Building, managing, and optimizing submission forms is an absolute essential for any business looking to offer a personalized customer experience online and offline. Unfortunately, it can also be a time-consuming process because there are many factors that go into building a form. You need to know what kind of data you’re looking for, you need to know the purpose of the form, and you need to make sure it’s built in a way that doesn’t detract from the customer experience.
This is why many businesses look to form builders for help. They come with tons of features that take away much of the time-consuming work that keeps agents away from their leads and customers. However, most form builder solutions function online, which means the user needs to be on a device with internet connection. This can be very limiting for anyone on-the-go who needs to collect data. To compensate, offline forms are becoming more common. Here, we’re going to break down many of the effective ways offline forms can improve the user experience and, in turn, enhance the customer experience.
Access and sync offline forms with a mobile app
A mobile app can help bridge the gap between online and offline forms, and it’s one of the many reasons why optimizing for mobility is so important. If team members cannot access their forms through a mobile app, ease-of-use goes down significantly and user experience suffers. On the other hand, if there is a mobile app that allows access to offline forms, agents can use that app without an internet connection to quickly access forms and collect offline data when needed. If you’re on the way to a meeting, or if you’re working remotely and your internet connection isn’t stable, you shouldn’t have to worry about finding and using the forms you need.
Reduce limitations to where you can work effectively
There are many instances where you need a form outside of the office, but the internet connection is spotty or non-existent. With a little planning beforehand, you can build a form online using a premade template and then take that form with you to access and fill out while you work. This seems oddly specific, but let’s look at two great examples of where offline forms can come in handy.
Police officers are using forms all the time when they’re pulling people over or checking the meters for parking. It would be a massive waste of time for them to write up a ticket, log it by hand, go back to the station, and then input that data into the system manually. Instead, if they’re using Formstack’s offline forms, they can have a form (the ticket) ready to go, complete the information via a mobile device, and have that data uploaded as soon as they get an internet connection.
Same goes for UPS drivers. They have forms to fill out as soon as a package is delivered to document when and where the package was delivered. Constantly being on the move means the odds of having a stable internet connection are practically zero. Could you imagine the chaos during the holiday season if that data was recorded after the fact? There wouldn’t be enough time or energy at the end of an already busy day.
Work with premade form templates
Working with a premade template is beneficial for businesses for a number of reasons. The first is that not all business owners and employees are tech-savvy, meaning they’d be wasting a lot of time building a form online rather than simply choosing a premade template that only needs to be personalized to fit the needs of the business and employee. When agents are too focused on building the perfect form, they’re spending less time on figuring out how to connect with leads and customers.
The second is that premade templates also speed up the process of building a form. If a sales agent has a busy day outside the office and needs to start right away, they can simply pick a template, personalize it, and get out there. Acquiring customers is, in the beginning, a numbers game. Agents need a high number of leads to increase the odds of finding ones that qualify for marketing and sales teams. The sooner they’re on the road, the easier it is to do their job. And the easier it is to fill out a form—premade templates are built with the user in mind—the easier it is to gather, share, and interpret important data whenever an internet connection is established.
Connect your most important third-party apps
Offering powerful integrations can also act as a significant boost to the user experience, personalizing it to the user’s specific liking. Sometimes software doesn’t go far enough to offer the experience a business owner needs for it to be effective. Or they might have other software in place with tons of customer data that can’t be stored in your form-building software. Users should be able to receive this experience regardless of internet connection.
Formstack, for example, allows businesses to collect data offline and send that data across third-party apps whenever they regain an internet connection. That way, if they want the form data stored on their Google Drive, they don’t have to worry about manually transferring the data themselves. As soon as they’re in the office or establish an internet connection, the data will be easily accessible and make the entire experience more seamless and user-friendly.
The final word
Offline forms are a great way to boost the user experience by letting agents select and use premade templates online in order to collect the data they need offline. Working remotely is becoming more and more common. The easier it is for people to do so, the better off they’ll be. The police and delivery drivers we’ve already mentioned, as well as field service professionals, would benefit significantly from this small, but important feature.
Integrating offline forms with third-party tools and accessing those forms from an app enhances the user experience by blending the online and offline worlds together. The second you establish an internet connection, all the important data you’ve collected offline will be routed to the appropriate location, whether that’s a secure database or a third-party tool. Formstack makes a point of providing a more positive user experience with its software by offering offline solutions. We’re all told to prioritize the customer experience; however, that can’t be done unless we’re paying close attention to the user experience. With offline forms, you can finally do both.
About the Author
Reuben Yonatan is the CEO at GetVoIP, a leading cloud communication systems comparison guide that connects shoppers with relevant vendors.