• Jen May

You had me at ... Forms

Forms and Surveys can make or break your customer journey. Quality data capture is essential to every business, and every positive interaction is a chance to build a stronger relationship with your clients.

But on the other hand, ask 80% of the population to fill in a survey and they lose the will to live.

So, you're walking a fine line from the get go. Believe us, getting your Forms and Surveys right - why, when and how you use them - is essential to creating a Magnetic, Systematic and Scalable business.

Before we get started, Forms and Surveys aren't interchangeable, but they are similar - and they will overlap. Essentially, forms are designed more to direct specific data collection required for the Customer Experience (e.g. placing orders, requesting quotes, giving feedback), whereas Surveys are better for getting comparable answers across multiple people / businesses, particularly qualitative data.

The Benefits are Huge

What are the Benefits to my Business?

There are so many benefits to creating great Forms and Surveys to capture data in your business. The 3 biggest benefits are:

  1. You can structure your operations, making sure you ALWAYS capture the necessary data - whether that’s down to you, your staff or your clients - and target the right areas

  2. Simplify communications, stick to your rules and reduce conflicts, by assigning responsibility for data capture to the person who owns that data - whether it's a client requesting a quote, or a staff member asking for leave. They provide an audit trail

  3. Integrated forms and surveys are a huge leap in automating your business processes, reducing workload and handover times. Forms can even act as great lead magnets on your website - giving your prospects valuable insights (where do they stand vs the benchmark?) and you invaluable marketing information

What about Benefits FOR your Prospects & CLIENTS?

  1. Your clients can access immediate, customised responses - resulting in a very streamlined experience and fast, simple dscision making (who hasn't sent off multiple quote requests at midnight, or wanted to vent straight away, after a poor customer experience?)

  2. They can access valuable information about their business, segment or market, helping them to make informed decisions (e.g. are we performing better or worse than expected?) - with minimal input. This can even include a better understanding of their own requirements or gaps, because you have prompted them to consider the right aspects of what they are contemplating

  3. They have confidence that your responses, particularly around timing, pricing, etc are standardised and transparent

  4. They can generate beautiful, co-branded, detailed reports and documents within minutes, that can be re-used

  5. If they become repeat clients, they benefit more because you already retain information about them, simplifying future interactions

It's vital to get it right ... but how?

But Forms and Surveys done badly are not worth doing. They're boring, confusing and will damage your reputation.

So, how do you make compelling Forms and Surveys?

Find the right approach and you can transform your Operations ... and WOW! your clients .... with our Top 5 Tips for success:

  1. Ensure forms are engaging, with consistent branding, strong copy and interactive field types

  2. Aim for as few questions as possible (while meeting your needs). Using logic and hidden fields will help keep them simple and compelling

  3. Link forms to your CRM via a 2-way integration, so you can prepopulate as many fields as possible, and automatically update your database with all that incredible retargeting information

  4. Create incredible branded custom reports, incorporating standard text blocks with customer data. You can set your system to send them automatically, but adding a 24-hour delay can make it appear you've spent hours crafting a masterpiece - potentially adding $$$ to the perceived value of your service …. And giving them something they will likely refer back to, keeping you front of mind

  5. Create and analyse individual reports from all Form and Survey data, but don’t be afraid to also incorporate results into Management Dashboards and Balanced Scorecards for a holistic view of your business' health and customer trends. Imagine the power of combining Campaign Spend data against not just ROI, but also NPS, to help you target improvemens

The ideal place to start - your feedback form

Do you already use forms in your business process? If not, why not start today with a simple Feedback Form? Often they are just 1) name, 2) net promoter score or other satisfaction measure, 3) an optional chance to leave comments.

This example is a little more complicated, as the customer gets to direct the questions based on the type of Feedback (question, complaint, praise, etc) and what it's about, broadly (e.g. job, supplier, wanting to sign up). Depending on their answers, this form will vary to suit. A nifty feautre here is that "Call Back?" checkbox - which will make a phone number mandatory and kick off an automated task to the correct Staff member, pre-populated with customer and feedback details.

What do we use for Forms and Surveys?

With the right application, creating and integrating data capture can become quite addictive. Particularly if, like Jen, you're trained in both Quantitative and Qualitative research methods and statistical analysis!

We use Zoho for all our Forms and Surveys, because they are so customisable, stunning to look at, able to be integrated with CRM, merged into documents, attached to payment systems and combined with reporting and analytics tools. Single-question forms can be embedded into emails (prompting bespoke logical flows) and forms can be embedded into your website, or linked to buttons and images.

Some more examples of May Dynamics forms

We wanted to leave you with a flavour of what you can achieve, with well-designed Forms and Surveys that marry your needs with your customers'. In the interests of client confidentiality, we've only included forms we use in our own businesses.

Feeling inspired? Let us know what you chose for your first WOW! form

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