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Sign of the times

New research suggests consumer demand is driving the uptake of digital signatures

Digital methods of doing business are no longer viewed as a ‘nice to have’ by consumers or business professionals but as an absolute prerequisite, with almost 90% of consumers wanting the option to complete transactions digitally.

This is one of the main findings of new research commissioned by DocuSign, the eSignature and Digital Transaction Management (DTM) company. The research, available in the eBook What do your customers expect? also reveals that more than 60% of C-level executives expect businesses to offer digital options for completing transactions.

Scott Olrich, chief strategy and marketing officer at DocuSign, said: “If companies aren’t already going digital to accelerate the process of doing business internally, they need to do so for their customers. Today’s consumers demand the ease, speed and convenience of doing business digitally, and if your organisation doesn’t, they will find a modern business that does.”

The research reveals growing dissatisfaction amongst consumers for traditional communication methods and for businesses that rely on them:

62% of consumers don’t feel comfortable sending important or sensitive paper documents through the post; two in five have had a document lost in the post in the last 12 months;

59% of consumers believe that organisations using legacy processes, such as paper forms, are outdated compared to their peers that are digital; and

57% of consumers would choose to interact with companies that offer digital methods of completing transactions over those that stick to paper-based processes.

While executives lag behind consumers in the move to digital, they are starting to recognise its importance to their own customers and the future of their businesses, with 85% citing digital transformation as a top priority for their organisations.

The top three areas of business that C-level executives aim to improve by going digital are all customer-centric:

52% are looking to digital to improve their Customer Relationship Management (CRM);

51% are focused on enhancing customer service through digital means; and

46% are aiming to improve client satisfaction/their client experience with digital technologies.

Despite their intentions many businesses still face obstacles to digital adoption, including lack of funding (46%) and the need to modify infrastructure before implementation (54%).

There is also evidence of poor planning and collaboration, with 44% of senior decision-makers undertaking digital projects without consulting their IT departments. Only 29% of business leaders have had a digital project proceed without red tape from another department.

Almost all executives (92%) agree that their organisation could be doing more to go digital and, as a result, more and more organisations are creating chief digital officer roles to drive collaboration and success across departments.

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