I always try and direct my clients to resources that help them get the job done, at the best price, with positive results. And for the small business owner, there is no other tool that offers more value than Google. Their
G Suite is an extremely economical way to collaborate with colleagues, real time, without all the headaches. But you don’t even need to spend a penny to reap the benefits of one tool that can offer great insight into your current, and potential, customer base. That’s Google Forms.
Whether you just want to create a simple event feedback form, or capture contact information for people visiting your website, Google offers easy to use pre-filled templates to save small business owners and their teams valuable time and money. You can even have a little fun with your clientele and compose interactive quizzes focused on your products and services. The ideas are endless. Best of all, if you see a need to tweak your layout even after the form is live – Google makes it happen. The real-time capabilities of all Google products and platforms make my life as a marketer so much easier!
So Where Do You Start?
First things first. If you don’t have a google account, you need to get one. It’s free for personal use, and then, of course, there is G Suite for Business. After you are all set there, go to docs.google.com/forms and either choose a template, or start a blank form.
Then, click in the top left corner and name your form. The first line offers you a chance to add a description or call to action for your piece.
Next up – add your questions. This is where you really need to think through what your goals are for the form. Do you want to get feedback on a customer visit, or maybe you are reaching out for testimonials? For these types of questions, a long form answer could work best. Maybe you are just trying to gauge what additional services your clients would like to use, or to get people to opt-in to your business updates. For that, a multiple choice option will keep you in control of services you are trying to determine they will use, while making the choices easy and quick – giving you a better guarantee that people will take the time to successfully respond. You can choose to make responses “required” for submission, or open ended. It’s all up to you.
You are even in control of design – somewhat. If you add your logo in the header, or other visual, Google Forms picks up the correct color to use as a background. But you’re not stuck with it. So play around and customize it to suit your interests or brand. Don’t have access to stock photos for your header? No problem. Google offers a few basic choices covering visual topics many would likely use. Another free site I like to use is Pixabay. The artists would love if you give them credit for using their photos, but it’s not required.
Have fun with your customization and information. Maybe you want to target potential customers by adding a Youtube video, or directing them to your website through a link. Google also offers ad-ons for business collaboration and enhanced security, so remember to check those out.
Once you are done setting your theme and inputting questions, your Form is saved automatically. Click the little gear in the top right corner to customize your settings. It allows you to limit responses under “General,” and don’t forget to personalize your Presentation with a confirmation message. This is also where you can turn your form into a quiz for respondents.
Your form is ready to send. Click on the purple Send button in the top right corner for options. You can copy the link to send in an email to existing customers, or a list you created, or you can choose to embed your survey into your website, or get a link to use on social. The best part – results are instant, and can be evaluated in google sheets by you, or in collaboration with your team.
So click away, but remember your respondents time is valuable. So the less work you create for them, the better. Incentives are always a great idea when you want a high percentage of completion.