09 Jan The Top 6 Webforms SMBs Need for Collecting Customer Data
3 in 4 digital marketing professionals gather data on customers, as reported by a 2014 Neustar and Digiday study. Also, 77% respondents reported an increase in data collection over the past year. The need for customer data is here, and it’s here to stay.
Any business – be it a large-sized company or an SMB – would like to know whom their customers are. Where do they live? How old are they? Are they mostly women? Or men? What’s the best way to reach them? Email? Phone? This kind of information allows them to create targeted marketing campaigns. Though generating new opportunities and boost sales. And webforms are by far the simplest way to collect data on SMB consumers.
Creating a contact form isn’t time consuming. It’s easy to install on a website, blog or any communication channel where SMBs interact with customers. Before sharing the top 6 online forms that work the best for collecting data on consumers, let’s remind some best practices every business should know.
Contact form : best practices
Whatever webform you might choose for your business, follow these best practices:
- Keep it short. Customers often ignore long contact forms, which reduces conversion rates.
- Don’t ask for sensitive information if it isn’t necessary.
- Make it clear why you’re requesting this information.
- Segment your forms per business division. Pricing inquiries should go to business reps. Bugs to customer service managers and so on.
- Ensure that your forms are mobile-ready
Start Collecting Customer’s information.
B2C online forms
The B2C contact form is the most common way of collecting consumer data in seconds. It includes customers’ personal data and an optional demographic snapshot. Personal data consist of customer’s name, mailing information and email address. Customer’s demographic snapshot (i.e. age, gender and profession) can provide useful data for marketing segmentation. Sometimes, certain respondents may consider it as too personal. SMBs need to make sure to explain why they need this information and how they plan to use it.
Businesses don’t have to forget to pay attention to what customers have to say. By adding a text field to their form, they let them express the reasons why they’re contacting the business. Though, the business can prepare a personalized pitch for each customer when they’ll make the first contact.
A birth date field is a wonderful addition to any online form. Thus, businesses can send special offers on customers’ B-days and grow conversion chances!
B2B lead forms
In this scenario, besides collecting personal data, SMBs need to adapt their forms to a professional audience. It should include business information such as company’ name and job title. It’s also crucial to ask for customer’s industry. This helps businesses sharpen messaging when calling or emailing customers for the first time. SMBs creating a B2B form should also include a field to respond to the question “how did you hear about us?” before connecting. This allows them to state which advertising campaigns are working best to spread the word!
Call to action forms
SMBs can also structure their contact form to call customers to a specific action like requesting an appointment. Besides providing personal/professional data, these forms can include two or three date fields so that customers can list their availabilities. Obviously, the best way to manage appointments is still the Online Scheduling solution. But this form can be an alternative if your business isn’t setup with an appointment scheduling tool.
Other examples of CTA forms are:
- Donation forms for NGOs and associations
- Membership forms for companies that rely on memberships like gyms or museums.
Customer service forms: managing customer issues.
It is essential to provide customers with a simple way to report bugs. These forms should include a list of known issues consumers can tick. They also should add a text field to let them share new unidentified issues. Involving customers on products or services quality improvements is a way to put customers at the business’ service.
Marketing forms: collecting product’s insights and personalizing communications.
Surveys are probably the most accurate way of collecting actionable data on consumers. By combining open-ended and multiple choice-questions, businesses collect detailed consumer behavior data. This information leads to better customer profiles analysis, opinions and demands on the service. Businesses can then adjust their marketing strategies based on these insights.
It’s a valuable way to collect consumer’s information. With a newsletter subscription, customers accept to share their contact information in exchange of business promotional or informational content. To get better outreach, businesses can embed these forms on business website, blog or emails.
Tell us what kind of online forms works the best for your business?