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BizReport : Ecommerce : May 01, 2015

How forms can speed customer service

Customer service is becoming more important each day, and with the plethora of ways customers can reach out, brands need to be ready. One expert offers his top 5 ways online forms can ease customer service.

by Kristina Knight

First, make the form easy to find and ask for their comments.

"Oftentimes something as simple as asking the right question can improve a customer's experience. A very basic but oftentimes overlooked question to ask is "How are you feeling?" Some feedback forms let users select an emoticon that conveys their mood. This simple question can both help you prioritize responses, and let the customer know you care," said Steve Gibson, Director, JotForm.

Second, help customers fill in those blanks.

"Fill-in-the-blank forms can be intimidating. Guided answers can help customers better express what's wrong, and help you provide faster support. The support form can prompt the form visitor with a series of broader categories of common issues, such as service disruptions, billing questions, or configuration support. Each of these can further be broken down into subcategories so users can indicate what's wrong without doing a lot of work," said Gibson.

Third, include prompt confirmation.

"When someone voices a concern, oftentimes systems will send an auto-generated reply saying "Thank you, your submission #76153 has been received." These generic monotone responses are both slightly off putting, and a missed opportunity to build rapport with your customers. Customize them as much as possible, or at least reword them to make them warm and friendly," said Gibson.

Fourth, provide links that could resolve the issue.

"Many users won't go to your help docs looking for answers. But you can bring potentially relevant help docs to them. As soon as they type their question, you can send back search results from your documentation, giving them a chance to fix their problem right then and there. This is a win-win for everyone, as it can take load off your support staff, helps teach users to resolve issues on their own, and fixes their problem sooner," said Gibson.

Fifth, ask how the service was.

"Almost as important as a support form, is a follow up feedback form on how their support experience was. This gives users a chance to voice their praise of your company and service, or express any concerns. It's better to capture their thoughts through your systems, than letting them vent any misgivings elsewhere," said Gibson.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: customer service, ecommerce, JotForm, online forms

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