Filling out forms is the bane of many people’s existence, and the people whose jobs involve collecting and dealing with filled-out paper forms don’t care for them much either.
Customers and clients who fill out paper forms know that a sometimes-significant chunk of time will be devoted to form completion, and mistakes will have to be scribbled through and written over. The results may well be a mess, and that’s before the forms get dropped onto the floor, or have coffee spilled on them.
Online forms are practical for organizations of all sizes, and the benefits they offer overwhelm the benefits of paper-based forms. Here’s why there’s simply no reason not to be using online forms.
Barriers to Adoption of Online Forms
Change is hard. The same person who may grumble about having to enter or otherwise deal with data written on paper forms may nonetheless be intimidated by the idea of putting forms online. Perhaps a person who regularly deals with paper forms knows that they’ll have to go through the IT department to get an online form solution implemented, which can potentially stir up political maneuverings. Or maybe the sheer volume of forms is so great that switching over to online forms feels impossible.
Fortunately, these barriers are easily overcome, particularly with the right choice of form software. And since many form software packages today can be run from the cloud, worries about adding to on-site infrastructure disappear for most organizations.
Users Prefer Online Forms
Editing and correcting paper forms is a hassle, but doing the same with online forms is easy. Moreover, cutting and pasting is possible with online forms, but not with paper forms. When online forms have carefully thought-out features like drop-down menus, spell checkers, and check boxes, they can be completed in record time.
Depending on the form software used, online forms can include many checks and balances to make sure data is entered correctly. Furthermore, incorrectly entered data can often be flagged immediately, so the user can make the correction and move on quickly. And in many cases, lengthy online forms can be completed partially, and then saved with a password and retrieved later.
Online Forms Are “Once and Done”
Think back to the pre-internet days. If you attended college or started a new job in those days, you probably remember entering the same data (like your name and Social Security number) multiple times, by hand, onto paper forms. Secure online forms make much shorter work of such processes.
For new employee onboarding, you can enter pertinent data once, and it can be used to populate multiple forms that require that data. And when an online form is completed and submitted, there are no worries about it being lost on someone’s desk or inadvertently left behind.
Data from Online Forms Can Be Routed Automatically
Suppose you operate a healthcare facility that serves people who don’t have health insurance. You could, for example, create online registration forms that collect all necessary patient information, as well as financial information. If the values in the financial information fields fall below a certain threshold, the new patient’s form could be automatically routed to a clerk whose job is to check whether the patient would qualify for Medicaid.
All this can be done automatically, with minimal stress on either patients or clerical staff. Facilities that use electronic medical records can also route data from online forms to the appropriate fields in other forms in that system, to minimize time and errors.
However “hands-on” your business operations are, you still benefit from using electronic forms over paper forms. They’re faster, more accurate, and are not subject to loss and damage the way paper forms are. PerfectApps is online form software that can be run from the cloud, so in most cases you can use it without having to upgrade your IT infrastructure. If you have sufficient bandwidth, you’re good to go.
PerfectApps allows you to create fully-customized online forms by dragging and dropping form elements into place. You can easily build in checks and balances, as well as automatic notifications to appropriate personnel, and you can route form data appropriately, so data entered once can be used by multiple forms. And with mobile-friendly features like drop-down menus and check boxes, PerfectApps is appreciated by mobile device users as well. We invite you to watch the demo video and see how PerfectApps streamlines and improves a nearly infinite range of online forms.