We believe in structure
We strive for reliability and dependability above all else. In pricing, quality, turnaround and service. That depends on consistency, and that in turn depends on having efficient, clearly defined products, policies and procedures, and then sticking to them.
If you have all of those things, then you can improve. Steadily, over time. You can look at a product or a process and say, this isn’t working as well as we want. We need to change this step. You can then make a change and watch the result. If it works, good. If it doesn’t, you can try again.
On the other hand, if you operate in a freeform stew of activity, then no matter how hard you work, you can’t improve anything, because whatever goes wrong next won’t be the same thing. Most services businesses work this way. This allows them to be flexible, but also slow, inconsistent, and expensive.
The implication of the above is that Babbletype trades some flexibility for consistency and reliability. We won’t say yes to something that will ultimately disappoint you, or that’s likely to cause unanticipated problems. We err on the side of ensuring that the critical balance of quality, price and turnaround are protected.
This is not to say we don’t support custom requirements and special requests — we do (see Custom Needs). However, we don’t agree to everything, and when we do, you’ll find us asking lots of questions to ensure we get it right.
Demand is unpredictable. Our clients themselves sometimes don’t know what work they need until it’s right there in front of them. So Babbletype’s goal is to always maintain more capacity than demand requires. At any given time, Babbletype works with hundreds of transcriptionists, translators and proofreaders.
To do this, we process several thousand applications per year. A much smaller number is ultimately hired. But initial testing only tells you so much, so we also maintain extensive performance statistics on everyone who touches your work. We track assignment results, document and communicate areas for improvement, and set approvals for many factors, including formats and task types. We also set performance rank. High performers are prioritized in work assignments.
Babbletype operates using a factory model. Every aspect of operations is standardized. We receive new inbound work from 9AM to 4:30PM each day during the business week, and then execute new production runs once each day. Production operates seven days a week, every day of the year excluding Christmas and New Year’s Day.
We start with assignments for initial draft work. Long recordings are split among multiple transcriptionists or translators to ensure that all work is completed by the end of the following day. All assigned work is reviewed for quality and content accuracy against the recording. Failed work is sent back and reassigned to a more senior transcriptionist or translator to be fully reviewed and reworked against the recording. That work is again reviewed in the same way. Passed initial drafts are sent onward to proofreading, and finished, proofread work is pass/fail reviewed again in the same way before fulfillment.
Time is the enemy in our world and everything related to turnaround time is discussed in terms of days late. All transcripts start at -2 (translations at -3), and then all assignment prioritization is done by how urgent the file’s priority is. Files that are falling behind are assigned to ever more senior people to ensure prompt and accurate completion.
Our sales and customer service team works hard to be as responsive as possible to all customers at all times. Communications to firstname.lastname@example.org go to the entire team, to ensure that nothing is lost and responses are prompt. Management is always in the communications loop. We respond as an entire team to any problem to ensure it’s rapidly and fully resolved, then use that information to improve operations and eliminate or reduce the chances of the same problem recurring.