intake form

Intake Forms: Types, Examples, and Best Practices for 2024

Key points

  1. Intake forms are essential for collecting client information, offering benefits like streamlined data collection, improved client experiences, and aiding agency scalability.
  2. Best practices for intake form design include engaging headings, transparency about information use, multi-step formatting, and regular updates based on user feedback.
  3. Online intake form creation is facilitated by software with drag-and-drop builders and features like conditional logic, and it’s recommended to integrate forms with other tools.

Intake forms are the unsung heroes of seamless data collection in client portals. In 2024, agencies that leverage the right type of intake form will have a significant advantage in delivering personalized experiences and streamlining their processes.

With so many options available, how do you choose the best intake form for your needs? In this comprehensive guide, I’ll explore the various types of intake forms and share real-world examples. Furthermore, I’ll reveal best practices to help you create forms that not only gather essential information but also leave a lasting positive impression on your clients.

What is an intake form?

An intake form, also known as an onboarding form or registration form, is a structured questionnaire designed to collect essential information from individuals who are seeking services. These forms play a crucial role in streamlining the data collection process, ensuring that businesses have the necessary details to provide personalized support and services.

Examples of intake forms

Intake forms are used in a wide range of settings, each tailored to the specific needs of the organization and the individuals they serve. Some common examples include.

Client onboarding forms

client onboarding forms

Service-based businesses, such as consulting firms or marketing agencies, use client onboarding forms to gather essential information about their clients’ needs, goals, and preferences. This data helps them create customized strategies and solutions that align with their clients’ objectives.

Client intake forms

client intake forms

The primary purpose of client intake forms is to gather initial information about a new client. This includes essential details that are necessary to understand the client’s needs and to qualify them for the services you provide.

Project intake forms

project intake forms

When a client has placed an order, project intake forms take the center of the stage. They are used to gathering project-related information in order for the business to commence work, and deliver their service.

Benefits of using intake forms

Intake forms are powerful ways that can significantly improve the way businesses collect and manage client information. By implementing intake forms, organizations can streamline their new client onboarding process, enhance data accuracy, and ultimately provide better service to their clients. With all the data at hand, it’s easier than ever to track tasks, for account managers to service their clients, and the entire agency team to manage orders.

Let’s take a closer look at all the benefits intake forms provide.

Streamlined data collection

One of the primary benefits of using intake forms is the ability to standardize the information gathering process. By creating a consistent format for collecting client data, businesses can ensure that they are capturing all the necessary details in a structured manner. This standardization reduces the likelihood of missing information and eliminates the need for back-and-forth communication to fill in gaps.

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Moreover, intake forms can be designed to collect specific data points relevant to the organization’s needs. For example, video editing agencies require clients to upload video files, while link building agencies are interested in the client’s goals when it comes to link acquisition. By tailoring the intake form to the specific industry and use case, businesses can ensure that they are collecting the most pertinent information upfront.

Another advantage of using intake forms is the reduction in manual data entry. When clients fill out an intake form, the information is automatically captured and stored digitally in your branded client portal. If you’re using SPP, you can even use webhooks or Zapier to handle the submitted data, send it to other tools, or trigger automations.

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Improved client experience

In addition to streamlining data collection, intake forms can also enhance the client experience:

  • the business looks professional and can create a good first impression

  • the use of intake forms demonstrate that they want to provide an efficient service

  • clients are not required to provide the same details repeatedly

Furthermore, the data collected through intake forms can be used to provide personalized service to clients. You can send it to your CRM, allowing you to better understand a client’s specific needs, preferences, and background. This allows you to tailor your approach to better serve each individual.

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For example, content agencies can offer clients who purchased a blog post a recurring service with monthly content creation included.

Scalability and growth

Finally, intake forms can support organizational growth and scalability. If you’re looking to scale your agency and take on more clients, having a standardized and automated system for collecting client information becomes increasingly important.

Intake forms allow agencies to onboard new clients quickly and efficiently, without placing additional strain on staff resources. This scalability is particularly valuable for organizations that experience rapid growth.

Related

Moreover, the data collected through intake forms can help you identify opportunities for expansion and improvement. Analyze the data to spot trends, assess market demand, and make informed decisions about new or existing services.

Intake form best practices

When you gather important information, it’s crucial to do it in a way that both your clients and your team benefits from. Let me give you a few tips when it comes to intake forms so that you get the information you need efficiently.

Use engaging headings and descriptions

Crafting compelling headings and descriptions is crucial for encouraging users to complete your intake forms. Clear, concise language that communicates the purpose and benefits of filling out the form can significantly improve completion rates.

intake form engaging headings and descriptions

When writing headings, focus on the value users will receive by providing their information. For example, instead of a generic heading like “Contact Information,” try something more engaging like “Let’s Connect to Discuss Your Project.” This subtle change shifts the focus from the form itself to the positive outcome of completing it.

Highlight how collected information will be used

Transparency is key when asking users to share their personal or business details. Clearly explain how the information collected through the intake form will be used to help the user achieve their goals.

This could include statements like:

  • Your project details will help us create a customized solution tailored to your needs.

  • By sharing your contact information, our team can provide you with personalized support and guidance.

By emphasizing the benefits of completing the form, you build trust with your users and encourage them to provide accurate, detailed information.

Implement multistep forms

Long, complex intake forms can be intimidating and lead to high abandonment rates. To combat this, consider breaking lengthy forms into smaller, more manageable sections using multistep forms.

Multistep forms divide the project intake process into logical, bite-sized chunks, making the overall experience less daunting for users. Simply use the page break button in SPP in order to break up your forms into pages.

Use conditional logic for relevant questions

To further streamline the intake process, implement conditional logic that displays relevant questions based on a user’s previous answers. This dynamic approach ensures that users only see questions that apply to their specific situation, reducing friction and improving the overall user experience.

intake form conditional rules

For example, if a user indicates they are interested in a particular service, the form can automatically display follow-up questions related to that service while hiding irrelevant questions. In SPP, you can switch to the rules tab and configure conditional logic based on existing fields.

Regularly review and update your forms

Intake forms are not a set-it-and-forget-it solution. To maintain peak performance and user satisfaction, regularly review and update your forms based on user feedback and analytics.

If you can, monitor form completion rates, abandonment points, and time spent on each section to identify areas for improvement. Seek feedback from users through surveys or user testing to gain valuable insights into their experience with your forms.

Based on your findings, make improvements to your intake forms, such as:

  • clarifying question wording

  • removing unnecessary fields

  • reorganizing sections for better flow

  • adding tooltips or help text for complex questions

By continuously refining your intake forms, you demonstrate a commitment to user experience and ensure your forms remain effective tools for gathering essential information.

Intake form FAQ

Can I use Google Forms as an intake form?

Yes, Google Forms are one the many tools you can use for your intake forms. Features such as multiple question types, required fields, and response validation make it versatile for various needs.

Can you create an intake form in Jira?

Yes, you can create an intake form in Jira. You can use Jira’s built-in features such as custom fields, issue types, and workflows to tailor the form to your needs. Alternatively, you can use apps like Jira Service Management or third-party plugins like ProForma to build more advanced forms.

Streamline your intake process today

Intake forms are a critical aspect of client interaction and business efficiency, pivotal to gathering essential information that drives service personalization and operational scalability. By adhering to best practices such as crafting clear and engaging questions, utilizing multistep and conditional logic, and committing to ongoing optimization based on client feedback, businesses can significantly enhance the intake process.

Avatar of Deian Isac
Head of Agency Success
Having worked as a content writer for 8+ years, Deian has partnered up with a lot of different agencies for content production. He understands their processes and now helps agencies scale up their operations with SPP. Besides his success activities, he also manages the content strategy of Service Provider Pro, writes captivating blog posts himself, and produces case studies.

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