Do You Have A Contact Form On Your Site? Need Opinions.

Business By Dreme Updated 18 Mar 2011 , 6:29pm by Dreme

Dreme Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 10:45pm
post #1 of 9

I'm thinking of redoing the online forms on my site. Right now I have two forms: a How to Order form and a Contact me form. I want to add another form for brides and large order clients to set up a tasting with me. The reasoning behind all the forms is as one person doing it all, I dont't have the time to do mulitple up to 30 minute phone calls nor do I have the time for back and forth emailing. A lot of this is repetitive information that is hard to collect by other methods and the website does a good job of collecting the info I need.

Now another problem I occasionally have is those who do not follow directions. Sometimes people will fill out the regular contact me form for pricing. 9 Times out of 10 they will not leave important information I need such as date, budget, etc. That needs to be fixed and with the new tasting/consultation appointment form coming, I don't want to deal with clients that have no need to use that form. i.e. guest count list of 12 guest wanting tastings.

I have only one idea, but im not sure how it will work on the site. Do you think that having one page under the contact me tab with links to the other types of forms will help? Is there anyway that this could be confusing to a client? I'm open to any sugesstions.

TIA

8 replies
pattycakesnj Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 11:01pm
post #2 of 9

I don't use forms on my website because I like the personal contact. My website has all the necessary info on it, like the cost of tastings, my starting prices etc so I think that cuts down a lot of the unnecessary back and forth. I could never take an order from a form, I need to have a conversation with the client, either in person or on the phone, there is just to much info needed to design a cake that a form will never address. JMHO

silverdragon997 Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 11:03pm
post #3 of 9

Maybe instead of calling it "How to Order", you could call it "Get a Quote" or something along those lines. I wouldn't think to click on the How to Order link if I was only looking for a quote.

I have a form on my site for people who want quotes, and my phone message directs people looking for quotes to my website to fill out the form. I don't have a separate form for contacting me about other things. So far, if someone wants something else, they use the quote form anyway, or they just get my email address of the page and email me directly.

Just my thoughts.

Dayti Posted 17 Mar 2011 , 11:04pm
post #4 of 9

I think you will need to word it carefully or 3 forms might be confusing. Already you are finding that people fill out the wrong form, or leave out the important info. Is there a way for you to make the form so that the important fields are "obligatory", i.e. the form will not submit if all the fields are not filled out? You'll also need to be specific about who should fill out the tasting form, unless you offer tastings for everyone.

Having said that, I hate filling out forms on websites, I always think that I will be ignored. I think its important you let people know that their forms are going to a REAL person who WILL deal with them asap. That way you might also reduce the phone calls.

indydebi Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 7:47am
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dayti

I think you will need to word it carefully or 3 forms might be confusing. Already you are finding that people fill out the wrong form, or leave out the important info. Is there a way for you to make the form so that the important fields are "obligatory", i.e. the form will not submit if all the fields are not filled out? You'll also need to be specific about who should fill out the tasting form, unless you offer tastings for everyone.

Having said that, I hate filling out forms on websites, I always think that I will be ignored. I think its important you let people know that their forms are going to a REAL person who WILL deal with them asap. That way you might also reduce the phone calls.


I also hate filling out forms. usually my question or inquiry doesnt' conform to the form and while I llike the oblligatory field idea (i was thinking the same thing as I read the orig post), at the same time, I've been frustrated when I've wanted to contact, say, a wedding planner, and I HAVE to enter a wedding date. Uh, I don't have a wedding date ... I just have a question. I'd love to enter "NA" but most won't permit that, so I just make up a date.

3 forms might be confusing or intimidating. Is there any way you can combine them, with, perhaps, a check box at the beginning so they can slelect if they need a quote, a tasting, or "other"?

jason_kraft Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 12:19pm
post #6 of 9

I created a single form that can be used to place an order, ask a question, or write a comment/review, depending on which option is selected at the top. (There are ways to make the fields in the form change depending on which option is chosen, but I was lazy and just kept the fields static.) All the fields (except email address) are completely optional, and I include a big free-form field to describe the order. I'd estimate about 75% of email orders include all the necessary info.

Then again, most of our orders are for relatively simple party cakes. For wedding cakes we always follow up with the customer if they send an email inquiry and have them sign a separate contract with the details.

Here is a link to our contact form (the place an order option is grayed out because we are not accepting new orders right now):
http://www.allergyfriendlypastries.com/contact.html

It's usually better to minimize the number of clicks required to get to important pages, so I would have all your "contact" links go directly to a single multi-purpose contact form instead of an intermediate page with links to multiple forms.

sugardugar Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 12:42pm
post #7 of 9

I use to have 2 and no one ever used the right one; since switching to 1 I have more people using the form as an initial point of contact. perhaps a coincidence but 1 works well!

CakeInfatuation Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 1:14pm
post #8 of 9

I have a "contact me" page. It allows them to send an e-mail. Contemplating a page that says "get a quote". On that page, it will have fields for different things like

how many guests will you need to feed

what is the date of your event

will you require delivery or will you pick up your cake

Plus pertinent contact information

Some of the stuff will be optional, but if you want a quote, you can't submit your form without date, number of servings, and a general description of your design. Without that info... your quote is dead in the water. My webbie said it would cost $30 - $50 to set up the form... Not bad if it saves me lots of time going back and forth with clients.

Dreme Posted 18 Mar 2011 , 6:29pm
post #9 of 9

Thanks everyone for the replies.

Right now the forms on my site do have the required fields thing on them. I do have a section at the bottom and after submitting stating that I will get back to them within 48hrs.

I like the idea of having one form and having the triggers for switching the forms based on the what someone is asking me for. The only thing about that is that the Squarespace platform that im using does not let me do that, so I have to create separate forms. I'm thinking about having one "Contact Me" page and when you get there it has in a larger font, 3 catagory links with smaller sub information underneath: Request A Quote (for party cake and regular orders), Request a Consultation (must have an event with 75 or more guest), & Simply Ask A Question (not pertaining to pricing or orders). I have to work on what to say exactly to get people to get it or follow directions.

I originally had a plain contact me form and that did not work for me. I wasted a lot of time hunting down the information I needed from clients with back and forth emails and voicemails. Some people would never answer some of my questions whether it be by email or on the phone, which was very irritating. Too much of my office time was spent on this. I hate when someone does not have all of thier information together. (Sorry, mini vent). The forms fixes some of that with the required fields and allows me to go about my business without having to be interupted by finding out what I dont have or dont know. I still have to deal with this for some incoming phone calls but its not as bad as it was before.

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