How can I use intake forms for client onboarding?

Intake forms help you connect with new clients by simplifying the gathering of their business-related information. These documents are integral to the client onboarding stage, enabling you to bypass lengthy paperwork procedures and establish an automated digital process.

They usually contain fillable fields allowing users to input their information without needing constant back-and-forth. By enforcing them, you can eliminate the need for extensive paperwork, saving time for everyone. Beyond this practical advantage, intake forms can also assist you in establishing a more fulfilling connection with your leads.

Implementing intake forms is one of the easiest ways to learn about your client’s needs, goals, and preferences, laying the foundation for personalized interactions. 

Why do you need intake forms?

At first glance, these forms might seem routine, but they offer more versatility and advantages than they’re given credit for. Here are some of their key benefits:

  • New insights: These documents provide valuable information you might not have discovered or thought of otherwise. Your strategy can completely change depending on previously undisclosed information, allowing you to meet and exceed client expectations.
  • Efficiency on autopilot: Streamlined and automated digital processes reduce human errors, which is crucial when dealing with client data in bulk, and attention to detail is paramount.
  • Centralized information repository: They combine scattered data points across different devices and documents. Centralized locations are easier to work with, eliminating redundant tasks.
  • Better scaling: Implementing these documents allows you to onboard more clients easily and expand your services without compromising time or workforce.

What are the elements of an intake form?

Not all of these documents look similar, yet they share certain key elements. You must first determine what type of information you would need to fulfill your client’s goals and then take it from there.

Here are some of the most common elements found in an intake form:

  1. Client information: For categorization and organization purposes, the client’s basic information is collected, including name, address, phone number, email, preferred contact method, points of contact, and company roles.
  2. Background: This section covers client information, size, industry, objectives and goals, social media accounts, and online presence.
  3. Products and services: This details the client’s activities, including their operations and overall goals. It helps develop an understanding of which areas the client could benefit from your services.
  4. Needs and expectations: These relate to areas where your efforts would focus. It helps to establish a relationship with achievable objectives and, in the process, inform the client about the scope of your work.
  5. Services needed: Here, the client can specify what service they need from you. If your offering is more open-ended rather than specific, this can help you tailor the details of your specific business relationship.
  6. Additional comments: This section allows the client to add specific information that you may not have considered yet, but could be essential down the line. It’s a way to discover key elements you might not have asked for directly, but that could be important.

As mentioned, different elements may vary depending on your business type. An accurate assessment of the client and your internal processes is key to understanding how to present better and construct your intake forms while ensuring you include the basics. 

These forms are not a one-time deal and must be optimized over time to accommodate clients and their needs better.

To create effective business intake forms, schedule a demo with Zeal to streamline your business.