How to create a great online form

Article by Rob Fraser
Published 09 May, 2020

Creating a great online form for your trade is essential to getting the right information from your leads, minimizing the amount of back and forth and ultimately getting a paying customer.

Most online forms for trades simply ask for a name, email and a message field. This means you’re adding extra steps by having to call or email the potential customer to find out simple details and sometimes this may be multiple times.

Every trade needs it’s own unique form because every trade has its own types of questions to ask. Take for example a form we made for SS Bricklaying where we ask very specific questions relating to bricklaying so they can quickly and easily respond with a quote. We even added the ability to upload images which is great because you can get a really visual representation of the issue or project being discussed. There’s also some advanced functionality where some fields are hidden unless they’re selected, for example, the form doesn’t ask for the best time to call unless the customer chooses Call as their preferred contact method.

If you want to see an even more advanced form, we have created a form for our clients to fill out before we start working on their website so we know exactly what pages to create and how to structure the text on the website. You can view it here – tradies.roo.digital/survey

But you might be asking ‘how do I create this kind of contact/quote form?’ The best place to start is by thinking of the most common questions a customer asks and the most common answers you need. You’re are the best person to answer this and even if you’re just starting out and you haven’t dealt with that many customers you can take a bit of a guess and once you have dealt with a few more customers you will see some common questions coming through, then you can change up the form.

An example list of questions that an electrician might need could be:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Contact number
  • Type of job
    • House rewire
    • Maintenance
    • Indoor lighting
    • Outdoor lighting
    • Cabling
    • Other?
  • Car access
  • Availability
  • Job needs to be done by
  • Message

We’re not electricians so that might not be the best set of questions and every business is different, but you can at least see the value in writing a detailed list of questions. A lot of people worry that if they ask too many questions they will lose customers because they can’t be bothered answering them. This is a myth and the more questions you ask the better (obviously with a reasonable limit). You’re more than likely going to ask these questions at a later date anyway.

There’s a lot of different ways to get this type of functionality on your site. We mainly create our sites using WordPress so we use a plugin such as Gravity Forms or Contact Form 7. We will post a separate article on how to create this for people using WordPress so stay tuned.

If you need a hand with any of the above then feel free to contact us below and we can see how we can get you some more customers.

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