Vienna Greeters Reduces Errors and Hours with Automated Workflows

Joey Blanco
Joey Blanco / May 30, 2018

Every company strives to have a seamless web experience for their online visitors. The goal is to have your brand and your mission apparent on each page and piece of content, from your blog to contact forms. But with a plethora of plugins and apps to add to your site, sometimes that customer experience breaks. It might even be subtle, like a contact form that doesn't quite match the rest of your branding.

So what's a business to do when one of their tools doesn't cut it? You find better tools. Vienna Greeters, Vienna, Austria's branch of the Global Greeter Network, wanted a better contact form, one with more robust fields and customization. They use contact forms in two areas of their site: A simple, two field contact form, and a second, more thorough form to request a Greeter, detailing arrival times, party size, and more.

Vienna Greeters chose Cognito Forms for its customization, user-friendly design, and ease of integrating forms on websites.

With an upgraded form app, Vienna Greeters now needed to send their form responses to Google Docs, where they house and share collected responses. Jonathan Irons, co-founder and chairman of Vienna Greeters, found their solution: App automator Zapier.

About Vienna Greeters

One of the Global Greeter Networks' branches, Vienna Greeters was formed by a few Vienna, Austria locals who wanted to show off their home to visitors. Offering free walking tours, they strive to share Vienna as locals see it, taking visitors to favorite coffee shops, quiet bookstores, and offering an inside look at the city.

Completely free—but accepting donations—Vienna Greeters is now one of over 100 Greeters all over the world.

How to Save Hours and Prevent Errors with Zapier

Jonathan discovered Zapier when looking for a way to automatically send form responses to Google Docs. There wasn't a direct connection between the apps. which would have meant downloading responses and copying them into Google Docs. But with Zapier, Jonathan built a Zap—an automated workflow—that sent the content of each form response to a Google Doc.

Of particular importance, Jonathan needed to organize and attach volunteers to each group of visitors. Their form to request a Greeter details everything from arrival time to party size to language spoken. This vital information helps Jonathan assign the right volunteer to the right group every time.

Within Google Docs, Vienna Greeters built a veritable library of their form responses, where, with a few more Zaps, they can group by trip date and arrival time, making life easier for the Greeters' volunteers. And with visitors from all over the world, that organization became key.

With responses in Google Docs, Jonathan added connections to Trello, creating cards his team groups within Trello by date. As these cards are moved to different lists, another Zap triggers an email through Gmail, notifying volunteers and clients of upcoming walking tours.

"Zapier literally saves us many hours every week—but more importantly, it practically removed the chance for errors and inconsistencies."Jonathan Irons, Co-Founder & Chairman, Vienna Greeters

All it took was a few Zaps to reduce the time Jonathan and the Greeters volunteers spent managing new requests. Try these for yourself and see how many hours you save:

Check out some of our favorite Zaps, featuring Trello, Gmail, Cognito Forms, and Google Docs:


Now that Zaps handle Vienna Greeters' lists and form responses, the team puts their energy where it matters:

"We get to spend more time engaging with our volunteers and spending less time on lists," Jonathan says.

Don't worry if you're new to Zapier, either. Jonathan has some excellent advice for those getting started.

"Get a piece of paper and write down what you would actually like to do, in plain English. There's definitely a Zap for that. We keep discovering new things we'd like to automate with Zapier."

All images courtesy of Vienna Greeters.

Photo of Alex Minchin

“Zapier is the extra team member at our agency linking our systems together and managing the push and pull of data.”

Alex Minchin, Managing Partner at Zest

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