There is only one thing that is important in transcription and that is quality. Occasionally speed is also called for, but not at the cost of accuracy, so even then quality is paramount.
Quality involves various factors, the main one being accuracy.
In order to have a good transcription, you first need a good transcriptionist, like the professional ones we have in London Transcription.
Whether transcribing verbatim or non-verbatim, the written words must be the same as the spoken ones, not a transcriptionist’s guess, not corrected for bad grammar, but the same.
There are times when all that the written document must convey is the idea that was spoken, and if the client requests only that, fine. Otherwise it is crucial to keep it the same. In some cases, such as medical or legal documents it can be vital, even a question of life or death.
There is a saying, ‘silence speaks louder than words’, and that is also true when transcribing. Not only does work need to accurately reflect the spoken word, it need to show the silences too. This silence may have a strong meaning, it may be of no importance, but it is not up to the transcriptionist to judge which is the case. It needs added to the written document. The same goes for hesitations, false starts, stutters, ‘ers’ and ‘ems’.
Another part of a quality transcription is the writing. This must be grammatically correct and properly punctuated. Easily confused words such as ‘effect’ and affect’ need to be known and the difference clear to any transcriptionists, as mistaking one for another could change the meaning and outcome of the whole piece.
Each speaker should be clearly defined, time stamps shown and a note of any parts that are incomprehensibly made.
There is no substitute for quality and it is the most basic part of transcriptions. Beware of paying for a cheap transcription, as what you get may not resemble the original.