The Contact Form Advanced widget debuted in EverWeb 3.0 superseding the original Contact Form widget. Although you can still use the original widget, the ‘Advanced’ widget offers you a lot more security as well as giving you vastly superior options to create a contact form that’s second to none.
Contact Form Advanced Widget Features
The Contact Form Advanced widget’s many options makes it easy to integrate the widget in to your own site’s design, either as a fixed width object or as a full width object on your page. The widget includes seventeen Control Types and you can add as many fields to the form as you want. The widget offers you SPAM Protection, form Validation checking, customizable email confirmation, in-form help options, and with the Contact Forms Enhanced Addon, great features for managing and reporting your contact form submissions.
Contact Form Advanced Widget Use Cases
The basic function of the Contact Form Advanced widget is as a contact form your customers can use to communicate with you in either a free form or structured manner. In this case the form can be used to e.g. report a problem on your website, ask what to do if a customer receives a damaged product, or if a customer has a question before purchasing a product or service. A contact form can also be used to gather, or capture, customer information that may be useful in helping you make business decisions for the future e.g. improving an existing product or seeing if a new products or service is viable to offer your customers in the future. You can also use the contact form as the basis for a customer booking system. In each of these scenarios, you can use the contact form on its own and manually collate the data and information that you receive. If you want to automate the contact form management and reporting process, you may want to consider the Contact Forms Enhanced Addon which will save customer responses so that you can use extract the data and information that you need at a later time.
Perhaps the most useful feature of the Contact Form Advanced widget, however, is that it helps you easily create customer surveys. And now, with the end of the year approaching and the start of a new year coming along, it’s perhaps the ideal time for an end of year customer survey!
Designing Your Survey
Designing a survey seems like a simple thing to do, but there are some important things to remember when creating one…
- Keep The Objective In Mind: The first thing you should do is have a clear objective about what your survey is about. Keep referring to the objective when you create your survey so that it remains on point.
- Keep It Short: Generally, people will are more likely to respond to a survey if it’s kept short.
- Offer a Carrot!: Sometimes you may want to incentivise customers to complete your survey by offering a reward of some sort (e.g. a discount on their next purchase, entry to a prize draw etc.) This is a useful tool to help increase the number of survey returns you get.
- Ask Clear Questions: This can be the trickiest part of the survey… designing your questions so that they are clear and unambiguous. For example, be careful when using negatives in questions or using double negatives as this can confuse people. Create clear, simple questions that are easy to answer. This also applies to how you let your customers answer a question e.g. you might ask the question: “What’s your favourite color?” and list possible replies as red, blue and green. In this simple example, there’s no option for your responder to reply with another color or to say that they don’t have a favourite color. In some instances you may actually want to limit the choice of answer you want back but be careful when doing so.
- Keep the Design Clean and Simple: As well as keeping your survey’s questions and answers clean and simple, make sure that the form design of the survey is also clean and simple. Apply web design practices to your form design, keeping the number of fonts and colors used to a minimum. The same applies to the Form Controls that you use in the form, try to use only a couple of different types (e.g. dropdown menu and radio button) as this will make it easier for people to complete the form quickly. Remember to add help in the form, if it’s needed, by using the Default Value, Placeholder Text and Control Instruction/Tip fields.
- Be Honest!: Now, this may seem like a strange thing to add here, but when designing a survey, there can be a risk that you design it so that you skew the questions and answers in order to get the answers that you want, rather than trying to get an unbiased result. Of course, no one likes to get survey results back that they won’t like, but at the end of the day, it’s better to hear the honest truth from your customers that not. At least you can take corrective actions based on an honest result which should help your business in the long run.
- Test Drive Your Survey: Before you send out your survey, test it out to see what the reaction to it is. This is incredibly useful as it will help you hone your questions and answers, clarify areas of ambiguity and help you check that the objective of the survey will be met properly when you launch it. If you send out a questionnaire that’s biased the results you’ll get back will be biased too.
Creating a survey using EverWeb’s Contact Form Advanced widget can be a lot of fun and can give you useful results and insights in to your customers, if you design it properly at the outset!