Your customer fills out a form.
Online or on paper.
It could be as simple as a request for more information.
It could be a prospect looking for an estimate.
Or perhaps you provide a service and ask new clients to complete a health history form.
Your form helps you do business. It might even be a critical part of your work flow.
So, it’s important to ask: Is your form working for you?
Consider the following three questions.
If you answer “yes” to any of them, might I suggest revamping your forms?
Does your form raise more questions than it answers?
If you find yourself frequently circling back to clients to clarify answers or ask for more information, your form might need tweaking. Make note of these questions and figure out a way to work them into your form.
It’s also helpful to view your form as a customer would. Your customer likely expects—and wants—to provide all the info you need. They want to help you help them. For example, if they’re thinking about selling their home, they expect to share their property’s address, square footage, bedroom count, etc. When your form doesn’t ask for contextually important information, clients wonder how you’re going to help them.
Take away: Appropriate form questions demonstrate your expertise and help build trust.
Does your form make you impatient?
Do you dread sifting through form responses? Do you find yourself skimming answers? If this sounds like you, chances are you’re asking too many questions. Clearly identify the purpose or goal of your form and then review each and every question or form field to see if it helps you achieve that goal.
Chances are, if you’re unhappy with your form, your customers are too. Your form should demonstrate you respect your customers' time. When you start asking irrelevant questions or questions that require a lengthy response, your customers might get frustrated and impatient.
Take away: Appropriate form questions help your customers provide you with the information you need.
Does your form use clear, concise language?
You know your form should be free of spelling and grammar errors. But a well-written form is more than that. Clear, concise questions help your customer quickly ascertain what it is you’re looking for. Well-written questions and prompts make it easier (and quicker) for customers to respond.
Have you ever had to re-read a question or prompt numerous times to figure out what it’s asking? It’s annoying, right? Don’t do this to your customers. Have a friend or family member read through your form to help identify any hiccups in syntax and clarity. A second (or third) pair of eyes can be very helpful here.
Take away: Clear, concise language makes it easier for your customer to respond to your form (and makes you look more professional!)
What have you done to improve your forms? I'd love to hear about your efforts in the comments below.