Internet connectivity has exposed light to every dark corner of the world. This increased online accessibility has meant the collection and analysis of market research data has soared. At some stage during the day you will more than likely be asked to complete an online form, whether it is an application for something, an event sign up, or even a subscription. Here we take an in-depth look at why the ability to capture data is essential for many organisations…
An online form can be used to gather a wide range of data for multiple purposes, they are part of everyday life! A form might be used for a personal application or to take customer details for an account setup. Online forms provide you with an easy to implement, secure solution to gather the data you need in a consistent automated manner.
With the right online form creation tool, you can quickly produce fully responsive forms that will capture and store data instantly. User-friendly, clear and instantly editable, web forms mean you can make the move to a paperless environment in a few easy steps.
Top reasons to create an online form
Simple to build
An online form builder provides an intuitive, secure and straight forward way to capture data that can be scalable to suit teams of all sizes. These tools provide the user with the option to use a range of fields in order to collect whatever data is needed, whether that is with single, multiple or matrix text boxes. There might also be the need to upload rich media files, such as images and videos, into the forms or allow respondents to upload documents (such as a CV) or identification. Once your form is created you need to think about colour, design and other elements such as where will it be used?
Forms can be built and customised for a range of functions including registration of new customers, reservations for an event, pricing requests or secure orders and even short customer surveys. Effective form building tools will usually provide you with a variety of distribution options such as an auto-generated embed code for use on websites and even enable you to send a link to the form via email or SMS.
Gather accurate data
An online form maker can reduce costs and increase efficiency, standardisation and accuracy. You can guarantee you will be asking for consistent feedback and also ensure that you capture the data that you require to meet your stated objectives. Forms can be responsive across mobile devices and tablets, therefore widening the reach of how many people can access your form to fill it in.
If you are using the form in a face to face environment, you can ensure that your team are presenting the exact same question every time. This is useful when dealing with customer complaints, gathering personal details or even when taking an order. This is beneficial as the customer experience is standardised and it eliminates the risk of forgetting to capture certain information which could result in having to survey the customer for a second time.
Increase conversion rates
Web forms can be embedded into any landing page on your website with the objective of capturing visitor details at the most applicable time. This could be a new lead for your sales team or prospect for your nurture programme. Once data is captured, and if consent is given, the data can be used for future marketing campaigns, regular communications or even event and loyalty programmes. For whatever reason, the form means that data is captured in a consistent manner. Without this automated option it can mean that additional steps may need to be taken to convert the visitor, increasing the chance that they will leave the site without giving any details.
An additional automation benefit for forms that require an instant response, such as call back requests or customer service help, is that you can setup email triggers to forward the data to a customer service team or helpdesk. This will help you resolve and manage customer enquiries more efficiently and faster than before.
The number of fields, the choice of colour schemes and placement of your forms not only brings everything in line with your branding but increases conversion rates significantly. Professional looking online forms will perform better than those that look out of place or ask for more information than is needed. A well-designed form will increase the amount of trust that is built up, meaning users are more likely to feel that their data is going to be safe and only used as intended. Fonts and colours used on forms can be tailored to match business brand guidelines and custom styling can be incorporated to enhance that chance of conversion.
When it comes to online forms, the number of questions asked, data captured and length of form all play a part in gauging performance. With an easily editable form, you can instantly optimise the format, design and question fields as required, resulting in a greater return on investment overall.
Online forms give you the ability to capture data in a secure, consistent manner. Once the requested information is captured, it is securely stored ready to be accessed by selected users. This provides you additional peace of mind that your data is safely stock piled, as opposed to paper forms that could be misplaced or lost.
Digital storage reduces the risk of data loss as files are securely protected and backed up, ensuring it is recoverable in the event of damage to property or offices. Online forms offer a range of options for the gathering of data for almost all industries and provide a clear way to reduce paperwork and increase data security.
To assist researchers, there has been an increase in the availability of professional, easy to use survey software which has revolutionised the process by making the creation of online forms simple and swift.
10 reasons to create an online form
There is no need to print paper forms and waste money on postage stamps when you use an online form template. Free online forms are readily available and can reduce your costs further by meaning you won’t have to allocate time and resources to enter results into a database – responses are downloaded automatically and the results are accessible at any time for analysis.
No time is wasted waiting for paper questionnaires to be delivered to you, information is gathered automatically. You can quickly create an online form by using a customisable survey template and obtain feedback almost instantly.
3. Customer tailored
By using customised forms, survey settings can be designed so that questions that are not relevant to a particular participant can be skipped automatically based on their previous answer. This can help in getting useful information without the reader having to sort through irrelevant questions.
4. Easy data handling
Internet surveys are gaining popularity because of the simplicity of data entry and ease of processing. The data entered by the user can be quickly evaluated and analysed. This significantly reduces the time gap between the collection of data and its evaluation.
With an online survey, participants can pick a moment that suits them best to answer the questions. Also, the user can take their time to provide longer and more detailed answers to the questions.
Your online survey can be styled to match your brand and remind users of the benefits you provide. Your survey can be designed to match your business website and can be brought to life by customising the background, layout, images, logo and fonts. Links to different websites can be attached for the convenience of the user.
7. Easy follow up
With online surveys, you can easily follow up with the respondent by just dropping them an email. This way it is convenient both for you and for the customer.
8. Reduced survey bias
You can design your online surveys so that the customer cannot access the second question before he answers the first, which reduces the occurrence of survey bias and helps in yielding accurate results. Also, online forms can mean that the user is more likely to provide detailed responses in the anonymous environment of the internet, rather than when he is being interrogated by an interviewer.
9. Global sampling
With the ever increasing number of internet users globally, you can send survey forms to any location with just one click. Get access to the opinions and insights of over 20 million qualified respondents all over the world with SmartSurvey’s integrated Consumer Panels service. Get the answers you need to any survey, fast.
10. More response rates
Many people engage in lively debates online and with the increasing popularity and expediency of the internet, customers are more likely to respond to survey forms. This boosts the response rate greatly.
With the benefits that online surveys offer and with the availability of survey templates, the best method to conduct a survey is undoubtedly online. We hope this article has helped you realise the benefits of online surveys? If you would like to learn more Sign up for a demo.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in February 2016 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.