By Robert Pore for The Grand Island Independent
While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced people to innovate at the workplace, many of those strategies, such as working remotely at home, were in place prior to the spread of the virus and were improving in efficiencies due to continuing advances in technology.
Jannice Roy operates River Mist Transcription Services from her Grand Island home.
Roy said her company is dedicated to providing “consistent, accurate and on-time transcription services with a professional and friendly attitude.”
“We believe in giving value to our customers, ensuring they receive what we promise when we promise it,” Roy said. “We believe in the utmost security of our customers’ proprietary material during and after the job has been completed to their satisfaction and approval, and remain available for any questions or concerns they may have.”
She has been working as a self-employed independent contractor for multiple transcription companies for more than a decade. One of those companies was JS Martin Transcription Resources, which was created in 1995 by Jay Martin out of California.
“I spent 12 years working for him as a project lead and QC specialist,” Roy said. “This year, Jay decided he was ready to move on to new adventures, and in July, I acquired his company. We are now River Mist Transcription Services.”
She actually started River Mist Transcription in 2013 when she began freelancing directly with clients, along with the other companies she still contracted for.
Roy started in the industry when she came across a transcription position after searching online for work-at-home opportunities.
“I had no transcription experience at all and I was a little nervous about investing money into something that might not pan out,” she said. “However, I decided it would be a great source of extra income for my family. I started transcribing part time at first while working full time outside of the house. It took some time to train, and some years to gain the experience and to develop the contacts necessary to do transcription full time.”
Roys’s clients send her video or audio of interviews, meetings or conferences, earnings calls, dictation, depositions, investigations, focus groups and podcasts. River Mist then turns those recordings into transcripts. Clients can request a clean transcript or a strict verbatim record.
“Depending on their project needs, they might ask us to leave in timestamps so that the transcript can be matched to the video file,” she said. “We’ve added in highlighting or bolding of specific text, and we will even redact personally identifying information from the transcript.”
Roy recalled a client who requested they edit their transcripts into a note-taking format so their data was easier to read and sort.
“The services we provide clients can be done remotely,” she said. “Therefore, when the pandemic shut businesses down with stay-at-home orders across the world, my colleagues and I were doing business as usual; our offices had already been in our homes. Not to say that COVID-19 hasn’t affected my business. The negative effects didn’t hit us immediately, thankfully, but we did experience a slower July than we ever have in the past.”
Roy said some of their clients are required by law or internal policy to have their audio or video files transcribed into a written record.
“For other clients, our transcripts assist them with their research,” she said. “They use the information within the transcripts to collect data for their reports. We provide them with transcription service so that they can concentrate on other aspects of their business.”
Roy said some people have asked her if she is worried about speech-to-text technology replacing the need for what her company does.
“I am not concerned,” she said. “That technology isn’t accurate, especially when multiple voices are involved, and what’s created takes more time to edit and format than it would if you had a professional transcriber handle the file from beginning to end. Our transcriptionists are trained in multiple subject terminology, we do research in the process of transcribing, and we implement quality control measures to ensure the accuracy of the product we deliver.”
Roy said that for the past 25 years, as JS Martin Transcription Resources and now as River Mist Transcription Services, she has served the industries of health care/medical, pharmaceuticals, B2B (business to business), technology, software, electronics, automotive, consumer products, and food/beverage.
For example, Dr. Angela Weltman, a cognitive psychologist and a leader in market strategy and research, has been a client for more than 10 years.
“She does incredible work for the automotive industry, using psychological insights to create brand and design strategy through focus groups,” Roy said. “There is a lot that goes on behind the scenes there. Our clients in the health care/medical and pharmaceutical industry conduct their research to find gaps in patient care in an effort to innovate and move health care forward.”
She said food and beverage research, for example, organizes focus groups that represent their target consumers and consumers who are not loyal to the brand.
“They often use these groups to discover how a product will be received once placed on store shelves or once it’s been added to a fast-food restaurant menu,” Roy said. “It’s very exciting to be a part of, and we are grateful that our clients continue to use our services for their research projects.”
She said that even though they have a niche in market research, they also have many years experience transcribing for insurance companies, universities, government agencies, investigators, attorneys and medical providers.
“We can provide podcast transcription and sermon transcription to create content for websites, and that content is great for the hearing impaired and for shareability,” Roy said. “People love to share quotes and snippets of information on social media. It’s a great way for public figures and brands to get free promotion when their readers and fans have information to share from their websites or blogs.”
She said she considers the people who work for her as colleagues.
“I’ve been working with some of my team members for over 12 years now,” Roy said. “We are a diverse group, and our transcribers, like our clients, are located internationally and also right here in the United States.”
Roy said her team members are mothers with small children, parents with college tuition to pay, retirees who weren’t quite ready to stop working completely, writers and editors.
“We even have transcribers who work full-time jobs outside of the home, who then squeeze in a few hours of transcription each week to make a car payment,” she said. “Each transcriber has brought along with them relevant experience. I have medical transcribers who are perfect for physician dictations or medical research; past legal assistants or those with experience typing depositions; transcribers who are tech savvy and love to work on our technology, electronics, and software research projects; writers and editors who enjoy podcasts, career-focused, and human-interest interviews. We all learn something new with every project. It’s amazing what a person learns when they are 100% present and listening.”
Roy said that right now, COVID-19 has been a challenge for her clients, and for her business as well.
“I’ve seen a shift in the way our clients are conducting business, moving toward video call platforms so that they can get back to work and still social distance,” she said. “I think that, as we all acclimate to this new normal that has been thrust upon us, we’ll continue to see changes in the way businesses operate, especially in the way they “meet” or organize conferences. Either way, we at River Mist have over two decades of experience collaborating with our customers; we are always ready to adapt quickly to whatever their projects require of us.”
Roy said her business is growing as they expand their client list.
“It’s an exciting time for us,” she said. “My transcribers and I am eager to get back to work full-throttle now that some of the restrictions on businesses are slowly easing up. In a time where people are now forced to stay at home as much as possible, I think River Mist has been a blessing for the people who transcribe for us.”
River Mist Transcription Services works closely with its clients. Roy said that personal touch really separates her firm from larger companies in this line of work.
“All of our transcribers are professionals who create 100% human-generated transcripts for our clients,” she said. “We have a three-tiered QC process to ensure the most accurate product is delivered and our longtime customers have been very pleased with our service, security measures, and confidentiality.”
To learn more about the company, visit its website at www.rivermisttranscription.com.