular circumstances, this type of transcript is exactly what is needed. But, most often, it is too much information, much slower to read and costs extra. Only opt for full-verbatim transcripts if you have a specific reason.  

Detailed Notes Transcripts — are edited to be to the point, and are often only delivered by transcription services that are market research specialists. The editing of verbatim transcripts is taken one step further, removing off-topic chit chat, summarising interview questions or rambling answers, and delivering a shorter, cheaper and completely on topic transcript.  

To access detailed notes transcripts with confidence, you need to make sure that the transcriptionists delivering the transcript has experience. The licence given to make edits means that you are trusting them to cut the right things. But, if done correctly, it can make your job reviewing the transcript far simpler, and cost less to boot.

Transcription services that prioritise security

Security is absolutely vital if you’re dealing with sensitive data. If you fail to secure your confidential information, the company’s reputation will be at risk. When you are outsourcing transcripts it is important to take security seriously and choose a secure service.

  • HTTPS and Encryption — This is one of the fundamental measures any market research firm will take. You want to look out for companies who have an HTTPS website rather than an HTTP one. This means that data exchanges between the website will be encrypted.
  • NDS and Privacy Policies — You should make sure that the firm is open to signing an NDA (non disclosure agreement). You should also check over their internal privacy policies to make sure they have an adequate one in place.
  • ISO Accreditations — These companies should certainly be put to the top of the priority list. The ISO accreditations 27001 and 9001 covers information security management and general management systems. This ensures a high standard of security.
  • Offshore or In House Transcriptionists - If a data breach absolutely cannot occur, you need to carefully consider exactly who is transcribing your data. If a company is hiring a freelancer it relinquishes their control over privacy. If they use an offshore workforce, your data will be outsourced to a jurisdiction that might not have strict privacy laws or enforcement mechanisms, and the company loses control over their ability to enforce internal policies.  

Overall, you need to remember that security should be one of your main concerns. If there is ever a data security problem you need to be able to pursue action and keep your company safe from harm.

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Transcription Services that Encourage Partnerships

Instead of seeking out a new transcription service each time you have a job to be done, you can partner up to your benefit.

There are so many benefits of striking up long term relationships, especially amongst those who specialise in complex B2B transcripts. A lot of them are open to swap out access to regular work for bespoke pricing and promotional discounts for large orders.

In the long run it would be extremely beneficial to find a reputable partner, who can save your market research company a considerable amount of money. This makes the process of finding a good transcription service hassle free. Once you have created a relationship with them you will be able to strike up deals and come up with a balanced way of carrying out your work together.

Overall, finding a trustworthy transcription service is going to benefit your market research firm hugely. Consider all of the points above and you will have peace of mind every time you hire someone to complete your project.


You have been reading about how market research firms can choose the right transcription service. If you have more questions about pricing, turnaround times or how to get the best transcription service on a budget, we have written the Ultimate Guide to Transcription Services just for you.

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