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We are building an app for consultancy (online conference). However, before the customer can engage / connect with the consultant, to best serve the customer, there are several questions that the customer needs to answer.

We don't like to overwhelm the customer with questions to answer before they can use the app's main function.

So we are thinking that maybe:

When the customer uses the app for the 1st time, they don't need to fill-out so much information. That is, at least, they can try the app's main functionality and if they like it enough, it would be less of a hassle for them to fill-out more forms (maybe on their 2nd/3rd time using the app).

Do you think this strategy will work?

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    Short answer - Yes! – Kristiyan Lukanov Jul 15 '16 at 13:42
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    Kristiyan Lukanov and you are right. But there is a caveat: if you let a user in and after you let her know that the site requires a number of additional info, the user will feel deceived. So, make it clear from the outset. – Juan Lanus Jul 19 '16 at 22:21
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Dependending on the type of information you need in your app, I too think a Facebook login can help with a quick start, like Paul mentioned.

Rewarding people for filling out their user profile also works great. Have a look at LinkedIn for example, telling you via mail or after login that you've completed 70% of your profile. You'll be amazed what a simple badge-system will do for your users. Give them a badge for setting up their personal info (again, Facebook login!); Give them a badge for completing 5 questions, or completing all the questions on the first day of use, etc. Reward them for inviting a friend, or linking with a friend. But, and this is quite important too, don't be too generous. We humans actually like a challenge, so a little bit of work is actually a good thing.

If you have a set of questions in mind, group them in different categories. It's much easier to answer a set of questions in one category because you're in a particular mind set. (Personal, work related, future/goals/wishes, financial, etc) Keep questions short and easy to answer. Yes/no, a number, no sentences.

Also, give the user a breather every now and then if you're doing numerous questions right after each other. Throw in a random funny picture, or a question like "You're on a streak! Would you like to continue for a chance to win the freezer? Yes/No" It might help having them answer a couple more questions, hoping they'll see another random one fly by.

  • Yes I think the LinkedIn system is good, as you don't feel you absolutely have to fill in your whole profile immediately, but the % indicator maintains a slight pressure to complete it. Of course, with LinkedIn, there's an incentive to complete your profile - get more employers to find you - so your idea of creating an incentive if there isn't an obvious one is good. Gamification works! – Yvonne Aburrow Jul 20 '16 at 8:52
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Several things spring to mind.

My first thought is about the possible similarity with online chat support. I've come across two types of chat support. One where you can't interact until you're connected with an agent, and one where you can already formulate your question(s) while you wait.
I don't know in what way this might be applicable to your situation, but you might find some use out of keeping users engaged while waiting for an available consultant and collecting the information you need in the proces.

Your situation also reminded me about a project I'm working on. In the app we're making it's vital users share as much about them as possible. We tackle this problem by providing a Facebook login. This way we can easily collect some information in several easy clicks.
All the other information we only collect when needed. Never asking more than necessary.
Take from this what you will.

You might also want to look at what information the user has to add to their profile, and what information the consultant can add to their profile.

Last thing that came to mind was Typeform. You might know the questionnaire service. They do a great job of making long questionnaires feel like a breeze. They do this by serving their questions up in little bits. One at a time actually. You don't have to keep your bits that small. Look at what works for you're situation.
(Based on Hick's Law)

Hope this helps.

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