Why do some interactions have to be so difficult?
I’m 99.89% sure you’ve been in a position with a client where the initial scope of the project changes, or a new “want” is added in.
One process I’ve found helpful is a web design client form.
In the past, I’ve relied on phone meetings or email chains to get an idea of what the client wants and needs.
Let me tell you, that is a way to get severely disorganized.
I know I’ve had to deal with it and it’s not fun.
So how can we remedy this situation?
You know the whole, client fills out a contact form, you call or email back asking what they’re looking for, then schedule a meeting, then they request a proposal and mockup, and on and on it goes.
Simplify and Standardize the Lead Capture Form
You will hear me talk a lot about defining certain processes to ensure consistency across all levels of your business.
Often times, since every client is different, we allow the client to dictate the direction of project. It’s super important to start off the right way with no doubt or questions as to the goals of the project.
A good way to take care of this is your “Quote” form or Contact Form on your website.
I like to call it an application since you need to make sure it’s a good fit before getting involved with a client.
The key here is to simplify and standardize the lead capture form.
Keep. It. Simple.
Building the Form
Since this will be your new point of contact for any and all leads, the form needs to be simple and somewhat short as to not scare off any potential clients.
I use Gravity Forms to accomplish this goal. It’s just easy and efficient for me to be able to put together great forms with extended functionality.
More importantly, there are premium add-ons that highly extend what you can accomplish with the information you are collecting.
So what information should you ask for?
Deciding on Information
This is the key to standardizing your lead capture process. Don’t worry, you don’t have to perfect it right away. Simply put together a form with the best questions to ask a potential client.
Here are some good questions to ask:
- What’s the name of your company?
- What products/services do you offer?
- Who are the decision makers on the project?
- What budget have you given for the project? (Ask them to be honest. If it’s $300 for a 10 page website, you’ll know it’s not worth anyone’s time)
- What are you trying to accomplish with this project? List out goals.
- Who is your ideal customer? How old are they? Where do they hang out?
- Who are your competitors? List their websites.
- Any other websites you like?
- What does a successful project look like to you?
- Contact information (Name, Phone, Email).
These general questions will give you a good idea of the potential client. If they give half answers or don’t seem too interested, you may have a good idea of how the working relationship will be.
Getting Clients Involved
One final key piece of this is to send EVERY potential client through the form.
That’s right, every dang one of them.
Whether it’s a phone call, text, or email lead, you simply ask them to fill out the application form prior to scheduling a meeting.
Why, you ask?
Not only will this help the client think about what it is they really want, it will also give you information ahead of time to be better prepared for the initial meeting.
The idea here is simple: Simplify and Standardize your Lead Capture Form.
Make it easier for everyone involved by eliminating the back and forth and creating a solid template to learn from your clients.
There are many areas of the web design business that we seem to make harder by thinking too much.
It’s easy to fall into the “black hole”, but setting up your form the right way will increase your productivity in the long run.