We’ve recently been working with a client who receives a lot of structured information, including photos, from their clients as a requirement to receive their service. It’s been an interesting project, building a full custom web system with sophisticated form checking, validation and admin control. Moving to an online system saw a huge productivity gain over customers sending in pieces of paper through the post and it increased the submission rate greatly (and hence the number of customers).
We then built a sophisticated web based SMS system to automatically prompt customers to submit their information as the deadline for their submission approaches. Again, another boost to submission rates (and the number of customers).
We’re now looking at the ability for customers to submit their information via unstructured emails with attachments (primarily targeted at mobile phone users where form submission is fiddly on a small screen), and have that information automatically validated and entered in to the main admin system. We’re hoping for another boost in submission rates (and, you guessed it, the number of customers).
What this illustrates is that by thinking of your web site as something other than just a static web design, you can develop it to do intelligent things that can make business changing shifts.
2014 is the year to think beyond “brochureware” and make your website deliver more. Happy New Year!