How to Create a More Engaging Experience During Customer-facing Agreement Signing Processes

David Bocek, November 1, 2022

Industries across the globe have shifted their technology investments toward cloud offerings and digital experiences. But it can be a challenge to select the optimal blend of forms and e-signature providers to digitize agreement processes. By embedding the OneSpan Sign electronic signature into Smart Communications solutions, companies can collect information from customers through an intelligent, interview-style digital form – and digitize the signing workflow so it’s easy for their customers to review and sign documents. Customer communications are also enhanced through personalized, two-way conversations across any channel.

In a world where everyone is on the go and technology is becoming smarter, faster, and more intuitive, consumers favor digital-first interactions. That’s why financial services and insurance providers are seeking to improve their customer-facing digital agreement processes, because when left unoptimized, siloed systems for contract signing can lead to high abandonment rates and ultimately a loss of business.

For example, one large direct-to-consumer auto insurance carrier reported policy application completion rates as low as 64% due to friction in the contracting process caused by a loose integration with another e-signature provider. By switching to a highly optimized process involving OneSpan Sign and Smart Communications’ personalized customer communications platform, SmartCOMM, they increased application completion rates by 23% in just the first 30 days.

Enhancing the remote signing experience via more engaging digital workflows enables enterprises to be more efficient, effective, and start the customer experience on the right foot. In this blog, we explore OneSpan Sign’s close integration with another Smart Communications platform, SmartIQ intelligent forms. We will uncover how this joint solution can significantly reduce the chances of customers abandoning the agreement signing process, as well as why enterprises should adopt a digital-first mindset.

The Leap Towards Remote Signing for Customer Agreements

Until recently, many companies still relied on in-person signing as their primary method for reviewing contract terms, signing agreements, and distributing a copy of the contract or copy of the agreement. That meant customers would need to plan to travel in order to be physically present during the signing of an agreement. The lack of any digitization also led to a higher percentage of error-prone documents since business rules could not be automatically enforced. In many cases, the signatory would be required to return to the physical location for one or more reworks and contract review which caused the hassle and frustration of further delays.

A recent benchmark study released by Smart Communications shows that the top factors leading consumers around the world to prefer digital channels are ease of use, timeliness, and sustainability.

Why Customers Want Greater Levels of Digitization

Although PDF forms provide a level of digitization, customers are still faced with too many steps in order to sign an agreement on the dotted line. For instance, tasks requiring them to fill out the same information across multiple fields can feel unnecessarily burdensome. Signed documents sent back and forth to correct errors, complete missing fields, or include correct contact information still present a challenge to eliminating friction in the process. In addition to completing the original agreement, there is a need for signers at the end of the workflow to still print, sign, scan, and email the documents back to their originator.

In order to create a smooth and engaging agreement signing experience, businesses should consider leveraging solutions that combine dynamic forms through SmartIQ with contract templates and e-signature capabilities that enable customers to transition effortlessly from one step to the next. This higher degree of digitization also creates a faster and more secure identity verification process for authentication compared to other methods, like scanning ID cards.

Dynamic forms also bring a more human touch to the experience. SmartIQ’s intuitive, interview-style approach to digital forms makes it easy for customers to collaborate with their peers to fill out necessary information once and receive additional help with specific form sections when needed. This means less back-and-forth as documents are filled out properly on the first try and then automatically passed to OneSpan Sign to handle the e-signing workflows.

OneSpan Virtual Room can even involve video-conferencing and co-browsing to digitally recreate the face-to-face setting in real-time. The result is a highly optimized, secure, and paperless process for customer-facing agreements with all actions recorded in an embedded audit trail that includes the time and date of signature as well as the ID verification process.

Time to Start Polishing Your Remote Signing Experience

The demand for digitally-enriched agreement processes is rising significantly. Those who ignore consumers’ digital-first preferences for binding agreement processes will soon face greater challenges conducting business in an increasingly paperless world. A less than optimal customer experience is no longer an option in a competitive market with multiple providers to choose from. Any obstacle can lengthen cycle times and increase abandonment rates. In addition, a signing experience that falls back to paper increases printing and mailing costs as well as the amount of time employees spend reviewing and processing the documents.

Organizations that opt for a remote signing process by simply relying on PDF forms or leveraging loosely connected digital forms and e-signature solutions may be expedient, but those who invest further in the full-fledged digital experiences that their customers desire will see their standing improve. That was the case for a major bank in the US whose large manufacturing customers demanded an intuitive digital enrollment process for supply chain financing in order to remain with the bank. After launching OneSpan Sign with SmartIQ side-by-side, a customer satisfaction survey reported 87% of respondents had a positive view of the new experience.

This goes to show that OneSpan Sign coupled with Smart Communications’ SmartIQ dynamic forms solution drives higher engagement thanks to the combination of next-generation forms management, automated workflows, and a robust e-signature capability that all work together to make an enormously positive impact on customer experience.

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