As psychotherapy, mental health coaching, and other helping professions grow increasingly digital, more providers are using client engagement tools to better engage with and support their clientele.
But for the first-time practitioner or any professional that’s new to blended care, the changing technological landscape can seem overwhelmingly full of possibilities. What features do you really need to implement a client engagement strategy, and how do they help?
In this article, the expert developers of client engagement tool Quenza share their top tips for enhancing patient relationships, retention rates, and overall client satisfaction in your practice.
What Are Client Engagement Tools?
When it comes to blended care, client engagement tools refer to digital solutions such as software, platforms, apps, and features that help providers build and sustain a strong, personal – and essentially more effective – therapeutic relationship.
By engaging patients, or developing a strong rapport, online coaches and therapists greatly enhance the likelihood of more successful outcomes from their treatments. In practice, these might look like:
- More active patient participation in therapy
- Improved retention rates, as clients commit to their programs for longer
- Greater patient satisfaction with their therapeutic outcomes, e.g. improved mental health or wellbeing, and
- A much higher chance that clients will support the idea of further treatments.
These tools can include standalone solutions that specialize in one particular element of a client’s therapeutic journey, such as HIPAA-compliant patient-provider communications or survey design, or they may describe all-in-one platforms like Quenza.
In the latter, you’ll find everything you need to manage your client engagement from start to finish, from targeted outreach programs and personalized intervention tools to real-time results tracking.
How Client Engagement Software Works
According to the founders of Quenza:
Client engagement tools give professionals ‘everything they need to digitally design, implement, and monitor client engagement strategies in their online practice.’
Through a combination of specially-designed features and practitioner insights, these engagement tools help therapists and coaches to:
- Personalize their client communications, interventions, and mental health treatments, e.g. to address unique needs
- Understand client behaviors, such as how they receive, participate in, or progress with their treatment
- React to evolving patient needs, e.g. amending or updating a treatment plan, and
- Streamline their approaches, which might include testing out new programs or interventions.
Client engagement tools like Quenza thus provide the insights that practitioners need to relate to a clients’ unique experience, putting them in a much better position to enhance and optimize their treatment journeys.
In the next section, we’ll look a little closer at what some of these best practice client and patient engagement strategies involve.
4 Customer Engagement Strategies For Your Practice
As most therapists well know, building engagement means taking a personal approach – during interactions, while designing treatments, and throughout the entire treatment journey.
Unfortunately, this means that there is no silver bullet or ‘cookie-cutter’ engagement strategy for every practice. Instead, and according to Quenza’s founders, optimizing client engagement is about using insights to relate to their unique experience.
Mapping the client journey highlights four key elements, they reveal, and each relates closely to the scientific model of Patient Health Engagement.
These elements represent strategic opportunities for therapists and practitioners to build greater client engagement, as shown below::
|‘Meeting and greeting’ a patient begins at intake. By establishing a collaborative, professional, patient-provider relationship, therapists can lay a strong foundation for greater client involvement throughout the entire course of treatment.|
|Ensuring the privacy and security of sensitive patient information, e.g. psychotherapy discussions can build greater trust while inviting clients to be more open with their therapist.|
Personalized Treatment Planning
|By developing personalized interventions that suit their patients’ requirements, practitioners can improve the likelihood that clients will actively participate long enough to see positive outcomes.|
|Motivating and supporting clients throughout their treatment can encourage greater patient ‘ownership’ of their wellbeing, helping them overcome obstacles or even driving them toward proactive health-related behaviors.|
Let’s look at how customer engagement tools can help with each.
Intake sessions are crucial to every therapy journey and can set the tone for a collaborative relationship moving forward. They are also a valuable chance for professionals to familiarize themselves with a client’s unique health goals from the outset, Quenza’s experts explain, as well as their perspectives.
In addition to collecting patient demographics, health details, and contact information, patient engagement tools can be used to share personalized surveys, inviting clients to share a little more about their unique aspirations:
Goal Setting exercises like Quenza’s ‘Ideal Future’ Expansion above are one example, allowing coaches to personalize an initial appointment. Patients can thus begin their coaching or therapy with an awareness of what they want to achieve, making them more open to collaborating or ‘co-creating’ with their practitioner.
Other examples might include Values Surveys, Best Possible Self Exercises, or Personal Statements.
Protecting and respecting patient privacy is not only a legal requirement for online psychotherapists, but where patients feel confident that their sensitive information is protected, they are more likely to engage in open, honest dialogue.
Therapists can establish a trusting open, therapeutic relationships with those they help by taking the proper steps to digitally secure and protect client information with HIPAA-compliant software, creating a psychologically safe environment for treatment:
Beyond using HIPAA-compliant software such as Quenza, professionals can build further engagement and trust by openly sharing the steps they have taken to safeguard client privacy.
Personalized Treatment Planning
Each and every client will have distinct interests and unique learning preferences, and through individualized interventions, therapists and other practitioners can make the biggest impact toward building engagement.
Keeping clients motivated and actively participating is one of the most effective ways that professionals can maximize their chances of success, research shows, which is why client engagement tools like Quenza are a useful way to individualize treatments at scale using customizable templates:
Therapists and coaches can design templates around research-based interventions, for instance, then modify activities and instructions so that they are more engaging to clients. Integrating video and other multimedia is an easy way to accomplish this, as one of Quenza’s founders has done above with the software’s Activity Builder.
Client engagement tools also allow therapists to address clients by name, or their preferred title, through personalization fields or ‘tokens’.
Beyond delivering an intervention, therapists have an important role to play in sustaining client motivation throughout therapy or coaching. By increasing patient activation, behavioral health experts explain, practitioners also have a much greater chance of inspiring long-term, positive behavior change.
By designing psychoeducational materials, homework, and learning activities for patients to complete between sessions, mental health professionals can thus engage patients between appointments, improving their prospects of success by keeping their learnings fresh in mind.
Many established treatments such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) involve activities that are easily self-administered by patients, making them perfect for sharing as between-session engagement exercises:
With client engagement tools like Quenza, the results from these activities are instantly shared with therapists, who can then gauge their patient’s level of activation and amend their treatment as and when it might be required.
A Note On Evaluation
Activating and motivating clients is a great way to create stronger rapport, sustain momentum, and deliver better health outcomes with your mental health solutions.
But at the end of the day, implementing a client engagement strategy is only one part of running a successful blended care practice.
To ensure the effectiveness of your approaches, and refine your strategy over time, patient engagement tools can be used to assess, measure, and evaluate the initiatives that your practice implements, giving you insight into what works, and what doesn’t. This might be as simple as distributing:
- Session Rating Scales for your therapy patients
- Feedback Surveys for your coachees, or
- Discharge Forms for medical clients, but it’s an integral part of any client engagement strategy.
With insight into what you’re doing right as a practitioner, you’re in a far better position to evolve your efforts along with your clients’ changing needs.
This way, you can know you’re delivering the most relevant, impactful, and positive treatments for those you help, at any given time.
Delivering online therapy or coaching is only one step in a practitioner’s journey to improve their patients’ lives. For any intervention or treatment to have a positive impact, a good working client-practitioner relationship is essential. But armed with the right strategies and technology, online providers are now infinitely better equipped to help others than they once were.
By combining more personalized solutions, meaningful interactions, and timely support, client engagement tools like Quenza can be an essential way to differentiate your business – ultimately, helping you create more value for your customers, and bringing them tangible results that enhance their lives.
If you enjoyed this article, why not try Quenza’s client engagement tools for yourself on our $1 practitioner monthly trial? With full access to all our practitioner features, you can implement what you’ve learned from Quenza’s experts – and start building client engagement to bring others more positive results with your solutions.
- ^ Thompson, S. J., Bender, K., Lantry, J., & Flynn, P. M. (2007). Treatment Engagement: Building Therapeutic Alliance in Home-Based Treatment with Adolescents and their Families. Contemporary Family Therapy, 29(1-2), 39.
- ^ Graffigna, G., Barello, S., Bonanomi, A., & Riva, G. (2017). Factors affecting patients’ online health information-seeking behaviours: The role of the Patient Health Engagement (PHE) Model. Patient Education and Counseling, 100(10), 1918.
- ^ Greene, J., Hibbard, J. H., Alvarez, C., & Overton, V. (2016). Supporting patient behavior change: approaches used by primary care clinicians whose patients have an increase in activation levels. The Annals of Family Medicine, 14(2), 148.