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November 14, 2022

Improving The Customer Experience for Conveyancing

For conveyancers, their work involves dealing with clients during one of the most stressful periods of their life. Packing up your life and relocating to another area comes with plenty of logistics, and that’s on top of ensuring all the legal paperwork is taken care of.

This means conveyancers must consider the successful completion of multiple property transactions while ensuring the experience for their clients is as smooth as possible. All in all, there’s a lot to think about.

Moving house is such a complicated legal matter that there is an entire field of legal specialists dedicated to the legal side of buying and selling properties. Conveyancers handle large numbers of property transactions yearly, and the process is not always smooth. Along with the complex legal formalities of transferring deeds, many other variables exist, and sales chains are notoriously difficult to navigate.

The two major phases, exchange and completion, see property ownership transferred first in a legal sense, then in a physical one. Often, there is a substantial wait between an offer being accepted and the first legally binding exchange, meaning there is ample time for mistakes and for people to change their minds.

The result is that, sadly, the conveyancing process is not always as smooth as it could be, both for conveyancers and their clients.

While little can be done for now about the nature of property sales chains and the time it can take for enquiries, there is a way to improve the customer experience for conveyancing, thanks to the new legislation from the Land Registry (HMLR).

In 2020 HMLR announced the adoption of eSignatures for many matters relating to property transactions, which has the potential to redefine the customer experience for conveyancing completely.

Adoption of eSignatures For Conveyancing

eSignatures have been in operation for several years in some form or another. They have been used to drastically speed up the process of signing, especially for documents that need a signatory outside of an organisation. They reduce office costs, increase efficiency and are also more secure than traditional wet signatures.

Of course, while these benefits are a natural fit for the conveyancing workflow, adoption of the technology has been slow, and conveyancers have been unable to take advantage of the benefits that electronic signatures offer. However, improvements in the software and technology behind digital signatures mean that the customer experience in the legal sector can now be dramatically enhanced by eSignature technology.

At this point, it is important to note that several different terms are often used interchangeably for eSigning, sometimes when not appropriate. This is because the different terms refer to varying levels of electronic signatures, as determined by their qualifying requirements.

We’ve already covered the details of different terminology in our blog about online document signing in conveyancing. If you want to read the full details, the blog is linked, but in summary, there are four main kinds of eSignature, each ascending in order of the level of security, accountability and traceability that they provide.

For eSignatures in conveyancing, there is a specific type of Advanced Electronic Signature (AES) called a Conveyancer-Certified Electronic Signature (CCES). CCES carry additional requirements to the already secure standard AES and have been specifically created for acceptance with certain transactions by HM Land Registry.

In deciding to accept electronic signatures, HMLR consulted with the conveyancing industry, legal experts and electronic signature software providers to decide on the secure and legal practicalities of CCES and their use.

The move to adopt eSignatures means that there will be a significant improvement to the customer experience in the legal and property sectors. The potential for this improvement undoubtedly influenced HMLR’s reasoning for adopting CCES.

In an HMLR blog about the matter in 2020, Robin Malpas said,

Removing the need for paper deeds and post from the conveyancing transaction speeds up the process and is a vital component of the increasingly online process of buying property.

Of course, the timing of the move in 2020 means that the shift towards working from home due to the coronavirus pandemic was also a factor. To help keep house purchases moving during lockdowns, the conveyancing industry was granted the use of eSignatures, speeding up transactions and bringing the house purchasing process firmly into the digital era.

It is also worth noting that HMLR has indicated they plan to increase the use of electronic signatures further, meaning it’s likely they will fast become the industry standard.

Improving the Customer Experience for Conveyancers With eSigning

The adoption of eSignatures is now providing conveyancers with an easy-to-integrate method of drastically improving their client experience. User experience has become a central component of the modern customer service landscape, with a heavy focus on it, driven partly by the tech industry.

The Age of Customer Experience

Within the tech design industry, new fields have emerged which require hyper-specialisation. Known as user-experience (UX), it’s a subsection of design focused on how a user experiences the product, app, webpage or software.

Not only does UX deal with elements like making the layout intuitive, but UX also looks at ways to make the customer journey seamless. It’s the little things, like the menu always appearing in the same place no matter where a user is in an app or website. Anything that makes the customer journey feel intuitive, natural and smooth.

The field of UX has exploded in the past few years because our understanding of the importance of user experience has improved vastly. It’s now acknowledged that small pain points in a user journey have a massive effect on the likelihood of a customer completing their task, finishing the checkout process with a product, etc. For example, research shows that 25% of online shoppers will leave a website if it takes longer than 4-6 seconds to load.

Improving Customer Experience in the Legal Sector

UX improvements in tech design has led to a vast improvement in users completing their expected end goals.

Furthermore, given the widespread use of software products utilising UX, many other industries have directly seen the benefits of improving the client experience.

eSignatures for conveyancing solicitors are offered by software providers, meaning there is already a direct focus on the user experience within the software. However, the benefits of using eSignatures in conveyancing extend well beyond the software alone.

Electronic signatures in conveyancing are faster to complete, giving clients access to documents without the need for printing and scanning between sending and signing.

Additionally, software for eSignatures provides a better auditing trail in the event of a problem and therefore improves accountability for all parties signing documents. These benefits also come with reduced costs, for conveyancers and their clients, with less paper, ink, and postage required.

A smoother, faster and more economical process is excellent for conveyancers and their clients. By switching to eSignatures, conveyancers can unlock a vastly improved customer experience and workflow for themselves, which will ultimately lead to a higher completion rate.

Software for Conveyancer-Certified eSignatures

Software for conveyancer-certified signatures is designed to enhance the workflow and productivity of conveyancers while providing an easy-to-use, intuitive interface for conveyancer clients.

CCES software companies provide full integration with existing software and often come with accompanying productivity software alongside electronic signature capability. In addition, they adhere to requirements set out by HMLR, meaning the adoption process is smooth for conveyancers.

Not all software is built identical, though. With variations in the productivity tools offered and strict regulations about how data is stored, it’s worth doing your homework on what to look for when choosing the best document-signing software.

Legalesign

Legalesign is an eSignature software provider based in Cambridge, UK. We’ve designed our features to fit any business and have a focus on working with our clients to help them achieve the best results from electronic signing.

As a consultant in the initial process by HMLR discussing the adoption of eSignatures, Legalesign software provides fully functional CCES that meet the requirements of HM Land Registry.

If you’d like to see how our eSignature software can improve your conveyancing experience, get in touch today to book a free trial.

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