3Hours saved on each client interaction
36Hours average turnaround time for agreements
400+Customers onboarded using eSignature within just 2 months
As one of the country’s oldest active companies, Australian Unity has been committed to improving the wellbeing of thousands of Australians for over 180 years. The organisation believes true well being means so much more than physical health, offering a wide range of services – from health insurance to retirement accommodation – designed to improve living standards, personal relationships, and community connections.
Australian Unity has a large home care business, with approximately 38,000 clients who require independent and assisted living services across the country. With approximately 350 new clients signed on every month, the organisation saw an opportunity to use DocuSign eSignature to streamline its time-consuming onboarding process, which relied on physical client consultation and manual, paper-based activities.
Challenges with manual, legacy processes
Australian Unity has a talented team of approximately 270 Service Coordinators that manage the organisation’s home care clients. These professionals are tasked with onboarding new clients, which previously required staff to pick up a customer referral, conduct a welcome call and arrange a time for a home visit to get important onboarding documents physically signed.
Customers were often unwilling to sign the documents on the spot, understandably preferring to check them with a family member or close friend.
“It’s quite a clunky process. If they didn’t want to sign on the spot, we’d have to arrange a subsequent visit, which could be days or even weeks later,” says Charles Lie, General Manager of Service Operations at Australian Unity. “The Service Coordinator then needs to collect the signed artefacts, go back to their physical branch, scan the documents, send it to their email address and save it to their desktop, before finally uploading it to our CRM.”
This time-consuming process put Service Coordinators under increased pressure. Documentation wouldn’t always get saved straight away, meaning staff would have to physically search for documents if they needed them. Errors would also take longer to detect and occasionally require an additional home visit to be rectified.
Building a better, simpler process for everyone
Having already deployed eSignature across a few smaller functions in the organisation, Australian Unity engaged DocuSign to help digitise and streamline the onboarding process, developing two entirely new processes.
The first is using eSignature. In this process, Service Coordinators send the documentation to the customer's email address, giving them time to carefully read and consider the terms with a friend or family member. In their own time, they can sign the documentation using DocuSign eSignature, which is then sent directly to the Service Coordinators for processing.
The second ‘sign-on-glass’ method is for those customers without an email address. Service Coordinators set up a time with customers, asking them to have a trusted advocate present so they can review the documents. Coordinators then bring a tablet or laptop with them to the consultation, allowing clients to sign straight on the screen, with documents sent straight to Service Coordinators and the client’s trusted advocate.
Australian Unity opted to run the two new processes alongside the old one, as part of a phased deployment designed to give customers and service teams time to adjust. That started with a period of comprehensive training and consultation with internal teams, followed by a successful pilot project that demonstrated how much time the new processes save.
“We asked one of our branches to get a Service Coordinator – who’s got everything ready to go - to try signing up a customer in their weekly team meeting,” Lie continues. “We literally had a customer create a DocuSign account and come back with the signed documents in about 20 minutes. We had people jumping up and high-fiving because they just couldn’t believe it.”
Delivering improved outcomes for staff and clients
Australian Unity has already shifted about 100 of its Service Coordinators onto the two new processes. It estimates that every eSignature process saves staff about three hours of labour, whilst the sign-on-glass option saves about an hour and 45 minutes.
Considering the organisation onboards hundreds of new customers every month, the new processes are already saving Service Coordinators an incredible amount of time in their day-to-day schedules. The whole eSignature process now takes an average of 36 hours to complete, compared to the original process of up to 10 days.
“It’s really exceeded our expectations,” Lie says.
Australian Unity plans to progressively phase out its manual processes and further digitise its onboarding function over time. It’s currently working with DocuSign to integrate eSignature with its internal CRM systems, which would allow documents to be automatically saved against client files.
The organisation sees a digital-only future, where it can eliminate paper usage and make processes even more efficient. DocuSign is excited to support them on that journey, helping them free up time for staff so they can continue to focus on helping older Australians to age well.