Who fills out the paperwork in your office?

In my practice, when I had a new client in the office I didn’t have them fill out any forms or paperwork in the waiting room and I didn’t have my staff do the initial intake–I filled out the paperwork myself.

One reason was that I wanted to talk to them about their case, get all the details, and ask follow-up questions my staff might not ask. I was able to do a better job for them as a result.

Another reason was that I didn’t want them fussing with paperwork when what they really wanted was to unburden their troubles on me and let me fix them. I thought they appreciated my making it easier for them to do that.

I could have had someone else do the initial information gathering before I saw them, and if I was pressed for time I sometimes did that. But I preferred to fill out the forms myself because it gave me an opportunity to spend a few more minutes with the client and get to know them.

I could ask about their kids, their job or business, and where they were going on vacation. I might tell them about a case I had that was similar to theirs. I could have some fun with them and lighten their load.

I often saw my clients only two times: at the first appointment and at the final appointment when I presented a settlement check and final paperwork. Those two visits were an opportunity to bond with them and I didn’t want anything to take away from that.

When clients like you, and think you like them, they come back to you and refer their friends.

So who fills out the paperwork in your office? You? The client? Staff? Do you send them a form to fill out before they come in for their first appointment? Or do you use a combination of the above?

Every practice is different, of course, so I’m not going to tell you what you should or shouldn’t do. I’ve told you what I did, and why, but you need to decide what’s best for your practice.

What I can tell you is that while this may be a “little thing,” you should spend time thinking about it because when it comes to building relationships, and building a successful practice, little things mean a lot.

Do it right and your clients will send you more referrals