The Client Intake Form is simply a document used to gather and store all of your client’s contact info. I always ask new clients for these important pieces of information before I begin working them. You can store this in a document online (be sure it’s in a highly secure location!) or as a hard copy in a locked file cabinet. I usually keep both.
Obviously, you’re going to want your client’s full name, business name, address, and phone numbers. But remember to get really specific with what you ask for. For example, I ask my clients for their business phone number, their cell and also their home phone number (which is optional) but may be handy if I need to get in touch with them urgently or after hours. I also ask how they prefer to be contacted the majority of the time OR in an emergency. Also, be SURE to note what time zone they are in! You don’t want to be waking them up at dawn or bothering them in the middle of the night!
I use my intake form to store some clients personal info, as well. If my clients mention their birth date, anniversary, or even that they have a dog named Rufus...I jot it down on my intake form. That way, I can be pro-active and perhaps send them a nice card, email or small gift on their birthdays. Or ask them about their pet by name…or what their plans are for their anniversary this week! This not only ensures you keep your clients happy…but also keeps them happily referring you to other people!
I use the back of my Client Intake Form (or attach extra pages to it) to gather all of my client’s software, programs, logins and any password info that I might need. These may be things like website login & password, social media accounts, accounting software, email programs, etc. You may even find it’s a good place to store their credit card info and a credit card authorization form. Remembering once again that you MUST store this info in a highly secure manner.
I generally don’t ask for logins and passwords upfront (unless there is a particular one I need to start working right away) but over time you will need to do this! Some of my clients have over 50+ programs and passwords they use to run their business…they are updated often…and as their Virtual Assistant, I need to keep track of this info in a secure way.
New clients may not be comfortable handing over this sensitive info immediately…but as trust builds you may be asked to use more and more of their programs. Every time I am given access to a new system or technology I grab the URL, Password, and Username and add it to this document. There is nothing worse or more annoying to a client than you having to ask them over and over again for that info every single time you log in to one of their sites. Your clients will expect you to remember it and the Client Intake Form is a great place to store it all in one place.