Ep 107 – 7 Tips to Keep Coaching Clients Happy and Coming Back

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Show Notes

Before we dive in, I’ve got a FREE gift for you because it’s been a hard year and you deserve this …

Have you been wondering why your coaching business hasn’t taken off the way you hoped?

There could be one or several things that need adjustment. Most likely it comes down to the wrong strategy or a lack of strategy.

My free gift to you is a downloadable assessment called Coaching Business Checkup. It will reveal any holes in your strategy so you can do everything more effectively and earn more in your business.

Now let’s dig into today’s Listener’s Choice episode …

There’s plenty of information out there in training programs about how to coach. And there’s lots of attention out there on how to market and enroll clients plus the various tactics to earn well as a coach.

But there’s little communicated to coaches about exactly how to serve your coaching clients well so they love the experience, come back for more and refer others to you.

Client service goes beyond coaching skills but does stem from the way you market and engage your target audience from the get go.

Your coaching client’s satisfaction in you and your program begins before they hire you and continues after they finish with you.

If you’re following the guidelines I’ve given to you in episodes 62 through 77 in this Coaching Business Checkup series, then you’ll be strategically setting everything up for your coaching business in a way that guarantees satisfaction for ideal clients.

And if you put in place specific things to ensure that people you attract are ideal for you, it will increase your clients’ satisfaction.

Client service is another strategy point for creating a successful coaching business. And that’s why this is part of, and the LAST episode of, my Coaching Business Checkup series.

Do you ever feel nervous with your clients and have performance anxiety during sessions? If you’re a new coach, that’s totally normal. And you want to apply awareness to be sure it’s a feeling that diminishes with each client.

In my early days, I was so anxious about delivering value that I lost my personal power by inflating my role. And I ended up feeling drained instead of energized by sessions.

Over the years I’ve given this challenge my daily awareness and made a lot of shifts.

Happily, there are things you can do that both create value while also setting strong boundaries, which protect you and your clients. I’m about to share 7 main ways you can up your game in providing value.

This will keep your clients happy and coming back for more coaching with you.

#1 Cultivate Happy Coaching Clients Before During and After

Happy clients start by being happy prospects. Ideally before they hire you, they already have a strong sense of your integrity, personality and exactly how you can help them. That’s why a content strategy is so important.

A successful business is the sum of many strategic things that work in concert.

If your social media, blogs, podcasts, videos, website – everything – comes from being fully informed about what’s important to your audience they can feel that. And it feels good!

A while back a member in my Facebook group — Prosperous Coach Club — posted:

 “Just found your podcast. Wow! Get out of my head, Rhonda Hess! I needed this so badly. Thank you.”

So glad that I hit the mark, Angela!

If your audience feels seen, heard and understood by you, they’ll follow you and share your content with others in your audience. And then ideal prospects become curious about what you.

Also, after they’ve finished your program, stay in touch with past clients. Follow them on social media. Share a bit of social love. And check in with a short email to from time to time.

#2 Provide Structure and Boundaries to Coaching Clients

In a desire to be ALL things to your clients do you forget to set boundaries and provide structure?

A sense of structure and boundaries help people feel safe.

  1. Provide clear terms and agreements in your intake packet.
  2. Ask clients to respect you with policies about showing up for sessions and on time payments
  3. In the first session explain the phases and flow of your work together (this is easy if you’ve created a Signature Program rather than just selling coaching packages)
  4. Provide and then ask them to send you a Session Prep 1 -2 days before each session
  5. Send them a Session Recap that lists agreed upon next steps and notes
  6. Set clear expectations about your availability and how/when they can contact you
  7. Hold time boundaries in sessions.

#3 Create and Track a Set of Goals

This may be obvious but it wasn’t to me with my first clients.

  1. Within the first 2 sessions set specific milestones you’ll help them achieve
  2. Get clear on top challenges, goals and who they want to transform into
  3. How will you help them perceive that they’ve made progress?
  4. Set a tickler in your calendar to check in on their goals/milestones and progress

#4 Gather and Give Feedback

Feedback is under-rated and so valuable for any transformational process.

1. Ask for feedback

  • At the end of every session, ask about their takeaways. Write those down in the Session Recap.
  • Make sure that your Session Prep form asks for feedback. Acknowledge what they say.
  • If you’re not getting enough feedback, directly ask for it half way through your program.

2. Give feedback

  • Let them know how they’re doing. Be kind but also real. Encourage more if progress is slow.
  • Ask for referrals mid-way through your program and at the end.
  • Ask for a testimonial. Give them guidelines and make the testimonial process easy.

#5 Model Integrity

One of the beautiful things about coaching is that sometimes we attract clients that teach us while we’re supporting them. Mostly this is seamless and organic. But it can sometimes be painful because you realize that you need to work on the same issues your client does.

If that’s the case, be real. Show your vulnerability while also modeling how you face your challenges.

  • Walk you talk, not just in session but in every public way you show up
  • Be responsive to your clients with timely replies
  • Provide a personal touch but don’t go overboard
  • Own your mistakes and biases
  • Hold confidences

#6 Help Your Coaching Clients Stand Fully In Their Power

The absolute best way to empower your clients is to monitor how well you are standing in your own power.

Some years ago I wrote a popular blog post on this called 5 Ways to Right Size Yourself to Empower Your Coaching Clients.

As a coach, it’s critical that you learn how to be right sized in your power for a healthy coaching relationship.

By right sized I mean holding the right amount of responsibility in the co-creative relationship while also asking your client to do this same. Ideally, you and your client have the same amount of power in the relationship.

These are the usual ways coaches disempower clients. It may surprise you.

  • charging too little
  • allowing late payments
  • allowing clients to slide away from doing their work
  • over-delivering
  • failing to hold time boundaries and other boundaries

It takes practice. You can do it if you pay attention to what’s happening within you when you interact with your clients.

  • Hold your clients accountable for what they agree to do
  • Challenge them to do and be more. They will thank you for it.
  • Show you care without being overly responsible or invasive

#7 Share Your Humanity

When I first started as a coach I thought I had to be a pillar of perfection with clients. I found out the hard way that this turns out badly.

When people put you on a pedestal they project all sorts of crap upon you and the relationship goes into shadow.

So instead:

  • Be a real person. Let clients see who you are. But don’t make it too much about you.
  • Be interested in you’re client’s uniqueness and how they differ from you. Hold up a positive mirror for them to admire themselves.
  • Give the personal touch without going overboard
  • Accept that life throws everyone curve balls from time to time

Now, how can you up your game for customer satisfaction?