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CX Tech

3 Ways to Make Website Forms Work for Your Brand

Dr. Shira Agasi
April 17, 2018

3 minute read

Website forms are one of the most sensitive parts of a customer’s interaction with a business. As brands, when we present the consumer with a form, our implicit expectation is that the consumer will provide us with truthful answers – and will do so willingly and happily.

However, the consumer also has expectations, stemming from a successful marketing campaign, a review they read, or even a previous experience within a brick-and-mortar store. These expectations are subjective, and unique to each individual. They entail past experiences and assumptions about future interactions, and the reciprocal exchanges they will have with the brand.

When researching the human experience of using forms, it’s important to take into account a variety of factors that ensure the success of website forms for your brand.

Making website forms work, Tip 1: Identify problematic fields

Identify problematic fields using experience sensors

When researching the human experience of using forms, it’s important to measure a variety of experience sensors that enable you to identify the areas in the form that cause friction. That is, they either increase violations of expectations, the breaking of the psychological contract, or decrease the trust in the brand. These experience sensors will help you to measure the consumers’ overall willingness and motivation to share and disclose personal information.

Among the many sensors that can define whether a specific field in the form is problematic, or if consumers are not willing to share their data, are hesitation sensors – for example, the time it takes consumers to start typing in each specific field, or their typing speed. The longer it takes, or the slower the typing speed, the higher the probability that the user is unwilling to provide the information, or that the question is deemed irrelevant.

Regardless, the time factor here is clearly an issue, and the problem is still relevant whether the consumer continues and finishes the form, or not. Indeed, customers can complete the form and add a seemingly positive conversion. However, their experience could be so poor that their relationship with the brand is short-lived and they never return.

Making website forms work, Tip 2: Think about customer personas

Think about your customers’ personas in advance

Brands need to accept that most of the interactions customers have with brands are either seemingly inconsequential or largely subjective. Both a customer’s individual personality and mood at the time can drastically influence the way that they perceive their experiences with a brand.

To address this fact, brands must do their best to understand who their typical customers are, how they shop, and how they think. By understanding the company’s target audience, and building a persona of that audience in advance, brands can tailor their forms to appeal to their most common shoppers. A successful persona should include everything from geographic to demographic data, right through to psychographic research into the buyer’s mind-set when shopping.

Making website forms work, Tip 3: Craft experience guidelines

Craft your ‘experience guidelines’

It’s fairly common for businesses and retailers to develop a set of ‘brand guidelines’ outlining everything from their company color scheme, right through to how and where their logos should appear. In the age of experience however, some have argued that these guidelines aren’t enough, and that brands need to start thinking about how they can develop a new playbook, for defining and shaping a brand’s experiences.

By using the insights developed through profiling, many brands are now looking to define customer experience literally – by writing out detailed guidelines explaining the feeling and behaviors that their interactions with customers should evoke. These guides can include everything from the moods that consumers walk away with when they’ve interacted with a brand, right through to the tone of voice that should be adopted across all aspects of the organization. It is such positive moods and appealing forms that should increase consumers’ trust in a brand, ultimately leading to an increase in customer loyalty.

Learn more about Field Analytics, enhancing marketing segments, and developing machine learning models to answer complex, strategic questions about visitors in Field Analytics: foster trust with your visitors.

Dr. Shira Agasi, Clicktale
Dr. Shira Agasi
Dr. Shira Agasi has a PhD in Organizational Behavior from the University of Toronto. She is a Data Scientist at Clicktale. Shira uses her understanding of the psychology and sociology of how people interact with organizations and brands to uncover their decision-making and cognitive processes. Shira’s approach to consumer behaviors through form analytics gives Clicktale the ability to pinpoint which areas in the form relate to poor lifetime value and trust in a brand, and which enhance them, as well as to distinguish between visitors’ intent and motivation to share information with a brand.
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