Updated: November 9, 2023
Marie is the CEO & Founder of Clustdoc. She loves to help other teams work smarter and build trust with customers and stakeholders during daily operations.
Millions of businesses around the world go through this inevitable step every day: managing incoming documents workflows. Whether it happens 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.
The Document Management Market landscape is divided into several categories ranging from ‘Document Creation’ to ‘Document Sharing’.
We believe collecting documents is one category of document management.
Document collection management is the process of developing highly performing workflows while gathering and collaborating on stakeholders important information and documentation. The goal is to allow a business to consistently hit its conversion and sales targets.
It can happen at any stage of your sales cycle. Therefore, 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 credit risk of churn for clients.
Besides enabling modern businesses to unlock competitive advantage, this process allows you to scale your business and make a difference for your customers.
As a business owner, you should examine your current process and try to get more visibility into it so that you can optimize your team’s operations, save money, and minimize risk.
This guide will help you rethink and improve the way to collect client documents within your company.
You’ll be able to detect possible concerns and close any gaps in your workflow once you have a better grasp of how and when your company receives and communicates the client’s documentation strategy and information.
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 teamwork around this topic, but also create better relationships with potential buyers and therefore achieve more in terms of sales or conversion.
On a general note, managing your documentary collection will help you improve your customer’s experience from day one, preventing churn, friction, and bad reviews.
To audit and optimize your current process, you’ll need to focus on three main areas:
Of course, depending on the industry in which you operate, these three sectors may alter. However, the three areas you should begin working on are understanding more about your processes, strategy, and KPIs.
Have you ever had to gather, verify, and approve papers as part of your job duties? 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 deal for you but for clients it is. They find it cumbersome, complicated, and some also 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 given the tools they need to do their jobs so they may feel like they’re part of a productive team.
No matter how experienced your new hires are, you should take the time to teach them your company’s procedures and introduce them to the tools they should be utilizing.
Because effective leadership is about creating a culture of high performance and motivating 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.
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.
Oftentimes, teams 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 more easily identify 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?
Gather all your team members and work together on mapping out the different steps of your document collection efforts. We’ve identified 5 steps that may vary based on the kind of customer you deal with in 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
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 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.
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 signing a contract, closing a deal, or completing 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 the best results in less time. A document collection software will help you get all these metrics so you can streamline your process and make the best decisions about it.
If capturing documents and information is the starting point of your customer relationship, having great process management in place will surely benefit all employees involved in the onboarding or sales cycle.
Depending on your business, we’ve identified key stakeholders involved in 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 of the organization, they are often required to gather a list of supporting documents like bank references, trade references, etc. from clients.
Clarity, organization, and productivity are 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 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 sell and this is a tough job. Like Mortgage professionals, productivity tools and clarity are key to helping them stay on top of their job and focus on helping and reassuring their customers.
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’s success.
Client onboarding can be turned into a competitive advantage for these professionals allowing them to engage candidates in the best 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 the organization and your accounts 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’s missing and what needs to be sent based on the time of the year.
The number one pain for Administrators, Office Managers, and Assistants are dealing with administrative activities and paperwork.
For these professionals, pressure can be significant, so they must 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 document management system can help them automate business credit applications, organize collection overviews, screen hires and suppliers more easily.
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.
While some people continue to use paper forms or online contact forms to collect their client’s documents, having dedicated software will allow you to streamline and scale your end-to-end document collection process.
As explained earlier, 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 maximize your customer’s 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 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 collection strategy.
We help you streamline your small business and manage your digital transformation one step at a time. Once you’ve decided 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.
Clustdoc is a client onboarding orchestration platform used by modern teams around the world. With Clustdoc, you can run automated workflows for requesting, reviewing and verifying new customers’ data, documents and contracts – without juggling between tools.
If your team is managing new customers using emails, spreadsheets and PDFs, you’ll probably love using Clustdoc.
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