Digitize Liability Waivers for a Better Customer Experience

As businesses manage the challenge of safely reopening on-site locations during a pandemic, many companies are asking visitors to complete electronic waivers and related consent forms prior to shopping for a car or new home, attending school in person, participating in sports leagues or volunteer events, getting an eye exam, or visiting physical premises at a gym or salon. For businesses such as gyms, realtors, auto dealerships, salons, event venues, and even healthcare providers and schools, electronic solutions for gathering and tracking health symptom responses or obtaining signed liability waivers can be a critical step to reopening in person. Digital versions of these forms are a better option for companies looking to bring visitors back responsibly (contactless, trackable solution), while improving customer experience. 

Under the right conditions, electronic waivers help to limit the claims or damages that a visitor could pursue against a business in the future. These digital consent forms are being used to ensure visitors know businesses are putting safeguards in place, while acknowledging participants are assuming risks inherently related to COVID-19 by taking part in certain activities. For example, salons might require customers to sign a waiver that acknowledges they will be in close proximity to others which might increase exposure to the virus. An automotive retailer might require customers entering their dealerships to complete a health declaration before shopping. Or a real estate agency might expect buyers and sellers to sign acknowledgement of risk forms before showing a property. 

Liability waivers are considered contracts and under certain circumstances are enforceable.

Electronic waivers: Eliminate manual work for your customers and your business 

Contactless electronic waivers are a way to simplify the process and create safer solutions during a difficult situation. Companies know that manual processes create hassle for their customers, and now, more than ever, savvy consumers are differentiating business by ease of use and service delivery (e.g. online ordering, curbside pick-up, and packaging family meals for the restaurant industry).

Paper-based consent forms, liability waivers, or policy updates can be costly to the business, requiring repetitive document generation, as well as a method of tracking completed waivers. This costs teams considerable time and resources to send, manage, and track agreements. What’s worse: emailing a static document to customers to be printed, signed, scanned and sent back is a tedious process for customers in the digital age who expect a seamless online experience. 

While businesses like event venues and salons mostly know which visitors will be attending in advance through ticketing systems or scheduling appointments, companies in retail or restaurant industries face the difficulties of distributing waivers or health screening questionnaires to customers in real time on the premises. Asking visitors to review a hard copy checklist of symptoms or similar at the door of a restaurant or gym is an untenable solution, especially given the CDC’s recommendations on limiting contact.

Electronic waivers and related online forms, will solve many of these manual paper-based challenges, creating safer environments for your visitors and improving customer experience. You can create and bulk send an easy-to-share online link for customers to review and agree in advance. Or visitors can sign on-site through their own devices (without touching your public kiosk). Digital waivers and health declaration forms allow you to set automatic reminders, which is extremely useful for busy customers. Digital waivers are good for your company also, saving you time and money by eliminating paper-based management and storage. 

Electronic waivers simplify and improve the process 

Electronic waivers and health declarations, supported by electronic signature software, provide a contactless and improved online experience for the customer. Best in class audit trails and automated workflows simplify processes and reduce risk to the business as well. The bulk send functionality in DocuSign eSignature is the easiest way to send out agreements to a high volume of customers or members to complete and sign remotely. Simply import a customer loyalty or membership list, and each receives a unique, personalized copy of the waiver to sign – eliminating the need to create and send separate envelopes or emails. Reusable templates like this sample digital declaration of health symptoms, available to DocuSign customers, let you standardize your agreements and automate end-to-end data gathering with common fields and a clear click-to-sign signature box. You can also include freeform fields or add an attachment.

DocuSign PowerForms are the perfect method for pre-screening clients and visitors. Customers can easily access an online, self-assessment questionnaire, that can be completed at any time. A custom form is generated from their answers; the customer then can sign the waiver remotely from their own personal device (PC, tablet, phone). Powerforms are the most efficient way to create on-demand, self-serve documents for signature – and protect everyone who comes into your business, whether in advance of a visit or at the door.

DocuSign Click makes it easy to capture consent to digital health declarations with a single click, creating a seamless customer experience while reducing business risk. Consent can be digitally captured via the "at the door,” via a virtual kiosk, or in advance online via a company’s website or apps. Easily update the terms in a waiver at any time, manage changes, and ensure customers have accepted the latest version of those terms with Click.

DocuSign’s solutions provide a detailed audit trail, so businesses can document evidence of liability waivers or consent forms with date, time, and other critical information in the Certificate of Completion, helping protect businesses in case of a future customer dispute (see “Are Electronic Signatures Admissible in Court”). Storage in our secure, encrypted cloud based environment allows businesses to manage and track completed forms across multiple, disperse locations, and track compliance with company policy at each store. 

Here to help

DocuSign is here to help as businesses navigate the challenges of reopening among the COVID-19 pandemic. Our solutions for electronic waivers and digital health consent forms make it easy to send and sign visitors the documents you need for  contactless screening and acknowledgement. 

To learn more about the admissibility of electronic signatures for liability waivers and other agreements or to learn more about how DocuSign is supporting businesses in the midst of the pandemic, please contact us.

This blog post is offered for general information purposes only. It does not constitute, and is not a substitute for, legal advice