The Client Onboarding Questionnaire That Saves HOURS [+ Free Template]

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When you bring on a new client, you will need to get certain information from them and access to some of the tools they use.

For example, as a website developer, you’ll likely need access to the back end of their website. Or if you’re running Google Ads for a client, you’ll need to get access to their Google Ads account.

Seems pretty straightforward, but if you’re working with small business owners or a C-Level executive, they might not know how to get you access to the things you need.

And this might not seem like a huge issue when you’re just bringing on one client at a time. Sure, it can be frustrating, but you want to just get it done quickly and after this, you’ll think about finding a better way.

But then came the time where I had to onboard 3 clients at once. And it was NOT fun.

I was getting emails with screenshots from the one client trying to figure it out, and another one was TEXTING me about it (we were friends beforehand)….only 1 of the 3 did this without any issues.

Any entrepreneur knows you’re always looking for ways to save time and make things more streamlined.

Well, you’re in luck because this next tip is going to help you do both.

What My Onboarding Process Used to Look Like

1. I’d have a call with a client and they’d want to move forward

2. I send them an email with a list of things I needed access to. These emails were saved in Gmail as templates and oftentimes I’d have to customize the emails a bunch before sending them anyway.

gmail template for onboarding

3. I’d write down all the things they talked about on the phone as far as what they were looking for, etc. hoping I remembered them properly

4. I’d hope they’d figure out how to give me access using those instructions.

5. I’d oftentimes get emails back with more questions. Or even worse, I’d get the “all done” email and I didn’t have all the right permissions.

6. I’d email them back and ask them to try again – their replies could take anywhere from 1 minute (kind of annoying) to 4-5 days (also super annoying).

Time: 1-4 hours over the course of a few days

What the Process Looks Like Now

My current client onboarding process is so much more straightforward.

1. I have a call with a client and they want to move forward

2. I send them a link to my onboarding document that has screenshots, instructions, and open-ended questions for them to give more detail.

3. They fill out the form while walking through steps to give me access to everything I need.

4. I get an email notification when it’s completed.

onboarding checklist complete


No headaches.

No wasted time going back and forth via email.

And the best part is I can save all of their answers in a PDF and add save it to their client folder so I can reference it from any device.

Time: 3-5 minutes

Do I still get emails from clients with questions?

Of course! But now it’s about 1 in 20 vs 1 in 3.

It’s Not Only a Time Saver….

So not only am I saving time with each client, but this method has some added benefits:

  • You’ll come off professional and organized which makes them have more confidence in the purchase decision. I’ve had a few clients compliment me on how streamlined everything was the get setup, and I’d have to agree! 🙂
  • They have time to think about their goals and what success looks like without being under pressure on the phone. Some of the responses I’ve gotten in these documents vs what people said on the phone were wildly different.
  • By having them write down what success looks like, they can’t come back later and complain that I did the exact thing they were looking for. This can help reduce scope creep in the future, which can be a nightmare waiting to happen if you don’t get this information out ahead of time.

How to Automate Your Onboarding Process

This is the tool I use to help build out this process. I can create the template once and use it over and over again for each client.

Once I make a copy of the template, I just share the link to the page and send it off in an email. Now my email template looks like this:

onboarding document template

Much better, don’t you think? 🙂

You can grab that exact template, and get more tips like this when you join the newsletter.

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