3 Considerations for Services Organizations Implementing E-Signatures

Mary Ellen Power, November 7, 2014

Contracts and service level agreements play a vital role in the everyday operations of any services organization. It doesn't matter if you are delivering clients a technology service or providing housekeeping, your clients are going to need clear, concise and easy-to-deal-with contracts. Differentiating yourself from your competition isn't just about being the best at delivering the service you offer, or about providing the cheapest price. You need to create the ideal customer experience.

Of course, ensuring a solid customer experience is about unifying service quality, cost efficiency and support. Electronic signature capabilities play a vital role in this process because they allow customers to sign contracts quickly, deal with changes to agreements with relative ease and start subscribing to your services as quickly as possible. With this potential in mind, let's look at three issues services organizations need to be especially aware of when using e-signature technology:



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1. Make sure your signing process makes sense

An electronic signature is a capture of intent. In this sense, it isn't any different than a pen-and-ink signature. The only real distinction is that a pen-and-ink signature captures a physical signature on a piece of process, whereas an electronic signature is a record of the processes a user follows to read a contract and agree to it online or though another electronic method. This is then backed by a digital signature to make it more secure and legally valid, but the key issue here is creating the processes that are needed to make sure your signatures stand up in court.

You don't need your signing process to be all that complex or sophisticated for it to work. Instead, what you do need is a process that ensures users understand exactly what they are agreeing to, what the contract means and what the electronic signature signifies. This can be accomplished with relative ease, but it is somewhat specific to your organization, so you need to take a step back and make sure the entire signing process makes plenty of sense.

2. Keep your users informed on the signing process

E-signature technology is helping many organizations get the job done as efficiently as possible. As a services company that is trying to operate in as lean a manner as possible, you may be well aware of the potential that electronic signature policy and technology can offer. That doesn't mean your customers will have that same knowledge. Some people may not understand just how valid and easy to use e-signatures can be. E-signatures are entirely valid, and so simple that there really isn't anything to worry about. You should be prepared to put your clients at ease, as e-signatures can make life easier for both you and clients.

Besides helping your clients understand e-signatures, you can also help them understand how taking advantage of e-signatures benefits them and makes it easier to deal with contracts.

3. Don't neglect the full impact on e-signatures

An e-signature solution can make life easier in terms of how you interact with customers. However, the technology can also streamline your internal contracts, such as staff agreements, and help you operate more efficiently. The cost and overhead savings in these areas can then be put into innovative projects or into savings for your customers. It can be easy to get caught up in using e-signatures for external contracts, but taking a holistic approach to deploying the technology throughout the organization can lead to significant gains.

If you're a services organizations, you frequently need to not only use e-signatures and similar technologies, you need to be able to deliver that functionality to workers who are interacting with clients in the field. Check out our webcast on mobile e-signature use for key insight into how you can apply that technology throughout your operations.