Client Intake Process Development / Optimization for Resume Writing Services
By Kamee Gilmore.
As career professionals and resume strategists, we often say that “first impressions count.” The intake process for resume writing services is where the initial communication occurs and vital information is exchanged. It also sets the tone of your client’s overall impression and experience. You want to ensure that it is a memorable one!
The “intake process” is the interface between your client and the career services you provide. An effective intake process is both systematic and repeatable. A well-developed system is simple, consistent, and easily customized to suit different situations/scenarios. Here are some examples of repeatable systems that could be followed for resume clients:
- Initial Client Contact / Service Inquiry – You respond to a request from a prospect that is received via email, phone, in-person, or your website.
- Information Gathering – Your client completes an information gathering questionnaire or sends in an existing resume to help you determine the scope of service/work.
- Initiate Sale – You provide your client with information on services, price, process, payment terms, and contract agreement with the conditions of sale.
- Close the Sale – You generate and record the service invoice, process any required payment (Email Money Transfer, PayPal, or Credit Card), and finalize the contract agreement (payment indicating approval, signature, or e-signature).
- Consultation / Strategy Session – You schedule a one-on-one consultation session (in-person, phone, or email as preferred). You set a time limit to ensure that time is well-invested. This can be established prior to or at the beginning of the session and managed with a time tracking app or alarm.
- Service Commencement – You prioritize and manage the project based on projected timeline. You begin the development process utilizing information gathered through questionnaire and consultation session.
- Client Review / Final Approval – You submit a draft to the client for review, complete final requests for revisions (as many times as specified in the contract agreement), and receive final approval from your client.
- Client Sign Off – You release to your client the final product with a general, yet personalized pre-written instructional letter on how to use the new career document(s) (if applicable).
For a smooth process, a user-friendly client intake process that is convenient, fast, and easy to follow (for client and service provider) is essential. This will enable you to efficiently gather the information necessary for providing knowledgeable expertise and performing professional services. Employing methods, systems, and tools that create a streamlined process will not only make your job easier, but will also benefit your performance and the quality of your product/service.
Much of your the client intake process is a non-billable part of your service, as this work happens prior to client retention/service commencement. An automated paperless online form can significantly reduce time (and in effect save money) by dramatically improving the overall speed and efficiency of your process. While providing you with accurate details and information, online gathering of data can be completed at the client’s convenience prior to a scheduled consultation session, allowing you to be well informed and better prepared to continue to the next step of your intake process.
Here are some online intake tools that you may find useful:
IntakeQ (free trial, no contract required; documents can be used via website or privately)
Typeform (comprehensive online form and survey builder, free basic account)
A fundamental part of the intake process that should be equally simplified and streamlined is the contract/proposal. This agreement should effectively establish and define the nature of your services and working relationship, including:
- Scope of Project / Service
- Responsibilities of Each Party
- Timelines / Milestones
- Policies / Procedures
- Payment Terms / Conditions
After acquiring a client’s verbal approval of service, it is a good idea to promptly supply them with your contract prior to continuing with services. While there are various electronic signature software tools available, you can use other methods such as a PDF version of your prepared client agreement that clearly states that the named client’s submission of payment indicates his or her understanding, agreement, and commitment to all terms and conditions within the agreement.
Here are some electronic signature software services that may be helpful:
Career coaching, resume development, or any other related service is complex and customized to each individual client. It is impossible for you to reuse or resell the work you perform for a client. So you must always ensure that you receive compensation for your time, expertise, and services. Establish the payment method and process that works best for you. Many practitioners require payment IN FULL via cash, email money transfer, or alternate electronic method prior to starting the project. This guarantees that they are paid for the project and ensures the client’s commitment to the process.
Here are some accounting software providers:
Intuit QuickBooks (offers a free invoice generator, among other helpful accounting tools for small business)
Wave Accounting (free accounting system for small businesses)
Invoice Generator (free to use, customizable and no sign up required)
Freshbooks (recommended by 97% of small business owners)
By streamlining and automating as many parts of the process as possible, less time is spent on repetitive tasks, enabling you to be more productive and profitable. A few great tool and software options that can help you effectively manage projects, time, and clients while systematizing your process include:
Chrometa (time keeping tool)
Insightly (CRM and Project Management in one)
Solve (Android, iPad, and iPhone CRM App)
Capsule (client, calendar, and task management, and has free account option!)
Nimble (client, calendar, and project management offering 100+ app integrations)
Photo: CPC Mastermind, Kamee Gilmore.