The best way to ensure your clients accept your new tech with ease is to ensure perfect timing, clarification, and detailed explanation. E-signature is one of the technologies you'll need to incorporate because manual techniques slow instead of smoothing document flow. They also eat into your time and lead to mistakes. An e-signature or electronic signature is more like the digital version of a handwritten signature. Businesses can use it to approve or verify the terms or contents in a document. The technology and the laws that legalized its use have cut down the time it takes to send a document to and fro for signing by the various parties. An electronic signature contract ensures both clients and businesses preview the documents well before submission to avoid errors. But how you introduce this digital way of signing documents to your clients will determine whether it makes or ruins client experience.
Confusion due to unexpected introduction of an e-signature contract can lead to serious lawsuits and hefty fines that may threaten to destabilize a business. For instance, a client may take you to court for not explaining how your new approach of signing documents works if the resulting mistake has a costly consequence. With enough proof, a court could find you accountable and make you pay for the fines. We've had several cases in US courts where real estate clients sued their agents for "taking advantage of” them by introducing e-signatures and not breaking down the process in detail.
You must spend quality time discussing with a client. Explain what the e-signing process entails, let them ask questions, and be ready to respond. That said, this blog will dig into some of the matters to discuss with a client before you introduce them to electronic signing.
These two laws can help you explain your case to a client: • The UETA (Uniform Electronic Transactions Act) of 1999 which controls state laws. • The ESIGN (Electronic Signatures in Global & National Commerce) Act passed by the US Congress in 2000. Explain to your clients that these two e-signature contract regulations made e-signatures legal and enforceable for almost all transactions in the United States. Business owners must also note that a client has the right to opt for paper contracts, and you cannot force them to use electronic contracts. You must obtain a client's consent to use e-contracts. Lastly, mention that there's a matching certificate and a serial number unique to each e-signature. It is another way to earn their trust that indeed, electronic signatures can be verified.
Most e-signing platforms are built to automatically prompt a client to sign directly as soon as they or click the "start signing" button. Ensure the e-signing solution you use does not bypass the critical contents of the doc. It should allow the signer to go through the document page by page before appending a signature. Also, remember to stress to your client that they must read the whole document before signing digitally and mention that they should consult you if they face difficulties viewing the document.
Going through every doc can eliminate confusion and ensure the client signs so that the transaction advances to the next stage. If possible, provide in advance blank copies of all the forms your client will need to sign electronically. After the client is satisfied, you can send copies with the "sign here" button.
It helps to call or text a client before sending any document for electronic signing. Then follow up with them to ensure they have done due diligence. But most online signing solutions will get in touch with the business and the signer or client through email. However, if you don't receive a notification email, text the client before it is too late to inquire about the status of the document. The right email with the attachments could have landed up in the client's spam box. Also inform your clients that they can, if they wish to have a copy of the e-signed document for their records in either PDF format or choose to print it. Leaving your client with a copy of the signed document is a way to prove to them that you are honest and the deal is underway.
Inform your customers early that they will be receiving electronic documents throughout deal, and that they'll need to shift to an electronic signature system. Stress the significance of e-signatures and how they speed up and streamline the transaction process, which is very important if time is of the essence. You should also send the documents early so that your client has ample time for review before signing. Follow up with them and confirm if you are on the same page. Have records of these conversations and support chats to stay safe—in case the client takes you to court for not
After the signing process, ask the client about their experience with your electronic signature contract approach. Ask them for areas where they would like to see improvements and use this opportunity to learn your audience's growing pains. Remember, signatures needs are different across the industries. Understanding your clients will help you to make informed choices.
In response to the novel pandemic, both federal and state-level policymakers began considering an amendment (on March 20, 2020) to authorize or further speed up the use of e-signatures. The proposal also covered the use of e-notarizations and remote notarizations (RONs) for business transactions. Under current rules, e-signatures & e-notarizations are regulated by federal, state, and county laws. The widley known ESIGN (Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce) Act (2000) applies at the federal level. The ESIGN Act states that e-signatures are equally as legal as a wet or handwritten signature. Meanwhile, the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act (UETA), which also considers e-signatures as officially-binding is reffered to at state-level. The same Act is in use in the District of Columbia.So far, nearly all states (except Illinois, New York & Washington), have passed the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act. And currently, Congress is pondering over a bipartisan plan to introduce the use of RONs at national level. The bill known as the Securing & Enabling Commerce Using Remote, and the Electronic Notarization Act of 2020 (SECURE Act) seeks to permit US notaries to complete remote notarizations (RONs). Furthermore, it will establish new laws to control transactions across states. Under existing legal frameworks, each state has the freedom to establish its RON standards. Taking the lead are states like New York and Connecticut who've made the most of of executive action to implement RONs. Businesses and residents of the two can now make RON paymentsvia audio-video chat tools like Skype, FaceTime, etc.
Learning the tools you have at your disposal will help you make the right choices operate in compliance. So what things matter most to a commercial electronic signature solutions?
Some industries have stricter E-signature laws than others. Confirm if your signing tool is in accordance.
Go for a client-friendly software that will help increase the chances of a successful contract. The tool should allow a signer to add a signature in 2-3 steps.
automatic reminders asking one to sign a doc can help keep clients on their toes.
Your tool should enable you to set document expiry dates can increase contract completion rates.
Most of your customers clients will fancy the idea of signing through mobile devices. Consider a platform that is compatible with both. What else do you prioritize? Well, many other things make an excellent tool but these are the must-have pillars of an effective solution. Lastly, the introduction of digital signatures is a systematic process. Remember to implement step by step, and involve your business lawyer attorneys to ensure an organized friction-free transition.
Now you know how to introduce your client an e-signature contract in a manner that will not confuse them. Use this approach to make every deal a success.