Use WordPress to Build Customer Response FormsCredit: Javrsmith
WordPress is a great content management system. Originally conceived to be a blogging platform, the application has been greatly enhanced over time. With the latest editions, WordPress can be used to organize virtually any kind of information. Unfortunately, the standard configuration lacks robust tools that might be used to create customer response forms. There is the capability to record visitor comments and an email address but not the data items that could be useful for customer leads. Luckily, WordPress can be extended with plugins, optional program enhancements. One plugin is the excellent tool Formidable Pro. This gives WordPress administrators the robust features necessary to create sophisticated customer response forms.
The Formidable Pro plugin installs in WordPress and adds a new option to the dashboard. Administrators can create new forms immediately. For customer responses, a form might include fields for the customer's name, email address, location and other demographic information. Formidable Pro allows these fields to be validated. For example, the location can be restricted to states depending on the customer's country. This is an excellent way to ensure quality customer contact information. Performing data validation prior to storage is a great idea. Depending on the needs of the customer response form, the administrator can add additional on screen features. Perhaps a choice category is necessary. This can allow the customer to choose whether they want to converse via email or telephone, for example. The customer may be prompted for their web site URL. They might even be asked for a brief description of their problem. Some WordPress administrators allow customers to upload a file on the response form. All of these customer input features are fully supported by Formidable Pro.
There are two versions of Formidable Pro, free and paid. The free version is capable creating customer response forms but it lacks many of the advanced features. It can still prompt for customer details such as name, address, phone, etc. These must be emailed to the WordPress administrator as there is no database display option in the free version. This version also includes the CAPTCHA data validation feature which is an excellent way to reduce spam from input forms.
The paid version of Formidable Pro really brings power to the customer response forms. All customers responses are automatically saved in the WordPress database. These can be retrieved on reports or used in custom programs. After a user submits their information, Formidable Pro can perform sophisticated system actions. For example, a customer can be directed to a confirmation page after they press "OK". Their email address can be added to a site email contact list. The user can be registered on the WordPress site. All of these options, and more, are easily used within the enhanced Formidable Pro dashboard on the paid version.
The full version of the Formidable Pro plugin is available for the low price of $47. When you consider the cost required to hire custom programmers, you'll see that Formidable Pro is a tremendous value. With it, a customer response form can be created in mere minutes, with absolutely no programming at all. A comparable form developed in a custom PHP program would take at least an hour for a skilled developer, and probably much longer than that. Consider the development time involved to match the Formidable Pro options. A PHP program would have to connect to a database that was predefined. The data would have to be accepted from the customer and validated. The database storage process involves more coding. If the custom PHP program displays the data on another page, more custom programming is required. Much more coding is necessary to add customers to mailing lists, create a WordPress user account and respond with messages back to the customer. All of these functions are incredibly easy when customer response forms are built with the paid version of Formidable Pro. At only $47, this tool is a great deal which pays for itself after the first customer form is built.
Credit: JavrsmithOf particular value to many WordPress administrators is the great support that comes with Formidable Pro. The tool is provided by expert developers also also respond to questions that arise. They can often assist with trouble very quickly and there is no charge for support issues. All paid customers receive lifetime support for Formidable Pro and they are eligible to install all program updates for free. In addition, the support team maintains excellent knowledge base, demonstration articles and videos. These resources allow users of the tool to gain a complete understanding of the capabilities necessary to build anything from a simple input field to a robust and sophisticated customer response form.
Finally, WordPress administrators who wish to install a complete lead generation system will find the add-ons for the paid Formidable Pro version to be very helpful. There are several optional extras which can be configured to work with Formidable Pro. An easy to use PayPal expansion is particularly helpful. This add-on allows administrators to designate PayPay as the payment gateway for electronic purchases. It is activated with the dashboard, it works well and is completely free. Another add-on gives email mailing list support. An administrator who establishes a Mailchimp account and list can specify that Formidable Pro use these. Afterwards, those people who submit their data to a customer response form can automatically be added to the Mailchimp list. The feature works per Formidable Pro form so administrators can have people added to lists relevant to the customer. For example, those submitting their email address on a free site can be added to "Free Customer" mailing list. Those who select the premium option can be added to the "Premium Customer" mailing list. The use of these add-ons takes mere minutes after they are installed. They work great and are free for users of the paid Formidable Pro version. Additional add-ons give forms the ability to validate states or cities, auto-register users and more.
Formidable Pro is a great tool that belongs on all WordPress sites. It adds capabilities that are usually accomplished with many hours of complicated custom programming. With it, previously difficult projects, such as the creation of a customer response form, can be implemented in minutes. The paid version, available for $47, represents one of the truly exceptional value for money deals that a WordPress administrator could possibly find.