Posted 6th July 2021
Over the past few years, the term ‘customer experience’ has grown increasingly popular in the business world. But what exactly does it mean? And where does an electronic signature fit in with all this? If you’re wondering both those things and more, in this article we’ll be discussing all things customer experience and how digital technology can help your business leave a lasting impression.
Let’s start with the basics. What exactly is customer experience? Also known as CX, customer experience focuses on the overall impression of your business and brand. Over the past few years, a holistic approach to the ‘customer experience’ has started to replace old ideas of customer/business relationships. It means going above and beyond to utilise every small interaction across the customer journey to impress clients with your service, knowledge, and efficiency.
From the first interaction via your website or with customer-facing teams, to signing on the dotted line and receiving your product and service, each part of the customer journey is a chance to promote your brand and reputation. After all, it only takes one negative experience to leave a sour taste behind, potentially resulting in a loss of business or even an official complaint.
Whilst these two terms are sometimes used interchangeably, customer experience and customer service are actually two different yet closely related concepts. So what’s the difference?
By definition, customer service is the “assistance and advice provided by a company to those people who buy or use its products or services”. This often comes in the form of a customer-facing team, who have the knowledge and skills to interact and support customers and clients whilst they make enquiries or a purchase. It’s therefore a vital piece of the customer experience puzzle, but only a fragment of the overall customer journey.
Customer experience, however, takes a more holistic view, encompassing not only the customer service aspects but also analysing how non-customer facing departments can also contribute to the customer journey, ensuring all teams are aware of the role they can play in the overall customer experience.
Whether you’re a B2B or B2C business, the significance of customer experience cannot be understated. Customers are the lifeblood of any business; whether you’re selling a product or offering a service, attracting customers is an absolute must for a healthy bottom line and successful company.
Focusing on your customer experience ensures you leave your customers with an overall positive impression of your business, encouraging them to return to you in the future for either a repeat service or additional product. The ultimate goal here is to cultivate loyalty to your brand, ensuring you attract repeat business and lose as few customers as possible to the competition.
Happy customers are also the best possible advertisement for your business and can become your most ardent advocates. If you provide an impressive customer experience, your customers are likely to spread the word to their colleagues, friends, and family, expanding your brand presence for you and potentially attracting more customers to your business.
In this sense, customer experience plays a vital role in word-of-mouth marketing, which is still a relevant and legitimate marketing strategy, even in an increasingly digital marketplace. A study found that 92% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising. It just goes to show, your customer’s experience with your business can either make you, or break you.
We can all no doubt recall a time when we’ve had a bad customer experience, whether that’s poor customer service, trouble communicating with the company or delays when receiving a product or service. Chances are it left you unimpressed and unlikely to go back to the company. On this point, the facts speak for themselves and highlight that neglecting customer experience is ultimately bad for business. It’s estimated that a third of consumers would consider switching provider after just one bad experience, with 4/10 then going on to advise others against choosing that business. In this sense, bad customer experience can ruin more than just repeat business; it could actively put people off spending their money with you.
Now, you’re probably wondering where an electronic signature fits into all of this, and how it can improve your business’s customer experience. Ultimately, adopting an electronic signature is part of a wider trend of digital transformation, which aims to improve both behind the scenes operations, customer service and user experience through the adoption of digital technology. Improving operational efficiency for employees is bound to have a knock-on effect for customers and clients, resulting in faster responses, quicker turnaround times and a joined-up customer experience. Let’s take a closer look at how electronic signatures can help improve your customer experience.
For any business that relies on signing documents and agreements as part of their daily business operations, adopting a digital signature not only makes life easier for employees but also for customers. With an accessible electronic signature on the case, you can ultimately simplify the signing process, resulting in a better customer experience for your clients.
Eliminating the additional (and now unnecessary) steps associated with traditional pen and paper signatures makes interacting with your company less effort and hassle for your customers, who would otherwise have to physically send the signed documents back to you in the post. Indeed, by employing an electronic signature, your customers and clients can sign and return a document, agreement, or contract in just a few clicks, straight from their email inbox.
One of the many advantages of digital documents and an electronic signature is the ability to reduce document turnaround time on both ends, which ultimately increases efficiency and allows you to impress customers with quicker responses and greater agility. We carried out a study that confirmed that an electronic signature can result in a 3-to-10-fold reduction in turnaround time; for one law firm, adopting an electronic signature help to reduce turnaround time from 21 to a mere three days.
Keeping everything digital makes document creation and signing easier on your side. Sending digital documents via email also reduces the waiting time associated with posting, allowing you to get those all-important documents out to customers quickly and efficiently. For customers, using a digital signature allows them to e-sign and return documents in just a few clicks, so you can close those vital transactions in a matter of days, not weeks.
These days, most customers have a high level of digital maturity. Whether they have a laptop, tablet, smartphone or all three, chances are your customers and clients will be used to interacting with companies digitally, rather than in-person or via letters. In fact, for many digitally mature customers, paper-based processes are just a hassle; having to print, sign and either scan or post documents is a time-consuming process- and that’s if they even have access to a printer or scanner.
By adopting an electronic signature, you’re offering your customers the option to e-sign your documents on any device, all they need is an internet connection and an email address. As remote working becomes a staple in the new normal and we head towards a decentralised way of working, having the agility and flexibility to e-sign from anywhere, at any time is essential for businesses, and allows them to continue working and collecting signatures even when employees are working from home.
For many businesses, continuously improving the efficiency of the behind-the-scenes workflow is vital to improving customer experience, allowing them to remain attentive and responsive to the needs and demands of your customers.
Indeed, switching between paper-based processes and digital working is a prime example of a disjointed and inefficient workflow, which will ultimately be passed on to your customers in disorganisation, delays and errors. With a digital signature in your arsenal, your business has the technology it needs to embrace digital document processing, helping you eliminate unnecessary ‘analogue’ steps that slow down your operations and result in a poor or sub-par customer experience.
As we increasingly move away from paper-based processes, embracing digitalisation has become a matter of keeping up with your competition. With the modern business landscape moving increasingly online, make sure your business stays ahead of the game with a reliable and user-friendly e-signature. If you’re looking to improve efficiency and productivity, whilst improving your customer experience, then digital processes are a good place to start.
When COVID-19 hit, businesses with digitalised processes were able to transition to home working a lot more smoothly than those still reliant on paper-based admin. Now that home working is set to be a firm part of the new normal, businesses need to stay flexible and agile; and digital documents and an electronic signature is the easiest way to stay ahead of curve
No matter what industry you’re in, your business can benefit from an electronic signature, using the many advantages of digital technology to bolster your customer experience. Take a look at how a digital signature could be deployed across your sector to improve customer experience.
When people think of accounting, they probably think of numbers in spreadsheets. If you work in the accounting sector, however, you’ll know just how much paperwork is involved in your day-to-day work and the running of the sector in general. Implementing a digital signature and document transaction system can reduce the hassle of tackling paperwork, ensuring your clients receive a smooth service and optimal experience.
Whether you work in a school, university or college, educational institutions stand to benefit immensely from implementing electronic signature and document management platform. E-signatures make everything from permission slips to enrolment forms as simple as possible for parents and students.
In a modern health care environment, paper-based processes can no longer keep up with the demands placed on your NHS trust or GP surgery. E-Signatures can optimise administration, freeing up more time to spend on patient care and resulting in a better user experience.
Those of you that work in the insurance industry will know the amount of paperwork that needs processing on a daily basis, whether that’s insurance policy applications or claims processing. With an e-signature on the case, processing documents becomes a lot easier and more efficient for your customers, ensuring an often stressful process is as simple as possible.
Signing on the dotted line is a big part of the legal sector, whether you’re signing a contract or legal agreement. With the time-saving functionalities of the E-Sign platform on your side, you can ensure you get those important documents and contracts to your clients quickly and efficiently.
No matter what your company is coordinating, paperwork is going to be involved on multiple levels. Implementing an electronic signature across your business can help you and your employees keep on top of the necessary paperwork, ensuring you have all the right documents you and your customers need for a smooth service.
Here at E-Sign, we offer more than just an electronic signature. With our range of digital tools, your employees and customers can benefit from efficient document transaction management.
Rapidly improve document completion times and customer experience with E-Sign’s instant payment capture. Request and instantly capture payments (upon document completion) from your signers, with our automatic payment capture feature.
With our embedded ID Checker, you can verify the identity of your e-signers to minimise the risk of fraud and ensure your transactions are secure.
On E-Sign’s platform, you can enable SMS authentication when you send a document for e-signing, providing an additional layer of security for your transactions. To add an additional layer of security, you can password protect your documents by enabling E-Sign’s document access control.
Our E-Sign platform allows you to tailor communications to your business brand and send your digital documents for e-signature in a personalised email. We offer a number of options to import your own email design, company logo and personalised email address into your emails and communication.
With our digitalised web forms, you can collect customer information quickly and easily, without the hassle of sending paper documents or asking your customers to meet in person. Our E-Sign web forms can be embedded into your website, app or sent via email, saving yourself and your customers the hassle of paper-based admin.
E-Sign is a leading provider of digital transaction management solutions, supplying professional services including Electronic Signatures, Web Forms, ID Checker, Verification Tools, Personalised Emails, API and Payment Processing to businesses of all sizes across the UK.
To find out more about our E-Sign solutions and how they could transform your business, get in touch with us today.