ERIC: Kurt, I understand the importance of being paperless and keeping up with the times. However, there are still a lot of benefits to having paper agreements and service reports.
KURT: You of all people should know the efficiencies of going paperless. We aren’t 100 percent paperless, but we’re trying to get as close as possible. We still have to produce reports for some residential and commercial customers, and the technicians print them out on thermal printers, but that number is shrinking.
ERIC: I was just thinking of how some places give you an electronic pad to sign. You don’t know what you’re signing. I am always that pain-in-the-neck person who asks to read exactly what it is I’m signing. Trust me, it took forever to close on my house because I wanted to read everything before I signed off. How are customers supposed to know what they’re signing if we just explain it to them and then say, “Sign here?”
KURT: I’m not saying we would do that. We obviously want to disclose everything to the customer we can so they know what they’re signing. We don’t operate like that; we try hard to be as transparent as we can. Our customers also get a copy sent to their email after they sign it, so they have a digital PDF of the paperwork.
ERIC: OK, but what about the few customers who aren’t tech savvy? Believe it or not, not everyone has a home computer or his or her email linked to a smartphone.
KURT: Really? How many of our customers do you think have no access to email at all?
ERIC: OK, it’s a small percentage — but it’s not the same to them as having the paperwork in front of them and in their hands.
KURT: Just think of the efficiency, Eric — how much quicker it makes it, and how the office has its own copy right away.
ERIC: But that means relying on backing up so much data. What if we have a system meltdown? The thought of losing all of our customer information scares me to death.
KURT: Honestly, do you think we only have it backed up in one place? This isn’t our first rodeo with data management. Also, do you know how much time it takes to manage all of that printed paperwork? When we want to find something that’s been digitized, it takes two seconds. And if we ever did have a catastrophe, we have all of the documents backed up off-site.
ERIC: Don’t you watch the news? Do you know how many places get hacked? What if a competitor hacks into our system? People get hacked all the time.
KURT: You need to study up on that. Our system is secure because it’s encrypted. The places that are getting hacked have vulnerabilities in their systems.
ERIC: Thank goodness! Now I’ll be able to sleep tonight.