Most of us have experienced the frustration of sitting down before an appointment and filling out several paper-based forms in succession. Often, you’re asked for the same information several times. How much time would you have saved if you completed the information online prior? Many organisations aren't aware that there is a tonne of benefit to be had by switching to online forms. Let’s explore why it’s time for more organisations to offer forms online.
PEOPLE prefer online forms
People are entering their information online now more than they ever have. Spell-checking, cut and paste, drop-downs, check boxes and auto-fill make it much faster and easier to complete online forms than their paper-based counterparts. When filling out multiple forms from the same organisation, information is also shared between them with ease, further saving time. Users also enjoy the freedom to complete forms when it best suits them and can even collaborate with others in separate locations if required. In addition, the progress of online forms can be saved and later retrieved for completion. You don't have to worry about scribbling that incorrect answer out with your pen. Just hit backspace a couple of times. It’s easy to see why digital forms are preferred for clients and customers alike.
But, what about business benefits?
Forms are so often ingrained in day-to-day processes that business owners and staff rarely stop to consider if they are actually being managed in the best way. Most accept that they are a time-consuming part of life – but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are some of the key benefits to be gained by taking your forms online:
Eliminate double entry – form solutions like formSPACE include connectivity to other systems used in the business. This allows forms to add new client/customer records, update contact information or marketing preferences, manage event registrations and more, streamlining back-office processes.
Quick and easy to build – these days you don’t have to be a computer engineer to build an online form. Many form builders allow you to decide which types of questions you want to use and then drag-and-drop them directly onto the form.
Easy to revise – if your form isn’t collecting all the information you need, just update it online and re-release. This can also simultaneously retire the old version.
Quick to distribute – online forms can be added as links to email broadcasts. This means that hundreds or thousands of people can receive your form in minutes.
Constant availability – placing forms on a website means visitors can fill them out whenever they like, providing businesses with enquiries and information outside of business hours.
Notifications – some form solutions will notify you when forms are started and finished, allowing you to act on the information immediately.
Reporting – formatting information collected on paper into reports, charts and graphs takes a big effort. With online forms, there is no need to decipher hand-written information and transcribe data.
It’s clear that online forms are a great tool for business. Perhaps fear of change is holding your business back? Why not learn what’s involved in making the switch to online forms? It’s probably easier than you think. We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
about the author
BEN HESSION | BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT MANAGER, MYP CORPORATION
Ben consults regularly with professional advisers and business owners, discussing systems and processes that address the challenges they face in achieving growth. He specialises in shifting service offerings, sales, marketing and leadership, providing a practical framework for dealing with these challenges using the MYP platform.
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