6 Telltale Signs It’s Time to Switch E‑Signature Providers

Dilani Silva, July 14, 2022

E‑Signatures have become the norm to help organizations remain competitive and keep business moving in today’s remote environment. Since being legally recognized by landmark laws such as the ESIGN Act in the US and eIDAS in the EU, organizations of all sizes have realized the benefits that an e‑signature platform has to offer. Improvements in efficiency and productivity, cost reductions related to paper-based processes, and meeting customer expectations are some of the drivers that have propelled e‑signatures to be one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

Over time, the e‑signature market has matured and many new vendors have entered the space. As you assess your current and future e‑signature needs, you should take stock of your technology investments and ask questions like:

  • Are there overlapping and redundant solutions in use across my organization?
  • Are we paying above-market rates for our e‑signature solution?
  • Does our current solution meet our e‑signature adoption targets?
  • Can our current e‑signature implementation scale for the future growth of our business (i.e., across channels and geographies)?

In this blog, we will help you answer these questions by reviewing the telltale signs when it may be time to look for an e‑signature alternative.

1. You’re being overcharged for your e‑signature implementation

Cross-selling and upselling has its place in a vendor-customer relationship, especially when it comes to new features and services that will improve e‑signature processes. But, there’s a fine line between adding value and squeezing more money out of a long-time customer. The relationship you have with your e‑signature vendor should never feel exploitative. It should be a mutually beneficial partnership. Many organizations may not realize they are overcharged. We recommend that organizations conduct their due diligence during the contract renewal period to ensure the agreement meets the needs of both parties.

If your provider is charging extra for standard features and functionality, an exorbitant amount per transaction/envelope, or if you’ve experienced a dramatic price hike with unexplained fees and charges at contract renewal time, it may be time to weigh your options and consider switching to a new e‑signature provider that provides fair pricing.

2. Your vendor provides little or no support

Reliable customer support is essential to ensure your e‑signature solution continues to function. A lot of vendors promise exceptional customer experience, but many fail to deliver. Whether receiving incompetent support, poor service quality, enduring long response times, or just an overall poor customer experience – working with a vendor with poor customer support ultimately impacts your own customer experience.  

Let’s explore several reasons why your electronic signature platform may not be making the grade in the customer support department. 

  • Scaling too fast or attempting to serve a broad market. How much does your electronic signature provider understand about your business or industry? There may be some processes that are similar across one industry that can be covered by one electronic signature platform. If the company tries to cover too many industries at once without trying to deeply understand any of them, it may be difficult to get competent customer support. 
     
  • Misalignment in customer support model and your broader business objectives. To deliver quality customer support, the support personnel must have an understanding of your industry and how your business operates. This helps establish a shared vision of what the businesses will need in the next 1 to 5 years. Before changing e-signature providers, ask if they have the capacity to help you assess and align their customer support model with your broader business objectives. 
     
  • Lack of global support and services. As the world becomes more interconnected via technology, it’s important that e-signature customer support is able to provide services in more than just one state or country. This may mean that contracts may need to be translated into other languages. Customer support personnel may be needed to speak to clients in other time zones. Having access to responsive support that feels easy and without friction makes a huge difference to an organization that is growing. 

Periodically, we recommend surveying the internal users of the solution at your organization. Ask them to rate the level of service they are receiving and whether they feel the solution provider is responsive to their needs. This will provide a clearer picture of the support services provided by your vendor and a better sense of your team's opinions on the solution.

Your company deserves to be heard, respected, and valued. An e-signature is more than just a signature. It’s a signal that business is allowed to proceed. Any backtracks in the customer support arena can result in loss of business and a hit to your company’s level of professionalism. 

If your current vendor is not providing the customer support you need, it’s time to explore new vendors that will contribute to the success of your e‑signature solution. Choose an e-signature platform that understands your line of business and has the capacity to provide the level of customer support needed as you grow.

3. Your electronic signature solution is not flexible enough to accommodate changing needs

Whether a small business or enterprise, many organizations when first implementing electronic signature software choose a smaller vendor to meet the organization’s immediate business needs. Some, for example, simply want to sign documents with e‑signatures in one department to understand the value and ROI before extending it to other departments. Alternatively, they may create an online channel to leverage e‑signature tools before expanding their paperless process to mobile devices.

As organizations grow with more employees, new departments, lines of business, service channels, workflows, and new geographical locations, your document signing requirements or the business challenges your e‑signature solution is equipped to solve will change. For many organizations, their e‑signature solutions have become a critical technology to conduct business with internal stakeholders, vendors, partners, and customers.

Your legacy e-signature solution may not have the technical capacity to grow as your digital document workflows and business needs expand. Not only may you need to increase the number of users and signatures, but your organization may be looking to consolidate e-signature capabilities as a result of a move to a shared service model, like in the healthcare or insurance industries. 

These organizations may have anticipated switching to a leading electronic signature vendor, such as OneSpan, DocuSign, or Adobe, sometime in the future, but it can be difficult to know when that moment has arrived.

Here are a few questions to ask regarding the technical capacity of your next e-signature solution provider: 

  • Does the vendor support a broad range of use cases? 
  • Does the solution include automation, such as reusable templates or bulk send, functionality to streamline processes? 
  • Can the provider scale across B2C, B2B, and B2E use cases at once? 
  • Does the vendor support an enterprise shared services model? 
  • Can the provider support the agreement process upstream and downstream of signing? 
    • Agreement generation 
    • Smart digital forms or integration with systems of record (e.g., CRM, HRMS) 
    • ID verification and two-factor authentication or multifactor authentication 
    • Virtually mediated agreements including Remote Online Notarization (RON) 
    • Integration with enterprise systems of record (e.g., ECM, eVault solutions) 

Your e-signature solution not only has to fit how you do business now, but it also has to have the ability to expand with your business plan into the future. If your current e‑signature vendor can’t scale to support new use cases, you’ve outgrown your current e‑signature solution. Find a vendor that offers a scalable enterprise-grade solution that can support future e‑signature use cases across your organization and beyond.

4. You have poor customer adoption and completion rates

The shift towards remote processes caused by COVID-19 and the market’s growing familiarity and desire for digital channels have significantly changed customer expectations. In response to these expectations, organizations need to design a seamless and trusted e-signing experience. A proven strategy to fostering trust in the e-signing process is to deliver a consistent branding experience at all touchpoints throughout your customer-facing channels. Most e‑signature vendors only offer custom branding options like adding a logo or matching the colors to your corporate branding. White-labeling takes branding a step further. It enables you to customize every aspect of the e-signing process including removing all traces of the vendor’s branding from the signing ceremony. By doing so, your customers can feel confident they are engaging with the right organization. It ties your credibility as a brand to the credibility of the e‑signature process, thereby increasing customer trust, adoption, and completion rates. 

5. You have concerns about the document security your e‑signature solution provides

The document management security of your e‑signature solution is critical when dealing with legal documents. In addition to the authentication of signers, your e‑signature solution should be using digital signature technology as an encryption method to tamper seal PDF documents and signatures. This prevents unauthorized changes from invalidating the documents.

Some e‑signature service solutions only tamper seal the document at the end of the signing process, which can put your organization at risk. As a best practice in maintaining integrity of signed documents, tamper-sealing should occur after each signature is applied in case tampering occurs when the document is in transit between signers. Consider switching to an e‑signature provider that has robust anti-tampering controls built into the signed document along with a mechanism to easily verify the integrity of the document, such as an audit trail.

At OneSpan, security is built into our DNA. We are the digital agreements company and partner of choice for some of the most security conscious and regulated organizations in the world. We offer a wide range of authentication options to ensure only the appropriate signers access the document.

6. My current provider has made it difficult for me to migrate, locking me in 

Legacy systems and vendor lock-in is a hot button issue for many organizations who are looking to increase their business capacity over the next few years. As companies look to expand the digitization of their services, it’s important that their e-signature platform solution be able to work with them. However, what some organizations are finding is that they are not able to increase their e-signature capacity or even explore other providers due to outdated contract obligations. 

As you start to define your electronic signature solution needs, be sure to communicate the following points: 

  • Flexibility of use is paramount. Move forward with vendors who understand that your business changes with technology. 
     
  • Choose a vendor who adds value to your organization. Rather than make the focus of your e-signature platform about locking you into an agreement, be sure that the provider adds value to the future of your organization. 

These last points are sure to support your business growth as you move forward in finding an e-signature solution. 

Get Ready to Switch Your E‑Signature Provider

Electronic signatures and e-signature software are long past the point of being a novelty or even a luxury. A secure, reliable electronic signature solution is key to success in the new normal. If you have doubts about your current e‑signature solution, then it’s time to evaluate other e‑signature software vendors in the market.

If your organization has outgrown other electronic signature providers, such as DocuSign, Adobe Sign, HelloSign, PandaDoc, EverSign, SignNow, SignEasy, or another solution provider, let us help you discover an electronic signature platform with the functionality to grow with your business vision.

Ready to make the switch? Contact our team to learn how OneSpan can deliver a secure, trustworthy, and scalable e‑signature solution for your organization.

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Dilani Silva is a Product Marketing Manager at OneSpan. In her role, she manages and executes the go-to-market strategy, positioning, messaging and sales enablement for OneSpan’s e-signature solution, OneSpan Sign.