As a wellness practitioner, you likely have your system of client onboarding down-pat. From the very first touch-point to a follow-up session, you know how to navigate your clients throughout your onboarding process. But what happens the moment your business growth shoots up, and you now need to onboard multiple new wellness clients?
While this is a major success for your business, it can also be daunting as a business owner. Providing quality, consistent experience for each of your new clients is important and maybe a challenge as you begin to onboard multiple clients.
In this article, we’re sharing best practices for onboarding multiple wellness clients. These tips will allow you to stay organized, consistent, and efficient as your health and wellness practice grows.
1. Ask clients to fill out paperwork in advance
Every new client needs to complete your new client paperwork, as this ensures all policy forms, financial information, and other relevant client information are collected.
As you onboard multiple clients, streamlining this process is critical, for both you and your client. When done in-session, paperwork can easily take up 10-20 minutes of your time together — time that can be better spent working together. Clients may feel rushed, and unable to carefully read your policies or accurately document information. In addition, without receiving this information in advance, you may have little idea as to what is bringing your client in for a session, leaving you feeling underprepared.
A simple solution is to provide new clients with their paperwork in advance. Some wellness providers require new clients to send back completed forms (along with a credit card on file) in order to hold their appointment, thus reducing no-show rates.
Prior to starting your initial consultation, you’ll have the opportunity to review the completed paperwork. This allows you to make a note of any issues (ie. client forgot to provide a signature), and review any assessment forms or other information that will help guide you during the session (ie. the reason your client is seeking a wellness consultation).
With the paperwork out of the way, you and your client can jump right into your consultation. Your clients will appreciate being able to spend every minute of their consultation addressing their actual needs.
2. Schedule client follow-up sessions, and create recurring appointments
In most cases, follow-up care is necessary to help clients achieve their long-term wellness goals. However, scheduling client appointments can be a huge time-spend for wellness professionals. Clients often forget to schedule an appointment, or cancel an appointment and then fall off of your calendar. It can be time-consuming to continue to follow-up with multiple clients to ensure that they have a follow-up appointment on the calendar — and even more demanding as you onboard multiple clients.
Whether you are a self-pay wellness provider, or insurance-based, one best practice is to schedule out follow-up appointments in advance. It’s up to you to set the cadence of meeting, which will depend on your client’s needs — such as weekly or biweekly sessions. If your client has committed to working together, you can ask them for days/times that will work best for them. Clients will most likely remember (and attend) their sessions when they know that they have a regular appointment time (ie. Thursdays at 4pm). It also allows you to know your calendar in advance, and to be able to accommodate your client at times that best work for them.
As you book follow-up appointments for your client, it’s a good time to remind them of your cancellation policy. This will help to avoid any misunderstandings and reinforce your office policies to all clients.
“Great, I’ve put you on the calendar for Thursdays at 4pm. You can always reschedule, just email or call the office at least 24 hours in advance to avoid a $50 late cancellation fee.”
3. Send client appointment reminders
No-shows are a constant plague to wellness professionals, and they not only cost you time — but money. More commonly today, wellness practices are creating cancellation policies and requiring credit cards on file to enforce no-show fees.
Research shows that the number one reason why wellness clients no-show to an appointment is simply — they forgot. Providing clients with 1-2 appointment reminders is an effective way to help reduce no-show rates.
However, as your client load grows, you may find that the time needed to send these email or text reminders also grows — admin time is not generating profits for your business. For this reason, many wellness practitioners seek to hire an office assistant or utilize a scheduling tool to manage this task.
4. Build a charting template for initial and follow-up sessions
Having a consistent, streamlined flow through your appointments, is an important process as your client load grows. Keeping sessions starting, and ending, on time ensures that your business is running efficiently. This is especially critical if you book client sessions back-to-back, or leave only a small buffer between sessions. In these cases, falling behind on one appointment puts you behind on all of your appointments.
Creating charting templates tailored to your client-base, and counseling style help you to:
- Stay on-track during client sessions
- Complete the majority of your charting in-session
Your charting notes can be used on an outline during your session. You can gauge your time and progression during your session, simply by regarding your chart note. It also prompts you to ask necessary questions, to ensure that you’ve collected all relevant information from your client. While it may take some practice to chart during a session, charting templates allow you to minimize the amount of charting/writing that needs to be done on each client. This not only saves you time in-session, but it also reduces the amount of time post-session that you need to spend charting.
5. Block off regular time in your schedule for client engagement
A big part of helping clients achieve their wellness goals is to provide accountability and support along the way. When working with a smaller client load, spending the time on client engagement may be feasible, however, with a larger case-load, this can be challenging. Answering client questions, reviewing their progress, and checking-in with multiple clients may be distracting throughout the day.
To better streamline your client communication, block off time in your schedule regularly for client engagement. For some wellness providers, this may be daily, for others, every few days or even weekly may suffice. No matter the frequency in which you engage with clients, having a regular block of time will allow you to more efficiently provide engagement time and ensures that every client feels supported.
How Healthie Supports Growing Wellness Practices
Healthie is an all-in-one practice management platform created for nutrition, health, and wellness professionals. Fully HIPAA-compliant, Healthie offers an EHR platform, along with all of the additional tools you need to run your business. From scheduling to billing, to client engagement, you’ll have all of the tools you need to be successful in one place.
With plans that are designed to grow with you, Healthie supports wellness professionals who are just starting out, to group practices and organizations. Get started with Healthie for free, signup for your trial today.
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