How can we increase form completion on our site?
“Oh look, another chatbot blog post. What am I doing wrong now?”
Well lately, I have been waying up the pros and cons of chatbots (or simpler conversational forms/interfaces) from a user experience (UX) perspective. With this post, I thought I would narrow it down to one important area that has been a focus on a few projects.
“How can I improve the completion rate of a form on a website” (or, in other words – “how do I satisfy the users goals as well as achieving the businesses goals?”)
Let’s take a look at the humble website form. These are VERY common and if you have a website, chances are you have a form that requires the user to fill in their information. Whether it’s a quoting process, contact form, event sign up or a regular account style sign up – It can most likely be done better as a conversation. So let’s discuss a few pro’s and con’s of a conversation replacing a form. We will look at the time difference, mistake correction, cross-platform and trust.
Here is a rough example of an airfare quote/search form that I’ve put together and on the right is the same form but as a conversation. This is an example that I will use during the article.
Alright, straight off the bat converting a traditional form into a conversation is slower. Is this bad? most likely not. Although when applied to a more complex form, the speed may be a significant downside to the users’ experience. Despite this, there are a number of elements that can also be applied to increase the experience and ease the grind of the transaction. Speed is a challenge that would be evaluated on a case-by-case basis but with this downside to chatbots, there is one major factor that outweighs this hiccup.
The use of chatbot is far more engaging than a static form. The use of a chatbot can introduce a sense of humor and personality that a regular form just cannot offer the user. With this, the user will feel more fulfilled and feel as though their interaction was more personal.
This is something that is a challenge we face when compared to traditional methods. If a user was to review their responses and they spot a mistake in their input, what happens?
Well. This is a challenge the UX process would have to break down in order to make the transaction as obvious as possible. For the flight search process for example. The bot might have to ask the user to review their answers before continuing. Or if the bot had some more complex tech behind it (such as natural-language processing or NLP), it might be able to pick up a mistake before continuing to the next question.
This is an important factor to consider when designing/developing a chatbot as it can affect the speed of completion considerably. Although is definitely not something to be afraid of.
So, we already know how to send a message and we also know the basics of a messaging platform. This is something we don’t have to re-design the wheel of. This is where we can use platforms such as Facebook’s messenger (and many, MANY more platforms) for our conversations. By integrating our chatbots with platforms that people already know this allows the user to solely focus on the conversation compared to trying to learn a new platform.
This is a great benefit and also comes with other important factors such as being able to integrate the platform directly with your website as well as being found easily by users without leaving an application they are already using!
Alright, so sometimes we might have a form on our website that requires payment methods or sensitive information. This is a psychological hurdle that we as a community need to tackle. There’s a sense that a static, impersonal form can’t do harm like a “person” can. This is a factor that can be improved through effective UX conversation design (much like the design of a payment method form seen below). Through the use of simple visual elements, the payment input seems more secure and makes the user understand that there are security measures associated with this input. Alternatively, This issue is another factor that can also be solved through other elements and integrations just like messengers current payment inputs (seen below). I like this messenger solution to payment methods, as it is simply applying current payment UX that already works.
Payments (beta) Source: Facebook for developers
To summarise what I think from a UX perspective. I think a conversation is a more effective method for completing a form. It does come with its complications that are something that shouldn’t be afraid of. From this UX perspective, it’s a challenge we’re ready to face.
- Offers sense of humor or personality
- More personal
- Human touch
- Better user retention
- Far more engaging
- Time taken to complete is something that is unknown
- Mistake correction
- Trust with sensitive information
Obviously, some forms may not be an effective conversation but for genal purposes. A conversation can definitely improve the completion of a form for a number of reasons, some that I am yet to explore! You just have to remember when, where and who is going to use this form or chatbot? and how do you want it to be used.
Most imporantly – “how do I satisfy the needs of the user.”
Do you have a form or a process you think could benefit greatly from being a conversation? or are unsure if it is an effective method to use? I would love to hear your ideas!
You can also find us on Medium.
Bots don’t take holidays
Business automation has become key in order to free up time to focus on the jobs that require more valuable attention.
Scheduling meetings, delivering reports, communicating with staff, taking notes and anything else that is an administrative task– a bot can do this for you.
You could say you already have a PA that you pay $55,000 a year that does all that already for you. Sure.
I could say this article isn’t for you. But let’s take a dive into how bots create savings for you.
How bots truly save you money
To truly understand the savings that this bot can create we must understand the cost of the tasks of this PA. So let’s calculate the time and value of these tasks;
The hourly rate of a $55,000 salary is about $27/hr give or take a few cents.
For the average office worker, 2.5 hours of their day is spent replying to emails. For a PA this would also consist of scheduling meetings that fit into executives calendars, forwarding important notes and emails and other planning tasks required.
What about the rest of the day? Sitting in on meetings note taking and creating summaries of meetings and desired outcomes to be forwarded to respected recipients for next steps. For the sake of this article lets say that’s about another 2.5 hours of the day.
Yes, there is still another 2 hours uncalculated for which I cannot calculate as I am sure these are physical tasks. Putting together hard copy documents and other errands that exist. Then 1 hour for lunch.
So on an average work week, a PA spends 5 hours a day x 5 days a week working on digital administrative tasks. That’s 25 hours a week so now we x that by 45 weeks a year. (Yes that’s how many work weeks are year are in AUS.)
So let’s do some quick math
25 hours a week x 45 weeks a year = 1,125 hours spent on digital admin tasks.
1,125 hours x $27 = $30,375… Spent on digital administrative tasks a year.
Now let me show you how we save that money spent on those tasks.
Who is the replacement?
Currently, there are two major bots that do a really good job of automating these digital administrative tasks. So let me introduce them to you.
First, meet Amy
She connects with your calendar, understands your personal preferences and removes that annoying email ping-pong from your life. Setting up meetings for you regularly and always checks back in to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Now let me introduce you to Eva
“Eva listens and records the conversation, helps take notes and identify action items to be organized for follow up. Connect what gets said to what gets done.” – Voicera
Now let’s calculate the cost of these two lovely ladies for a year.
Amy is a monthly cost and doesn’t take holidays so let’s do that math below
$17/m x 52 weeks a year = $884
Eva is currently free…
So to be quite Frank the tasks that normally cost you around $30,000 a year you can get done for under $1000.
Keeping in mind that Amy and Eva work 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year. They never get sick, tired or take a holiday and forget the recruitment process while you are at it.
Let’s not forget that these two can scale also. Why not give your entire company digital PA’s I mean after all it is now more affordable and would dramatically increase productivity.
We’re not destroying jobs
From what we can see above there is no doubt that bots are starting to pave the way for the modern workforce and some of you might argue. “Robots are taking our jobs” “Robots still cant go get my coffee and run down to the shop to pick up some folders or do some photocopying”
But let’s get real here. We aren’t removing jobs we are creating more time for people to focus on the things that really matter in life. We are moving into a paperless world so get rid of staples and go get yourself a coffee before we figure out how to automate that also.
Oh, wait that’s already happening also.