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Why Your Customers are Abandoning Your Online Forms


Regardless of the industry you are in, online forms are an important part of collecting and delivering information to customers, all for the purpose of doing business or strengthening relations. With many businesses today, website visitors need to complete an online form to complete a purchase, opt-in for or receive information such as a white paper or e-book, get in touch with the company to receive services, and provide feedback.


It’s unfortunate then that 81% of visitors have abandoned a form after starting to fill it out. And if a person has abandoned a form, they are extremely unlikely to return.


That’s lost business for your company.


Fortunately, it is possible to do something about it. To do so, you first need to understand why people do not finish the forms they start online.


What are the main reasons why people abandon forms?

  • Data security and privacy concerns - This is by far the biggest concern people have and the number one reason forms don’t get finished online. A study from The Manifest shows that 29% of people abandon a form due to security concerns. If your forms are asking for too much personal information that isn’t immediately relevant, it has a good chance of turning people off from the form.

  • Forms that are too long - This is the second biggest reason why people do not finish a form. The same study cites 27% of people abandoning the form when it is simply too long. Shorter and to the point is always better.

  • Questions that are irrelevant - Even a short, brief form becomes unappealing when the information it requests has nothing to do with what the customer is filling the form for. If you are asking unrelated questions on your form (especially about a customer’s spending habits), it’s a huge red flag that you may be collecting information to sell to a third party.

  • Difficulty in completing forms on mobile devices - Most people use smartphones to browse the internet these days. But the statistics are unfortunately not in favor of mobile. Only 3% of people prefer to fill out forms on their phones, compared to 84% who prefer to use a laptop or desktop.

  • Advertisements and upselling - Being bombarded with ads while completing online forms or being met with a plethora of pop-ups and other intrusive offers can dampen a customer’s mood significantly. Excessive ads are one of the biggest complaints people have when using the internet.

  • Lack of response from the company - If people fill out a form, they expect an immediate response to their inquiry or request. When a company fails to respond within a timely manner, customers lose faith in the company and are less likely to fill out forms in the future. Anything longer than 24 hours is a huge red flag.

In the end, people are simply looking for convenience. People generally do not like to fill out forms, and only tolerate them if they perceive value in doing so. If the form takes too much of their time people start weighing the benefit of the form against its inconvenience. The goal is to make the form is as easy as possible for the customer, while keeping them focused. Afterwards, sending the customer a receipt or email instantly upon completion always leaves a positive feel to the experience.


In the end, a well-designed form that serves the customer is more likely to be used than a form that feels like it has an ulterior motive. Keep the end user experience in mind and all should be well.

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