Say that someone comes to your door and no one was around to answer. She needs a way to leave a message saying that she was around and needed to contact you. At this point of time there are several options available to her:
- She could stick a post-it note to your door. Provided that she has one handy – or at have least pen & paper readily available to slip under your door. Hopefully the note doesn’t get blown off by wind or taken out by your neighbour’s naughty children.
- She could try calling your phone – provided that she knows your phone number and you can answer her. Similarly she could send you a text message or e-mail – but again this information needs to be available somehow. You could display your phone number (or e-mail address) on your door, but this makes you vunerable to spammers and telemarketers.
- She could just try coming back later. However this takes time and effort and she’ll doubt that you’ll be present the next time she comes around and may decide not to come back – hence you may miss an opportunity.
What if there’s an easy way for people to contact you but still keep your contact details safe from irresponsible callers and spambots? Just like an executive secretary who takes phone calls and fends off monkeys from wasting her boss’ precious time.
If this is your problem, we believe it can be solved by a web form. That is the visitor can simply fill out a form on the web saying that she was here and provide some information for you to call her back. Now you may ask, “if she’s not on the Internet, then how can she fill out the form?” Well, with the proliferation of smartphones, people tend to _already_ be on the Internet most of the time – since they have an always-on data connection on their phones. Even better, web forms can filter out spammers better than most e-mail filters when equipped with a CAPTCHA. Moreover reading a message takes only a fraction of the time than taking a phone call of similar content – which is a good defence against telemarketers.
Then all you need is to have a web form somewhere and prominently display its address on your door so that visitors know how to reach you when you’re not around. Tell them to open that form using their smartphones and leave their notes there. Since most people won’t have post-it notes handy, this virtual post-it note should prove useful.
So here’s our idea. Using our app you can print a poster that you can stick on your door – containing your name, web form URL, and a QR Code to make it easy to enter the form’s URL. Visitors will see this prominently-placed poster then either scans the QR Code or type in the URL below it on their smartphone.
On their smartphones, they’ll see a web form to write their message to you. The form is deliberately made simple and thus only two fields are mandatory: the message itself, and a CAPTCHA to ensure that this is a real person who are posting the message.
Furthermore if the visitor desires, she can leave their name and contact information if she wants you to call her back. What’s nice about this is that the smartphone’s web browser should be able to auto-fill this information in the form – letting her name, e-mail address, and various other details for you to use to get back in touch with her.
Do you think this is useful? Contact us or leave a comment below and let us know what you think!