Are you thinking about using online business forms?
As more business applications shift to online, it makes sense to shift your forms online as well.
There are a lot of advantages to moving your business forms online. Online forms are easier to organize than paper, they take up less physical space, and it’s better for the environment than using paper.
Keep reading to learn more about how online forms can simplify your business.
Where to Use Online Business Forms
Online business forms have many different applications. They can be anything from surveys to contact forms on your website. Here’s a closer look at the different types of forms.
Surveys are useful for gathering information. You can survey your customers and your employees on various issues. An online form will give your company a professional look, which will leave a good impression in the minds of customers.
The advantage to an online survey is that people are willing to fill out longer surveys online, and they prefer an online survey compared to paper.
The best part is the reporting. The data is gathered and collected in real time. You don’t have to go through each survey manually, enter the data and then create a report.
Customer Onboarding Forms
Do you send new clients a welcome packet with forms to fill out and send back to you?
An online onboarding form will make that process faster and easier. It’s common for gyms or personal trainers to send new clients assessment forms.
They have to wait for the client to fill them out, scan them and email them back.
An online form takes several steps out of that process, making the data collection easier and faster.
The most basic online business form is a contact form on your website. This streamlines the contact process and saves you time from having to answer phone calls. You can respond to the contact form at your convenience.
Do you currently take payments over the phone or have to collect with a payment form, all you have to do is send your customer a link and they fill in their payment information.
You don’t have to invoice clients via regular mail anymore. If you have recurring invoices, you can automate the process so the invoices are sent automatically.
You can combine the payment form with your invoice by adding a link to the payment form on the invoice.
Do They Need to Be HIPPA Compliant?
HIPPA refers to the 1996 Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It’s a standard set by the federal government to protect health information.
This applies to doctors, hospitals, health insurance companies, and companies that process healthcare data.
If your business falls into any of these categories, you will want to be certain that your forms are HIPPA compliant.
Web Form Design Basics
It takes a little more to design a web form than listing out a bunch of fields for people to fill out. Poorly designed forms tend to have lower response rates.
How do you go about designing a web form that people will fill out?
Always keep the user in mind. As you’re designing your form, ask yourself if the questions are simple and make sense. Also, ask yourself if the form is too long.
Hubspot found that landing page forms with the best conversion rate have no more than three fields.
Keep Your Online Business Form Simple
Simplicity is the golden rule for online business forms.
Before you start to design your form, ask yourself two questions:
- What is the purpose of the form?
- What is the information you need to serve your clients?
The answers will vary depending on the application. A simple contact form requires fields for the person’s name and an email address.
An intake form requires much more information. You’ll want to know the history of a customer, along with the challenges they’re facing now. This type of information will help you serve them better.
Web Is Different from Paper
You might be tempted to take your paper forms and copy them online. The fields on a paper form are stretched to accommodate handwriting.
You don’t need to do the same for online business forms. You can have different field sizes, and adjust them according to the information you need.
Tools to Create Online Business Forms
There are several ways to create your business forms.
The first way is to do it all yourself. That would include designing and programming the forms on your own. This is time-consuming and you would need to know how to design using Photoshop.
If you’re using WordPress for your website, then you’ll be able to install plug-ins to create online forms. Ninja Forms and Contact 7 are the most popular form plugins. Ninja Forms has the ability to connect to SalesForce, Freshbooks, and Campaign Monitor
Google Forms allows you to create forms for your business. It’s a great tool for intake forms, surveys, quizzes, or employee onboarding forms. There is a learning curve to using the Google Forms.
On a positive note, you can connect Google with Zapier to automate processes. For example, once someone submits a form, you can have an automated email sent to them.
One other way to create online forms is to outsource the entire process. One service called Meteor Forms handles everything for you. They handle the design, hosting and maintenance of your forms. If you’re interested in their services, check out their website to learn more.
Put Your Forms Online
Online business forms can help you streamline processes and delight your customers and employees. They save time and resource and give you the information you need to build a better business.
They can also help the environment by cutting down on paper.
Always remember to keep the design of the form simple and keep the user in mind. That’s a formula to a successful form with a high response rate.
If you’re interested in design principles to help you create a better form, check out our graphic design blog.