Online and PDF forms offer great untapped potential. Onboarding, credit card applications or mortgage processing could benefit from an overwhelming increase in efficiency.

The new version 6.5 of the CCM platform from Assentis, scheduled to be released in spring 2019 brings a few features that take forms to a new level.

Forms are elementary for many processes. Good forms are the WD-40 for all interactive processes that receive and process data. By improving the form and subsequent processes, the entire inbound communication process becomes more fluid and simpler, while offering more possibilities and design freedom. In this article, we show you how you can manage this.

Why better forms?

Assentis’ solution for forms is called AForms. For the business user, the creation of HTML-based forms with AForms is faster and easier. Better forms not only increase efficiency, but also – and this is the often-underestimated advantage from our experience – increase the quality of the collected data. Thus benefiting subsequent processing.

For the customer, the form filling out process is easier and better guided. Gone are the days of full forms, which are visually overwhelming where within a tenth of a second kill any desire to fill even one field. With AForms the customer only sees what he needs to fill in. Beautifully presented and reduced to the essentials.

Ultimately, the entire process is more efficient and less costly, with fewer errors, less resistance, and better data. The complexity of the entire data collection can be significantly reduced, and the reusability of individual forms and form parts increased.

What is the advantage of AForms?

The big advantage is the connection of input mask, data stream and document processes. These cross-connections do not have to be built or added, they are inbuilt into the AForms. The horizontal integration of different systems and data repositories is in the DNA of the Assentis customer communication platform. This results in automation potentials, efficiency gains and cost savings by avoiding duplicate work, error reduction, faster processes and IT relief.

An example: You have many different forms in circulation with variations for many of them. If something changes, such as CI/CD, disclaimer or contact details, it only needs to be adjusted centrally in one place and will be uploaded to all relevant documents at the push of a button.

The additional advantage of AForms is the fact that the forms can be used directly as elementary building blocks in many different use cases without having to change the structure of the higher-level processes. The hurdles for implementation and effort are therefore low compared to other customer communication projects. They can be used as stand-alone forms or integrated in websites, landing pages or in the intranet using a simple HTML reference.

How exactly are these advantages achieved and where is the concrete benefit?

The use cases range from onboarding to lending, including back office functions and mortgages. AForms are useful wherever data is collected or recorded and processed. An XML file is created from the form data, which can be used in all possible subsequent systems. Thanks to the seamless integration, a notification, for example by SMS or WhatsApp can be sent to the customer, along with a processed confirmation returned directly to the website, by e-mail or as a PDF document.

Create sophisticated, visually appealing forms with just a few clicks. Without programming and without IT involvement. By displaying the final form and the input mask next to each other, the creation and editing of forms is simple and extremely user-friendly. CI/CD conformity is ensured by CSS.

Due to the dynamic behaviour of the forms, only the relevant fields are displayed. These can also change as a result of the responses. This makes it possible to map many variations with only one form, without increasing the complexity for the customer.

Sophisticated and extensive forms can also be structured using tabs. For example, topic-specific tabs can be created to guide the customer better and avoid lengthy forms.

Is it also possible with PDF?

Yes, on the one hand a PDF document can be created from any form or data. This can be automatically provided with a digital signature and thus certified and protected against subsequent changes (support of PDF Digital Signature Support PAdES). This also works for mass output, including document bundling and archiving.

On the other hand, interactive PDF forms can also be created. The form itself is created in the Assentis platform and simply published as a PDF. All variables and menus are stored in the published PDF document. This makes it autonomous and can be shared across all channels including e-mail.

Due to the deep integration and integration of different systems and data repositories, the initiation can be triggered directly from the core system. For example, a customer consultant can create a link from the core system to send to a customer. The customer opens the PDF form with all his data already pre-filled from the core system. All he has to do is complete the form and return the PDF.

What’s the next step?

A good approach is to first check the processes or use cases that work with forms for automation gaps and systematic problems with data quality. Once this step has been completed and potential actions have been identified and clearly defined, the improvements can be implemented quickly.

If you have any questions about forms or about customer communication in general, please do not hesitate to contact us. We love challenges in customer communication and would be happy to talk to you and perhaps even help you. Of course, completely without obligation.

In any case we will keep you informed about the upcoming release 6.5 of the DocFamily platform.

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