We’ve all seen them before, and many of us have probably used them too. Contact forms appear in one manifestation or another on every type of small business website you can imagine, from non-committal ‘get a free quote’ four-field enquiry forms to online job applications, they have become a website staple – and they work!
It’s 2020, no one actually talks to each other anymore, right?
Of course this is not entirely true. If anything, we all communicate with many more people than ever before through social media, WhatsApp groups, email and forms on websites. We like to text and type, and as much as I truly believe there is still an important place for phone calls and face to face meetings, a quick enquiry form gives your customers a chance to reach out quickly and for you to tailor your response.
But to do this properly you need to make sure your contact form is asking the right questions. Make sure you customise your form appropriately for your customer base, and that the fields you are asking them to fill in are beneficial for both them and you.
First and Last Name
… or even just a simple ‘Name’ field. It goes without saying that you want the name of your enquirer!
An obvious yet essential element. I would recommend making this one of your mandatory fields for your customer to fill in. It’s a great way to weed out spammers and gives you a point of contact to ask further questions that could be deemed tedious in a phone call.
Many trade websites prefer to contact their clients over the phone, especially when responding to a quote. Having your customer's contact number opens up a whole new level of interaction.
Reasons for Reaching Out
By using a drop-down menu or multiple choice field, you can direct your customer's message. You may give them the option of the services you provide or a department they may wish to contact.
Give your customer the opportunity to upload an attachment such as a .pdf or an image. Maybe they want a quote for some gardening work, a photo of their over-grown lawn gives the gardener a good estimate of the work involved.
I would recommend always adding a comments section - a slightly larger field that gives the customer a chance to write some body text. This allows them to elaborate on their request or ask a question that may not be answered on your website.
Make your forms compliant
Top Tips for Contact Forms:
- Think about the placement of your forms - you may want them to be the primary form of customer engagement on your website but you also do not want to be intrusive
- Reassure your customer that you will respond to them. You can customise your automated response to make them feel like their message is important to you
- Ask the right questions. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. What type of questions will they be asking? What information do you need from them?
- Unless necessary, keep your forms short. Ideally, require your customer to only have to fill in up to four fields
- Include them in Calls To Action: A contact form may not work visually embedded on your page; you may want to have it pop up or toggled with a button
Get to the point: Tell your clients who you are, what you do and give them a way to reach out.
Embed your contact form plugin where it makes sense and complements your website design.
Personalise your buttons to engage your clients, get them to toggle a pop up contact form and leave your beautiful design intact.
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