How to Create and Use Intake Forms for your Service-based Business?
- Do you own a service-based business?
- Do you feel that you can plan your sessions with clients better?
- Do you feel your onboarding process isn’t robust enough?
If your answers to these questions are yes, there is one thing you might be missing out on – Intake forms. It is a simple yet powerful tool for service-based businesses.
Intake forms play a huge role in getting to know your clients, their requirements, expectations from your business, and providing them with exceptional service experiences.
If you don’t use intake forms yet, we’ll help you understand everything about them and help you get started. And if you use intake forms, you can use the tips as a checklist to see if you’re doing it right.
Here’s what you’ll find in this guide:
- What is an intake form?
- What is the purpose of an intake form?
- 4 tips to create the best intake forms
- What’s the best way to use an intake form?
- How to create an intake form?
What is an intake form?
A client intake form is a simple questionnaire that a business uses in order to better understand the client’s needs and to service them better. The questions are designed to understand if the client is a good fit for the services and if yes, then it helps devise the right strategy to deal with a particular client.
What is the purpose of an intake form?
Businesses ranging from the beauty, fitness, and health and wellness industries to government agencies and professional services can and should use intake forms. It will help you and your employees prepare better for an upcoming appointment. And hence, will help deliver top-notch experiences to customers.
Here are a few reasons why you should use intake forms in your business:
- Finding the right fit: Intake forms can help you find if the client is even the right fit for your services or your agency. This holds true especially for professional service providers like consultants, financial advisors, real estate agents, accountants, law firms, etc.
- Understanding client needs: As mentioned above, while creating an intake form, it’s important to keep in mind that the questions should help you understand what the client exactly needs and wants. This will in turn help you provide solutions/ services accordingly.
- Staying cautious of objections: There might be some things that your client doesn’t want at any cost. It could also be some injuries, allergies, or infections that you might need to take care of as a business like a salon, gym, massage therapy, spa, or medicine-related services.
- Providing high-quality experience: Since you’ll be aware of exactly what to do and what not to do prior to a session, it will help you provide services that customers feel satisfied with. And that’s the ultimate goal, isn’t it?
- Streamlining your processes: This one process will help you avoid mistakes and edits, and will help you plan sessions accurately. Eventually, it will help you save time in the long run.
Now that you have a basic understanding of intake forms, let us look at a few things you should keep in mind in order to create the most insightful and effective intake forms!
4 tips to create the best intake forms
While the content of your form may largely vary based on your particular business, here are some guidelines or tips to get the most out of your intake forms:
1. Keep it simple
Ensure that your form is short and to the point. It should be easy to read, understand and fill. If it takes too much time or effort on your clients’ part, it is likely to turn them off. And this will mean that they’ll delay or even skip filling the form, defeating the whole purpose.
So make it descriptive and precise. Remember to use simple language and short sentences that aren’t very complicated. Don’t overdo the design either as it may affect the readability of your form.
2. Ask only relevant questions
I can’t stress this enough!
Do not include any unimportant questions in your form. It will not only unnecessarily consume your clients’ time, but it is also likely to create a bad first impression.
Asking only questions that are required for you will make the process uncomplicated and it will also leave you with less data to handle.
Now that we’re at it, let us look at the questions you should be including in your intake form:
- Your client’s full name and contact details (phone number, email ID, home/office address, website, etc.)
- Their expectations, needs, requirements, and goals pertaining to the services you offer.
- Information about your client’s history relevant to your business (if applicable). This could be their financial records, medical history (injuries, allergies, or a specific condition, etc.), or any background data that holds importance in the context of the service you offer.
- Information about your client’s business or profession (if applicable).
- Your client’s budget (if applicable).
Don’t forget to include your business details, especially contact information in the form, in case your client requires any assistance.
Here’s an intake form example for your business:
You can make customized changes in your intake form as you see fit, for eg, a hair salon client intake form can have:
- Hair type
- Type of service
- Any allergies/conditions we should know about?
3. Reflect your brand
The intake form is one of the first few interactions of your brand with the customers. Therefore you should focus on building clients’ connection with your brand with a consistent experience.
Adding your business logo, theme colors, and typography can help build trust in your brand. So ensure that your intake form resonates with your website or business cards, etc.
4. Review and improve your forms
You might not be able to create the best intake form on the first try, but that’s okay. Analyze the responses to your forms, and if you feel that you’re unable to get the best possible response and exact information that you need, it might be best to tweak and improve your questionnaire.
Taking inspiration from industry leaders is a good thing, but doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll work the same for you. You can also ask customers about what they feel should or shouldn’t be in the form for a better experience.
What’s the best way to use an intake form?
There are many applications and software that can help you create and share intake forms. But one of the best ways to share your intake forms can be through your scheduling software.
That’s because booking an appointment is the first step most customers take with your business. If the intake form is shared at the same point, the process will become easier for you as well as your clients.
Many scheduling software nowadays offer you to create and use intake forms, like Appointy. So look out for a scheduling software that offers intake forms so that you don’t have to use multiple applications.
How to create an intake form?
If you’re an Appointy user, you can create an intake form for your clients in 7 simple steps:
- Log in to the Appointy admin panel.
- Click on the ‘Settings’ icon in the toolbar appearing on the left.
- Go to the ‘Intake Form’ tab under the ‘Customization’ section.
- In the ‘Intake Form’ window, click on the ‘Add Field’ button to add a field.
- A ‘New Field’ side panel will open. Add field details like field name, answer type, and services in the ‘New Field’ side panel.
- Once you have added the field details, click on the ‘Add’ button appearing at the bottom of the ‘New Field’ side panel.
- You will see the intake form field along with its preview on the right that will appear in the client’s booking interface. Click on ‘Save Changes’ in the ‘Intake Form’ window to confirm the field.
Intake forms are an important part of business communication today. And if you keep in mind the tips above, you can get the most important information and provide the best services to your customers with appropriate planning.
We hope that you found this blog helpful and informative, do share your feedback and suggestions in the comments section below.
We at Appointy, help business owners grow and run their businesses with our online scheduling software. This blog was a part of our ‘Manage your Business’ category, where we provide expert tips, and resources, or simply talk about the challenges that small and medium businesses face every day.
If you have any thoughts on this blog or would like to chat about your business struggles and achievements, let us know in the comments below.
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