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Client Fields – Gathering Valuable Client Data for Improved Service

Amie Parnaby
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client fields

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Have you ever wondered how you can get valuable information from your clients? It doesn’t matter if it’s for more comprehensive record-keeping, improve marketing or a legal requirement. Many businesses wish they could collect more data on their clients (breaking no confidentiality laws, obviously). With the recent Client Fields custom feature from SimplyBook.me, you can do precisely that, as soon as your clients create a login for your website.

How Client Fields Work

If you’ve used the Intake Forms custom feature, it is similar. However, instead of assigning details to a single booking, it will save the details to the client for long-term reference. If you’re new to the system, then you will need to go to the custom features section of your SimplyBook.me interface and enable the Client Fields feature.

When you first start this section will be blank. To add questions that you would like your clients to answer when they sign up, click on the plus sign in the red box.

When you know what questions you would like to ask, you can choose how you want your clients to answer. If you’re going to ask for a date of birth, it makes sense to make the response a date format. Businesses such as medical clinics may only deal with specific health insurance providers, in which case a drop-down selection of health insurers would be perfect. You also have the option to allow single or multi-line text boxes, numbers only fields, or a yes/no checkbox.

Client field response formats

You can even allow your clients to avoid answering some questions by toggling the “Should this field be optional?” switch. If the switch is off (not coloured blue), then the question is mandatory.

Create optional or mandatory client fields

This feature will only work if you have the Client Login feature. You can’t save details about a client if they don’t have a profile to which you can assign the data.

Reasons for Client Information Fields.

Depending on the services you provide, some of your questions could be essential, whether for medical, legal or other reasons. However, the entire point of introducing online booking is to make the process quicker and more straightforward. Nobody wants to go through completing an intake form for every visit, with the same information, for every appointment.

If you want or need to gather client information when they create their client profile with your business, you already know that clients or patients can be reticent about their private details. Even when the data is necessary for their service to go ahead, some clients are unwilling to give details.  

Services with medical, ethical and legal obligations for gathering information can make this clear on their website, and most clients know they have to respect it. However, some companies want to gather client info for other reasons. Some examples are marketing, service improvement and personalisation or targeting specific client needs. Traversing the line between personalised service and maintaining privacy is a delicate balancing act.

What Should I Ask?

When you ask your clients to answer personal questions at sign up, you need to consider how long those answers will remain valid. 

Asking what relaxing music they would prefer for a massage is not a good question for long-term reference. Musical preference could change every time they come back, depending on their mood. If you ask for a birth date (free birthday voucher?), this will never change, making it an ideal question for sign-up.

You need not restrict your sign-up questions to unchanging circumstances. However, things that change infrequently can also warrant a space on the sign-up page. Some examples of queries that might change, but not regularly, are; 

  •  Marital status, 
  •  Next of Kin/Emergency Contact
  •  Parental Status
  •  Gender 
  •  Allergies (they do change)
  •  Address

These are suitable candidates for client sign-up questions. 

Some things still change, for better or worse

While sign-up questions should relate to client specifics unlikely to change, some things change. With this in mind, any client information saved against the client profile, your client can edit as needed. They go to their My Profile section of your booking page, where they can edit or add information.

More data = Better Service and Marketing

So, you have two excellent methods for gathering client information, but you need not repeat yourself. Nor do you need to ask your clients to repeat themselves either.

Even if your services don’t depend on gathering this extra information, it is still a superb idea to gather what information you can.

If you collate all your client data, the information in their profiles will present an excellent picture of your key demographics. With that information, you’ll develop marketing strategies, personalise services, and give your clients an outstanding experience.

For more information about how to use the client fields feature, you can see the detailed instructions here in our help centre. You might also want to check out the details for Client Login and Intake Forms too

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