What is a client intake form and how do you create one?

Everyone loves new clients — they’re a sure sign that your teams are doing their jobs well.

Each one your business takes on paves the way for it to grow and expand. Especially if a new client goes on to become a retained one. 

Whether you operate in the B2B or B2C sectors, every new client needs to undergo some form of information collecting process so they’re in your system.

Many businesses use client intake forms to ensure all the pertinent details are collected. 

So, just what is a client intake form, and how can it help you when you attract a new client? 

What is a client intake form?

When you secure a new client, you need to collect essential information about them. Intake forms help streamline the onboarding process and ensure you have all the details you need to build a good relationship. 

If you’re struggling with unwieldy intake paperwork, or are using multiple intake documents, then a good client intake form is something you should consider using instead.  

This is a good opportunity to answer the question, “what is an eForm?” as the two go hand in hand rather nicely. 

An eForm makes it easy for your client to fill in any intake form, no matter where they are located. Essentially, all they need to do is type their information and click to submit the form to the right person.

Why do businesses need a client intake form?

The first thing to note is that a client intake form will not fit every business model.

However, if you think you’ll have an ongoing (and hopefully long-term) relationship with a client, it’s an ideal way to onboard them efficiently so that you have all the information you need stored in your system. 

The types of businesses that benefit from new client intake forms can vary greatly.

They range from agencies that provide marketing or SEO services for SaaS companies to healthcare providers and professions such as lawyers or accountants. 

The details from your client intake form can be added to your database or to your CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system.

By collecting essential data during the onboarding process, you not only strengthen any relationship with the client, but you also have all the information you need when dealing with them. 

You’ll have a good idea of what the client wants and needs early in your relationship with them, and by updating data as you move forward, you improve the customer journey and experience. 

What should you add to an intake form?

While there’s some basic information that will be common to any business, such as contact details, name, etc., the other details you collect will vary. 

The key to good new client forms is to ensure you’re collecting the info needed to have a fruitful relationship with the client and ensure both your and their needs are met.

You don’t want to make your client intake form too long or to have it collect unnecessary information. Instead, focus on gathering quality data that can be of real use. 

Keep it as short as possible and consider including the following points:

  • Name of client
  • Business name and client’s position (will they be your primary contact in the business?)
  • All relevant contact info; phone, email, etc.
  • Their needs and/or expectations 
  • The different products/services you provide (you could consider adding a “tick box” section here to identify which of your services they are interested in).
  • A blank comments section for them to add anything else they may feel is important

How to create an intake form

When creating an intake form, you need to think about what information you need to collect. Online form templates can help you customize your document so that it meets your needs. 

Follow the guide supplied with your chosen template and add or delete fields where needed. 

Before you create your client intake form, be sure to list all the information you want to include.

This can cover any specialist details that are pertinent to your organization, such as the number of users required (for video calling/communication apps) or the number of devices that might be used for something like a SaaS service.

Intake form template

An intake form template means you can customize it to your needs.

While generic data such as name and contact details will be included as standard, you can add or delete any sections as required. 

You can also ask the questions you need to so that the final form is tailored to your particular business. 

Circumstances change, and using a template means that you can adjust your template to meet any new requirements.

Maybe you have added new services and products or widened your demographic base. Whatever the reason, using a templated eForm can be helpful to any type of business. 

Streamline your client onboarding process with client intake forms

The bottom line is that you can use forms to simplify data collection and automate your document workflow

Over the course of a business’s lifetime, it will collect millions of pieces of data. eForms and templates make that task simpler and ensure that you have all relevant data close to hand. 

Client intake forms help onboard new clients easily and mark the start of your relationship with them. Using a customizable template means that you can be sure you collect all the data you need. 

PandaDoc offers a wide range of great templates and a specialized Forms solution, so why not try PandaDoc’s free trial offer now?