There seem to be a virtually limitless number of technologies out there that promise to revolutionise the way we do business, strip out all the frustration inherent in our jobs, and turn us into productivity machines the like of which have never been witnessed in human history.
It’s easy to be dismissive of these claims – certainly, there are more than a few dubious tools out there, and more than a few unscrupulous salesmen trying to convince us of the unmitigated power of their particular offerings.
All the same, it is absolutely true that certain technologies really can totally transform the way we do business, in the sense of making us more productive, efficient, and capable than would have been easily imaginable even a few short years ago.
In the digital, Internet age, we can process payments in milliseconds using web-based tools, can track our account data via the cloud, and can effortlessly market ourselves to customers on the other side of the world – and then provide them services through the medium of the Internet, without ever having to meet them in person.
The key seems to be identifying which of the tools now available offer the most potential, and are worth investigating and turning into serious features of our business models.
This article will make the point that transcription services represent one form of investment that might radically improve your business, and help you to take it to a new level. By all means, you should refer to a transcription services guide for a detailed overview. For the time being, though, read on for some thoughts.
Here are some ways that transcription services can benefit your business.
By allowing you to “write” long-form, while maintaining a natural voice
Many businesses could benefit from doing some in-depth, long-form writing, but struggle due to the fact that no member of the team is adept at writing in a way that is both comprehensive and “natural.” Many business may also perhaps worry that freelancers, or third-party writers, would fail to capture the “essence” of the business, and what it is trying to achieve.
Transcription software eliminates much of the issue here. With transcription software, you can literally speak into a microphone for as long as you like, in order to gather your thoughts, just as if you were addressing a colleague at a meeting. You can then send this off to a transcription company, and have it returned to you within days in well formatted, and error-free text format.
One implication of this is that transcription services might be the perfect solution for entrepreneurs and small business owners, who want to produce in-depth written materials in order to explain their services, or otherwise offer value to clients.
It is a common practice, these days, for example, for many businesses to include white papers, special reports, and free e-books on their websites – often as a means of enticing prospective clients to sign up to newsletters.
With transcription software, you can do a lot of the work of putting together an e-book, White Paper, or special report yourself, simply by recording yourself speaking – and maybe even by recording conversations between you and senior team members – and then forwarding them to a transcription service.
If you do, then, decide to bring a professional writer or editor on board, you can rest assured that they will have some solid “raw materials” to work with, instead of being the “voice of the brand” all on their own.
Being able to write effective and natural long-form content is a great skill for any business. Transcription services make it more universally accessible.
By freeing up an immense amount of focus and mental energy
Every business – even a graphics design company – requires a certain amount of high-quality writing, in order to convey the specifics, and benefits, of their products and services to prospective clients.
In fact, as the leader of a company, you may well find that you are essentially obliged to produce motivational and informative internal newsletters and memos, in order to keep everyone on the same page, and to maximise productivity and connectivity within your business.
The thing is – writing is a skill, and even for professional writers, it tends to be very time-consuming.
Assuming that you are not, yourself, a professional writer – the hours that you might spend each week drafting written materials for your company could be much better spent focusing on your “core competencies” and moving your business forward in the big picture sense.
Even if you were to delegate the job of writing to a junior member of the team, it is likely that plenty of time and energy will be lost nonetheless.
Transcription services not only mean that large volumes of written content can be produced – at least in raw form – at the expense of far less effort than would normally be the case, but also that those materials can be produced, in embryonic form, in a small fraction of the time that would normally be required.
And this isn’t simply a matter of producing articles, internal memos, and other conventional forms of written content. It could even be a matter of recording things in a purely administrative sense – for example, producing a written record of the minutes of each meeting you hold.
Without transcription software, the task of transcribing the minutes might fall to some poor member of the team, who as a result of this additional duty, would naturally slack and struggle to keep up with their other duties. This could happen as a simple consequence of the time required to sit down for a good chunk of time each week (or maybe each day) in order to listen to hour-long audio files, and transcribe them into well-formatted text.
Clearly, using the services of a transcription company can completely remove this particular roadblock. Instead, transcribing the minutes of a meeting would become a simple matter of setting up a dictaphone during the meeting, and forwarding the resulting file to the service of your choice.
By allowing you to easily produce compelling customer case studies, to use in your marketing efforts
As mentioned earlier in this article – one of the leading strategies that often gets employed in order to get prospective clients to sign up to mailing lists, and to entice prospective customers into enquiring further into a company’s services or products, is to offer a special report, or White Paper for download on the businesses website.
Out of all the forms of free, downloadable content that you might offer, customer case studies are likely to be some of the most potent, effective, and substantial.
It is a well-known fact that when prospective clients look at companies with a mind to using their services, they inevitably look for signs of professionalism, and markers of credibility and proficiency in a given field.
Customer testimonials are easily one of the top ways of underscoring your professional credentials in the eyes of all prospective clients who might stumble upon your website. For one thing, the fact that you have put testimonials up on your site already shows that you have a certain amount of business savvy. Far more than this, though, testimonials are a sign that your business has been tested and pre-approved by others.
Your business, therefore, moves from being an “unknown entity” into a “known quantity”. This, in turn, seems to reduce much of the risk that might be associated with using an unknown company’s services.
Of course, for a testimonial to be effective, it cannot just be some easily forged snippet along the lines of “I am super happy with this service – Bob”. Rather, you should include a full name and job title, headshot, and ideally a link to a personal website, for the subjects of your testimonials.
A customer case study is what happens when you take that commitment to high-quality testimonials to the next level. Not only are you not just attributing kind words to an anonymous “Bob”, but you’re going to all the trouble of conducting an interview with someone who has benefited from your product or service, and digging deep into how that product or service has improved their life in one way or another.
Customer case studies often take the format of interviews – which is reasonable, considering the fact that the entire point of the case study is for you to investigate and reveal the benefits of your services, through the eyes of a particular customer or client of yours.
Often, writers stress themselves out trying to figure out the best way to phrase and present a case study. With the aid of transcription services, however, the seed of the process can be as straightforward as you arranging a time to sit down with a happy client – or even just to arrange a Skype call – and then to conduct an interview or conversation for an hour or two, while recording it.
From there, it’s simply a matter of forwarding that file to the transcription service, and waiting for them to return a good couple of thousand words of content which can then be “massaged” into a finished case study.