WordPress for Business Blog Series
Over the next handful of posts, we’ll be focusing on WordPress for Business and how a business can utilize this powerful tool to save their company time and ultimately money. [bctt tweet=”WordPress has the power to automate many of the day to day tasks that businesses have to do.”] What I have found is that many businesses aren’t tapping into the full potential that WordPress has to offer them. This series will highlight the following:
- Ways to use WordPress in your organization that you may not have thought of.
- If you are using WordPress in these ways, how to improve upon their use.
WordPress for Business Part 1 – “Smart Forms”
WordPress for Business Part 2 – Booking Plugins
WordPress for Business Part 3 – Ecommerce
WordPress for Business Part 4- Podcasting
WordPress for Business Part 5 – Slideshows
WordPress for Business Part 6 – WP Live Chat and Voicemail
WordPress for Business – Using “smart form” plugins
One of the many things that businesses can use WordPress for is to create “smart forms” for various areas/functions of your site. Much more than just the vanilla contact form that virtually every site has- you can actually save money by allowing WordPress plugins such as gravity forms and ninja forms to route inputs from your website to the correct person or persons within your organization. Many organizations pay for a web-based solution on a monthly basis and have to “embed” this on their site. By using these plugins, you are actually hosting your own forms and have complete control over them without having to pay for an additional monthly or yearly service.
If multiple people need to get the same information you won’t need to make hard copies of the information. You can easily just have both,(or many) parties receive an email with the same information instantly and without other party having to interface your client.
You can take complex forms that normally generate a lot of paperwork and recreate them using one of these form plugins. For instance, if you have a questionnaire that your customers generally have to fill out once they get to your business location, you can actually have them update or fill out the information right from your website. Since you are on WordPress your site is more than likely responsive,(looks good on phones and tablets), and your customers can fill out your form on their phone or tablet before they even reach your office. Look at the benefits:
- Paperwork doesn’t need to be printed unless absolutely necessary (- helping with many companies green initiatives)
- Your customers/clients don’t have to show up early just to fill out a form
- Your form can be easily shared between persons and departments.
- You can also restrict who is able to see a particular form
- If you have field agents, they can pull up the questionnaire on their phone or tablet and fill out the client’s information away from your main office which increases your business’ image and streamlines your data flow process.
What if I have a long form?
Long forms can be recreated in a form plugin to utilize what is called “conditional logic”. For instance, if you create a job application form using one of these plugins one of the questions may be “Have you done this type of work before?” If the answer is “yes” you can have another field drop down and the person can give more information. However if the person states “no” they wouldn’t even see the additional field. This makes generally complex forms much easier to fill out with improved accuracy. Here is an example – (It actually works by the way, if you’d like more info on saving money using WordPress for Business can insert your email)
Using forms to interface with other applications your business uses
Your WordPress smart form can even create new customers in QuickBooks, CRM contact lists, slack channels, google docs, dropbox, etc. So if your team typically takes a certain form and uploads it to a dropbox, or other cloud-based accounts, you can automatically create either a new folder in dropbox and insert form data, OR have all data from a form go to a designated folder. You can also have a form generate a QuickBooks invoice or customer. The possibilities are endless.
Quickly updating outdated forms
Additionally, if you need to make a change to a form such as adding new fields or updating who needs to receive the information you can do it much more quickly with a WordPress form. Many companies have hundreds or even thousands of outdated forms sitting in boxes right now. Using WordPress, you can update the form on the backend and instantly have the changes ready for your customers.
Polls and Feedback
You can also use these powerful form generators to create polls for your customers to see how they might like a new product or service. You can also very easily create a customer service form by allowing the end user to choose which department they want to send their email to.
Users who start a form can save their progress and come back to finish at a later date. In our job application example if someone forgot a piece of information they wouldn’t have to come back and fill out the whole form again. They could get the information they need and pick up where they left off. Customers can also upload pictures, PDF files, Word Documents, Excel files, and so on. If your company runs a contest, for instance, a user could submit a sample of their writing in order to be considered for a prize.
[bctt tweet=”With a little foresight any business can streamline operations and save hours of time by using #WordPress.”] Not only would you save time, reduce paperwork, and increase efficiency, but you would also improve organization within your business by having things routed exactly where they should be.Here are some additional examples of how you might be able to use Smart forms in WordPress such as gravity forms formidable Pro and others.
- An obvious use is a job application where a person could enter in their data including work samples and a resume as mentioned earlier.
- By using a simple add-on you can have someone fill out a form and show them how adding additional options to your product or service would increase or decrease pricing. They could even pay for it from the form. This is a great way to have e-commerce on your site when you only have 1 or 2 items that you’re selling.
- You can also create a support form that routes user request to a specific department based on the drop-down at the beginning of the form.
- Super-charge your sales team by letting them input customer information on the spot instead of having to write down the information and manually enter it back at the office.
- Have users fill out a form and have the form create a pdf that they can download or print.
- Have an attachment added to your form’s confirmation email with valuable information for your customer.
Form Plugins that you can use-
Some popular plugins are:
Gravity forms – https://gravityforms.com
WP Forms – https://wpforms.com
Ninja Forms – https://ninjaforms.com
Things to look out for-
Highly sensitive information obviously would need to be secured before you collect it through a web form. This applies not just to WordPress but any platform that takes in such information. An SSL certificate would need to be obtained at a bare minimum- based on the nature of your business, you may need to have a security audit before collecting such info.
You may also want to limit who sees particular form entries. In order to do it properly, you would have to do a little planning and possibly get a developer involved.
In conclusion, with some thought, many businesses can cut hours of non-productive time out of their bottom line using only this one tip. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series.
Copyright ByRivers Tech LLC/ WP-Tutoring.Com All Rights Reserved.