The moments that contracts are agreed are some of the happiest in your business’ life: closing a customer, bringing on a new hire, signing an important partnership.
The further we have come with Juro, the more we have ourselves experienced the pain points that come with contracts: the endless back and forth, bizarre legal language, manual signing process, scrambling to keep track when you’re focused on growing like crazy. But the more we learn about these pain points, the more we can empathise with the emotional side of these processes.
We wanted to design a product that not only makes contracts more efficient, but also aims to make contracts a delightful interaction with your customers, employees and suppliers. We want contracts to be more human. A big clue about whether we’re succeeding is how we use Juro ourselves, to make better contracting part of our lives as the company grows. Here’s what we do.
1. Offer letters that delight
Every new employee we hire receives our offer letter through Juro. We built the template for this in the Juro editor, so we can generate a branded, mobile-responsive offer letter in about 10 seconds. The legal text itself is written in a plain English style and we’ve even added some emojis.
As a hiring startup, we realised quickly that no-one actually understands the sometimes complex mechanics of options - and why should they? So we include an appendix with a handy guide to options, that includes a diagram of vesting and some FAQs.
Why do we do this?
Using Juro to agree the offer gives candidates a hands-on experience with the product even before they join, which makes on-boarding a lot smoother. But it’s more than that. We operate in a competitive environment for talent and most of the people we hire have multiple offers to choose from.
The best candidates are perceptive enough to see past cliché clangers like “we are self-starters” and other truisms about culture. We don’t tell people why our culture is good; we show them. The tone of voice of the offer letter, its information design and the general fun of it all makes the whole process a celebration. It stands out. We find this does far more to explain what we are all about than seeing some bullets in a slide deck.
2. Sales agreements that don’t suck
We find that the tone we set in our sales process - especially in the last mile - has a marked impact on the long-term relationship with our customer. If there’s one thing that trips up a customer relationship from the outset, it’s painful back and forth on legal terms. Starting out on the wrong footing must be avoided.
Juro doesn’t solve everything in sales (yet), but running contract negations through our in-browser editor, through internal approval processes and all the way to e-signature sets the tone for a win-win negotiation. We’re even building a negotiation playbook that has made us less adversarial and more focused on the points that matter. All the while, our Slack bot (JuroBot) keeps us updated on progress on negotiations so we can reply with lightning speed and be considerate of our customer's time.
Why do we do this?
Partly altruistic; partly selfish.
We are a VC-backed startup and there is a lot of pressure to grow. Shaving even a few days off a sales cycle by using contracts that can be signed on the go has had a significant effect on our traction. Towards the end of the quarter, we’ve seen our sales team become super-users - rapidly assembling contracts, pushing reminders and tracking customer activity on contracts to ensure we get the right signature when it counts.
On the more altruistic side, Juro as a tool isn’t a one-way street. We use Juro’s conversational interface to collect info from customers, like billing details right when they sign. The way this data collection happens - natural language questions, one at a time - helps make a boring process like data collection much more human and delivers a great experience for the customer on the other side.
3. A privacy notice humans can read
It has been cited in multiple academic conferences - especially on its layered approach - and was tweeted by DuckDuckGo, which is one of the most respected sources of privacy content in the world.
Why do we do this?
To be totally honest, the main reason we did it is because we are just quite geeky about legal design 🤓 The positive results we received were in some respects unintended consequences. But those consequences were a result of our team giving some love to this much overlooked legal touchpoint with customers.
And it is not wasted work. More and more we are asked to share the policy in data security reviews. For IT teams conducting these reviews, a layered, plain English document like this saves them potentially hours of trying to work out what the privacy infrastructure actually looks like, and actually helps us get through this sales hurdle faster. And on the marketing side, as a high-growth startup, having an asset that makes noise, and that people want to read, is not to be sniffed at.
4. Getting the customer relationship right
When we started Juro, we set out to build a world-class customer success (CS) offering. Absurdly fast reaction times, taking a genuine interest in our customers, ensuring they hit success metrics and giving unbiased and meaningful advice. We’re now lucky enough to have an awesome CS team making this happen.
When you’re building relationships with customers like this, the handover from sales to CS needs to be seamless. Juro gives our CS team visibility into contracts in Juro even before they close. They can identify any red flags from a scoping perspective, before anything is committed to, just by clicking on a link to the contract.
Why do we do this?
Overpromising and underdelivering for customers ruins relationships. We are lucky to have net negative churn at Juro. Part of the reason for this, especially in the early days, was because we were determined to build transparent relationships and agree the right contracts. Of course we have made some mistakes, but using Juro in a collaborative, cross-functional way has really helped us get where we are today.
If you’d like to learn more about how Juro can make legal more human, get in touch 🙌