We enter information on websites and apps constantly. Think about it. Registration forms, placing an order, sign up for a newsletter, sign up to use a mobile app, fill out a support ticket, buying tickets, sign up for rewards program, and more. Even creating a post on Facebook is actually an automated process or a form you fill out and submit.
Ever create a worksheet that doubles as an email list or customer database? Try searching through hundreds of entries to change an address. Or sort through only those based in a certain state so you can then email them an offer through mail merge. This process can take hours.
Many every day business processes can be automated on your website. Most of these are generated by completing some type of form. These forms can be located on your website. Rather than filling out paper forms, your customers can fill out the same information online. This helps both them and you!
Forms are very useful tools for many business processes. It is a great opportunity to provide a quick, easy interaction between your website visitors and your business. Most forms are simple, but there are several more complicated processes that can be automated as well.
Information from completed responses can trigger actions and workflows, including approval processes.
Let’s say your company has field technicians. They may need to evaluate the situation, communicate with the customer and ask for customer approval to complete a work order. You can automate this process by placing it online and have the customer sign for approval. This saves time for your technicians to fill out paperwork while on site or later after the job is complete. It ensures a more accurate report because the technician can fill it out in real-time, on the spot without needing to remember details later. Plus, it saves administrative time in either filing the work order or entering it into another system to track. If your customer has pre-registered, the form can be pre-filled with information and save more data entry for your technician. The customer can even pay as soon as the job is complete. Now, you have made it convenient for your customer and improved your productivity in the field!
My daughter was recently looking for a job. Every store required these processes be completed online: Fill out an application, she received an automated response email letting her know it was received, approval process that sent her an email if she was going to be granted an interview, complete surveys and questionnaires, payroll information, and scheduling. I was amazed! What time savers for the business! (Although, I could argue that some of these items might do better with a personal touch. We will save that for another blog post.)
When do I need a secure site? And what is it?
A secure site is one that starts with https:// in your browser address area. You will also see a locked padlock symbol somewhere on the site. This is to give visitors a more secure environment to submit personal information. If you are asking for sensitive information, you should add an SSL certificate to your site and protect your visitor’s information. If you use a service to create your forms, they generally provide this for you.
SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) is the standard security technology for establishing an encrypted link between a web server and a browser. This link ensures that all data passed between the web server and browsers remain private and integral. … To be able to create an SSL connection a web server requires an SSLCertificate. (info.ssl.com)
Forms are a very simple solution to many business processes being automated. The trick is recognizing that it needs to be done. Sometimes, we are so used to conducting business a certain way that we don’t take a moment to stop and think, hey, this can be automated and save me time!
Take a moment and think, what process do I repeat on a regular basis that could be automated on my website? You might be surprised what you find!