Pandaform Blog

Everything about Forms!

Business Owners: Is It Time to Rethink Your Current Workflow Solutions?

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With the rise of the internet and the culture of 24/7 availability over the last decade, the environment in which businesses operate has changed dramatically. With this change and shift towards a more global, on-demand marketplace comes the need for organizations to automate more and more processes and implement effective workflow solutions. In this post we’ll consider why business owners should consider deploying such software systems and some of the cost-effective workflow solutions we can offer you at Pandaform.

Why does your SMB need a workflow solution?

Serve your clients’ needs – on time, on budget, beyond expectation

Increased competitiveness in the marketplace means that clients have become more demanding, expecting faster response times in terms of minutes or hours rather than a few days. If you fail to meet their needs, they will simply find one of your competitors who will. This is where effective automation can help. Systems that prompt employees to perform necessary, time-sensitive tasks can be put in place with a workflow solution.

Stay ahead of the trends – rapid internet growth means extended global customer reach

Thanks to the internet, the marketplace has become globalized and has increased competitiveness for businesses. An attractive, well-maintained website can draw in customers and an effective workflow solution can easily manage sales and collect crucial data that business owners can study and utilize to their advantage.

Motivate your team – keep them on target with easily checkable deliverables

An added effect of the internet boom is the rise in outsourced labor. Companies can employ freelance workers and agencies from all over the globe and automated workflow solutions and management tools can facilitate an efficient, connected workforce. Having workflow solutions in place allows business owners and managers to effectively communicate with team members, easily assign tasks and keep check of deliverables and deadlines.

3 cost-effective workflow solutions from Pandaform

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Now we’ve discussed why your business needs a workflow solution, let’s look at just some of the products Pandaform has to offer:

Sales Lead Tracking

As a business owner, you know that timely, targeted collection of current and relevant data is going to be vital in allowing you to make better management decisions. Our Sales Lead Tracking form allows you to quickly and easily consolidate scattered information and monitor progress on sales opportunities. You can review sales leads in real time via a single screen and keep track of important comments added by your sales team anytime, anywhere. You can also be sure that you won’t miss any important updates relating to sales, as you’ll receive an email alert when someone changes the status of a sales lead or logs data. This will help you keep on top of any potential issues that may lose you a prospective client. Find out more by clicking here.

Annual Leave Application

Being at the forefront of a business means demands on your time are numerous. This is where our workflow solutions can help you maintain focus by automating time consuming tasks and freeing up time for you to work on growing and improving the company. Our Annual Leave Application ensures that staff planning can be made manageable by keeping annual leave applications in a structured online database that can be easily accessed by team members. It is also convenient as staff can apply for annual leave online and get notified when a decision is made. Calculating staff benefits becomes easy too, as the system will provide the number of days off taken by each person with just a click. You can find out more here.

Customer Survey

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Unsure what your customers think about your product? Don’t know which product to launch next? Invite them to fill out a Customer Survey form and analyze the collected data to see what things are important to them. Our responsive Customer Survey form is able to adapt to customers’ needs and you can easily tweak it to serve your particular business. Through our system statistics are automatically compiled for customers’ responses in order to help you quickly and easily get a sense of how satisfied customers are. Data can also be exported as Excel files allowing you to perform advanced analysis. You can request more information here.

Concluding Thoughts

Without doubt, the business marketplace has changed dramatically over the last decade and companies need to adapt in order to meet customer demands and stay ahead of competitors. Putting workflow solutions in place will give any business an advantage and the peace of mind that the automated systems are taking care of every aspect of their operations.

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Pandaform is committed to helping businesses make their processes simpler and easier by providing good quality, easy to use, cost-effective workflow solutions.

Support Discount Coupon for Forms with Payment

Pandaform has a cool feature called “Formula”, which provides the flexibility to change values of fields according to user inputs. In this tutorial, I will show how to use “Formula” to support discount coupon for your forms with payment.

You can try out a real form here: https://oscarcheung.pandaform.com/pub/coupon.

What is “Formula”?

“Formula” is a field that support “Form Expression”. For example, you can calculate the total amount according to the choice of radio field 1 and checkbox 1, by the following “Form Expression” in a “Formula” field:
=choose(radio1, 3000, 2000) + sum(choose(checkbox1, 50, 100))

More about “Formula” can be found here: What is “Formula”?

How to Support Discount Coupon?

To support static discount coupon, we will need condition:

if(condition, then value, else value)

For example, if a 20% off coupon code (let’s say the code is “PANDAFORM20OFF”), we should have a “Form Expression” like:

if(discount_code == “PANDAFORM20OFF”, total_amount * 0.8, total_amount)

Where discount_code is the “Field ID” of the “Single Line” field, and total_amount can be a static number or another “Form Expression”.

Step-by-step Guide

  1. Create a “Single Line” field with ID “discount_code” for users to enter discount coupon code
  2. Create a “Formula” field showing the total amount of payment
  3. Enter formula “if(discount_code == “PANDAFORM20OFF”, 800, 1000)
  4. Set “Label” of the field to “Total Amount”
  5. Go to “Payment” section in “Settings”
  6. Select “Total Amount” and click “+” icon to add “Variable Amount”
  7. Just click “Save” on the right-bottom to update your form

Now it is done! Try the live example here: https://oscarcheung.pandaform.com/pub/coupon

Re-authenticate for Google Sheets by April 20, 2015

Re-authentication needed to keep the Google Sheets exports flowing!

Pandaform’s “Periodic Export to Google Sheets” feature relies on the OAuth 1.0 APIs powered by Google, which is going to be replaced by Google on 20th April, 2015. Since the old authentication APIs is not compatible with the new ones, you will need to re-authenticate by April 20, 2015 to continue using this feature.

We have already applied the changes to PandaForm, so any forms that is set to export to Google Spreadsheet on or after 15th March 2015 will not be affected. However, you will need to re-authenticate for forms that are created prior to 15th March 2015, to keep the export feature functional.

How can I re-authenticate the periodic exports?

You can re-authenticate the exports in “Google Spreadsheet Export Management” page, all exports to Google Sheets are listed here.

  1. Click your name on the top-right corner
    Click your name on the top-right corner
  2. Select “Periodic Export” tab
    Select "Periodic Export" tab
  3. Forms that require re-authentication are marked with the following warning
    If you see any forms with the following warning, those forms need to re-authenticate
  4. Follow the “click here” link and sign into your Google account if needed
    Sign in your Google account
  5. Re-authenticate Pandaform by clicking “Accept”
    Accept the permissions request

Congratulations! We are all set here, your form exports will flow again as usual!

New CAPTCHA Protection system launched!

Yeah! We’re excited to announce that a new smart captcha system is available to you! With this new system, you can now protect the data integrity of all form powered by Pandaform in a different way. ^^

Traditionally, clients are requested to type the recognised words to prove they are human. But now the system can protect your data integrity by asking your clients to click on the matched pictures (much fun!). We call it ‘No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA experience’.

New_Catpcha_6.png

 

For some of the trustable clients, they just need to tick on the box
New_Catpcha_7.png

 

Just 3 steps to take your clients a fashionable ‘No CAPTCHA reCAPTCHA experience’ journey. Let’s get started.

1. After login to your dashboard, move your cursor to any one of the form that you want to implement this feature.

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Then, click on the ‘Setting’ showed in the grey box.
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2. Now, you will be on the form setting page. Tick the box next to ‘Use CAPTCHA to prevent spam:’
New_Catpcha_4.png

 

3. You can use the ”recommended auto’ Captcha (i.e. The form will only ask suspects to fill the captcha). Or you could choose ‘Always’ to secure all the fill-in data.
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Finally, Remember to click ‘Save’ after this!

New Feature: Assignees

Introducing a handy new feature on Pandaform:  Assignees!  This new feature will enable you to assign any submission to your coworkers for further actions!

I enjoyed using Pandaform as a one-stop service for our event registration platform.  However, when it comes to some of our major conferences with rather considerable numbers of attendees, there are usually tasks that need to be done by more than one staff member, and some tasks are specific to one certain staff member.  This, to me, has been an issue for a long time.

With this new feature, you can now simply invite coworkers to your form, and then assign an entry to one or more of them to proceed to the next step of actions.  This can be done right on the entry page with one click!  Once an assignee completes a task, they can then assign another new task to others based on what is needed.  You can take further advantage of this new feature by setting up the Process function.  With this advanced function activated, once an assignee completes a task, the entry will be automatically passed to the next assignee for further action.

Let’s take a look:

Simply go to form’s submissions and add assignees on the right side panel.

Wine Order Form - PandaForm 1Wine Order Form - PandaForm 2Wine Order Form - PandaForm 3

 

All submissions assigned to you will appear on the this tab.

My Entries - PandaForm 1

 

 

[Advanced] Automate assigning by setting up the Process function under the Settings tab. 

Form Management » Wine Order Form » Edit Form - PandaForm 1Form Management » Wine Order Form » Edit Form - PandaForm 2

 

Inspired yet?  Experiment on your own forms. Head over to Form  Any Entry Assignees and start to assign tasks, or go to Form Setting Process  to automate your own assigning process as you want.

Manage Your Contacts With Pandaform

PandaForm has just brought you some new features in Contact List that allow you to manage your forms and clients easier than ever before!

I love using Pandaform to manage all my order forms, it’s simple yet powerful. However, when it comes to businesses that have multiple products, managing all my customers’ information manually by checking each forms every time is not.

With our new Contacts feature, PandaForm will help you organize all your clients’ entries and give a centralized contact index for you to quickly index historical remarks track down special issues.

Let’s start to play with it!

#1 Go to “Contacts” in navigation bar, here’s where all your contacts will be listed out.

Contacts - PandaForm copy

 

#2 Click on a contact to view & edit details of all forms submitted by that person. 

Contacts » Anthony Benoit - PandaForm copy

 

#3 Go to your form and click on any entry to see the submitter’s profile and make remarks on special issues (e.g. outstanding loans, default in payment, customer’s preference).

Form Management - PandaForm copy Wine Order Form - PandaForm copy Wine Order Form 2 - PandaForm copy

 

 

There are many other ways to make use of this feature to help you manage and organize your clients’ information in different businesses and events.

What we love is that this feature – and all the recent and future updates – are born of your feedback. You help us shape a better future of Pandaform! So, open your pandaform and try it now – drop us a line and let us know what you think :)

 

Pandaform’s New Feature: Save as Draft

Here are 3 frustrating scenes that can happen to your clients when they are doing form entry:
1. They are bothered by other important matters.
2. They don’t have enough time to complete it.
3. They don’t have sufficient information to fill in some fields.

When these above unfortunately occur, your clients will have to spend more time to refill the form and get back the details they had filled.

But now comes the new “Save as Draft” feature of Pandaform, which can help your clients kick out these worries. Equipped with it, your clients can save the incomplete form as draft whenever they need, and there will be a direct link for them to access the saved form again and continue their work.


Steps to Initiate “Save as Draft”

To help them get rid of such suffering, just simple clicks are needed:
Step #1 Go to Settings of the form.

step1

Step #2 In General section, check “Allow forms to save as draft”.
(You can also change the button label as well as the messages shown.)

step2

Step #3 Save the form.
Step #4 And don’t forget to click Publish to publish the your saved form.

step4

Then we are done.


Clients’ View

When your clients go to the actual form for data entry, they will see a “Save as draft” button at the bottom right next to the “Submit”.

done1

If they save the form as a draft, they will get a direct link of the saved form for them to view, edit or submit it later. What’s more, they can copy or email the link for backup, or to other people also.

done2

Whenever your clients like, they can continue to fill in the draft form via the access link.

done3


Your View

Apart from your clients, you are also able to view the draft form as well. Go to the entries panel, and you will see the record with the status marked as Draft.

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You can also have a look at a particular draft form as well.

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Simple and easy, right?

Last but not least, there are other ways to take advantage of this feature. Not only can it materialize cooperation with others to finish different parts of the form, it can also allow people to confirm the details of the form before submission. Think of other examples? Share with us!

Rankgeek Uses Web-based PandaForm to Organize and Centralize Client Data

(If you missed our first interview with SVhk, check it here, and see how PandaForm organizes idea submissions for Asia Social Innovation Award.)

Here comes our second customer story: an SEO company use PandaForm to collect client data. We’re glad to have Shivam with us, and talk bout how they run an SEO business and how PandaForm assists.

Vanessa: Hi, Shivam, nice to meet you. Could you give us a short introduction your company?

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Shivam: Hi, Vanessa. We own a group of SEO websites – www.seopencil.com (which primarily picks up outsourced SEO work from consultants and agencies), www.fountainheadseo.com (Customized SEO platform – we’re redoing the site, and it should be up next week), and www.rankgeek.com (which is a platform on which we bring together our newest SEO offerings and have a high level of detail in reporting and research). We’ve been in the realm of SEO for close to 5 years now, and have an internal team of over 100 writers and 20 techies who specialize in various areas of Search marketing. We’re headquartered in India with offshore teams in the USA, Philippines, Pakistan, and Romania.

Vanessa: Why do you use PandaForm? What do you use it for?

Shivam: We were looking for a solution to conveniently collect client data. We were using a server-based solution earlier and wanted to move to a web-based one, when we came across Pandaform. Currently at use on www.rankgeek.com and a couple of other client sites, we plan to integrate all of our sales processes through Pandaform once you have logic-enabled forms active!

Vanessa: How did you handle that work before using Pandaform? Does PandaForm help?

Shivam: We had a combination of form plugins on WordPress, and a Jetpack based WordPress solution earlier. Pandaform, being accessible online, allows us to make maintenance on our servers without needing to lose out on sales. The ability to make changes on the form without touching the site’s backend allows us to keep tweaking to make our forms better. And the best part is that the data is all available online.

Vanessa: Last but not least, share us some insights of SEO business? And what makes your company outstanding?

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Shivam: Online businesses of today are at a phase where instant client engagement and rock-solid processes are being taken for granted by customers. No client would wait for a couple of days for a response, and would immediately walk away if he sees that the business isn’t backed up by a process that is verifiable at every phase. And with micro-task websites becoming immensely popular, getting a client to pick out a customized solution in the field of SEO has become tougher than before. But that said, a client would anyday pay a premium if he sees that the money is being put to good use and that the deliverables are being met / exceeded. That is what we focus on in our companies. To make sure that we always offer the best to our customers and maximize the return on their investment with us, we have a full-time research team which keeps experimenting with newer ways of optimizing a client website.

We believe in investing in tools, and that is one more value add-on we offer to customers – reports of all kinds included in their SEO package so they can just focus on sales. We invest on our staff and have constant training and mentorship at work. We don’t believe in outsourcing core operations, and that shows up in the results we generate. All said, the world of online business is at an exciting juncture – with mobile, app, and cloud technologies juxtaposing onto core processes. Exciting times lie ahead!

Let’s thank Shivam for sharing. How about you? Do you have any experience that you’re itch to share with us? Don’t hesitate, just drop me a line!

Online Submission System Helps Social Ventures HK to Establish an Award

We’ve talked a lot about our product and the team behind PandaForm. I think it’s a perfect time to let you know some of our clients and their amazing work!

Vanessa form PandaForm (Vanessa): Hi, could you give our readers a short introduction of you and your company?

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Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVhk): We are a non-profit organisation based in Hong Kong called Social Ventures Hong Kong. We are a venture philanthropic organisation that provides financial and non-financial support to social purpose organisations and social enterprises in Hong Kong. We have incubated a number of flagship social enterprises such as the Diamond Cab, Dialogue in the Dark, Green Monday, Light Be.

Vanessa: Cool! So what do you usually use PandaForm for?

SVhk: We use PandaForm to support the idea submission system of the Asia Social Innovation Award. The Award encourages the general public to think about innovative solutions to solving social issues (such as an aging population, poverty and social inclusion) common in Asian cities by submitting a 250-500 words idea via an online submission form.

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Vanessa: How did you handle the submission before using PandaForm? What changes does PandaForm bring?

SVhk: We used to use a simple PHP mailer form to collect submissions. Each submission will generate an email at a designated email account and we will have to go through each of the email to extract the personal details and submitted idea and copy them into a spreadsheet. The whole process is rather labour-intensive and time consuming.

With PandaForm, the data submitted via the online form goes directly into a spreadsheet-like database where we can easily sort the submission by country. PandaForm also allows us to set a cut-off time for submission collection so we won’t have to manually take down the submission form immediately after the deadline. PandaForm also allows us to generate an automatic confirmation email acknowledging the receipt of a submission giving our participants’ confidence that their hard work is well received.

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Vanessa: Do you mind sharing with us some insights of how to run a successful business/organization?

SVhk: Don’t be afraid to think big by solving problems unconventionally. The only limit is yourself.

Thanks to Social Ventures Hong Kong for sharing the stories of using PandaForm with us. If you are PandaForm users, and want to be featured on our blog, please contact vanessa@oursky.com for more information. We are expecting your participation!

PandaForm Optimized the Mobile View

To improve the user experience of viewing and filling in forms on mobile, PandaForm optimized the existing CSS theme.

A simple comparison will show you the difference.

Before: Characters are too small to read. Typing in the blanks is not convenient.

After: Characters are clear and in proper size. All blanks perfectly fit in the mobile screen.

The better mobile view can help you to gain more results when you are conducting a survey. For instance, someone who received a questionnaire on mobile is not likely to reopen the link when he’s with a computer. It’s not wise to lose this group of respondents, especially when more and more people rely on mobile device to browse Internet and check emails. Another case is on site survey. You can share the form with short URL and let others complete the form using their own mobiles immediately.