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Client onboarding questionnaire: 20 questions to ask

client onboarding questionnaire
By Sylva Sivz, BComm. Last Updated June 17, 2024

Landing a new client is always a good time. Your agency buzzes with excitement to start working on a new brand and you might even get together for a little celebration in the office or over Zoom.

By this point, you’ve killed it on your sales pitch, beat out the competition, and made a great first impression. Cheers to that! But don’t get too comfortable just yet.

Now comes the client onboarding process and this is just as important. You must continue to make a good impression with professional communication and agency processes that make matters go smoothly for everyone involved in a project.

client onboarding questionnaire

Putting together a client onboarding questionnaire is one way to make sure you start your relationship off on the right foot as you bring them on board. In this post, we’ll explore what onboarding questionnaires are all about and what questions your marketing agency can ask new clients before you kick off your projects, ensuring customer satisfaction from the very beginning.

Get our onboarding questionnaire template

Content Snare helps you get the information you need from clients to start and finish projects sooner. When you use Content Snare, you’ll get access to our questionnaire template loaded with questions to get you started on your own questionnaire.

Start your trial here

What is a client onboarding questionnaire?

A client onboarding questionnaire or client onboarding form is a digital survey that you send your new clients to gather all the information you need from them before moving forward on a project. This might include client information about their business operations, their goals, and their expectations. The idea is to use the questionnaire to dig a little deeper on your clients’ specific needs than you did in initial conversations you had during the sales process.

Your account manager might use the survey to get to know your client, asking them questions about their:

  • Company and team structure
  • Products and value offerings
  • Audience
  • Competitors

You can then take these answers to develop your creative brief. 

Why create a client onboarding questionnaire for your onboarding process?

Here are a few reasons why creating an onboarding questionnaire is a great thing to do as part of your agency onboarding checklist.

Get all the information you need

You’ll already have some background information on your client having gone through the pitching process or initial conversations. A client onboarding form helps you fill in any outstanding gaps so you can get a full understanding of your client and what they need. Leaving no stone unturned means you’ll be fully prepared to help them meet their goals.

Save time

There’s loads of information to find out about your new client. Sure, you can uncover it bit by bit every time you have a meeting or phone call or communicate via email, but wouldn’t it be nice to get all the info you need upfront? Sending your clients an onboarding questionnaire will save you heaps of time.

Define clear expectations

The questions you ask in your client onboarding questionnaire will help you define exactly what it is the client expects from you. The more clarity you get on what they want by asking the right questions in your client onboarding form, the less likely you are to completely miss the mark on a project. Lay it all out so you do well.

Have a record on file

Tying in nicely with the point above, having an onboarding questionnaire completed means you have a record on file of what you asked the client, and what they asked for. If you ever find yourself clashing with the client about what was asked for and what was delivered, or if you start running into scope creep, you can always go back to the questionnaire to prove what was discussed.

Leave a good impression

Last but not least, having a client onboarding questionnaire improves the agency process of collecting information that can usually be very slow on both ends. It shows your client that you do the work to make life easy for them while doing your due diligence to understand their business.

client onboarding form

What are some questions to ask in a marketing agency client onboarding questionnaire?

Questions about the company

Ask the questions below in your client onboarding form to clarify who your point of contact is, which team members will be involved in the project, and to gather the assets you need to stay on brand. Ask these basic questions to get the most important things out of the way first before you dig in deeper.

1. Who is your preferred primary contact? Please provide their contact information as well as other methods for contacting them.

2. Who is your preferred secondary contact? Please provide their contact information as well as other methods for contacting them if needed.

3. Please upload the company logo in all its current formats and styles. If possible provide the images in PNG format on a transparent background.

4. Please upload the primary font and secondary fonts that are used on the company's digital materials.

Questions about products and values

Here are some questions you can ask to get a clear understanding of your clients’ business goals and the unique value they provide to their customers.  Including these questions in your client onboarding form will help you clarify what’s most important to the client, and how they intend to help their customers.

5. What problems do your products/services aim to solve?                        

6. What is your primary value proposition?

7. What is the main weakness in your business model?

8. What are the company's core values?

9. What communication tone resonates with your customers?

Questions about target audience

Asking these questions will clarify everything you need to know about your clients’ customer profiles, who else they engage with, what causes them to make purchases, and what makes them stick around. Ask these questions to get into the minds of their customers to understand why they would choose your client.

10. What are some of your common customer objections to buying your product/service?

11. Name the main reasons your customers remain loyal.

12. Describe in detail the profile/persona of your ideal customer

13. Have you developed a customer profile set?

14. If not, do you need our services to help you develop this?

15. Which social media platforms does this person spend most of their time on?

16. What other brands or influencers does this person engage with on these platforms?

Questions about competitors

Here are some questions you can ask to understand who your client is up against in the market. These questions will help you find creative ways to help your client stand out from the competition as you plan out your content marketing.

17. Who is your main competitor?

18. In what aspects do they currently outperform your company?

19. What is it that your company does better than your competitors?

20. What are the key differentiators between your product/ service and theirs?

What tools can you use to create and send a client onboarding questionnaire?

There are a few tools you can use to create your client questionnaire.

1. Google Forms

Google forms are free and easy to use if you have a Google account.

To create a Google form, head to your Google Drive and hit “New” and then “Google Form”.

agency client onboarding

From there, you can customize your questions, your theme, and add in more optional settings like a confirmation message.

2. Gravity Forms

If you use a WordPress-powered website, Gravity Forms is an advanced tool for creating many different types of forms. It’s available at three different pricing plans and can integrate with tools like Hubspot and Mailchimp.

onboarding questionnaire

Important considerations for using online forms for your client onboarding process

If you’re going to use online forms like Google forms or Gravity forms to build your questionnaire, keep these drawbacks in mind:

1. Clients have to finish forms in one go

You always want to make life easy for your clients, but when they use forms they have to submit their information all in one go. If they need to exit out of the form for any reason, they’ll have to re-do all their work again when they come back to it. Pain in the a**.

When you put these inconveniences in front of your client, it only means there will be delays in getting content back from them.

2. You still need to use email regularly  

When you use online forms to create your questionnaires, you’ll still need to do the manual work of sharing it with a client over email, reminding them to complete it, and sending follow up emails if anything they’ve answered is unclear. This can be a huge time suck.

What’s the quickest way to create a client onboarding questionnaire?

Time for our shameful plug! If you want to avoid the limitations mentioned above, you’ll want to take a look at Content Snare and discover why our platform is (pretty much) the greatest tool you can add to your agency client onboarding checklist.

1. Clients can fill out their questionnaire in their own time

When your client gets their questionnaire through Content Snare, they can answer as much of it as they want to, and come back to it later. Easy peasy.

With an auto-save feature built into the forms, all information is saved and your clients can complete the form over multiple sessions, picking up where they left off last.

2. You don’t need to use email separately

Content Snare cuts out the need for you to send email reminders. You can choose how often you want the platform to send your clients reminders then sit back and let it do the work for you. Content Snare will remind your clients to complete the questionnaire till all the information is complete and received.

Create your questionnaire

When you build your onboarding questionnaire with Content Snare, you’ll make life easy for your clients and receive the information you need much faster. Get ready to wrap up your projects sooner than you have before.

Start your trial here

We hope this post helped you understand the importance of client questionnaires or client onboarding forms and what questions to include as you onboard new clients. Drop us a comment and let us know if you’ve come up with some good questions yourself.


Sylva Sivz

Sylva Sivz is a seasoned copywriter here at Content Snare, based out of Vancouver, Canada. She has spent years working in agency environments and moonlights as a touring house DJ!