E-Signatures: Agent & Broker Resources
If you don’t offer prospects and customers e-signature functionality now, you probably will before long. And if you don’t, someone else will. Agents and brokers using e-signatures say it helps them sell more, communicate faster, satisfy efficiency-conscious customers, eliminate unneeded follow-ups, ensure documents are in good order, and reduce E&O problems.
Electronic signature solutions come in a variety of forms—everything from face-to-face stylus or finger-signing on tablets, to click-to-sign functionality where an agent sends a link and instructions to a customer or prospect, who then signs and returns the document.
There are a number of resources to help agents and brokers understand what electronic signatures are and what they offer. ACT prepared an overview article and recently created papers addressing carrier- and vendor-related topics, which supply links to a number of providers. And a recent Agencies Online video offers insight from Steve Anderson. Each of these and others offer useful information that can help as you move forward.
Making Your Decision: Here are some things you may want to consider as you compare the various e-signature solutions for deployment in your own agency or brokerage:
Does it offer you options (such as e-mail, secret questions/answers or SMS text code) to authenticate online customers?
Is it flexible enough to support how you do business and not require employees to implement unwanted workflow or process changes?
Will the solution let you promote your own brand?
Does it protect you with electronic proof of everything the customer sees, signs and agrees to online?
Will it support agency-specific forms and marketing materials?
Can you choose a method of signing that suits your situation and addresses both in-person and remote signing?
Does it support any web-enabled mobile device?
Is it recommended by actual users, such as those in your agent association, management system user group, or individuals who comment on product review sites like Gartner.com Peer Reviews?
Additional Resources: You may also want to review the checklist Joyce Sigler shared in an e-signatures article in the November 2013 issue of Rough Notes magazine. Also, explore available integrations through your agency management system vendor listed in our previous ACT article and, if you’re a Big “I” member, learn about how its partnership with one vendor might benefit your agency.
One final piece of advice: It may sound obvious, but once you’ve vetted and selected an e-signature solution in your agency, test it internally before you launch it with customers and prospects.