Have you ever wondered if there is a way to make the onboarding process more efficient while simultaneously maintaining a great first impression?
Every agency understands the struggle of spending hours in the hope of landing a potential client.
In fact, the initial onboarding steps are arguably the most difficult part of doing business. Not only do you have to maintain a reputable image, but you also need to offer flawless, streamlined communication.
A client intake form can do just that! 🙌
Along with creating a personalized intake experience and ensuring the prospective relationship is the right fit for both parties, intake forms are a must for all service providers looking to maximize the efficiency of their workflow.
In this guide, we will explore the benefits of client intake forms and teach you how to write them for each prospective client that comes your way.
BONUS: At the bottom of this article you will find a selection of free templates! 😄
What is a Client Intake Form?
A client intake form is a document used by a service provider to collect essential information from prospective clients at the very start of the onboarding process.
Although the client questions may vary from business to business, relevant details such as the client’s background, needs, and expectations are standard information most providers require before initiating an official relationship.
This is a great way to cast a positive light on the business by promoting an image of a trustworthy, well-organized provider that can tailor their service based on the needs of each client.
Is a Client Intake Form Worth It For Agencies?
Incorporating client intake forms into your strategy can offer several long-term benefits for both agency and client.
Client Intake Forms Are an Excellent Way to Build Rapport
Trust was ranked by the Drum as one of the top four behaviors clients value in their client-agency relationships.
Why not build this trust at the very beginning of the intake process?
You can do this by creating intake forms that are clear, comprehensive and user-friendly.
Not only will it encourage more clients to move forward with your agency, but it will present you as a well-organized vendor that is committed to offering great customer service.
Thus, a high quality intake form can serve as a solid foundation for a long-standing relationship.
Client Intake Forms Are an Efficient Method of Data Collection
This automated process of gathering critical information at the outset of a business relationship is a guaranteed way to quickly receive all the relevant details you need without the back-and-forth interactions that may slow down the client intake process.
For instance, the use of standardized intake forms reduces the likelihood of human error and/or missing information from either party.
Similarly, opting for digital forms means that you can integrate them with CRM systems; consequently reducing the number of administrative tasks and automating workflow.
This maximizes both the agency’s time and money, as they are able to focus on the more important aspects of the agency-client relationship.
Client Intake Forms Can Deliver a Tailored Client Experience
Targeted questions lead to customized solutions.
By asking the right questions, a client intake form can tell an agency what a prospective client’s goals and expectations are.
Each customer has their own goals and challenges, with great onboarding you can enter your first meeting with tailored solutions that will impress your prospective relationships.
This is also a great way to filter out incompatible partnerships and instead choose the ones that have goals that align with yours.
i.e. if a client’s budget is insufficient and they are unwilling to negotiate, there is no point in nurturing a relationship that does not match your needs.
After all, conflicting expectations have been shown to negatively affect client-agency relationships.
How to Write a Client Intake Form: 12 Key Components
The main purpose of using a client intake form is to better understand prospective clients’ goals and expectations before establishing a long-lasting professional relationship.
This shared motivation allows for some components to stay the same across all types of client intake forms.
Let’s have a look at the key elements every intake form should have:
1. Client Information
This includes important details for identification and contact purposes. Their personal and contact information are key parts of this section.
- Phone number
- Preferred contact method
- Company role
2. Business Background
Acquiring basic company information can help you approximate the scale and type of aid the client needs from your agency. This is a good place to start assessing whether the size of their company is a good fit for your agency.
- Company name
- Company size
- Social media accounts
3. Target Audience
Knowing the client’s target market can help you establish a better apprehension of the company.
Not only will this make your strategy more relevant to their demographic, but it will allow you to offer specific tailored solutions.
4. Products and Services
Although this information can be easily obtained through some basic research, having the client personally describe how they view their work will minimize meanings being lost in translation.
In other words, instead of assuming what your potential clients means, you can offer services that closely match their brands values.
- Description of the scope of work
- Values behind their brand
5. Client Goals
This is one of the most important sections of an effective client intake form.
Knowing what your client expects allows you to assess whether this is something you are able and/or willing to provide.
If not, you just saved a ton of time by using an automated method of data collection instead of spending hours on end trying to determine if the fit is right- just to find out it’s not! 😤
- Desired outcomes
- Goals for the prospective client-agency relationship
6. Existing Strategies
Knowing what strategies are already in place means that you can offer personalized tactics that build on the already existent ones.
Similarly, if any gaps are identified within their current strategy, solutions can be addressed more effectively.
- What strategies do they have in place at the moment?
- Are they open to change?
7. Budget and Timeline
Budgets can vary dramatically from business to business.
Discovering this key information at the beginning of the client intake process means that you can assess your compatibility with the client and decide if the relationship is feasible.
8. Challenges or Concerns
As an agency, your purpose is to provide tailored services that help deal with some of the issues potential clients are experiencing.
Remember, you are the expert here!
Knowing their weaknesses means that you can suggest direct solutions to their problems.
Make them a tailored offer they can’t refuse! 🤝
- Is the company facing any obstacles?
- How can your agency help deal with those?
9. Marketing Asset Information
Often when you sign a new client, you will want to do an audit of their current marketing assets so you have a better understanding of their business.
Asking which assets you'll need access to on the intake form will avoid any surprises later down the line.
Often as part of the onboarding process, agencies will send a huge document filled with information about how the client can grant access to their marketing assets. Do you think your new client has time for this?
Leadsie solves this problem, and makes getting asset access speedy, secure and seamless so you can focus on getting your client results.
Check it out:
This section should explain how the client’s data will be used once collected and ask for their consent in doing so.
- Data privacy
- Consent for using the client’s information
- Any relevant clause
11. Additional Comments
While you may do your best in creating intake forms that are both clear and comprehensive, you cannot possibly cover every single question a prospective customer may have.
By leaving room for extra feedback, you allow for transparency and trust to be built as the client may feel more attended to when free to express their comments in a flexible manner.
- Room for open-ended questions at the end of the form
12. Signature and Date
Leave a space for the client’s signature and date in order to acknowledge data collection agreement.
Things to Remember When Writing a Client Intake Form
Creating a new client intake form is a straightforward process that shouldn’t take too much of your time.
Remember! Your objective should be to create a concise, user-friendly form to help you gather all the information you need.
To ensure you are increasing the chances of completion, you should:
1. Choose the right questions based on your industry and services you provide
Relevant information is key!
By asking questions related to your industry, you are more likely to be able to assess the prospective relationship compatibility with your client.
2. Select between a digital or physical form
Are your services strictly digital? If so, opting for an online intake form may be the right step for your business. You can use form builder software such as Google Forms, Typeform or Jotform to create your intake forms.
Alternatively, you can use Content Snare. This is a platform that offers a variety of features to help agencies minimize the unnecessary back-and-forth with clients. With their extensive template library, you can easily pick a client onboarding form and save yourself from the hassle of manually creating one from scratch.
On the other hand, if in-person meetings are a big part of your client onboarding process, physical forms might be a better alternative. These can be created with word processing software like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
3. Make use of different types of fields
These can include text boxes, drop-down menus, checkboxes and multiple-choice questions.
It has been shown that a combination of qualitative and quantitative data collection offers more comprehensive results when it comes to questionnaires; thus incorporating a mixed method approach may increase the rate of completion and quality of answers.
4. Tailor the form
Personalizing your client intake form with your agency’s colors, logo, and style will represent your company and make the form more personable.
This is particularly useful with digital forms, where the lack of human interaction can create a feeling of detachment.
5. Don’t forget to include instructions — if applicable
In order to get the most out of your new client form, you want to ensure that your prospective clients can understand your questions in order to be able to provide honest answers.
Not only does this reduce the hassle of back-and-forth interactions, but it also helps with accurately assessing the client’s company and compatibility with your agency.
Thus, always make sure that you explicitly describe what you expect your potential clients to cover in their answers.
6. Test your intake form to ensure everything is running smoothly
A good client intake form is user-friendly and easy to navigate.
To guarantee a smooth onboarding, you should test your forms and ensure everything is going as planned.
7. Review the form on a regular basis
Client feedback is particularly useful when revising your current intake forms.
Take customer comments seriously and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback directly from your clients!
4 Downloadable Client Intake Form Templates
Are you looking to incorporate a well designed intake form into your strategy but don’t have the time to write one from scratch?
You will be glad to know that using a template instead is also possible.
You can download the following online forms for free:
1. PPC Agency Client Intake Form Template
2. Lead Generation Agency Client Intake Form Template
3. SEO Agency Client Intake Form Template
4. Instagram Social Media Management Agency Client Intake Form Template
What Is the Next Step of Onboarding a New Client?
Great news! You have successfully landed a client.
So, what’s next?
Most marketing agencies will be able to answer this question in an instant:
Getting access to your client’s marketing assets.
A client intake form can save you a ton of time at the start of onboarding. Why not simplify the second step of the process too?
Most service providers have to deal with the back-and-forth that comes with access requests.
We created Leadsie for this very reason. With our tool you can get access to our client’s assets with just 1 link.
In fact, Megaphone (Australia’s number #1 digital agency) found that they onboarded clients 25% faster after using Leadsie.
Here’s how it works:
Sign up for a free 14-day trial by entering your email below!
Making use of a client intake form is a simple way to streamline data collection at the start of onboarding.
Intaking clients is a time-consuming process. However, a quality intake form allows agencies to focus on other aspects of onboarding that will lead to more revenue.
After all, time is money.
Here at Leadsie, our aim is to help our users focus on the tasks that matter most.
With instant access requests, Leadsie can save you from the hassle of back-and-forth emails that come with new clients.
Client intake forms along with Leadsie’s access tool can make onboarding a breeze.
Don’t just take our word for it 😉 Check out what agencies have to say about us!