One of the most critical areas of any business is providing excellent customer service. By using the JotForm webform-building app, AirTable database service to store the information and Zapier to glue them together, you can build a simple solution to manage customer information.

As an example, let's say that you need to query customers for some personal information such as name, address, phone number, etc.

How do you go about gathering up this information about your customers? Over the phone? Email? Text? We have lots of ways to communicate nowadays. These methods all work but are prone to error because the data they're providing you is "loose" meaning there's no structure behind it.

Humans are Messy

If a customer tells you their address, phone number and email address on the phone and you don't have a system to store that information in a structured way; it could look like anything since a person is documenting it.

Joe Jones, 1199 State St, Acme, NC [email protected] -- 333-555-4738

If I'm looking at that piece of text, I can read and understand it but what happens when you've got lots of people storing that information any way they'd like? It could get messy, fast! Instead, allow the customer to provide their information themselves via a web form which only allows specific input and then, once confirmed, saves that information in a database which can then be queried and standardized reports generated.

There are many ways to build such a system and tools to do this, but one method I've found to work great is with JotForm, Zapier and AirTable.

JotForm is an easy to use service that allows you to create lots of beautiful forms to capture text information like name and address, upload files and to develop intuitive controls enabling your customer to input any information you need quickly.

JotForm has a great tutorial for people creating their first form.

Once a form has been created, you need to store that information in a database. The next step is to figure out how to link that form submission to a database. An excellent service I use almost every day is called Zapier.

Zapier is a workflow automation tool that allows you to define triggers and perform actions based on that trigger. Zapier has native support for JotForm allowing you to connect your JotForm subscription to Zapier easily.

Once Zapier knows about your JotForm submission, you need to store this information in a database. I usually choose to use AirTable. AirTable is an intuitive mix between an Excel spreadsheet and a database and luckily, it also has native Zapier support.

Zapier has examples of hooking up what they call zaps like this. For a great example of how to do this with JotForm and AirTable, check out this example zap on how to archive JotForm submission to AirTable.

Once your customer information is in a database, you're now able to run reports, build other applications on top of your database and more. A database allows you to standardize that input you receive from JotForm in a way that looks something like this:

FirstName|LastName|Address|City|State|Email|PhoneNumber
Joe|Jones|1199 State St|Acme|NC|[email protected]|333-555-4738
Adam|Bertram|1223 Main St|Atlanta|GA|[email protected]|122-333-4422

Once you're able to build a system to receive information from your customers which automatically gets added to a database in this format, every software developer and IT person will thank you for making their lives so much easier!

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