Onboarding of a client at the very beginning of a cooperation may turn out to be crucial for success. For the collaboration to run smoothly and contact to be seamless, it is crucial to properly define the client's role in this process. A client intake process will make all of the above easier and more doable. What is a client intake process and why does it matter? More importantly, how can appointment scheduling accelerate the process? You can find out by reading our article.
What is a client intake process
The client intake process is a critical point of starting a business cooperation. It is the foundation of a fruitful partnership between client and vendor. Thanks to a successful client intake, it is easier to gather all crucial information and plan a long-term partnership. Remember that acquiring a new customer may be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, so maintaining long term collaborations are definitely worth the effort.
For such a client intake process to bring the intended results, it should be well planned and appropriate methods should be implemented. In this article, you'll find answers to common questions that may arise while planning a client intake process. Now you know what the client intake process is, let’s get down to business.
First impressions are crucial
These days you need your customers to be able to become familiar with your company quickly, because there are many e-commerce stores to choose from. Online customers are not patient, so you should enable them to get to know your business as soon as possible. If the navigation on your site is not the most intuitive, it is likely that a customer will not come back.
In order for users to stay on your site longer, all CTAs must be visible, the site must be adapted to mobiles, and a contact form should be prominently displayed. This way, the client intake process can start without any major glitches. A first impression is only made once, remember.
What should the contact form contain? First, you will need to obtain general information such as a first name, last name, e-mail address, and company website. If, based on this data, you decide that a cooperation has potential, you can respond with a link to a calendar or use an appointment schedule tool such as Harmonizely. If you'd rather get straight to the point then you can skip the initial contact form and instead let the potential client schedule an appointment via a scheduling tool to start your collaboration immediately.
Client intake form
This is a type of form that requests some advanced information. Thanks to this you can obtain the most necessary and detailed information about your client for building the solid basis of a long-term cooperation. What should a well-prepared client intake form include?
First things first, write a warm welcome message and make this form a little personal. You should also ask for:
- the client’s contact information,
- their expectations for the project,
- a project description from their point of view,
- examples of similar projects that they have participated in and enjoyed (so that it will be easier to meet expectations),
- access to files you may find useful during the partnership,
- passwords and permissions for sites and accounts you will need,
- timeframe and budget.
Now you just need to wait for the customer's response. Such a client intake form allows you to understand their expectations better but does not mean the start of the cooperation. Remember that you can only start the project after signing the relevant contract.
Welcome packet - to set the boundaries
Once you have agreed to the details of a cooperation and signed all of the required documents, you can send your client a welcome package. Thanks to this, any important issues will be resolved and will be identified in one place. It will make your work easier when any unexpected situations arise. You can raise the subjects of:
- organizing meetings (ask about the schedule),
- setting deadlines,
- what happens if someone misses a deadline,
- what happens if the project needs to be redesigned or wholly cancelled.
Appointment scheduling for increasing conversion
A very simple and effective way to ensure the client intake process goes smoothly and seamlessly is to use an appointment scheduling tool. Thanks to these, contact with you as a provider will be readily accessible for potential clients. The vast majority of people search for information on the Internet, so it is important that they are able to contact you in order to specify information and/or arrange a meeting.
One of the handiest tools is Harmonizely. All invitees are allowed to schedule meetings with you in one place, no matter what type of type meeting you prefer. Harmonizely can help to improve and automate the client intake process. Here is a shortlist of its features and explanations of how they can make the client intake process less time-consuming.
- Calendar integrations. Harmonizely works with many different calendar types. You can connect it with Google, Outlook/Office 365, iCloud, FastMail, Zimbra, Zoho, and CalDAV. There is also a possibility to integrate Harmonizely with Zoom, Kopano Meets, and Microsoft Teams so that your online meetings can be scheduled too.
- Different meeting types to choose from. This tool allows you to configure various meeting types and to create new others if you prefer. It supports one-on-one meetings so that your clients can schedule individual meetings with you. There is also the option to make private notes, which may be very handy when meeting new clients in particular.
- Setting notifications. This feature can be a lifesaver. The details of each meeting will be sent via email to both yourself and your invitees. You can also customize the message to e.g. add information about the exact location of the meeting, such as the floor or where there is a parking space.
- Automatically detected language by location. Harmonizely supports many languages, so it is a perfect solution for global companies. Here is the full list of languages in which you can work on Harmonizely: English, Italian, Polish, French, Swedish, German, Portuguese (Brazil), Norwegian, and Spanish.
To sum up
The client intake process can be a good starting point of long-term partnerships with clients. When properly conducted, it can save a lot of misunderstandings and wasted time on unnecessary communication. It is also the first planning for when unexpected situations may arise so that they can be handled without significant problems.