January 10, 2017

Using Formstack to Overhaul Tedious Registration Process


Care Dog Training provides a variety of dog obedience classes and board & train options from puppy age on up. Group classes, private training and boarding for weeks at a time can be difficult to monitor and manage…especially if the process has multiple tedious steps.

Care’s owner asked if I had a better way to manage class and boarding registration and payment. I had just the solution – Formstack.

Frustrating Process

Care would collect registration forms from customers in the following way:

  1. Customer would go to the Care website
  2. Download and print the registration document
  3. Complete the registration
  4. Scan and mail the form to Care with a deposit check

That process was not always followed. Customers would scan and email documents without the registration fee or deliver the forms during the first class along with a check.

Not a process that allows for quick turnaround and head count for various dog obedience classes.

Formstack Streamlines the Registration Process

Upon hearing about the process Care was going through, I was astonished at the patience they had. I instantly proposed a streamlined option.

We agreed to completely get rid of online documents that needed to be printed and completed due to inefficiency. One of Formstack’s core functionalities is to replace paper forms with online forms.

I created one registration form in Formstack which allowed for the customer to choose their class and time slot. There were subtle differences in the data Care needed for each class. These variations are easily addressed by if/then rules in Formstack.

Simply put, if a customer chose a Puppy Kindergarten class, they were presented with one set of questions. The customer would see a different set of questions if he chose week-long Board & Train. Formstack made it simple for me to create the flow by indicating “if Puppy Kindergarten is chosen, then display a block of puppy questions”. I just followed this logic for each potential class choice and had a dynamic, adaptable form that changed based on customer choice.

A few hours of work completely eliminated the need for forms to be printed, completed and mailed.

The Dog Ate My Registration Check

No more excuses of forgetting to mail a check, not having a check left to bring to class or any other assortment of reasons. I needed to allow the form to collect registration fees. Easily done with Formstack integration with PayPal.

I will not get into integration specifics, but Formstack does make it easy. You simply provide Paypal credentials to Formstack and the tool will connect to Paypal for you. Collecting payments is then a cinch. The only task left to complete is telling the form just how much it should charge for the fee.

Again, Care’s fees vary by class and the registration form needed to account for those differences. By assigning a cost to each class, the form auto calculates the fee, displays the payment total and options to pay via credit or debit card. The customer only need provide their payment info and the fees are taken care of and in Care’s virtual hands within days. A far cry from mailed checks.

Signed and Delivered

Lastly, Care needed a signature from the person who would be training the pooch. Formstack had the answer. Simply adding a signature field automatically enables the user to sign their name with their mouse (on a laptop for example) or with their finger (on an Ipad or any other tablet). Pretty simple solution.

I also built in rules for the form that essentially say “unless the fee has been paid and signature provided, the form cannot be submitted”. In so doing, we verify that the entire registration is complete and Care gets what it needs. If any element is missing, a simple message appears telling the user to provide whatever is missing.

Once complete, all the form data, the signature and payment details are automatically emailed to Care’s owner. She now has a complete record of the latest doggy enrollee, a record of payment, cash awaiting her in Paypal, and any details for the customer she may need if, for any reason, she needs to contact the customer.

My usage of Formstack in no way utilizes all aspects of the tool but these aspects fit a very real need for Care Dog Training. There are more capabilities and integrations offered by Formstack. If you have a manual process or a process that relies on paper forms, I strongly recommend checking out Formstack.

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