It was a pleasant surprise that an inquiry form can be made in just 10 minutes.

Brend, Inc. Shuichi Tao

-Please tell me how you used formrun from the viewpoint of management

I think that it is an easy-to-use service, and it was a really good idea to implement it . At our company we use the chat tool Slack and formrun's Slack integration, lets you receive real time notifications on different channels, making it possible to get an overview of all messages coming from customers. You can also manage the current status of all communication, giving our customer management a lot of flexibility.

If you are using a form, which only sends an email to your Inbox, you don't know who is contacting the customer or when or what the communication is about. What I like about formrun is that you can share all customer communication with multiple members. Currently I am mainly in charge of all customer support, but when I am not in the office, such as on weekends, then the other members take care of customer support. I think formrun is good for customer management and customer support involving multiple members.

For startups like us, with a limited number of human resources, formrun is an attractive service because you can implement different online forms very easily. Having an inquiry form on your site is an important contact point with your customers, but at the same time you have to focus on developing the service itself. In a phase, where speed is important, formrun is a very effective service.

There are many simple systems where you respond to customer inquiries by replying to an email sent from a mail form. The problem with theses services is that replies tend to take time and sometimes the emails get buried in your Inbox and might even get overlooked. If the customer inquiry is sent to a mailing list, it is hard to tell who is taking care of which customer. All this has a negative effect on efficiency.

Regardless if you are a startup or not, most companies are taking information management and customer communication using online forms very lightly. The same goes for setting up and managing online forms, because you can do it with manpower. However, communicating with your customers is essential for any business. People who still use mail forms for sales, marketing or customer support could greatly raise the quality of their responses, prevent miscommunication and improve customers satisfaction, if they start using formrun. 

-Mr. Kitakuni, how do you feel about formrun as an engineer / designer?

As an engineer, I thought it was very easy to implement. It took maybe less than ten minutes from user registration to implementation. When developing a new service, an inquiry form is almost certainly included in the specifications. Just before a service release, things can get a little hectic with product development and testing of core functions, and I tend to be both physically and mentally exhausted. It is a pleasant surprise that even under such conditions, functions like inquiry forms can be setup in just ten minutes.

From my experience, a simple form that only sends a notification to Slack, takes less than 30 minutes to implement on our own, but after a while someone will come to the engineering staff with requests like "I want to consolidate the content of customer inquiries in one place" or "I want to make customer communication more manageable". As a result, more and more resources are required to implement an inquiry form. Since formrun covers all of these tasks, I had no qualms about using it.

In other words, formrun allows you to greatly reduce the man-hours for operations not directly related to UX. I think that this is a very important point. From a designer's point of view on the other hand, formrun requires you to create a design for the form, so I felt it would be more convenient if bootstrap were available by default.

-Did you consider other services for implementing forms?

I did not consider any other services. In the past, we implemented inquiry forms on our own and we have never considered using external services or plug-ins. But after finding out about formrun, I experienced for the first time, the benefits of using external services. Before formrun, we had a policy to do as much on ourselves as possible. If you use too many outside services, managing them can become complicated and the reliability, such as supports for updates is often not sufficient.

-You are currently using formrun for inquiry forms. Are there plans for using formun for other purposes?

I want to use it for user surveys. The nature of our service makes customer support very important. I would like to conduct a user survey to improve the quality of our service. formrun can display data entered into an online form in two formats, as a list or as a board. I think questionnaires would be easy to process using the list display.

Although it is again from an engineer's point of view, if you create a questionnaire on your own, in most cases you will need a function to export the data as CSV or Excel format. The export function can be a little troublesome because you need measures to prevent corrupted text. It's not especially hard, but I want to avoid it if I can.

formrun seems to have an understanding of how engineers feel about these kinds of tasks and has a function for exporting data and supports both Windows and Mac. I know that this is a small detail, but it still makes me happy. What formrun does is, if you had an urgency/importance matrix, formrun can solve tasks in the low urgency/ (slightly) high importance quadrant.

-On your site, you sometimes only list your email address, with a mailto function. Is there a specific reason you are not using forms?

I remember using doing this as a temporary solution when I didn't have any time and then tasks with higher priorities kept coming up and I have just left them as they are. As a result everyone got used to dealing with inquiries by email, but from a users point of view, having your mailer start up every time you click on the email link, is not a good UX and if the required information increases, it is better to implement a proper form.

-Who would you recommend formrun to?

If your team does not have a lot of engineers, formrun will definately make you happier. On our team, I am the only one responsible both for product development and design and we are always short on resources, so a supporting member like formrun it is quite appreciated.

Also, formrun does not require any knowledge on back-end engineering, so anyone can implement it they have some knowledge in html. Even if your engineers are busy with other tasks, a front-end coder can implement and if you can implement inquiry forms where you previously weren't able to because you didn't have the time.

Shuichi Tao

CEO, Brend Inc.

Joined ZIGExN Co., Ltd. in 2012, as one of the first new graduates. He worked in new business development, sales and web marketing. In 2014, he took office as a tenure director of ZIGExN's subsidiary NIZIGExN Co.,Ltd.. Established Blend Co., Ltd., after leaving ZIGExN, and assumed office as representative director. Has four year experience working in the kitchen of an Italian restaurant during his time at the university and he still lists cooking as his hobby. His mission is to provide a better lifestyle through food.
Yuto Kitakuni

CTO, Brend Inc.

Joined ZIGExN Co., Ltd. in 2014, as a new graduate. As an engineer as well as doing markups, he was in charge of business operations at NIZIGExN Co.,Ltd. , together with Tao. As part of ffab0, visits Berlin and London in 2015. Releases a global programming learning application (iOS / Android), which is used in more than 100 countries. As one of the founders of Brend Co., Ltd., he is now responsible for everything from design, markups, as well as application side and server side development.