Clients are the heart and soul of every service-based business. Usually, enterprises run sales and marketing campaigns to gain new clients and improve business performance. However, every customer generation strategy comes with uncertainties or challenges – one is understanding and qualifying clients to determine their fit for the business.
The sales process can be lengthy or short, depending on the existing strategies and guidelines for the sales reps. There are days when you successfully close the deals, and there are also times when clients and deals don’t work out as planned. Although this can sometimes be inevitable, losing a deal could affect business growth and strain revenue generation. This is where the client intake form comes into play.
Client intake forms are essential business tools that can help you qualify your potential clients in advance so that you can focus on the valuable prospects and discard the rest. In this blog, you will learn what client intake forms entail, how they can benefit you, and some templates you can use to create yours.
A client intake form is a questionnaire or business information tool service agencies use to collect client information during onboarding. This form includes questions regarding their essential contact information, their careers, and some detailed questions about their pain points to help the agency determine whether or not the client is a good fit for their services.
With all this information, the service agency can develop a sales strategy that meets the prospect’s needs, interests, and pain points. Do you need a client intake form for your business? Not necessarily. Having a client intake form can make it easy to build a successful working relationship with your new clients and make your sales strategy more straightforward
Intake forms generally have more than one use; you can use them in different scenarios, including:
Every business offering service relies on working with clients or patients to sell or promote their services; you can benefit from using client intake forms. The following agencies or companies need a client intake form:
Sending client intake forms to your clients during onboarding goes beyond just capturing contact details – information and needs assessment; you can also benefit the following by using client intake forms:
Getting the correct information is essential during every sales process. To make this process a lot faster and eliminate the back and forths that comes with endless email exchanges, you can send client intake forms to get all the necessary information once and for all. After getting all this information, you can get on to work.
Depending on the kind of service a business offers, working with clients for weeks can be tedious, only to find out that the client is not a good fit for the company.
To save cost and time and help your sales team be more productive, sending them a client intake form can help you get all the necessary information to help you decide if they are a good fit for your business. This way, you can determine whether to continue your sales conversation with them or move on with other best-fit clients.
Another exciting benefit of client intake forms is to use the information to assess the client’s pain points, interests, and goals to determine the best way to position their service in a way that helps them achieve their goals.
When you can determine the best services and strategy to offer your clients, you can provide them with the best customer service. Asking the right questions also shows you are a trusted and experienced professional.
Many processes are involved in closing a deal, from lead generation to qualification, pitching, and the actual closing of the sales.
When you don’t have a structured plan on how to tailor your service to your clients, you could miss out on a step or task you need to do to achieve sales. A client intake form can help you fully manage your client’s expectations
Usually, in service firms, there are many back and forths before final submission, especially in digital and creative industries. As a result, you could find moments when a client asks for many edits, which is almost never-ending in some situations.
In this situation, you should send client intake forms early to avoid unpleasant problems where the client might ask for additional work that you had initially not agreed on in the initial quote. In addition, the client intake form would clearly state what is required of you in the form to avoid future problems or breach of contract later on in the project.
Here are some of the considerations for your client intake form:
A client intake form contains the following basic information, such as the contact and company information, to keep records for future referencing.
This section is usually the first, and it covers the company’s name, primary contact at the company, their preferred contact methods, their current role or job title, company size, and other fundamental information that can give you a better overview of your client, their role and their organization.
After getting the basics – personal and company information, the next step is to get into the core of the client intake form. With this, the client must describe their brand or company and its main products or services. This information lets you know whether the client fits your business well.
Let them go into detail on what they do by giving you a better picture of they view their company’s identity and help you understand how you should approach your relationship with them. Getting complete information about what the client does can reveal more about what kind of client they might be.
The following section on the client intake form is the client’s outline and description of their current work challenges, pain points, and situations. This is where you determine how your agency can best serve the client.
Allow them to describe their or their company’s primary issues and concerns. What are their weaknesses? What might be holding them back? Are your agency’s services relevant to those issues? After capturing all the information, you do not have to determine whether you are well-equipped and suited to help them with those challenges. This way, you can develop the right strategy and services to help them achieve their goals or solve their challenges.
Like the point above, this section highlights the client’s goals and objectives for their career progression. But, again, allow them to give a complete overview of their picture of the hopes and expectations that can support their professional relationship.
Also, clearly describing their goals can help gauge how your agency can comfortably fit into the client’s career progression plans. You can also have a deep conversation with your clients to help them understand what your agency can do for them.
This section of the client intake form is also critical to the success of your work relationships with your clients. Above every other factor, it also determines whether or not your client is a good fit for your services.
If the company’s budget is insufficient, it could be difficult for you to offer them your services fully. So you might be able to solve their challenges and help them achieve their goals, but if they don’t have the budget to pay for your services or plans to increase their budget, they might not be a good fit for you.
Alternatively, you can work with them to tweak the budget to provide a service that can work with their finances and help them fulfill their needs.
This section provides information about other factors influencing the client’s success. The starting point shapes how you tailor your services to your client.
The client intake process is incomplete without a clear understanding of the working relationship’s circumstances. The client will provide all the necessary information about the client’s competition, industry, and market saturation so you can understand how to grow the company best.
From their information, personal experiences, and your independent research, you can see their competitor’s strategies and determine how your agencies can fully leverage those tactics to determine how fit they are to your company.
Above are the essential sections and information you must collect for your client intake process to succeed. However, depending on your agency and the kinds of services you offer them, you might need to include more sections in your online intake form to get more valuable information for your business, significant to help you effectively solve their needs or achieve their business goals.
What is the other important information you need to know about your clients? Is there anything important to their business that they haven’t mentioned or you didn’t ask about in the previous section?
Remember to cover that in this section. There’s no harm in having excess information; the problem arises when you have less than needed to carry out your services in the best way possible.
When you are handing out new client intake forms to your potential clients, you need to be very clear about the exact questions you ask them in the intake form. For example, if you run a medical practice or law firm, you will need the client’s personal and contact details and other confidential information.
Similarly, if you run a digital or creative agency, you can ask more specific questions about the client’s brand values, missions, aims, etc., to give you a better overview of what they need and how you can help them. Consider asking them the following questions:
This set of questions will allow you to collect basic information from the client.
This question provides you with all the contact details needed to stay in touch with the clients.
This question gives you complete information on the project, the client’s needs, challenges, and how you can help them solve them.
This final section gives you more information about other important information that can increase the success of the projects.
A client intake form template can help you better understand how the online forms should be and where all sections should go. It also helps you save time when creating the forms:
This form is best suited for law firms to record information about their existing or potential legal clients.
This is the general intake form template that you can use to collect valuable information for prospective or new clients.
This intake form template is used by medical professionals or capture relevant information about the patients to determine their health status.
This form is usually prepared by a tax accountant or tax consultant to capture client-specific tax details.
As the name implies, this form is used by small businesses to capture relevant contact details and business information from their clients.
This form best suits real estate agencies to get all their prospective clients’ information for acquiring a property.
Counselors use this form to capture and track client details before the initial counseling sessions.
Corporate or business managers use this form to capture all vital information about their new and prospective business clients
Massage specialists use this to capture their client’s information prior to the massage session.
The client intake form is an important business tool that can help you capture detailed contact information about your clients, their pain points, goals, and interests. However, it is business specific, so ensure you work with an intake form that best suits your needs and requirements.
Irrespective of your format, ensure that the form provides you with complete personal and contact information, their needs, and interests to understand how to solve those needs best.
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