Using customer supplied information.I use a simple contact form and a survey form on this website, to provide a support service. For the smaller company with a limited number of visitors, the form is sent to your email address after processing by a script to ensure all fields have been completed satisfactory. The main benefits of a form is to hide your email address from email harvesters and to collect the information in an orderly way to ensure the information you need is collected
Import is to provide the means for a visitor or existing customer to contact you in easy understood way, the form should request the minimum amount of information, and does not ask more than necessary.
Forms can also be multi-part, for example after making a choice between 2-3 subjects, a separate form opens for each. This allows the separation of visitors on how they complete the form. A form also provides the opportunity to ask if they would like to receive a copy of your Newsletter, often a legal requirement in many countries.
Forms can also be added to a pdf file in the same way, a great method to limit spam emails.
Using Google Doc Resources to create Polls, Surveys and Questionnaires
A solution which will be seen on many websites soon is a Poll or Questionnaire using the free resources from Google. I have created an example so you can see what is possible. Great for understand what customers want and think. You can have a plain version or select from a number of templates.
This survey/questionnaire results are saved as a summary or as a spreadsheet. When sufficient visitors have cast their vote I will publish the results. It is alright having ideas, but when you need somebody to help with your website, think of me. I'm very cost effective and you only pay by the hour.
Here are the results from the above questionnaire. As this is only a demo the results are very limited, but you can see the benefits of a survey and the results.