Our spotlight series sheds light on some of the external tools we use to customize our Vizlly websites and provide a better user experience.
When searching for hotels travel shoppers are looking for more than just rooms. Corporate travelers may be looking for hotels with on-site meeting space, while groups may be looking for accommodations that provide special room block rates.
The best way to gather information about these kinds of guests and their specific needs is through a custom inquiry form, built right into your website. At Leonardo, we rely on Cognito Forms, a third-party form builder, for all of our custom inquiry form requirements.
What are Cognito Forms?
These customizable forms are created by your Content Specialist as they build out your Vizlly website. Based on your target customer segments and the information you’d like to gather from potential guests, we use this online tool to build and install the form on your website.
Potential guests can then fill in this form with their information, and once submitted, an email notification will be sent to the appropriate email address alerting you of the inquiry.
We use Cognito Forms in a variety of ways, including:
- Meeting & event venue booking: These forms allow guests to inquire about booking the hotel’s meeting space for their next professional or social event. In these forms, we generally ask for information on the type of event, as well as a desired date and number of guests.
- Group booking forms: Hotels with a lot of group traffic can easily install a Cognito Form to manage these larger bookings. In these forms, we will generally ask the number of guests attending and rooms required, along with information about the purpose of the trip (tour groups, family reunions, etc.).
- General Info/Contact Form: These forms allow potential guests to get in quick contact with the hotel to find out more information about the property, or make a specific request.
What value do they give my website?
General inquiry forms are a revenue generator for hotels who are looking to engage with potential customers in a more direct way. These customizable forms allow visitors to quickly inquire about additional services or amenities available at the hotel, positioning your property as more than just a place to stay while they’re in town.
Set up your Cognito account to send information directly to a sales manager or event coordinator, so you can easily track leads and additional revenue opportunities. Cognito Forms also help alleviate the issue of potential customers getting lost in the shuffle when they send an inquiry through your general/front desk email address, or when they call the front desk during peak check-in times.
How can I install a Cognito Form?
During your discovery call, your implementation team will often ask if you would like to add a Cognito Form to your website. If the answer is yes, your Success Manager & Content Specialist will create a free account for you, along with the requested forms. A free account provides a single-user with the ability to create an unlimited amount of forms and track up to 500 entries per month. Additionally, a free account comes equipped with features like calculations, template sharing, file uploads, and more.
Once the form has been set up, we will provide you with your login details so you can make any additional changes and receive form submissions.
When creating a new form, you have the option to start from scratch, choose a templated form, or copy an existing form.
When creating a new form, create a title and short description and then you can start building! Click on the + button to start adding fields.
After you’ve filled in the desired information, click save at the bottom of the page.
After creating the basic structure of the form, click “Publish”, where you’ll be able to add colour and additional aesthetic touches to your form. Click the style editor and adjust the font, colour, and branding to your liking.
When you’re happy with your form, make sure to save your changes and reach out to your Success Manager. You can either let us know that you’ve created this new form, or send us the iframe code that appears in the publish code tab, and we will add it to your website.
Tips & Tricks:
- Make sure all email addresses associated with Cognito Forms are accurate. If you would like one form to provide information directly to your sales manager, and another to go right to the front desk, we can create two separate accounts for you!
- If you change your password, don’t forget to tell your Success Manager! You may want to use your monthly edit to change some information on your form, and if we don’t have the password we won’t be able to get back in to make these adjustments for you.
- When styling the form, match it to the colours of your website to stay consistent with your branding.
- Keep it short & sweet. We want to make sure interested parties will take the time to fill out these forms, so we only want to ask them to fill in necessary information. Ask questions like date, time, number of guests, etc. and take the opportunity to expand on these questions when you follow up with them.
Remember, your Vizlly team is always available to either create the Cognito Form for you, or add it into your Vizlly website. Don’t hesitate to reach out and ask them for more information on adding a Cognito Form to your website today!
Written by Rachel Devitt, Senior Content Specialist