CRM Software for Economic Development Organizations
Phone: +1 805 967 1280 | email: sales@outreachsystems.com

How can I get my clients express intent to be a client of my program?

All clients that sign up via eCenter Direct will have to agree to your current terms and conditions. However, over time, your terms and conditions may change and your clients may need to re-acknowledge their agreement to the latest terms and conditions. This is particularly critical for PTAC programs that need to explicitly ask their clients if they wish to be a client of the program. In this FAQ, we will discuss how you can send your clients a survey asking them to agree to your current agreement text and thus indicating their express intent to become a client. Additionally, we will discuss how you can obtain an electronic signature to your agreement via eCenter Direct, and we will show you have can document any hard-copy signatures than you may receive:

Update Agreement Text

Regardless of the method with which you obtain your clients' acknowledgement to your latest terms and conditions, you should always make sure that your agreement text in Neoserra is current and up-to-date. The agreement text can be updated either at the global level by the system administrator, or can be updated at the center level:

  • Global Level - This option is only available to system administrators in administrator-mode by going to Administration|Configuration and then choosing eCenter Interface. Click "Client Sign-up" to access the "Agreement Text." Any changes made from these global configurations cascade down to the entire database.

  • Center Level - Each public center within your network can override the globally configured text on a center-by-center basis from their center record. This allows individual centers to have their own Terms and Conditions on eCenter. Center-specific configurations become visible to users signing up for services from that center.

Note: If your program consists of a single center, then you will likely want to perform all interface edits from the global level.

Option 1: Obtain Agreement Proactively via a Survey

Clients will seldom voluntarily ask you if they should sign your latest agreement. In most cases, you will need to prompt your clients and ask them to sign your agreement. You can notify all clients who need to re-acknowledge your agreement terms via a special survey.

Step 1. Create the Survey

With your agreement text updated (as discussed above), it is time to create a survey that asks your clients to agree to the new T&Cs.

  1. Click View|Surveys and click New
  2. Enter a name for your survey and choose a "Client" type survey.
  3. You will probably want to create a new blank survey. Click Save.
  4. Enter the top information on the survey as discussed in the FAQ titled: How do I create, post and advertise client surveys?
  5. Continue to the "Milestones asked" section of the survey. The most important question to include on this survey is the Do you accept the following terms and conditions?. This question will include the agreement text as entered either under your global Configuration or under your center record.

  6. Click Save to save your newly configured survey.

Step 2. Identify Survey Recipients

With the survey created, it is now time to decide who should receive this survey. You will need to identify all clients who need to agree to your latest Terms and Conditions using a custom filter.

From the moment that you updated your agreement text, all newly added clients that signed up via eCenter Direct, will have agreed to your new Terms and Conditions; and presumably all clients that sign-up via a hardcopy sign-up form will also be presented with the new agreement text. Therefore, you only need to send the survey to those clients who signed up prior to making the latest change to your Terms and Conditions.

The question is whether you want to filter based upon the eCenter sign-up date, or the signature start date on the client record. The signature start date, on the client record, is a field that is maintained by the users and thus can be edited at will. For this reason, this date may not be 100% reliable as to when the client actually signed their agreement with your center. On the other hand, perhaps not all clients have signed up via eCenter Direct, which means that not every active client in your database may have an eCenter sign-up date.

It will be up to you to determine the best filter to use, but you may want to include both! If there are any duplicate clients retrieved from the two filters, then Neoserra will automatically eliminate any duplicates when importing them into the survey. Here is what the filters might look like when filtering on signature start date:

And here is what the filter might look like when filtering on eCenter date:

You should save both filters and give them a name that allows you to easily identify them.

Create Survey Request List

We will now add the clients of both filters to our survey as follows:

  1. Select View|Surveys.
  2. Find your survey from the list of surveys presented and click on the name.
  3. In the Survey Request List panel on the right hand side, click New.

  4. Provide a name to your survey request list and set the date range during which you want to receive responses. If your survey only includes the agreement text question, then you may want to give a fairly large time frame during which you will accept responses. With all the fields entered in, click Save.
  5. Click Import to import the clients from the two filters we created:

    And then choose to Import from a filter and select the filter name you used to save your filter.

  6. Click Save to import all the clients into this survey. Repeat this step, if you want to import the clients from a second (or third) filter.
  7. When all clients have been added to the request list, then you are ready to email your clients.

Step 3. Send the Survey

To send your survey to all the recipients identified in the previous section, you just click the Email link at the top of the page. Choose the "Survey Request" template and customize the text according to your needs. Clients will receive an email with an easy link to your new agreement text:

Clients who receive the survey, and click on the link provided will see the following question on eCenter Direct:

Upon clicking "Yes" and submitting their survey response, the eCenter tab of the client record in Neoserra will be updated accordingly:

And a milestone will be created.

Step 4. Clear the Banner

When you send a survey to your clients from within Neoserra, then any client, on your recipients' list, who has not yet responded to the survey, will be marked as follows:

The yellow banner at the top of the client record will help remind your counselors to try and obtain an updated agreement from the client. Ideally clients will respond to your proactive survey, but we know that not all of them will do so. This banner will serve as an added reminder for your counselors as they work with individual clients who still need to sign your agreement.

If/when the client does respond to the survey, this banner will be automatically cleared. It should be noted that this banner will not be cleared if the client completes the agreement in some manner other than via a survey. In other words, if the client signs the new updated agreement on eCenter Direct (as discussed below), or if the client signs a hard copy agreement, then this banner will remain on the client record. To clear the banner, it is strongly recommended that you create a survey response on behalf of the client indicating receipt of the agreement, as shown below:

This will clear the banner from the client record.

Option 2: Obtain Agreement Reactively from eCenter Direct

Fortunately, eCenter Direct can also help you obtain an updated agreement from your clients. Clients will be presented with a reminder to sign your center's agreement, if:

  1. They don't have an eCenter Date on ther client client record; or
  2. If their eCenter Date on their client record is dated prior to the Agreement Text Revision Date as highlighted in the first screenshot at the top of this FAQ.

The reminder is not intrusive in any way, but gently reminds your clients to sign the agreement for each company for which they are either the primary point of contact or the business owner:

Option 3: Hard Copy Signature

In today's day and age, we try to obtain as much electronically as possible, however, some clients may send you a hard copy of the client agreement. If you have received a paper (i.e. non-electronic) acknowledgement from the client, indicating that they agree to your latest terms and conditions, then you can update their eCenter Date manually by clicking on the "Update Manually" link on the eCenter tab of their client record:

This will invoke the milestone interface, where you can record the fact that the signed agreement is available offline:

Note: Since this is the generic milestone interface, the "Amount" field is also displayed. For purposes of the agreement text, this field can be ignored.

Once the milestone has been saved, the client record will be updated to reflect that the agreement is now available on file. At this point the user should also upload the signed agreement to Neoserra to complete the paper trail:

Is Anyone Clipping Through the Cracks?

Especially for PTACs, it is important to periodically check to see if anyone is clipping through the cracks, meaning do you have any clients that are being provided counseling services who have not signed your agreement?

Assuming you use the eCenter Date to track whether a client has or has not signed an agreement with your organization then you can use the following filter to find all clients who have been counseled in the last 6 months but who do not have an eCenter signature on file:

First search for all clients who have been counseled in the current fiscal year using the "Any Initial/Follow-up Session" filter parameter, and then add a filter to search for all clients who have a blank eCenter Agreement Date. These clients will need to be contacted to obtain a signature.



Want more? Browse our extensive list of Neoserra FAQs.