The Ultimate Guide to Engaging Your Coaching Clients

Engage Clients Guide

When you set out on your coaching venture, you probably envisioned working with motivated, purposeful clients who were eager to make positive changes in their lives.

While you will likely work with many such clients, you will probably also be working with busy people who are juggling multiple priorities and struggling to devote time and energy to all of them. You may also find that even the most motivated clients sometimes need a little help to engage fully and get the most out of the coaching experience.

Understanding client engagement and having a plan for how to keep your clients invested and involved is vital to a successful and sustainable coaching practice, and that’s exactly what this guide will help you do.

What is Client Engagement? A Model and Framework

First, let’s define our terms.

Client engagement can be defined as “the depth of the emotional connection a client has with your brand or business.”[1]

Quenza Chat Client Engagement Model
Ongoing communication and evaluation of the coaching relationship are important to maintaining client engagement. Using tools like Quenza chat and feedback forms, you can make sure clients are engaged, on track, and satisfied. (Pictured: Quenza Chat)

There are many different ways to think about client engagement, but at its core, the process is about bringing in and retaining clients in four stages:

  1. Reach. First, you need to build awareness and reach out. Potential clients need to hear about you and your offerings.
  2. Intake. This stage is about transitioning potential clients to actual clients. They have learned about your program and decided to work with you, and you will need to set the context and expectations, draw up a contract, and have them sign the appropriate paperwork.
  3. Maintenance. This is the stage in which you are actively working with your client, providing the coaching services as agreed upon. This stage requires ongoing communication and evaluation of the coaching relationship to make sure the client is engaged, on track, and satisfied.
  4. Retention. Finally, once you have completed the contract and are no longer actively working with your client, you move into the retention stage. You should plan to keep up with these individuals, as they may need your services again in the future and they can be an excellent source of referrals.

Each stage has its own challenges and will require different skills and tactics to execute successfully.

However, when you read or hear about client engagement, it’s likely that the focus is on the maintenance stage.

Why Is Engaging Clients Important For Coaches?

As a coach, you’re selling an ongoing relationship that requires a commitment of time, resources, and energy from your client. Engagement is not just a nice thing to have, it’s a must-have.

For any business, it’s important to keep customer or client engagement in mind. But for a coach, it’s absolutely critical.

You’re not selling a one-time product or package, you’re selling an ongoing relationship that requires a commitment of time, resources, and energy from your client. Engagement is not just a nice thing to have, it’s a must-have.

The results a client gets from a coaching engagement are directly related to the amount of effort they put into it. As the client, it is their job to stay open to what you have to offer.

As the coach, it is your job to do what you can to keep them on track and working towards their goals.

In the next section, we’ll go over some of the most effective ways to keep your clients engaged.

How To Increase Client Engagement in Coaching

There are many methods, techniques, and tactics that can be effective in boosting client engagement. The right ones for you will depend on you, your coaching practice, and your clients.

Before choosing your techniques and moving forward, take some time to understand the context.

  • What does your typical client need from you?
  • What are the usual challenges and barriers they face?
  • What has been effective in helping them meet their goals so far?
  • Is your coaching style conducive to any specific types of tactics or techniques?

If you take the time to understand the context, it will be relatively straightforward to choose and implement the client engagement techniques that are best for your practice.

This is where tools like a pre-coaching survey can come in very useful:

Quenza Client Engagement Skills Pre-Coaching Questionnaire
Quenza’s Pre-Coaching Questionnaire is a virtual coaching form that can be customized and shared with clients to help you understand the context for your engagement strategy.

You can design your own or customize a template like Quenza’s Pre-Coaching Questionnaire, pictured above.

5 Skills For Effectively Engaging Your Clients

Whatever techniques you decide to use, it’s important to make sure you have the basics down.

These skills will lay the foundation for a successful client engagement strategy:

  1. Listening: Active listening is the vital first step to building a good relationship with your clients, and it’s the first step to really understanding them and their needs.
  2. Empathy: Before you can determine what your client needs and whether—and how—you are able to help them, you must be able to empathize with them. Take time to understand their context and connect with them.
  3. Patience: No one likes to be rushed into purchasing decisions. Give your clients space and time to absorb information and decide what is best for themselves.
  4. Trust: It takes time to build trust, but it starts right at the beginning of your engagement with a client. From the start, take care to be the kind of person your clients can trust with their time, their money, and their energy.
  5. Adaptability: Change is the only constant, and this means you’ll need to be ready to adapt to your client’s changing needs and goals. Each customer is unique, and each customer interaction is unique; treating each interaction with an open mind and a willingness to adapt will build your clients’ trust and respect for you.[2]

Once you have these five skills in place, you can start choosing your techniques and building your overall engagement strategy.

Engaging Your Clients Virtually: Best Practices

Working virtually offers some unique challenges, but it also offers many excellent advantages.

When working virtually, you have a host of options available to you for engaging your clients, including (but not limited to):

  • Email
  • Texting
  • Instant messaging/chat
  • Phone call
  • Video call
  • Document and resource sharing (e.g., shared folders)
  • Platforms, websites, or apps to facilitate engagement (e.g., Quenza)

The key to effective virtual client engagement is to be present for your clients, in whatever way feels most accessible to them. Regular check-ins and offering convenient ways to contact you are vital for client satisfaction.

You can use the tools above on an as-needed basis, or you can use a virtual coaching platform to keep all your client engagement activities in one place.

Best Platform To Engage Your Clients Remotely

Although there are many platforms available for customer relationship management and communication that are perfectly functional for these purposes, there is only one platform that offers the customization and engagement features that coaches need: Quenza.

Quenza How to Engage Clients
Quenza’s client app (pictured) provides your coachees with a free ‘hub’ for all your interactions and exercises. With features like in-app notifications and messages, you can implement your client engagement strategy in one place.

With Quenza, you can build your entire coaching program into its pathways, push an automated sequence of content out to clients at the touch of a button, monitor client progress, and keep clients on track with reminders and push notifications.

In the next section, we’ll go over some specific ways you can use Quenza to enhance client engagement.

Devising A Client Engagement Strategy

Before you decide on which exercises, techniques, or solutions to utilize for engaging your clients, it’s important to create a vision for client engagement in your practice.

To get started, ask yourself a few questions:

  1. What does client engagement look like for you and your practice?
  2. How do you want clients to feel about their coaching journey with you?
  3. What does high engagement look like? How often do you want clients engaging with your content, and how often do you want them engaging with you?

The answers to these questions are highly personal, and will depend on you, your coaching style, and your clients’ goals.

From here, you can determine your overall strategy for engaging clients.

Planning Your Process: A Template

Once you have a working strategy for client engagement, you can start to design your engagement process.

It can be helpful to draw up a timeline or map of your engagement process to know what you’ll need and how to plan for each step.

You can use this Client Engagement Process Template to organize your thoughts on the process.

Helpful Tools and Features Included In Quenza

If you’re looking for more templates, tools, and other features to help you keep your clients engaged, Quenza can meet your needs.

With this client care platform, you can build customized activities and engaging content, create and send automated series of activities to your clients, view and track results in real-time, communicate securely with your clients, and even take care of documentation and paperwork needs.

On top of the ability to document your sessions using Quenza Notes, Quenza Files, shown below, is another useful solution.

In the following sections, you’ll see some ways to put Quenza to use improving your clients’ engagement.

6 Ideas For Engaging Your Clients with Quenza

Once you have an overall strategy and an idea of the process for engaging your clients at each step, you can start to fill in the blanks with more specific techniques and ideas.

If you’re using Quenza, you have a ton of tools and features at your fingertips!

Here are just a few ideas for engaging your clients via Quenza:

  1. Check in with clients via the Chat function. It’s quick, easy, and keeps all of your communication in one place!
  2. Record videos of yourself delivering content and embed them in the exercises and activities you send your clients.
  3. Create customized pathways of content, resources, and activities for your clients based on their needs, and send them to clients at the push of a button.
  4. Use reminders to keep your clients on track and working towards their goals.
  5. Turn results into tools for further growth and development by creating stylized PDFs showing client progress.
  6. Send an evaluation form to your clients to gather their feedback and find areas for improvement.

3 Activities and Forms To Send To Your Clients

One of the best things about Quenza is the access to the Expansion Library, a warehouse of interesting and engaging activities that are evidence-based and ready to send out to your clients at a moment’s notice.

Activities like these can keep your clients engaged and working purposefully towards their goals:

The Brief Needs Check-In

The Brief Needs Check-In activity, shown below, is a quick, simple check-in for your client to help them tune into the present moment, identify their current needs, and determine how to act in order to meet those needs.

Brief Needs Check-In How To Engage Clients in Therapy
Quenza’s ‘Brief Needs Check-In’ is a three-step activity that encourages clients to ‘check-in’ with their needs throughout the day and work to meet them more effectively.

In three short steps, this activity will keep your client on track and in touch with their own thoughts, feelings, and needs.

Implementation Intentions

The Implementation Intentions exercise shown below will help your client stay engaged with a simple but powerful technique for turning their intentions into actions.

This interactive coaching exercise will guide them through the process of creating implementation intentions, or “if-then” action plans.

Quenza Implementation Intentions Client Engagement Plan
Quenza’s ‘Implementation Intentions‘ exercise guides your clients through the process of creating implementation intentions, or “if-then” action plans that can keep them engaged throughout coaching or therapy.

This can help your clients stay on task and achieve their goals, no matter what they are.

For those who prefer to approach it differently, the Brief Needs Check-In Meditation is another option. This can even be customized to include your own personal guided meditation.

Realizing Long-Lasting Change by Setting Process Goals

If your client has trouble staying engaged long-term, this is a great exercise.

In this Activity, clients are introduced to the concepts of drastic change, gradual change, and chunking before they develop a habit plan to help them take action toward their goals.

Quenza Client Engagement Strategy Process Goals
Realizing Long-Lasting Change by Setting Process Goals is a Quenza Expansion for client engagement. In this exercise, clients develop a habit plan that can help them realize their goals.

Realizing Long-Lasting Change by Setting Process Goals, shown above, teaches your client how to create a habit plan for building good habits and meeting any goal they have.

It’s a great activity to use alongside a habit tracker or customized diary that will help them stay on track.

These three activities are a great start, but there are many more engagement-boosting activities in Quenza for you to explore.

How To Engage Challenging and Resistant Clients

No matter how great your coaching program is or how effective a coach you are, you will still occasionally run into clients who are difficult to work with.

There are many reasons a client may be challenging or resistant to the program:

  • They may be struggling to find the time or energy to devote to the coaching journey
  • They might be facing roadblocks that they have not shared with you, or
  • They may be feeling uncertain about the effectiveness of the program, among (many) other explanations.

If you want these clients to have a chance at success, it is vital to figure out what these challenges are and how you can help.

Employ the same skills that help you engage with your clients to figure out and address the reasons engaging is hard for them: active listening, empathy, patience, building trust, and being adaptable.

Approach your client non-judgementally and ask what is making engagement difficult for them and how you can help. Listen attentively, empathize with their challenges, and show them you care.

Approach your client non-judgementally and ask what is making engagement difficult for them and how you can help. Listen attentively, empathize with their challenges, and show them you care. Don’t be afraid to adapt your methods to meet their needs, where possible.

And above all, remember the number one rule of dealing with difficult clients: don’t take it personally!

Whatever your difficult client is dealing with, their behavior is more about them than it is about you.

Do your best to work with a difficult client, but be willing to let them go if you just can’t work together effectively.

The Extra Mile: Measuring Client Engagement with Quenza

Of course, you know that it’s not enough to just assign activities to your clients and hope for the best; for a truly effective client engagement strategy, you need to measure engagement.

After all, without measuring client engagement, you wouldn’t know where your starting point is, when it needs to be improved, or where improvements can be made. The best decisions are made using data, and measuring client engagement is a great source of data.

You can use the engagement strategy you put together earlier to decide what engagement looks like for your clients, and how to measure it.

You may want to measure it based on interaction with the content, timely completion of exercises and activities, self-reported engagement, or some combination of the above.

Quenza How To Measure Client Engagement
Quenza’s results tracking feature monitors learner engagement and progress in real time, allowing to you improve your programs and motivate them where required.

With Quenza, you can get instant results from client activities and easily track client completion, as above.

By noting how motivated they are to engage with your Activities, you can easily keep track of your clients’ engagement levels over time.

Even better, you can send reminders and prompts to encourage better progress!

Quenza Outcome Rating Scale How To Engage Resistant Clients
You can adapt existing assessments like Quenza’s Outcome Rating Scale (pictured) to measure patient or client engagement at regular intervals.

You can also use existing scales to check in with clients and measure their progress, like the Outcome Rating Scale shown above, or you can design your own custom measure of client engagement with questions like:

  • On a scale from 1 (not at all engaged) to 10 (completely engaged), how engaged have you been with this coaching program over the last week?
  • On a scale from 1 (not at all excited) to 10 (extremely excited), how excited have you felt about working towards your coaching goals in the last week?
  • On a scale from 1 (no energy) to 10 (tons of energy), how much energy have you been able to dedicate towards meeting your goals this week?
  • What would help you feel more engaged?

Final Thoughts

As with most aspects of coaching practice, the “right answer” or right set of tools for client engagement will depend on your style and your clients’ needs.

However, this piece provides a great foundation for developing an effective client engagement strategy for your practice. Use the questions, ideas, and exercises provided to develop the strategy that will work best for you and your clients.

Remember, although there are many motivational tools and tactics for enhancing client engagement, the best way to keep clients engaged is to keep delivering the same high-quality service they have come to expect.

Don’t forget to start your Quenza trial for $1 access to everything you need!

References

About the author

Courtney is currently working as a healthcare workforce researcher for the state of California and is a regular contributor to the Quenza blog. She has a passion for taking research findings and translating them into concise, actionable packages of information that anyone can understand and implement.

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