Collecting client documents is a step that millions of small businesses and their teams need to go through regularly, that’s why we’ve gathered here tips and tools to help you automate and stay on top of your work. So how to collect client documents on time?
If you’re a mortgage broker, a real estate expert, or a small company owner who needs to collect documents from customers, you’ll undoubtedly agree that it can quickly become a daily annoyance.
Every time you welcome a potential client or need to onboard a new prospect, you’ll have to go through the same tedious process on a regular basis to collect client documents and information at the right time.
Why do you need to automate the way you collect client documents?
Many sales processes start with the need to collect documents and information about a potential client. In most cases, you’ll probably file requests right after having met first with your prospect. In other cases, client information is required even before you set up a meeting.
When you use old methods such as emails or fax, to collect client documents, you’re giving your clients the freedom to take action or not and leaving them without clear instructions.
The regular scenario is where your client takes too long to reply, not having in mind that you need to collect their documents or information on time. Or when they ask you way too many questions, slowing you down in your daily work without any guarantee that they’ll actually convert.
But that’s not the biggest issue.
The real problem is that 81% of potential buyers conduct online research before buying. So, while all the back-and-forth is happening, you may fall behind a more proactive competitor.
The best way to avoid such issues is to set up for your business, proper client onboarding and document collection processes.
Here is how.
Let’s set up a document collection process for your business
As soon as you’ve established first contact with your clients, be transparent on the various steps of the process. It’s always encouraging to have a business owner take the time to explain how things operate and what the various phases are from beginning to conclusion. Making sure clients are well aware of what’s coming up next, will also increase your chances to get the documents you need without delay.
There are several ways to create a DIY process that works for your clients, whether they are coming from your website or from the offline world. We are sharing here with you some tips to build your own.
The Welcome Kit
When onboarding new clients, you’ll probably have to consume a large amount of time in assisting them with every detail of the service you provide.
That’s where the Welcome kit comes into play to make the process less stressful.
The Welcome kit is a great way for new prospects to feel welcome and reassured about the decision to work with you. And it can also be used as a reference throughout the onboarding process when clients have doubts or questions about the next steps.
How to do it?
Very simple. Put together a Short brochure gathering Marketing information about your service or product so that they feel confident doing business with you. You can also add basic information such as contact details, office hours, nice pictures of the team, etc.
Once that’s covered, you could also add practical information about the collaboration such as timelines, what’s next, what’s expected from clients, and when.
The last step is to add some educational content to your Welcome Kit. This will help prospective clients to become familiar with not just the service you provide, but also with what they need to know to work with you effectively.
The Needs list
You can continue to the following part of the process, which is the Needs list, once you’ve finished putting everything together. This type of documents or content piece gathers the list of supporting documents and information you need from clients.
You have several options to create a needs list.
For receiving the papers, most business owners will either send a PDF Needs list or use a cloud service like Google Drive, DropBox, or Wetransfer. You can always replace the PDF document with a concise email.
You can also utilize an integrated contact form on your website to allow clients to email you the relevant document portal if you have one.
Milestones & Reminders
Now that you have started getting papers, don’t you need to make sure you get them all on time? Yes, absolutely!
The best way to make sure you get great responses rates on your document collection is to set in your own calendar specific hours to remind your clients.
Most people are busy all day long.
It’s generally a good idea to set aside some time in your schedule to remind them to return the appropriate paperwork.
That means picking up the phone or setting up email reminders. A smart tool such as Dearele allows you to do this very easily.
The continuous support
Although you’ve already indicated various methods to reach you in your Welcome Kit, it’s always important to be proactive in assisting customers during the onboarding process.
A good way to engage clients while you work on getting, verifying, and approving their documents is to send out pre-scheduled Emails newsletters.
Add at the end of each email a clear Call to action so clients never feel neglected.
Good Work! What’s next?
You’re now all set! Keep in mind that you may need to customize each part of the above process based on your clients’ specificities. Another thing to keep in mind is that this entire process remains an interim solution. If you need to work at scale, we recommend that you continue reading.
Wait, can we automate all that?
Of course! There are great solutions on the market allowing you to work at scale and streamline your clients‘ onboarding process. Some of these easiest solutions include Client portals built-in in the Cloud. As an example, Clustdoc allows you to use a single web app to create all these steps. Within 10 minutes, you can set up an account and implement a fast and reliable document collection process within your company. Main Clustdoc features include :
A secure client portal
The first step to a great collaboration is to have a dedicated space for you and your clients to interact. Clustdoc allows you to create as many client portals as needed based on your company’s services. Within each client portal, you can engage securely your recipients and share documents and critical information without the hassle.
An intuitive list of required documents
Into each Clustdoc client portal, is displayed a list of documents required as part of your service offer. The list is neatly organized and 100% intuitive. You can always come back and edit it when needed, keeping your client informed of what’s needed as things progress.
You can attach to each list of documents as many online forms as needed to collect client information. You can also share your documentation and company information in different type of files through your client portal.
Due dates and automated reminders
Automated document request reminders give you back some time and more importantly, some peace of mind. It’s a smart way to send kind automatic reminders to clients regularly without sabotaging the collaboration.
A messaging system
Communicate without the noise with each client and keep all your conversations securely in one safe place.
Verify and approve received files or comment on wrong files without leaving the document collection software.
Updating manually your computer files can be quite confusing. That’s why Clustdoc allows you to automatically synchronize your client files with your favorite cloud storage.
Get Started With Clustdoc
Clustdoc’s document collection software will be your companion to keep your clients happy without much load on you.
To get started with digital document collection and get rid of the long and tiring manual documentation process, visit Clustdoc.