How many times have you seen a client so excited to start working with you, but then slowly see their interest trickle away? Oftentimes this coincides with old behaviors resurfacing. But what if you could prevent this drop-off with better client engagement?
Improving the health and wellness of your clients through changes in habits and behavior is hard, which is why increasing client engagement is essential to help your clients reach their health and wellness goals. No matter your niche, finding ways to increase client engagement is key to ensure long-term positive outcomes.
What exactly is client engagement?
Keeping your clients engaged can include any touchpoints you have with your clients.
A touchpoint is a term used to describe any point of contact between you (the provider) and your clients that may impact your clients’ overall experience.
Touchpoints can be anything from a message blast, to an email, or even a social media post. Counseling sessions, on the other hand, are where the core of your counseling takes place.
Staying engaged with your clients can go well beyond your scheduled sessions… and should! You know your client’s health choices aren’t limited to their sessions with you.
Engaging between formal sessions can drastically improve client success, especially with the goal of long-term behavior change.
To enhance client engagement, retention, and success between sessions, start taking a look at your touchpoints. Thanks to today’s technology, increasing client engagement can be seamless and unique to you.
Here are 4 client engagement tips for private practices:
1. Set expectations upfront
From the start, compassionately set your expectations for their “homework” and communication. Healthie’s client apps are very powerful tools to help clients track food, workouts, set goals, and ask quick questions, via secure messaging.
Remember that this may be a different experience for clients who have never had these tools at their disposal. Don’t expect clients to pick up everything and run with it. Introduce clients to the tools, explain why you want them to do what they are doing, and get them excited!
Pro Tip: Let clients know when you will be checking their messages between sessions. Clients can send messages whenever they want, but structure time on YOUR end to answer any questions, comments, or food entries. Find the pockets of time that work for YOU.
2. Provide Positive Reinforcement
In the clinical world, 96% of patients complain about their experience, not the actual medical care. Experience is the compilation of interactions, and successful solutions only take place when improvements are made at every touchpoint.
The same can be applied to you in private practice. Start engaging in a welcoming and positive manner right away.
Positive reinforcement is incredibly beneficial to keep your clients motivated and promote long term success. We suggest avoiding negative critiques as written comments, and saving these topics as discussions for in-person or virtual sessions.
YOU are in control of the feedback and guidance you provide between sessions through Healthie. Here are some ideas to drum up positive engagement:
- Send a daily quote via message blast to clients, inspiring them for a great day ahead (Think of it like a BCC in an email!).
- Provide support by commenting on meals they have photo-logged. Even a simple “Looks delicious!” can give just enough encouragement when needed.
- Distribute encouraging weekly newsletters through automated emails.
3. Use Telehealth Consultations
When running a virtual practice, telehealth video chats can significantly increase client engagement more than phone calls. It’s easy to have your attention focused elsewhere on a phone call, but with telehealth, focus is inherent.
By actually seeing one another, it’s easier to establish a connection, stay focused, and properly read body language.
Even more, you can provide brief video check-ins, without giving up your in-person sessions. The opportunity to connect between sessions can be an incredibly valuable touchpoint. You can meet with your clients more frequently, even if just for a 5-10 minute check-in….from anywhere you that have WiFi!
4. Be Creative
Read a valuable article recently? Or share a worthy post on your blog? Distribute it as a PDF through Healthie’s document sharing feature. Watch a cool Ted Talk recently? Share the link through a message blast.
In the age of social media, there are countless creative ways to connect. Have your clients follow you on your professional Instagram. Any post you share keeps them engaged in your work and their own journey!
As your practice grows, experiment with new ways to engage clients while building trust and enhancing their success. You may find that some approaches resonate better with certain clients, or that some things that work for other providers may not be applicable to you… and that’s okay. Integrate these client engagement tips in your private practice over time, and see an increase in engagement and business over time.