No matter how enthusiastic you are about your small business, it won’t be fully successful if most of your work hours are eaten up by repetitive manual tasks. That’s why automation tools are gaining traction and becoming more feasible than ever before. Today, we’d like to focus on one of them, namely an electronic signature app.
If you’ve already heard about this technology but its benefits for your company is an unexplored area, as yet, it’s high time. Actually, e-signature software provides a lot of clear advantages for both businesses and customers. Let’s go through the major ones:
- Consider this: you spend a substantial amount of money on paper and ink to print meeting agendas, research notes, or business reports. But why if you can use the budget wiser?
According to the calculations by Natalya Berdzeni, executive vice president for spend management services at LAC Group, their clients spend an average of $200 per employee annually, or $17 per month, on office supplies. Now compare this to a monthly subscription to a service like KeepSolid Sign – an electronic signature solution that will cost you only $9.99 per user. A big difference, isn’t it? A simple switch to the technology will help you forget about office stuff, like printer, paper, and ink. Furthermore, this may be the first step towards paperless office that everybody talks about.
- Given that all transactions are carried out electronically, the document signing proceeds faster and without ever getting a chance to lose even a single paper.
- With so many customers doing business online, the critical step to living up to their expectations is an opportunity to work no matter where life takes them. Even the lack of the internet access doesn’t mean you have to pause your work process. Depending on the service provider, you can edit the content of the documents, sign, send, and fill them whenever is convenient for you. This means never fearing bad internet connection in front of your customers.
- If you’re tired of the questions like “Have you signed my document yet?” or “Was my business proposal delivered to the right hands?”, an electronic signature will rid you of this. With the solution, you can keep track of a document status and get notifications when it changes. Some apps will offer to remind recipients about the documents they need to sign.
That are pretty good reasons to join the digitization process with the technology, particularly given the list of advantages is not complete. But where do you start? How not to be mistaken in choosing the right electronic signature app? We went ahead to help you with this and prepared questions you need to ask before making a decision:
1. Does the app provide you with a high level of protection?
Given we’re considering a tool for the work with official documents and contracts, data protection should be the top priority. Below are some key points to help you evaluate the service and avoid data breaches, malware, viruses, phishing, and other security threats:
- Look for an app, which offers multiple authentication ways and the ability to configure them within the same transaction.
- Opt the service where EACH contract or document will be secured with a digital signature.
- Recommended protocols: SSAE 16 / SOC 1, ISO 27001, and SOC 2. Pay special attention to the last one, as it ensures constant monitoring of processes related to security, availability, confidentiality, and privacy.
2. How simple and intuitive is the app?
Ideally, really good apps combine an intuitive user experience with powerful, useful features and a friendly clear interface. Look for the one with such perfect balance. If pick an app with an incredible amount of features (most of which will never be used), sooner or later, you’ll get tired of leafing through its tutorials every time before beginning to work with it. Opt for a software that’s easy to learn and a pleasure to use. Because an app is only useful if it moves you closer to the goal without requiring significant time and energy in return.
3. Does the app integrate with your existing tools?
Regardless of company size and its activity sphere, all employees have got used to working with a dozen business applications. None of them can imagine performing a lot of tasks without such services as Google, Microsoft, or Box which have become an integral part of their workflow. By choosing an electronic signature solution, which allows employees to sign documents right within their favorite applications, is a perfect way not to give up on old habits. Furthermore, it will help to drive workers’ productivity and effectiveness.
4. Does the app offer a seamless mobile experience?
With over a billion people using smartphones to access the internet, choose the tool that adjusts to changing requirements. An opportunity to securely send, sign, and manage documents on the go is mandatory, not just desirable. Opt for a solution, which is available on every major platform, namely iOS, Android, and web. The ability to send instant, non-intrusive notifications to customers is one of good reasons why you should pay attention to a mobile app in the first place.
5. Does the e-signature vendor have a favorable reputation in the industry?
Last but not least, run the complete and thorough study of the market and competitors before purchasing the electronic signature app. Check the companies’ online reputation on the the biggest review sites, for instance, G2Crowd, Capterra, IT Central Station, or FinancesOnline to learn peer recommendations, feedback ratings, and hear from people who’ve tried out the solutions already implemented in their company.
Depending on the use cases, you might need to study additional rules and regulations. For instance, to file tax returns using electronic signatures, the software must meet certain requirements for verifying the taxpayer’s identity and be IRS-compliant as well.
Asking yourself these five questions before making up your mind about the electronic signature app will help you take promptly the right decision. Such one you’ll be happy with not just today but decades down the road.
About the Author
Julia Holovko is a product marketing manager at KeepSolid and responsible for all things marketing and customer development — strategy and tactics, growth and lead generation for KeepSolid Sign. She is also a mobile marketing enthusiast. She shares the company journey and experience in building software products on her blog on medium.