If the question is 'Can Cognito do it?', I've found the answer is usually 'yes'. That's why we depend pretty heavily on utilizing the form for internal functions.
At it's most basic function, however, it can be used as a questionnaire to collect data from clients securely. Keep reading for a couple key tips on utilizing the questionnaire with ease.
Access your overall Form Settings from the very first title tile on the page under Build:
There are several settings to adjust here, including the following:
- Encrypt Entry Data. Any forms collecting client information should have this field turned on - just adds an additional layer of protection for client information!
- Developer Mode. This is handy if you plan on running any calculations or conditional formatting - it gives you the ability to rename fields internally in order to shorten the calculation lengths.
- Click here for more info on additional Form Settings (Cognito Help Center).
Access your Submission Settings from the very last tile on the form under Build:
Submission Settings are where you can control all notification and confirmation emails (which function 100% the same, but are for some reason sectioned off). For our Home Office forms, we typically only use the Confirmation emails to keep it simple. For most Confidential Questionnaires, however, the email that notifies you a new submission has been sent is under Notification Emails.
Either type of email can be customized at basically every level.
- You can customize the 'From' name and email as well as the 'To'
- You can insert actual form data into the subject line and body of the message; (for example, you could insert the Client's Name from that entry into the subject line)
- You can condition the email to only send under certain circumstances
- You can attach documents or a .pdf document of the submission (which are also customizable)
- Click here form more information on Notification Email customization (Cognito Help Center).
You can also turn on the Save & Resume option from submission settings, which allows your client to begin an entry but not complete it. The form will then request an email address so that the client can email themselves a link to get back into their original form entry, instead of needing to start over.
Everything In Between
Besides structuring your overall Form and Submission Settings, every field is customizable.
One key to highlight here is the Protect Field function: this allows you to go one step past encryption. If you check the 'Protect Field' box, the data within is only visible inside of the entry in Cognito. It will not print on a .pdf transcript of the entry, and it cannot be sent inside any routing emails. For example, it would be best practice to Protect fields containing a client's SSN, or a document upload field where client's are asked to provide account statements.
Utilizing form Entry Features
Once a form entry has been either submitted or saved in process, it will be visible under the Entries tab. From there, here are a couple tricks depending on what you need to do with the data:
- Create Document. This allows you to pull a .pdf. Once you click on it, you can also access the Manage Templates section, where you can edit the current options, delete, or add new, as well as customize exactly how to format and what info the .pdf pulls from the entry.
- Share. This is how you access all of the email Notifications and Confirmations you built out under Build, but customized to the specific entry. In this way, you can manually push a pre-built email to the client, or even resend the notification email to yourself. You can also use the Edit Link or View Link options to push an entry back to the client.
From the Entries tab, you can also manage your entries in bulk, including the following:
- Change your Views utilizing custom Sort and Filter options (and saving multiples)
- Export or Import entries to or from excel files in bulk
- Create a new entry as if you were the client (some advisors do this every time)
Cognito is very versatile, and there's a wide variety of ways to utilize it in the best interest of your clients and prospect. As always, email Nicola@cgnadvisors.com with questions or submit a Help Ticket!