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Adding Chat Forms & Private Forms to Your Widget


Save time and effort by gathering visitor information and identifying known contacts with Chat Forms.

Adding a chat form will help your team gather information and quickly review any conversation history if the visitor has reached out to your company before.

In this article:

  • What are Pre- and Post-Chat Forms?
  • What’s the Difference Between Online Forms and Offline Forms?
  • Creating Custom Attributes
  • Creating a Pre-Chat Form
  • Creating a Post-Chat Form
  • Editing and Deleting Forms
  • What is a Private Form?
  • Setting Private Forms

What are Pre- and Post-Chat Forms?

Pre- and Post-Chat Forms allow you to capture visitor information directly in the widget. 

Need visitor information before they interact with an agent or bot? Use Pre-Chat Form to capture data before a visitor enters into a conversation. 

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Want your visitors to fill out a form only after they’ve shown some level of engagement? Post-Chat Forms will deploy after a visitor clicks ‘Start Conversation’ or ‘New Conversation’ in your widget. Post-Chat Forms can be configured in Chat Widget settings to have a time delay before populating in the chat.

 Once the form is submitted, you can find the visitor’s information on the agent dashboard.

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What’s the Difference Between Online Forms and Offline Forms?

Online and offline forms serve the same purpose but appear under different conditions. Online forms are used to gather information when your team is available. Offline forms will deploy when all your live agents’ statuses are set to offline.

Online chatforms display when at least one agent status is set to active. If no agent statuses are set to active, the offline chat form will display. 

Creating Custom Attributes 

Before creating a chat form, you’ll need to identify the data you intend to capture. You can use default fields, or create your own. 

To create your own fields, or see the defaults, go to Settings > Account Settings > Custom Attributes (Custom Attributes are fields that capture user characteristics).

Press ‘Create Attribute’ to create a new attribute. Enter the attribute information and the capture type. View our Custom Attributes article for more information→

Creating a Pre-Chat Form

Build your form by heading to Settings > Messenger Setup > Chat Widget > Chat Form. Then use the drop-down to choose between online or offline. Click ‘Add more’ under Pre-Chat Form to begin adding fields.

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A menu will pop up displaying the Custom Attributes for contacts. Click any attributes you’d like to add as required fields.

Once you’ve added the fields, the Pre-Chat Form will be live in your widget. Test it out by visiting your test environment and opening a new conversation. You should see the form after clicking ‘New Conversation’. To test offline forms, make sure that every user’s status is set to offline or the forms will not appear.

Creating a Post-Chat Form

You may want to gather demographic information or survey data after a conversation. 

Build a Post-Chat form by heading to Settings > Messenger Setup > Chat Widget > Chat Form. Then use the drop-down to choose between online or offline. Click ‘Add more’ under Post-Chat Form to begin adding fields.


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A menu will pop up displaying the Custom Attributes for contacts. Click any attributes you’d like to add as required fields. If you would like to enable a delay on the form appearing in the chat, enter the desired time in the Post-Chat Form Delay.

Once completed, the form will be available in your widget. Test it out by opening a new conversation in your testing environment and sending a message. After the chosen time delay, the form will appear. To test offline forms, make sure that all users’ statuses are set to offline before opening a conversation.

Editing and Deleting Forms

You can change the form’s order by dragging and dropping the fields. Click on the triple bars icon (‘≡’) to drag and drop the fields into your desired order. 


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Don’t need a form anymore? Delete it with the trash can icon

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What is a Private Form?

You probably don’t want to pull information from a credit card form into Acquire. On the other hand, you may need to grab data from a form called ‘Subscribe to My Newsletter’. You can address both of these issues with Private Form. 

Private Form allows you to exclude data from sources that you don’t want while including those you do want.

Setting Private Forms

To get started, go to Settings > Chat Widget > Private Form. To enable Private Form, slide the slider to the right (green). 

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Selecting ‘Exclude in Private Form’ will prevent Acquire from pulling information from those fields. Good if you only have one or two fields that ask for proprietary information while the rest ask for data you need. 

Selecting ‘Include in Private Form’ will pull data only from the included fields. Good if you only have a couple of details to capture. 

To find the field, copy the CSS attribute and use the format [id=”field-you-want-to-target”]. Separate different elements with a comma. 

Note: To capture private forms, the field must exist on the same domain that the widget is installed on.

When you’re finished, select ‘Save Settings’.

You just created forms for the chat widget. Now you can get to know your visitors, follow up with them, and turn them into returning customers.

Having trouble with chat or private forms? Reach out to your web developer or contact us at support@acquire.io.


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