In the largely digital world that COVID-19 has forced upon us, the need for new tools that limits in-person interaction is critical. When it comes to signed documents, businesses can no longer rely on the slow and arduous process of obtaining handwritten signatures. And the need for a convenient, secure, and reliable digital or electronic signature platform is no longer a luxury, but a necessity. Selecting a digital or electronic signature vendor that meets your needs is one of the most important decisions you can make, and when evaluating vendors, it's critical to ask the right questions. This article will discuss what you need to know in order to select the right digital or e-signature service for you.
1. How secure is your platform?
Security is of the utmost importance when dealing with confidential documents, so one of your first questions should focus on security. Does the digital or electronic signature solution authenticate the identity of the signers? If so, how does it do this? Is it a digital signature or electronic signature? A digital signature is a type of electronic signature that offers more security and data protection than a traditional electronic signature. Does it audit the signature process so that every step is tracked? Is there a verification process that allows you to easily see if the signature is valid and has not been tampered with? Digital evidence is vital for transactions to be legally sound, and your digital signature platform should contain the highest level of evidence and security.
2. Is your platform easy to adopt and use?
In the remote work environment, customers now expect seamless and easy digital processes to be in place. Adoption can be challenging with a complicated tool. When looking for your digital signature provider, understand how easy it is to prepare and send documents through their service. How simple is it to learn the platform? Can you create document templates so you can easily reproduce the ones you use most often? Once you send your document, is it easy to track in real time? Do you have to download an app to use the service? It is essential that the platform be accessible for both you and your customers and signers, so make sure you are comfortable with the product before moving forward with your provider.
3. Is it easy for signers to use?
Your digital or electronic signature software needs to make life simpler for your signers; otherwise, they will have a bad customer experience which reflects negatively on you and your business. Make sure your selected platform is easy for signers to use and will create a positive user experience.
4. What is the cost?
With a multitude of digital and electronic signature providers saturating the market, it is important to perform your due diligence to see how pricing compares. Make sure you aren’t being overcharged for basic features, or potentially facing a dramatic hike in prices or unexplained fees at renewal time. If you are interested in a company that offers services beyond the standard features and functionality, make sure the costs are clearly outlined. You do not want to adopt a service to later realize it is not within your budget or comes with hidden fees.
5. How is the support?
Reliable customer support with any new technology is key. Ask about the availability of the support staff and the resources available to you. Is it easy to reach them, or will you receive a standard email reply followed by a long wait? Are there training materials to help you learn more about the products, understand how to prepare and send documents for electronic signature, and how to effectively use the technology? Good customer support is pivotal for high user adoption, employee success, and a positive experience for your customers.
6. What services do you offer beyond the basic digital or electronic signature product?
Whether you're a smaller business or a larger organization, the signature provider you choose must support all your digital or electronic transaction needs. One area to look into is notarization services. Remote online notarization (RON) services can save you time and hassle as well as provide a level of security and cost savings unmatched by traditional notarization. Another important area to ask about is white-labeled digital signature products. This is important if you are a larger company looking for a powerful, integrated digital signing solution with a rich set of features. White labeling is a pivotal addition if you want to be able to customize every aspect of your documents and the signing process to correspond to your brand.
7. What industries do you typically serve?
This is important, especially if you work in highly regulated industries like financial services, healthcare, insurance, or real estate. You’ll want to make sure your e-signature solution will work for you and your business, and this will give you a good idea of the types of use cases you can address with the digital or electronic signature technology. You might also consider asking for a reference or two, so you can hear how the vendor is to work with from a client’s perspective.
8. What other platforms do you integrate with?
Integrating digital or electronic signatures into your workflow can be challenging without the proper integrations with your other technology vendors. If the digital signature partner works a lot in your industry, then it should be familiar with other vendors you probably work with and how you can get the systems linked and talking to each other.
The need for a trusted digital or electronic signature platform is paramount for businesses of any size. Digital signatures are quickly becoming a necessity for any organization to function efficiently and productively, and you need to find a service that is both easy to trust and easy to use. It is important to find one service that can fulfill all your digital needs, whether you are looking for a secure digital signature product or if you need further services. Be sure to inquire about online notarization software and white-labeling if these are areas that your company could use. Asking the questions outlined in this article will allow you to find an e-signature platform suited to your business's needs that is safe and secure, easily accessible and usable, and with an advanced support team that is dedicated to the success of your customers and partners.