Forms are a great tool for gathering information from your customers. This article provides 7 examples of online forms that will save you time, increase intake accuracy and improve your customer experience.
Just about everyone has a contact form on their website nowadays, but did you know that online forms can be used in all sorts of creative ways to solve common business problems and streamline your operations?
Do you need to collect information from your customers, suppliers or partners as part of some business process? An online form can be a great way to ensure that you gather everything you need all in one go.
Many forms engines can even create “dynamic forms” which change based on the choices and selections that a person makes. This technique allows you to collect exactly the information you need, no more and no less. The result is a better customer experience that feels more personalized.
An added benefit is that information submitted this way also produces a digital record. In the event of a problem, you can refer back to the original submission for clarity.
Here are 7 example scenarios where online forms can improve efficiency and add convenience for you and your customers.
Your customers may already know which team they want to connect with, like Support or Sales. Why not let them say so? Including a department selector in a contact form is a great way to save a step in the communication process. It’s also possible to route form submissions to different teams automatically based on the customer’s selection.
Online forms can be a great way to handle support cases or other types of customer service requests. By gathering important details up front, you can prioritize the incoming request and route it to the right team for follow-up.
Most online forms engines offer basic tools to analyze the results of form submissions. While they lack many of the advanced features in products like SurveyMonkey, they still work great for smaller scale surveys or collecting customer feedback.
For some businesses, it can be useful to pre-qualify opportunities by asking a few up front questions. While you should be careful with this – a contact form shouldn’t necessarily be a substitute for a sales conversation – it can nonetheless save time by identifying opportunities that are unlikely to be a fit.
You can deal with these types of inquiries more efficiently with an automated template response, or in some cases head them off entirely by presenting the right form field options e.g. a project budget option that doesn’t include options below a certain level.
If you’re using a CRM like Salesforce or HubSpot, online forms can be configured to post data directly into these systems. No more copying and pasting contact information by hand from one system to another.
While they’re not a substitute for a full e-commerce system, online forms can be a great solution for simple online payments. By connecting your form to a merchant services provider like Stripe, Square, or PayPal, you can process basic e-commerce transactions quickly and easily.
Virtually all email campaign software has built-in tools to help you generate newsletter signup forms and embed them on your website. But what if you have a larger form that serves some other primary purpose – like one of the above examples – and you want to ask visitors if they’d like to sign up for your newsletter as part of that process?
Even if you just need a simple signup form, copying newsletter signups from your website manually into email campaign management software like MailChimp, Constact Contact or Campaign Monitor is time consuming. More importantly, unless you’re also diligently logging the details of the signup in that system, it can effectively erase the opt-in record. This can put you in a potentially awkward legal position if a complaint is made.
Fortunately many online forms engines can be connected directly to these systems, and will ensure that the opt-in record is properly retained.
Depending on your campaign software, it can also be possible to tag or group the signup based on selections made in your form, such as interest in a particular group of products or services. This ensures that the contact ends up on the most appropriate mailing lists.
At Elev8 Web Studio, we recommend the Ninja Forms plugin for WordPress. It can be used in all of the scenarios described in this article.
Need some help? Contact us and our professional services team can help you get your forms set up and integrated.