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November 10, 2015

Populate Client Intake Forms and Save in Clio

Collecting information from new clients can be a laborious task.  While it is an important part of the bringing on a new client, it’s not the best experience for the client. 
You either send them a Word document that they have to print and fill out or they come into your office and you fill out by hand as you talk with them.

There’s a better way!  You could send your client to a form on your website where they could fill out all the information you need.  Then that information can automatically be sent over to WebMerge where it will populate your intake forms.

Sounds perfect, right?  This will save you a lot of headaches with gathering this information from clients.  Plus, you can automatically save this document in your practice management software, like Clio.

In this example, we’re going to show you how to collect information from your clients with a web form and then populate your client intake forms and save them in Clio.

To get started, we’re going to setup the template for our intake form using a Word document.  This template looks like any other Word document except we’re going to use merge fields like {$ClientName}, {$ClientPhone}, etc.  This will be replaced with the actual information from our client.

Here’s what our template looks like:
 


Once we have our template ready, we need to upload it to WebMerge.  From the Documents page in WebMerge, click the New Document button then enter a name for the document.  On the next step, pick Office Document as the document type and then select the file from your computer.
 


After you’ve uploaded your template, you’re going to be taken to the Settings tab where you can modify settings like the type of file that will be generated and even the name of the file.  For this example, we’re going to generate a Docx file and then we’re going to add our Client’s name to the file name.
 


Next, we’re going to setup the delivery so that our document is automatically saved back into Clio when the client fills out the form.  Head over to the Deliver tab and click the New Delivery button then pick Clio from the list. 

After you’ve authenticated your Clio account, you should see the delivery settings.  You’ll need to pick the merge field you want to use for the Matter ID (if you don’t have a merge field for the matter in your document, pick << Other >> then type in something like {$MatterID}) and pick a category.
 


Our document setup is now complete and it is time to build the web form that we’ll have our client complete to generate the intake documents.  For the form, we’re going to use a Data Capture form.

From the Data Capture page, click the New Data Capture button.  Enter a name for the form then select your intake document as the Document.
 


On the next step, you’ll be taken to the Builder.  Here is where you are going to setup the fields for your form.  On the right, you’ll see a list of all the merge fields that are in your document.  Go ahead and add those merge fields to your form and pick the type of field you want for each.
 


After you’ve setup all the fields on your form and saved the settings, you can jump over to the Publish tab to get a link to your form.  This is the URL that you’re going to share with your client when you want them to fill out your form.
 


In order to make sure that our document makes it back into Clio, we need to include the Matter ID on the form.  To do that, we’re going to the ID to our form URL so that it is automatically populated on our form without the customer needing to enter it.

Assuming your merge field for the Matter ID is “MatterID”, the URL will look something like this:

https://www.webmerge.me/capture/12345/abcdef?MatterID=67890-Smith/Consult

Let’s run a quick test to see how this works!  Go ahead and open up the data capture form and enter your data. 
 


Once you click Submit, that information will be populated in your Word document and saved in Clio.

Here’s what our populated intake form looked like:
 


Congrats, you’re all done!  You can now easily collect information from your clients and automatically populate documents.  Can you think of any other ways that you could use WebMerge to simplify your paperwork process?
 

7 min read

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