When do you NOT want a user to submit a form?

More than Just a Contact Form: Building Interactive Forms means a user might not even need to click ‘Submit’

Your users come to you for questions about your product or service, and you want to be there for them. Customer service is the foundational bedrock for successful companies. Your WordPress forms offer an easy avenue for users to reach out to you… but all of them may not need to.

Many users may be best served by never having to submit your form in the first place!

Are you offering a service? Your potential customers have questions. Often times the same questions. How much more convenient for them would it be if your form answered those questions for them? How much time would you save in your day not answering those questions?

Do you sell a product? Questions before the sale probably often follow a similar pattern. Your WordPress form can be built to answer many of those questions for you. Support after the sale is a must, but does every request require a wait time for a personal response? Probably not.

Building an interactive form means you save time while while providing a superior customer experience

FAQs are commonplace, but how many users actually read them? Comprehensive FAQs can be intimidating to users, a chore to sift through to find their issue, and don’t usually offer a direct avenue to someone that can answer their questions if they can’t find it.

Building out an interactive form for your users offers you a chance to answer common questions in realtime, with no wait time for your customers. If they aren’t able to get the answers they need, they’re in the right place to reach out immediately. It’s a win-win for you both.

How to Build an Interactive Form to Inform Users and Provide a Contact Option, All in One!

The possible real world applications of a form like this are huge, so we’ll make a tongue-in-cheek demo form here that cover the mechanics of building one out. You can adapt these mechanics to fit your individual need.

Let’s imagine we’re running a company that offers 3 products: a Ninja Blender, a Ninja Toaster, and a Ninja Mixer. When a user has an issue with one of these products and needs to reach out, we’ve created a support form that will not just allow the user to submit a support request, but runs them through a series of questions to assist them in correcting the issue themselves.

Some users may still need to submit the actual support request, but the idea is that many of them will be able to resolve their issue through the interactive form without having to actually reach out. This will save them time resulting in happier users, and save your team time to devote time to other users or production!

Let’s look at the mechanics behind an interactive form so that you can adapt this to what your users need!

Note: You will need the Ninja Forms Conditional Logic extension to build out an interactive form.

1. Ask the user what they need help with

First things first, we need to find out what the user needs help with. We’re selling 3 products, so that’s simple enough in this example. When a user first lands on our form, this is all they’ll see:

Notice that there’s no Submit button yet. It’s being hidden conditionally pending the users’ response to another field.

Conditional Logic has been set up to display other fields based on what product the user selects. When they select their product, the next step will collect more information about their issue.

2. Collect specifics about what the user indicates they need

For our demo form, when the user selects a product, the form will ask them what issue they’re experiencing. They can choose from a list of common issues, or indicate that their issue is not covered by that list:

If they indicate that they are not experiencing an issue covered by the list, a box will appear asking them to describe their issue accompanied by a submit button. In that case, the interactive form will end there.

If their issue is on the list, then we’ll continue the interactive form experience by offering some guidance that may resolve their issue!

Again, which fields will be displayed in the next step is controlled by Conditional Logic.

3. Offer further information or advice based on what the user has indicated

When the user indicates they’re experiencing a common issue, we have common solutions already available! They will display once the user selects their issue. In this case, their Ninja Blender has become self aware and is shouting at them, so we’ll give them a list of troubleshooting steps to take via an HTML field. This potentially fixes the issue without any wait time on the customer’s end, and eliminates the need for you or your team to spend time dealing with it:

In addition to the advice we’ve offered to fix the issue, there’s a checkbox list field that appears asking the user if the issue has been resolved. If it has, we can display another HTML field with appropriate text. If not, we want them to tell us what’s happening and actually submit the support request. That will be handled in the next step.

4. Offer a way to get in touch if the user needs further assistance

In Step 2, recall that we gave the user an option to indicate that they’re not experiencing a common issue, which would require them to reach out with a description of their issue. If they checked that box then, a Paragraph Text field accompanied by Submit button would appear.

If they’ve reached this point and it’s clear that contact is required, that’s exactly what we’ll need to do now. We can even use the exact same fields- the form has conditionals set up to display the same two fields if the user has either check the “I am not experiencing any of these issues” box in Step 2, or No in Step 3.

If the user has indicated they need further assistance in either step, this will appear:

The user can now describe the issue and submit their support request.

Following these steps will make for happier and more engaged users, plus save your team time and money!

Here’s our interactive form in action:

Your use case might be considerably removed from the example we’ve provided, but the point of it all remains:

  1. Interactive forms will save your organization time and money by eliminating the need to assign people to a task that can potentially be automated
  2. “flow chart” or “choose your own adventure” type forms are really easy to build out with Ninja Forms- all that’s required is a bit of Conditional Logic.

Have you implemented something similar yourself? We’d love to hear you share in the comments below! Questions about the process or how you might adapt it to your specific need? Let us hear about those below too! We’ll be happy to help as we can!

Your WordPress forms offer an easy avenue for users to reach out ... but many users may be best served by never having to submit your form in the first place!Click To Tweet