Millions of businesses around the world go through this inevitable step everyday: managing incoming documents workflows.
Whether it takes place at client onboarding, during the sales process or when welcoming a new hire, the document collection process needs to be as fluid as possible to ensure the business relationship runs efficiently.
For businesses, this step is strategic as it implies potential delay, churn and cost if not managed properly.
Your primary focus should be to streamline the team operations while delivering the best possible experience to customers.
So, What is Document Collection Management?
The Document Management Market landscape is divided in several categories ranging from ‘Document creation’ to ‘Document Sharing’.
We believe Document Collection is one category of Document Management.
Document collection management is the process of developing a highly performing workflows while gathering and collaborating on stakeholders information and documentation. The goal is to allow a business consistently hit its conversion and sales targets.
It can happen at any stage of your sales cycle. Therefore, a it’s crucial that businesses make sure it’s well thought and optimized.
A clear way to manage document workflows is crucial for modern small businesses. It breaks inertia within the organization. It also decreases the risk and the cost for your business while removing the risk of churn for clients.
Besides enabling modern businesses unlock a competitive advantage, this process allows you to scale your business and make a difference for your customers.
As a business owner you should evaluate and try to have more visibility into your current process so you can streamline your team operations, save money and remove the risk on your business.
This guide will help you rethink and improve the way to collect client documents within your company.
Once you have a better understanding of how and when your company gathers and shares clients documentation and information, you’ll be able to identify potential issues and fix all gaps to increase your workflows efficiencies.
If you’re an employee, a self-employed professional or a consultant who happened to stumble upon this guide out of curiosity, you’re on the right path to success.
Our goal is to give you an understanding of your company process and allow you to optimize your team work around this topic, but also create better relationships with potential clients and therefore achieve more in terms of sales or conversion.
On a general note, managing your document collection will help you improve your customers experience from day one, preventing churn, friction and bad reviews.
The key areas of Document Collection Management
In order to audit and optimize your current process, you’ll need to focus on 3 main areas:
Of course, these 3 areas may differ based on the business you work at. But learning more about your workflows, your strategy and your metrics are the 3 areas you want to start focusing on.
Have you ever needed to collect, verify, and approve required documents as part of your job? Certainly.
In many businesses, this process starts at the very beginning of the business relationship. You may need to collect a list of supporting documents as part of an application process or even before you start providing your service.
It may not be a big of a deal for you but for clients it is. They find it cumbersome, complicated, and some worry about how their personal data is collected, stored or exchanged.
In other words, your actual process matters to them – a lot.
It goes the same for your team. They should be empowered and equipped with the right resources to work with, so they can feel like they are a part of a productive environment.
When hiring new talents, you should take some time to train them on your company processes and introduce them to the tools they should be using, no matter how experienced they are.
Because effective leadership is about creating a culture of high performance and motivating the people to achieve company goals and objectives.
But what if there is no established process about how to collect or share client documents in your company?
Well, you’re probably leaving money on the table because things are not organized.
💡 Map your current Process
Mapping out the way you collect client documents will come with a lot of benefits for your business. It will help you visualize everyone’s responsibility and be clear on how the process should go to achieve the best results.
Often time, team are confused about what’s going on or who is in charge, why things are delayed or not progressing.
That’s what you want to avoid by clearly defining your workflows.
In other words, this will allow you to assign more easily responsibilities across your team but also identify more easily potential roadblocks and solve problems in no time.
Process mapping will also allow you to better manage inefficiencies, risk and compliance issues (We all heard of GDPR right?) that can jeopardize your business.
How to do it?
1.Gather all your team members and work together on mapping out the different steps of your document collection process. We’ve identified 5 steps that may vary based on your business, so feel free to make some adjustments.
Make sure the whole team has in mind the main objectives:
-increasing customer satisfaction
-bringing efficiencies internally
-being secure and compliant
-allowing higher conversion rates
2. Listen to the team members and understand how they are managing each step of the document collection process.
Start with the customer facing secure portal and work your way up to stakeholder validation and feedback loops.
Here is what you want to know : how do they manage each step of the process, how long does it take to move from one step to another, which tools do they use to complete each task, who is in charge of each step?
Assign for each and every step an owner, timeline and tool and measure everything against your key objectives to see where there is a financial risk for your business or risk of churn or compliance issue.
3. Identify areas for improvement and work on a strategy to be rolled out in your company. Below we’ll help you develop a vision that works for your business.
Once you’re all clear on what needs to be done to improve your processes, you can start building an end-to-end onboarding strategy.
As we did above, develop your own funnel which could be part of your sales or onboarding funnel if you have one, to make sure your team knows what steps it takes to drive results.
This will help you considerably reduce the time to completion and help your team members stay organized and stay on top of their work.
If your team members can see where they stand at every step of the process, they’ll be more motivated to reach the ultimate goal being sign a contract, close a deal or complete a client record.
Reporting is what will help you understand how your current efforts are performing and give you some hints on what you could do to make this process more efficient and scalable.
A great reporting dashboard will include metrics such as:
-Collection rate: number of documents received/number of documents required
-Collection velocity: collection lifetime before it’s completed
-Volume of client requests your team member deal with per day, week, month
Collecting these metrics will allow you to deliver best results in lesser time. A document collection software will help you get all these metrics so you can streamline your process and take the best decisions about it.
Who Benefits from Document Collection Management?
If capturing documents and information is the starting point of your customer relationship, having a great process management in place will surely benefit to all employees involved in the onboarding or sales cycle.
Depending on your business, we’ve identified key stakeholders involved making the sales or onboarding cycle more efficient at your company.
Mortgage Professionals include Loan Officers, Mortgage Processors, Mortgage Underwriters, Mortgage Sales managers.
Depending on the size or the organization, they are often required to gather a list of supporting documents from clients.
Clarity, organization and productivity is essential to their daily job as they usually have a lot on their plate. Having an effective process will allow them to drive the onboarding phase forward once the initial consultation is completed.
Real Estate experts
Real Experts whether self-employed or not, are usually in direct contact with potential customers while juggling a million different things at once.
And above all, they must sale and this is a tough job. Like Mortgage professionals, productivity tools and clarity are key to help them stay on top of their job and focus on helping and reassuring their customers.
Human Resources Managers
We all know that, hiring is actually selling your company. Human Resources Managers also need focus and clarity while trying to find the best candidates.
Despite the arrival of zillions of job boards and professional social media apps, recruiting is still a tedious and difficult job impacting the entire company success.
Client onboarding can be turned into a competitive advantage for these professionals allowing them to engage candidates in a new way.
As an accountant, you’ve probably already seen a client show up at your company with all their receipts in a shoebox.
If your clients might not take organization seriously, we know you do. That’s why having a document request software or at least establishing a process around it can help you stay focused and follow on what what’s missing and what needs to be sent based on the time of the year.
Administrators, Office Managers, Assistants
The number one pain for Administrators, Office Managers and Assistants is dealing with administrative tasks and paperwork.
For these professionals, pressure can be significant, so it’s crucial that they get the right tools to work with, so they streamline their work and get enough to focus on providing great value to the company.
A client documents management system can help them automate applications, hires, suppliers screening more easily.
Customers, Suppliers, Candidates… Well anyone who needs to send out their information to a professional
Last but not least, your customers. Think about it; having a better, fluid experience and being engaged from the very first step will make them more inclined to benefit from your services and sign a contract with you.
Use Technology Tools to request, control and collaborate on supporting documents
While some people still continue to use paper forms or online contact forms to collect their clients documents, having a dedicated software will allow you to actually streamline and scale your end to end document collection process.
As explained earlier, the document collection does not stop after you collect documents from your customers, the whole process takes 5 steps in total.
Optimizing each of these steps will ensure you maximise your customers journey and make sure no business opportunity falls through the cracks.
A cloud-based document request software usually comes with great collaboration features. It will be perfect for helping your team increase the collaboration and considerably reduce your contract signing timeline.
Your process should be simple and save time for you and your customer. The more time you put in, the more you should reconsider switching to a better strategy.
We help you streamline your small business and manage your digital transformation one step at the time. Once you’ve made the decision to improve your document collection process, you can check out this website to try a beautifully simple document collection software used in 50+ countries.
PS: Document Collection Management: Definition, Processes, Strategies and Resources is a collaborative work. Feel free to share with us your updates, comments and of course corrections in the comments section.