Meet the TAT

Usually, clients would want a shorter TAT for a certain audio and that is a rush job.  We can talk about that in another blog.  That’s a whole ballgame altogether.

Remember this paragraph from The Transcription Job post?  Now, I’m talking about it in a new blog.  The turn-around time or the TAT, as we transcriptionists call it, yes, our jargon.  While I was starting out as a transcriptionist, I had no idea what that was all about.  Now, it’s my time to share it with you, in case you’re interested to be a transcriptionist one of these days.

It’s basically a deadline, in layman’s terms.  The time that you can deliver the transcript – clean, edited, reviewed – and you’re confident of what you’ve done.  Then, you’re ready to send it to the client.  Once you hit the send button, there’s no turning back though.  No regrets whatsoever.  Once it’s been sent, it’s already right at your client’s mailbox or inbox.

Now that you know what the TAT is, I can discuss the types of TAT that you need to work on.  Back then, I didn’t know what my TAT would be for a 40-minute audio.  I’ve done my assignment, don’t you worry.  I’ve calculated my TAT several years ago.  Haha, age shows?

Kidding aside, I present myself to clients as a fast typist or a touch typist (someone who doesn’t need to look at the keyboard when typing, thanks to our typing classes back in high school, another topic to write about), I can transcribe certain accents in a certain amount of time.

Okay, my batting average comes to about one hour of transcription for a 10-minute clear, one or two-speaker audio.  So, doing the math, that comes to about 4 hours of transcribing for a 40-minute audio.  That’s actually not that fast, but faster than a beginner.  Someone who has just gotten his/her first client would usually finish an hour of audio in eight hours or so, considering the typing speed and the audio quality.  That’s typical for a beginner.  But as you go along and get used to these, you’ll get faster.

There are people who could do an hour of audio in four hours, tops.  Yes, I know, they’re what we call “monsters.”  Haha.  But let’s just hope their quality isn’t sacrificed, right?

At this point, I not only have discussed the deadline, I’ve also covered typing speed and quality.  Two points to consider when the TAT is mentioned.  When doing a transcription job, speed is one factor that your client would love you for, especially if your client is someone who wants things in a jiffy.

Quality is more often than not one of those considerations of clients when they ask you to transcribe for them.  This is where those rates come in.  You can price yourself so low and yet the quality has been sacrificed.  Or you can price yourself just right with speed and quality are both present in your work.  Then, you can set a price for your work when other clients come in.

When your clients see that you’ve done a good job, they’ll praise you and they’ll keep you working for them, give you assignments to work on.  Those are the perks as long as you meet the TAT, speed and quality in mind.

Before I forget, there are different kinds of TATs to consider.  There’s the 12-hour TAT or the 24-hour TAT.  It could also go up to a 48-hour TAT or even a 6-hour TAT.  Usually, the client asks you how long would you be able to finish such a task.  You can tell your client you will check the audio quality and from there, you can judge if you can make the TAT or not.

Just be sure to inform your client if you can or cannot work on it or else, you’d lose that client.  You wouldn’t want to be just bumming around the whole day, would you?

Also, if a client wants a rush job, that’s a different rate, especially if the audio is quite tough to handle and yet you chose to work on it.  I would raise my rate higher than my normal rate to compensate for the difficulty of the audio and if the client wants it pronto.

For those of you who are new to this, finding clients that give long TATs are good finds.  Just remember to keep this in mind:  Longer TATs, not-too-high rates with speed and quality.  Shorter TATs, higher rates but still done with speed and quality.

Now, can you tell what your TAT is for an hour of audio?




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