“Small businesses are realizing that digitalization is no longer an option, but a matter of survival,” (A quote from the 2020 Small Business Digital Maturity Study by Cisco)
Digital transformation has become one of the most important topics for small business owners these days – and that was true even before the pandemic shook up our planet. It becomes mandatory for small businesses to reevaluate the way they’re operating and shift their mindset and business model to a digital-first approach. Above all, that means digitalizing processes.
If you want to be among the winners of business digitalization, you should invest in technology that creates accessibility and convenience for your customer – starting with improving your business’ website.
Digitalization benefits – go for the low hanging fruits
To start with, improving your website is the easiest – and probably most efficient way – to improve how potential customers or buyers perceive you. This will automatically result in better ratings, more leads and ultimately more business. But rather than going for a big design relaunch or re-writing the content, why not have a look at how people can interact with your company, and – what’s more – what you can make of it?
This means optimizing your processes, and integrating your website better into your daily business. Impress your leads and customers, all while saving time and hassle by removing or reducing manual work from your processes.
Business Digitalization: How wordpress form builders can help you operate more efficiently
If you’re lacking ideas of what you can do, here are some examples on how small business owners save themselves time and hassle by bringing certain business processes online:
- Moving whole application or booking process online
- Collecting payments (or donations) without a full-fledged shop
- Qualifying leads (saves your sales team a lot of time)
- Managing registrations for (online) company events
- Increase user engagement with quizzes, surveys & Co
- Getting contracts signed electronically
Sounds great but complicated? Trust us, it doesn’t have to be.
Let’s get back to the basics and check what you can do with the WordPress form builder plugins. The odds are high that you can use one of the many form builder plugins – maybe even the one you’ve already installed – to implement any of the ideas above and also your own. Easily and without having to pay a lot for a third-party plugin.
WordPress form builders are far more flexible than most people realize. With this series we introduce 6 different use cases for WordPress forms that will move your business forward. Each described in detail in a separate blog post.
Use Case 1: Improve data quality and user experience with cascading dropdowns
Let’s dive right into our scenario: Ever since he implemented a contact form on his website, the owner of a car workshop gets a few inquiries per day via his website. Good for him, but here’s the problem: His customers never share all the necessary details about their car to make a valid quote for the service.
Since he offers services for different car brands, he ends up spending a lot of time ringing and talking to his potential customers to ask them about the make, year of manufacturing and model of their cars, etc.
What he really needs is a contact form that covers all these questions and offers conditional cascading drop downs depending on brand, year of manufacturing, hp and available service. All of which can be done in his WordPress form.
A fair few of the most well known WordPress form builder plugins offer the cascading dropdown feature (aka conditional dropdown).
What is a Conditional Drop-Down and how can you use it?
Here’s the short explanation: Conditional or Cascading dropdowns are typically used to help users filter data. The first dropdown is populated with the broadest options, and subsequent dropdowns are populated with options that relate to the selected value of the preceding dropdown.
Cascading dropdowns are great if you want to create forms to handle price estimates, quotes or payments on your WordPress site. They’ve got a lot of advantages for the users too, because it saves them from having to filter through a ton of irrelevant options. You can import the options from CSV, so you don’t even have to enter all the options manually, making a form builder with cascading drop downs a big timesaver for everyone.
Make life easier with cascading dropdowns in your WordPress form
Since it would be hard to cover each and every single one of the form builders in this blogpost, we decided to show you how to implement a cascading dropdown with Formidable forms, thus enabling our poor car workshop owner to solve his problem. Here’s how:
Step 1: Our car workshop owner needs to create a new form as his “data form”. Data form? Yes. The end-users will not directly interact with this form, but it serves to populate the cascading drop downs with data. He then needs to add a text field for every single one of the drop-down list that is later included in the form which the website visitors will actually see and use. In our example that could be year, make and model.
Step 2: Fill the data form with options
If you only need to add a few entries per drop down you can simply do that manually. However, our car workshop owner would have to add an extensive amount of data. Thus, the easiest method for him is to import a CSV file.
He can simply do that by:
- Clicking Import/Export
- Use the Choose File button to select the CSV file
- Enter the CSV delimiter (this is almost always a comma)
- Select your “data form” from the Import Into Form drop-down
- Click Upload file and import
He then needs to make sure that the data from the CSV file is properly mapped to the corresponding fields.
Now he will create the end-user form or select an existing form (where a lookup field must be added).
Our car workshop owner then needs to go to the field settings and select the data and source field to pull data from.
He then needs to add more lookup fields for make and model. This time however it is important to add a lookup field button to make the new lookup field dependent on the previous lookup field.
If you want to add more than 3 conditional cascading drop-downs to your form, you can repeat the same pattern as many times as needed.
WordPress form builders can turn your contact form into a business tool
As you can see, improving a plain contact form and turning it into an advanced tool that offers more value for you and your users is not that hard.
Stay tuned for the next part of our series, where we’ll be looking into the CRM integrations. What can you do to improve your sales process?
Now, go and check out all plugins with the “cascading dropdown” feature: