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What is a Pre-Chat Form? & How to Create One for Your Website 

Do you wish to know the person behind who clicked on your website’s “Chat Now” button even before the chat session begins?

A pre-chat form will tell you exactly that! 

Not just the name of the visitor, but also important details like their contact information, concerned department, nature of issue, any other reason for contact, and more. 

As digital interactions continue to evolve, pre-chat forms enhance customer experience by making interactions more efficient and personalized, thereby setting the stage for a productive and satisfying engagement.

In this blog, we will go in-depth into the benefits of this awesome live chat software feature and learn how to create a form in easy steps. 

What is a Pre-Chat Form? 

A pre-chat form is a tool used in live chat systems to gather initial information from a website visitor before a chat session begins. This form typically pops up when a user initiates a chat and asks for details such as name, email address, the purpose of the chat, or any specific questions they might have.

The information collected helps identify the user and understand their needs and personalizing the interaction. Implementing a pre-chat form can enhance the efficiency of service and sales teams by directing the user to the most appropriate agent or department based on their input.

What are the Benefits of Pre-Chat Forms? 

Pre-chat forms provide several significant benefits for businesses that implement them within their customer service strategies. Here are some detailed benefits:

1. Improved Efficiency

By collecting basic information before the actual chat begins, pre-chat forms allow customer service agents to prepare and address the customer’s needs more efficiently. 

Knowing the context of the query and the customer’s details upfront helps the agent provide more accurate and faster solutions. This not only speeds up the resolution time but also reduces the workload on agents by minimizing the need for initial discovery questions during the chat.

Read More: A Guide to Canned Responses for Live Chat Support

2. Enhanced Customer Experience

Pre-chat forms can lead to a more tailored and personalized interaction, enhancing the overall customer experience. 

Customers appreciate when agents are well-informed and can jump straight into solving problems without needing to ask repetitive or basic questions. This level of personalization makes customers feel valued and understood, which is crucial for building loyalty and satisfaction.

Watch this small video to learn how to ensure a delightful customer support experience.

3. Better Resource Allocation

The information gathered through pre-chat forms can help businesses route chats to the most appropriate agent or department. 

For instance, technical queries can be directed to technical support teams, while billing issues can go directly to the finance department. This targeted approach ensures that customers are speaking with the right expert from the start, enhancing the chances of a positive outcome.

4. Increased Conversion Rates

When used on e-commerce sites or in sales scenarios, pre-chat forms can capture leads by obtaining contact details and the specifics of a customer’s interest. 

This information can be used for follow-up communications and personalized marketing, potentially increasing conversion rates. 

5. Data Collection and Analysis

The data collected through pre-chat forms provide valuable insights into customer demographics, behavior, and common issues or questions. 

The captured data can be analyzed to identify trends, measure the effectiveness of the customer service team, and improve products or services based on real customer feedback.

6. Prevent Spam and Filter Queries

Another major benefit of pre-chat forms is that they can act as a first line of defense against spam or irrelevant queries. 

By requiring users to fill out specific information, businesses can ensure that only serious inquiries reach their customer service agents, saving time and resources. You can even prevent irrelevant or inappropriate messages from spam bots. 

How to Create a Pre-Chat Form With ProProfs Chat (Steps)

Step 1: Log in to your ProProfs account and go to your dashboard. Now, click “Settings” from the main menu bar.

Step 2: Select “Pre Chat” from the left sidebar menu.

Step 3: Customize your form fields

  • The Pre-Chat form settings will open from where you can choose the group for which you want to create a Pre-Chat form, such as ‘Sales,’ from the dropdown menu.
  • Slide the toggle button to the ‘On’ position to enable the Pre-Chat form for the selected group. 

Step 4: Add new fields to your pre-chat form if required.

  • Click “+Add Field” to add new questions like text inputs, checkboxes, dropdown lists, radio buttons, and links to your company’s privacy policy.
  • Specify whether fields are mandatory by checking the ‘Required’ box and customize validation messages if necessary.

Step 5: Click ‘Save’ to save the changes. Congrats! Your form is now ready to go live! 

What are Some Future Trends in Pre-Chat Forms? 

Pre-chat forms are evolving as technology advances, and their integration into customer service strategies is becoming more sophisticated. Here are some key future trends in pre-chat forms that businesses might consider adopting:

1. Increased Personalization

Future trends in pre-chat forms will likely emphasize deeper personalization. Using data analytics and machine learning, forms can be dynamically adjusted based on the user’s browsing behavior, past interactions, and known preferences. 

This would allow for more nuanced questions tailored to the specific needs and context of each user, enhancing the personalization of customer interactions.

2. Integration with AI and Chatbots

Pre-chat forms will increasingly integrate with AI-driven technologies. Chatbots could use the information submitted through pre-chat forms to provide immediate automated responses or assistance, streamlining the process further. 

This integration can help in managing simple queries instantly while routing more complex issues to human agents.

3. Voice and Natural Language Processing (NLP) 

As voice-based interfaces grow in popularity, pre-chat forms may evolve to incorporate voice input, allowing users to speak their responses. 

NLP can be used to interpret these voice inputs, making the process more accessible and user-friendly, particularly on mobile devices.

4. Predictive Input

Leveraging AI to predict and auto-fill responses in pre-chat forms can save users time and improve the accuracy of the data collected. 

By analyzing historical interaction data and user behavior, predictive technologies can anticipate a user’s needs and auto-suggest responses, streamlining the form completion process.

5. Real-Time Data Validation

Enhancements in real-time validation will ensure that the data entered in pre-chat forms is accurate from the outset. 

This could include verifying contact details, checking the relevance of the query, or even suggesting auto-corrected inputs, which would help in reducing errors and improving the efficiency of the subsequent chat interaction.

6. Privacy and Security Enhancements

With growing concerns about data privacy, future pre-chat forms will likely incorporate more robust security measures. 

Transparency about how user data is used, along with options for users to control their information, will become standard features. Enhanced encryption and compliance with global data protection regulations will also be prioritized.

7. Seamless Omnichannel Experience

As businesses strive for a unified customer experience across all platforms, pre-chat forms will integrate more seamlessly across different channels. 

Whether a customer starts a chat on a mobile app, website, or social media, the transition will be smooth, with data from pre-chat forms available across all touchpoints.

Personalize Customer Interactions With Pre-Chat Forms 

Pre-chat forms are more than just a tool for gathering information; they are a strategic asset in personalizing customer interactions. By efficiently collecting pertinent details before a conversation even begins, businesses can significantly reduce wait times and increase satisfaction, ensuring that each interaction is both meaningful and effective. 

While implementing pre-chat forms requires thoughtful integration and ongoing refinement, the payoff in improved service quality and customer insights is well worth the effort. 

If you wish to make the most of this feature, ProProfs Live Chat can be the ideal solution. You can leverage pre-chat forms to know your customers better and capture their valuable feedback with post-chat forms. In addition, features such as automated greetings, canned responses, AI-powered chatbots, intelligent chat routing, and social media integrations will help your business deliver exceptional service in a fast-paced digital world.

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About the author

The ProProfs Live Chat Editorial Team is a passionate group of customer service experts dedicated to empowering your live chat experiences with top-notch content. We stay ahead of the curve on trends, tackle technical hurdles, and provide practical tips to boost your business. With our commitment to quality and integrity, you can be confident you're getting the most reliable resources to enhance your customer support initiatives.