Meeting Boater Expectations: Digital Contracts & Documentation

Learn how technology can enhance and speed up your contracts and documentation process. Implementation is easy, and your marina will be well-equipped to meet the needs of your boaters.

Once a boater has completed the booking process, the next step is to collect contracts and signatures. Traditional methods involve a contract being printed, filled out by hand, and then mailed or faxed to a customer’s location so they can send it back. Even if you draw up a contract on-site, not every boater will want to stop by your office immediately to sign paperwork and provide their license and insurance. None of this makes you any less responsible for collecting all this information, though, or any less liable if an issue comes up with a customer that doesn’t have a signed contract.

Technology has simplified the collection of documents and signing of contracts for both sides of the transaction. Not only are e-signature and digital documents convenient for customers, but they also allow your operations team to complete a critical step in the purchasing process with almost zero manual effort. With e-signature tools, there’s no need to wait for customers to stop by your marina office or expect them to sign documents and then put them in the mail. Not to mention the COVID-era preferences of many customers to minimize contact with other strangers.

Industry Example: McCloskey Motors

The use of e-signatures and digital contracts is especially effective in industries that require a lot of paperwork. One of those industries is the car business. If you’ve ever bought or sold a vehicle, you know that even after you determine terms and make a final decision, you must still spend a significant chunk of time reading and signing various contracts.

McCloskey Motors is a family-owned car dealership based in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, the state of Colorado (like many others) ordered nonessential businesses closed. Dealers could no longer make in-person sales, but they were allowed to sell online and arrange for delivery at service centers.

This order forced McCloskey to devise a solution quickly, or risk even more significant disruption to their business. After switching to work with DocuSign – one of the leading e-signature providers for companies in every industry – and adjusting their normal workflow, McCloskey Motors was able to take its entire purchasing process digital.

After incorporating DocuSign into their car buying process, McCloskey shaved a full hour off each car sale. The time savings combined to roughly 350 hours of staff time annually. It has also made compliance with required state and legal ID checks much easier, thanks to its improved security measures.

McCloskey also found that using digital signatures and verification methods made interactions with customers and prospects more personalized, not less. Company leadership pointed out that since customers could begin introducing themselves and their needs remotely, it removed that element of tension when someone walks onto a car dealership’s sales floor and gets approached by an unfamiliar salesperson. 

How to Get Started With Digital Contracts and E-signatures

It’s never been easier to scan and digitize documents now that so many people have access to a powerful camera in their pocket. You can easily find apps that let you scan paper documents and turn them into image files or editable PDFs. Simply turning your current forms into digital ones is low-hanging fruit to start the process. From there, setting up a software tool like DocuSign is relatively simple and easy to integrate into your current workflow.

Once you feel more comfortable using digital contracts, start researching to find an all-in-one system that helps you manage reservations, contract signatures, payment processing, etc. 

Why Digital Contracts Can Help Strengthen Customer Relationships 

Some old-school customers may wonder why you switched to digital contracts or e-signatures. You can easily paint a picture of the many benefits going digital provides everyone, from the convenience factors mentioned earlier to the environmental savings from cutting down on paper and envelopes. 

In your business communications and customer service messages, you should also explain that your ultimate goal is to make life easier for prospects and customers while also making your business run more efficiently, a win-win scenario. Failing to adopt new technology that makes contract signature and verification easier could damage your bottom line in the long run.

Ready to take your contracts to the next level?

Lucky for you, Dockwa offers quick and easy implementation of digital contracts. We do the work for you so you can focus on better things.

Learn more here. Want to talk with a Dockwa product expert? Contact us!

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