eSignatures: The First Step to Automating Paperwork in Insurance

EasySend Blog - eSignatures: The First Step to Automating Paperwork in Insurance

Everybody hates filling in paperwork. But paperwork is a necessary evil in the insurance and financial services industries. Many organizations require customer paperwork that includes customer data collection, obtaining signatures, ID verifications, and collecting supporting documents. The reliance on paperwork cuts through the entire customer journey: from onboarding to policy renewals and claims processing.

For the most part, the customer data and signature collection processes are manual and paper-based, causing a lot of frustrations for the customers while at the same time slowing down operations. 

The advantages of digital journeys for customer data and eSignature collection

Collecting data and eSignatures in digital-native format

Collecting data and signatures in digital-native format is the necessary first step in creating end-to-end digital experiences. By collecting digital data, organizations ensure that the data is validated and accurate at the point of entry. 

While some tools to simplify the filling of PDF documents such as DocuSign are available, PDF-based data collection is behind the times when it comes to customer expectations for digital experiences.

eSignatures play a key role in automating the paperwork process, but eSignatures alone are only the first step to the digital customer journey.

Eliminating friction

This eliminates back-and-forth communications with customers and ensures the integrity of the data that flows into the internal systems. 

Customers can fill in, sign, and attach documents on any device, which is extremely important for today’s digital customers. 

The “continue later” functionality allows the user to pause and pick up the process later without losing their progress. As some paperwork requires additional documentation or information, it is important to ensure that the customer can stop and continue at any given time.

Offering real-time assistance

Virtual assistance is another feature that makes digital customer journeys superior when it comes to customer experience. If assistance is required at any point in the paperwork filling process, qualified help is just one button click away.

By combining digital self-service with real-time support, organizations can significantly boost completion rates and drive forward core processes that directly impact the bottom line.

Maintaining the integrity of the data

Validation rules can notify the customer when the data they entered is incorrect or in the wrong format. By validating data at the point of entry, the integrity of the data is maintained. 

Real-time validation is crucial, as it saves a lot of frustration to the customer and shortens the feedback loop from paperwork submission to the response from the organization. Your customer service and sales departments have the correct and most updated data at their fingertips at all times, empowering them to do their work more efficiently while achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

Offering personalized experiences

Digital journeys are connected to the internal, back-end systems and can provide real-time feedback to the customer. Personalized Quotes and estimates can be made accessible without delay.

Customers are well-aware that their personal data is valuable, and they expect their service providers to use this data to improve their experience. According to Epsilon’s report, 80% of customers are more likely to make a purchase when their experience is personalized.

What processes can be transformed into digital journeys?

Any customer process that requires data, supplemental documentation, or signature collection can be transformed into a user-friendly digital journey. Here are just a few examples of processes that are well suited to be converted into digital journeys with eSignatures:

  • Digital FNOL
  • Digital Request for Additional Living Expenses (ALE) Coverage
  • Digital Claims Management and Assessment
  • Digital onboarding
  • Digital policy renewals

The three stages of digitizing the paperwork processes in insurance

The digital stone age: bringing paper into the digital world

Organizations relying on paper and PDF-based data collection are at the very beginning of the digital transformation journey. 

PDF is a rudimentary tool that fails to take advantage of the full potential of digital technology. It essentially transfers the limitations of paper to the digital realm: it is inflexible, not mobile-friendly, and doesn’t provide any real-time feedback or validations.

Simultaneously, the data from the PDF is not in a digital-native format and is difficult to extract. 

It is a mistake to consider transforming paper into PDF forms as digital transformation, as it fails to provide full advantages of the digital world. The data you collect must still be further digitized and cleaned up, requiring extensive manual work and data entry. Data extraction requires additional investments, either in the form of OCR and parsing technology, or bloated back-office operations.

Why not digitize at the entry point and have the data in the digital form from the get-go? Organizations who realize that are stepping into the next stage of their digital transformation journey.

The digital bronze age: collecting data digitally

Web-based eForms are the next step in the transformation of forms and manual processes to the digital realm. eForms have significant advantages over PDFs in terms of real-time feedback and validation to improve data accuracy. The data input is digital from the get-go, simplifying the process.

However, eForms, as we know them, have been with us for several decades, and the customer experience of filling lengthy eForms still leaves much to be desired.

The modern digital age: personalized digital experiences

Today, insurers can offer their customers flexible, hyper-personalized experiences at the point of data collection. Digital customer journeys for customer data and eSignature collection combine a focus on the user-friendly experiences with the full integration into the back-end systems capabilities. 

eSignatures start to play an important role here, but eSignatures alone are far from the full potential of current digital technologies. At this stage organizations start to focus on user experience, data integrity and personalization of the overall customer experience.

Digitizing paperwork is a necessity as consumers become ever more digitally inclined. Old-fashioned eForms or PDFs fall short of customer expectations. Customized, seamless digital journeys are the new way to collect customer data, signatures, and documentation without frustration and delays of traditional paperwork.

Transforming paperwork into digital journeys: code vs no-code

There are two ways organizations can approach this stage: either with code, or with the help of no-code platforms. 

The more common way to digitize paperwork is through custom code. But  when it comes to paperwork-replacing digital journeys in particular, no-code has significant advantages in terms of agility, scalability and cost saving.

As organizations accelerate their digital transformation, no-code tools and platforms become more attractive, as they offer significant agility, scalability, and security advantages.

Until recently, no-code development tools haven’t been a part of the enterprise tech-stack. But today’s no-code tools have evolved to answer the stringent security, compliance, and customization requirements of enterprise clients.

EasySend is a no-code platform for building and optimizing digital customer journeys in insurance, banking, and financial services. The platform is built to help organizations accelerate digital transformation by turning paperwork into personalized digital experiences.

EasySend can transform any form into an attractive digital journey without a single line of code and in a matter of days, empowering organizations to offer their customers seamless digital experiences instead of boring and clunky forms.

Suppose, you still need to retain a copy of the signed paperwork in a PDF format for compliance and archiving purposes. In that case, EasySend can generate such a document with all the data and signatures in place.

No matter at what stage you find yourself in digitizing paperwork – whether you are currently stuck with PDF, eForms of code – EasySend offers a quick and painless way to move forward into the realm of digital journeys and seamless customer experiences.

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