Ben Walker of Transcription Outsourcing

Ben Walker, CEO of Transcription Outsourcing, provides high-quality law enforcement transcription, legal transcription, academic transcription, financial and business transcription, medical transcription, and general transcription services to clients across the United States.

What made you go off on your own (0:42)

  • Ben states empirically that he does not “play well with others”.

  • At his last job, he and the CEO didn’t get along very well, and the reason for this was that they “sell” differently, and the CEO, being a little older was prone to taking a long time to make decisions.

  • This all led to him moving on on his own, he just knew it was time to leave.

What made you choose transcription (1:30)

  • Ben was already a part owner of a small medical transcription company based out of Omaha.

  • While also running the sales and marketing for the company in Denver, he noticed that they were losing clients due to technology changes in the industry.

  • This led to him doing research on other kinds of transcription and found legal transcription, law enforcement transcription, financial transcription.

  • This all culminated in Ben doing even more research on how to provide those services, and where to find the people to do it.

About transcription (2:15)

  • Ben indicates that he still uses people because they are more accurate than machines.

  • His clients are the higher end type of client that requires a 99 to 100% accuracy on their transcriptions.

  • They started bidding on government contracts and got awarded a few contracts. Some of which were for law enforcement, this led to them into that direction.

  • After that, they went legal when they started getting legal work from law firms around town and then around the country.

What’s next for the business (9:00)

  • Ben says he is not ready or looking to sell. But the next level would be when his business is a business that larger companies would desire to buy.

  • He feels that at that point they will be “more of a player” than they are now.

  • Ben has noticed that they get a lot of requests for translation services, so the next step would be to offer translation services.

Developing processes to maintain quality (11:00)

  • Ben tells us that developing processes to maintain quality and accuracy starts up front with their testing.

  • Their process for new independent contractors begins with the completion of an application form, which is rigorously reviewed to ensure that they meet the company requirements.

  • Ben has a process whereby emails are intentionally sent back and forth between the company and the contractors, which gauges their response times and quality.

  • He says the battery of testing is really difficult because they want independent contractors who are serious about what they do and are “willing to push rewind on the foot pedal to make sure that what they have transcribed is accurate.”

  • Ben feels it is important to be really strict up front in our conversations with the independent contractors about quality control and quality assurance. If they mess up they are put on notice once and for 30 days. And if they mess up again, let them go.

Managing a large pool of contractors (17:00)

  • Ben says that managing his organization starts with communication because they are working from home or maybe a co-working space.

  • He feels that a lot of emails and some phone calls mitigates the lack of in-person contact.

  • Ben indicates that taking an interest in the families and home life of the contractors enables him to show them that he does care about them, this, in turn, triggers motivation because you’re actually taking the time to know them.

  • He also uses other strategies to motivate his contractors, such as sending them cards once a quarter, paying bonuses, and remembering to send a birthday card.

  • Ben says when it comes to finding new talent, most of the time contractors reach out to them online. However, they do post on certain job boards, and new talent is funneled through those boards contractors find us online or on certain job boards for transcription.

  • He did also highlight the fact that most of their longer serving and high-quality contractors found the company, the company didn't find them.

Ben’s Book Recommendation

Radical Candor is a simple idea: to be a good boss, you have to Care Personally at the same time that you Challenge Directly. When you challenge without caring, it’s obnoxious aggression; when you care without challenging it's ruinous empathy. When you do neither it's manipulative insincerity. This simple framework can help you build better relationships at work, and fulfill your three key responsibilities as a leader: creating a culture of feedback (praise and criticism), building a cohesive team, and achieving results you're all proud of.

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Craig Thomas