Australian Unity has been committed to improving wellbeing of thousands of Australians for over 180 years. The organisation believes true wellbeing means so much more than physical health. They offer a wide range of services, which are designed to improve living standards, personal relationships, and community connections.

Australian Unity has a large home care business, with 38,000 clients who require independent and assisted living services across the country. Roughly 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. They 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 documents on the spot, understandably preferring to check with family or close friends.

“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. This time-consuming process put Service Coordinators under increased pressure. Errors would also take longer to detect and occasionally require an additional home visit to be rectified.

Building a better, simpler process for everyone

Australian Unity engaged DocuSign to help digitise and streamline the onboarding process. Whilst also 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 then 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. Then 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. Nobody thought it was going to be that easy, we 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. Estimating 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. This is 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, this allows documents to be automatically saved with client files.

The organisation sees a digital-only future, where it can eliminate paper usage and make processes even more efficient. DocuSign’s excited to support them, helping them free up time for staff so they can continue to focus on supporting their clients.