Do eSignatures Really Improve the Customer Experience?


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We have seen and understood that customer experience ( and a digital one at that) and the overall experience economy is the current industrial revolution. Now and for the foreseeable future, CX is a key battleground and competitive differentiator.

In today’s digital world, the ante has been raised for delivering exceptional CX. From booking a Taxi (Uber) to ordering products via voice command with same-day delivery (Amazon + Alexa) Consumers are being spoiled so to speak, in all parts of their digital personal life.

However, depending on the industry of the product or service there are parts of the customer journey that are not that fully optimized for today’s customer expectation. Companies have rightfully focused on webpage navigation, mobile optimization, and apps, but does that really help if compliance or heavy documentation gets in the way?

This CX harming, customer burden often happens in the insurance industry, banking, and other financial services, and can easily happen in retail – think legacy return systems that require a paper form, or personalized order – or cell phone sales; I still get calls to upgrade my plan and my phone.

What these industries have in common is the need to complete paperwork, and often obtain eSignatures. But, you could say collecting documents and getting eSign isn’t new. Mainstream use of scanners, email and esign technology has been around almost 20 years? How does this impact my customer’s CX?

While it is true that esign and document management technology has been around a while, the added focus on CX makes it even more important that it is customer-oriented. When the esign and document collection part is not optimized for the customers there is a significant dropoff. Many businesses have complained that while they have invested in esign, the documents are still not coming back signed on time, worse they ultimately fail to close the deal.

So let’s figure out why eSign technology fails to unlock its potential.

Emails Don’t Work

Email today simply doesn’t compare to other channels of delivery when it comes to completing transactions requiring an eSignature or completing required documents. Consider these stats about email today:

  • 74 trillion emails are sent each year
  • 269 billion emails are sent each day
  • 2.4 million emails are sent every second
  • 121 average number of emails received by an office worker each day
  • 49.7% of all email is spam
  • Email open rates are only 20%
  • Email response rates are only 6%

Inboxes have been abused and have lost their visibility. Now emails take a back seat to texts, social and almost everything else. When you consider receiving 120 emails a day, it’s hard to imagine any emails getting the attention they used to have (Remember having to dial in? “You got Mail!”).

Letting critical documents and contracts decay in email boxes is not a strong business strategy when it comes to critical business processes. So, if receiving documents signed and completed is important to your business, it’s probably a good idea to find an alternative delivery method for your eSignatures to ensure you get a higher completion rate.

Are You Mobile Friendly

There has been a huge shift in digital communications and the electronic signature you’re using could be causing your conversion rates to plummet. The reason is that within the last couple of years, mobile web usage compared to desktop has skyrocketed. Some stats to consider: The percentage of people visiting mobile devices grew from 57 % to 63%; the percent of time spent on mobile devices increased from 40% to 49%.

If you are sending customers heavy documents that assume full keyboard and screen visibility, your mobile customers are going to have a tough time. Customers are simply not in front of their desktops as they used to be, nor do they have the patience to try and navigate clunky documents on a cell phone.

IF you are looking to improve CX there are some criteria to consider when thinking about an eSignature solution consistent with consumer behavior and great customer engagements.

First, is the solution easy to use? Shep Hyken, CX though leader, always talks about convenience and make that first and foremost. If your clients are required to scan documents, they’re more likely to abandon the process because it isn’t convenient. It’s crucial that the customer’s experience be seamless, particularly for on-the-go customers, so that they can complete any task directly from their mobile phone in one shot.

Howard Schulman
I've worked with several call center technology companies delivering marketing and sales insights and strategy.


  1. Hi Fred, Lightico, but I’m a bit biased : ) However, you should ask key questions as this blog suggests. For example: Can the documents and signature be captured on any mobile device? Can it be initiated via text messages? Does it require the customer to download anything? For banking, there are other considerations like security and ID&V. It also depends on the senario. Is an esignature required for onboarding? Loan origination? Let me know where your esign journey takes you.

  2. Here’s a true CX failure story.
    I had forgotten about a bank account I had. I recieved a letter from the bank that if I don’t sign and fax this letter back by a certain date my money will be transferred to the state. Calling support didn’t help. Calling my branch (which is far for me) didn’t help. The letter had to be faxed. FAX! It’s nearly 2020! Would have been great if I could have emailed or messages an esigned document. If I had this issue in my call center. I’d find a solution asap.

  3. Hi Jorge, I always find it hard to believe that banks still use fax. esignatures are legally binding why require fax?


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