What is an online form?
Businesses use online forms to collect information from users, customers, applicants, and employees. You’ve probably completed an online form — they are everywhere — related to a purchase order, a service request, or in order to download a document.
Businesses also use online forms to organize requests and demands. And, many times, online forms are the first step in an automated workflow. So whenever a business process is kick-started by information from stakeholders outside the team, a form can help that process.
Some of the benefits of using online forms in businesses include:
- Gathering information in a single place.
- Streamlining interactions with customers and internal stakeholders.
- Gaining full visibility over process and request status updates.
- Improving response times.
- Creating a comprehensive archive of past exchanges and completed tasks.
Online forms and workflow automation
Non-technical employees can easily design, customize and deploy online forms using a no-code platform. An online form workflow goes like this:
- Use a no-code platform to create an online form from a template, or create one from scratch.
- Share the form so it is accessible to all stakeholders.
- Requesters complete the form.
- You manage requests, orders, and applications at scale.
- The form begins a workflow that enables you to get approvals, assign tasks to team members, send automatic emails, and track due dates.
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5 types of online forms
Online forms are used for surveys of course, but they also are a critical part of service requests in nearly every industry. For example, HR professionals may use online forms to organize time-off requests. Finance professionals may use online forms to collect information so they can issue purchase orders.
Here are some common types of online forms:
1. HR online forms
Build online HR forms so employees, new hires, and candidates can easily submit and track requests, such as vacation requests, employee benefits requests, or training requests. The forms are just the first step in an automated workflow that can be built without IT skills.
2. Finance online forms
Ensure error-proof financial operations with standardized online forms created for accounts payable, accounts receivable, equipment purchases, or travel expenses, so you can separate and organize different types of requests.
3. Customer success online forms
4. Marketing online forms
An organized marketing department begins with structured and standardized online forms so you can filter and prioritize marketing requests. Create a form for event planning, another one for content marketing requests, and another for newsletter inclusions.
5. IT online forms
Improve efficiency and gain full control over IT tickets and other requests with low-code, fast-to-deploy online forms as the first step in an automated workflow.
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Best practices when creating an online form
In order to collect all necessary information the first time around, create forms in a way that leaves no room for interpretation.
Here are some best practices when creating an online form:
- Make it clear: Create every form field so that requestors are absolutely clear about what information they should provide.
- Keep it brief: Make the online form short and foolproof. Keep the number of fields to a minimum and eliminate any field that isn’t absolutely necessary.
- Make it (almost) effortless: Provide options that require minimal thought and/or effort for the user. Opt for check-boxes, radio buttons, or drop-down lists when possible to minimize mistakes and typos. Ask open-ended questions only when necessary.
Increase productivity with no-code online forms
For businesses that want more efficient and agile processes, forms can be an essential resource. No-code online forms work for companies of all sizes and across all industries, from fast-growing tech startups to established manufacturing enterprises seeking to take their digital revolution further.
Pipefy Forms is a free, online form builder in a no-code platform, which means anyone can create an online form that kicks off an automated workflow.
Begin with customizable templates, or create forms from scratch. Then, share your forms via email, add them to a service portal, embed them to a webpage, or simply publish the link wherever you like.
Centralize requests, collect the right information the first time, and stop copying and pasting data into spreadsheets, asking people for additional details, and hoping you won’t overlook anything. You can monitor the status of activities, create smart approval flows, assign tasks to team members, send automatic emails, and track due dates.
And, because you can communicate with stakeholders without leaving the platform, you’ll enable applicants, customers, and requesters to track submissions independently, even if they don’t have a Pipefy account.