As my users' goal is filling out forms. What are the things to keep in mind about UX or design influencing, so that users are keen to fill forms rather than calling.
Users call for different reasons, but most reasons come down to the amount of effort required being too high (easier and faster to just call) or they cannot finish the process at all.
There's a few things you can do to discourage calling.
Don't prominently display your phone number if you don't want people to actually call. This prevents calls from users that prefer to just call to get whatever they want done.
Offer other types of communication and help: have an email, chat, or whatever? Show those before you show a phone number.
Re-evaluate your form; is it too long, complex, time consuming or unclear? If users are calling because they cannot fill out your form properly, you're only going to address the symptom if you discourage calling. Check if all fields are labeled properly, the relevant questions are being asked and so on.
The problem with forms is we never really know what happens with it after we send it. Where does it go? Who receives it? What happens next? It gets sent and we never see it again, like it goes into a black hole. More on that in a nice article here: https://medium.com/the-mission/a-form-was-never-just-a-sheet-of-paper-161cc98d6ce2#.b2f3db6b8
Your goal is to make a form more attractive than a call. In order to do that see what are pros of call over a form, and try to apply them to the form. At the same time, don't repeat the cons of a call (annoying waiting music is an easy one).
Let's make a test run. (Of course you would aim to get that information from the users)
Identify the user's incentive to make a call. Usually it would be one of the following:
- Belief that the issue would be solved during the phone call
- Lack of internet connection at that moment
- Difficulty with summarizing the issue in one sentence (in forms you sometimes see input: choose the topic)
- Preference to interact with people
- Distrust in the ability of the form to reach the right person, do it fast and bring expected results fast
Make sure that you don't only discourage users from calling, make sure that the form is actually meeting their expectations. Try to analyze user's expectations of good customer service (often associated with calling) and apply as much of it to the form as possible.
Distrust in the ability of the form to reach the right person, do it fast and bring expected results fast
Be transparent about how will you solve your customer's issue using a form, even before they write the message. "Thank you, your form has been sent." on the end of the process is far too little. Give an information that is comforting, transparent and shows the next steps, like "Your issue will be sent to a Service Desk Agent, who will reach out to you within 30 minutes. If your issue is more pressing, please select >this option<."