3 Ways to Ensure High Levels of E-Signature Adoption

Mary Ellen Power, March 9, 2015
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Deploying electronic signature software is only the first component of contract efficiency efforts. You can give users all the technology you want, but if you have lawyers, executives, accountants, customers or field workers still insisting on using paper-and-ink signatures, your efficiency gains will be limited. This is a common problem among organizations trying to get an e-signature project off the ground, and some strategic thinking is necessary if you want to get high levels of e-signature penetration within your organization.

Part of the problem is that electronic signatures are, on so many levels, a user-friendly efficiency tool. This means that you don't want to force your users to change their processes. There are certainly times when you need to make certain standard operating procedures mandatory, but you can also face so much pressure to give users freedom that forcing them to change over to e-signing won't always go over well.

If you really want to improve e-signature use, especially among user groups that you can't directly control, you need to make the technology so much better than traditional alternatives that users can't resist. This means fine tuning your e-signature platform to make e-signing convenient, accessible on mobile devices and easy to access without jumping through complex authentication hoops. Three ways that you can promote increased e-signature use and get users on board include:

How to Ensure High E-Signature Adoption

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1. Train your workers on more than just how to use the technology

Getting a bunch of employees together and showing them how they can use the technology is important, but it isn't necessarily going to sell them on the solution. Make sure your training goes beyond teaching them the technology and extends out to discussing why you are deploying the solution and how it will benefit them on an ongoing basis. Even better, get groups of workers in on the solution early in the process so they can give you feedback on how the technology may impact them, how it will be received by their co-workers and what pitfalls they see emerging in the process. Go beyond basic training and dig deep.

2. Recruit a few champions

Everybody needs a hero, and if you can find a few people who understand the benefits of your new e-signature solution it can go a long way toward ensuring widespread adoption. It is one thing having a manager or director maintain that a solution may help you, it is another to sit down at lunch and have a respected colleague talk to you about how he/she is so excited about this new technology strategy. Having champions who understand the technology and can help their peers get behind the solution is a major asset.

3. Make the technology as accessible as possible

Something that seems easy to one user group may be cumbersome to another. Think broadly about intuitive interfaces and user authentication methods when you create and rollout your e-signature solution. A huge component of electronic signature adoption is simplifying and accelerating operations for end users. Technology advances alone can accomplish that, but if the solutions aren't intuitive for your entire user base, you may be left struggling to fully realize those benefits. Design with the user in mind and continually refine your system based on user feedback so you can keep people engaged and get them to trust your solution.

Full e-signature adoption is going to be impossible in the vast majority of situations. However, many organizations aren't just failing at 100 percent e-signature adoption, they are struggling to reach their core goals. We recently released a new resource on getting high e-signature adoption. Check it out for more details on how you can ensure deeper e-signature penetration in your organization.