When it comes to a website, people tend to pay a lot of attention to things like its aesthetics, certain info being “above the fold,” the pictures, colors, and the logo. ALL of these things are important. But the one thing we never have new clients talk to us about is the forms.
The funny thing is, in my opinion, your forms are the most important part of your website.
People Communicate Differently Now
Think about it. Would you rather pick up your phone and have a conversation with someone (who is not a dear friend), or would you rather text message or email them?
Even when it is an old friend, people prefer to type rather than talk.
We all live busy lives, and the one thing we dread like no other is being put on endless hold or having to make small talk with a service provider.
People would rather type than talk, and your website’s forms and chat widgets allow them to get to the point, all while they’re sitting at their desk or scrolling their phones.
Your Forms Work 24/7/365
While your staff may actually need to spend time with their families and sleep at night, your website works every hour of every day.
After a long day of work and taking little Suzy and little Johnny to their after-school activities, late at night may be the first opportunity your clients have to schedule service. Your appointment form makes it easy for them to request a day and time and let you know what type of service they need or share their concerns with you – all while you and your staff are done for the day.
Scheduling via forms is more convenient for your customers and you. It’s a win-win.
Forms Allow You To Track Your Marketing
You’re probably spending thousands of dollars each month on Google Ads, Facebook ads, and SEO as an auto repair shop.
Although phone calls can be tracked with tracking phone numbers and dynamic number insertion, there’s just something about being able to see the path that a visitor takes through your ads, into your website, and then through your form – then matching it up with the dollars spent during their visit.
So What Forms Do You Need On Your Auto Repair Shop’s Website?
We recommend having three forms on your website, though you can certainly have as many as you want.
Request an Appointment – This form allows people to request an appointment for repair or service. You can get as detailed as you want with it, but we like to ask for as little information as possible while giving your service advisor enough information to schedule the appointment.
Early Bird / Night Drop – This form allows someone to submit all of the information they would typically write on that pesky envelope that you can’t read. It keeps your client from having to stand in the rain or cold and fill it out in the dark. It’s also really nice because you don’t have to decipher someone’s handwriting.
Generic “Contact Us” Form – This form is typically a pretty simple form that asks for name, email, phone, and a message. Here is where someone can ask you a quick question: your hours, pricing, etc. We find that this form gets very few fills, but it’s perfect for the person who needs to ask a simple question.
In addition to these forms, don’t underestimate the value of a good chat widget. I have clients who have sold multi-thousand-dollar jobs through their chat widget. A great service advisor will be able to build know/like/trust through a chat widget just like they can in person, and the person they’re chatting with will appreciate not having to get on the phone.
Test Your Forms
The last note I’ll leave you with is to test your forms periodically. Websites are technology. Technology breaks. A website that’s working today may not be working 100% after a software update, server migration, SMTP error, etc. So set a reminder to test your forms weekly.