How to choose and implement an eSignature solution

Leor Melamedov

The good news is that businesses that are interested in switching to an eSignature solution have no dearth of options. In fact, many of these options are good, and provide an improvement in efficiency over traditional wet signatures.

However, the choices businesses face when selecting such a solution can be overwhelming. With so many options to choose from, how can businesses feel confident they are selecting the one that best fits their needs? And once the solution has been adopted, how can companies ensure implementation goes smoothly and successfully? These are the issues this blog post will address.

Questions to ask when evaluating an eSignature solution

Companies looking to adopt an eSignature platform will eventually narrow down their choices to a couple of top contenders that seem relevant. During this stage of the eSignature selection process, they will want to speak to a solution specialist more in-depth about the entire offering. Here are some questions businesses should be sure to ask during the evaluation stage of the process to ensure they purchase the eSignature solution that’s right for their needs.

Security and compliance questions

No eSignature solution is worth considering unless it’s able to meet the highest legal, compliance, and security standards. Companies’ most precious asset is their customers, and customer data and the integrity of their sensitive documents must be safeguarded first and foremost. To ensure the eSignature solution in question is secure, be sure to ask the following:

  1. Does it meet or exceed the standards set in the ESIGN Act and the Uniform Electronic Transactions Act? (or whatever the laws are for governing eSignatures within a particular geographic domain)
  2. Is it ISO 27001 certified?
  3. How does the solution ensure compliance?
  4. Does the solution come with a time-stamped, tamper-proof audit trail?
  5. Does it use single-sign-on (SSO)?
  6. How do user roles and permissions work?
  7. Is there row-level security in place?
  8. How are threats to the infrastructure detected and prevented?
  9. What kind of encryption is used?
  10. Is the solution on-premise or in the cloud? If on-prem, how does security at the data center work?
  11. What is the backup and disaster recovery procedure?
  12. What third-party certifications does the solution have?

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Customer-centricity questions

  1. Is the eSignature solution optimized for all channels, including laptop, desktop, and mobile?
  2. Do customers need to have any extra software installed in order to provide an eSignature (e.g., phone app, software, etc.)?
  3. If customers have a question while they’re reviewing the document or providing their signature, how are they assisted?
  4. Is the solution better suited to customers using a desktop, laptop, or mobile phone? Why?
  5. How much effort does it take for customers to provide their signature when they’re out and about (i.e., not in front of a computer at the moment)?
  6. What channel do most users use when providing their signature through the solution?
  7. If a document has multiple pages or sections that each require a signature, is the customer able to copy and paste the first signature into all additional areas?

Agent-accessibility questions

  1. Who should train agents to use the eSignature solution?
  2. Who will train the trainer?
  3. How long does it usually take agents to effectively use the solution after implementation?
  4. What are some challenges agents have faced when starting to use this solution? How were they resolved?
  5. How are agents empowered to help customers go through the signing process?
  6. What do agents like best about using this solution to collect customer signatures?
  7. How much time do agents have to spend chasing customers for their signature once the solution is implemented?

Integration and implementation questions

  1. How long on average does it take to implement this eSignature solution?
  2. Does the solution integrate with our existing CRM, third-party applications, and agent toolbars?
  3. Is there an API, and if so how does it work?
  4. Can the eSignature solution be integrated with the company’s website/IVR/POS device?

Results questions

  1. What are the main KPIs users of this eSignature solution typically measure?
  2. Do businesses who use the eSignature solution see a decrease in transaction turnaround time?
  3. Do they see an increase in signature completion rates?
  4. Do they see an increase in NPS?
  5. Do they see a decrease in agent attrition?
  6. Are more customers able to be onboarded or serviced in a set period of time?

Pricing questions

  1. Is the pricing model based on a system of sender-initiated processes, or system-initiated processes?
  2. Is pricing based on volume and usage, or is there a flat fee or some combination of both?
  3. If the company uses fewer or more signatures than expected during a given period, can the predicted volume and associated pricing be adjusted in the future?
  4. If there is a variable fee based on volume, how often is it possible to update the pricing plan?

Implementation: Training and organizational commitment

Once a company selects an eSignature solution, the implementation process can begin. There is wide variability in terms of how long implementation takes, depending on the particular type of eSignature solution, the company’s industry, company size, how many agents will be using the platform, existing infrastructure, and other variables.

To ensure a smooth implementation process, it’s critical that the company works very closely with the eSignature solution provider, who should also be available every step of the way to provide guidance.

Ideally, all future users of the eSignature solution within the organization, as well as their managers and executive management, should be on board. That’s why it’s important to speak to employees about the goals the company hopes to attain by implementing the new solution, and emphasize the benefits it brings in terms of efficiency and time savings.

When employees rally around digital transformation, including eSignatures and similar tools, it makes the training process significantly easier because the motivation to use the solution is already there.

The bottom line: The right eSignature can have a lasting positive impact

It’s critical to ask good, in-depth questions from multiple vendors when evaluating different eSignature solution options. This will enable a more informed decision. Once an eSignature provider has been selected, it’s critical to ensure employees and executives understand its value in the context of larger digital transformation goals. When there is full company buy-in and understanding, implementation will go smoother and the product will become a beloved part of frontline agents’ tech stack.

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