Maintaining a coach-client relationship extends past the duration of our coaching sessions. When’s their next appointment? What did they want accountability for? How do they feel about our services?
All of this information needs to be tracked, stored, and easily accessible — this work falls under client relationship management (CRM).
When we’re managing multiple clients, bouncing around from spreadsheet to spreadsheet often doesn’t cut it. To effectively track the entire client experience, we need to develop a consistent and reliable CRM process.
The CRM process encapsulates all of the care and logistics behind managing relationships with customers, from scheduling sessions and sourcing client feedback to collecting payments. Yes, this is a lot of data to track — thankfully, we can turn to CRM systems for help.
Let’s explore CRM systems and how you can use them to create a successful CRM process for your coaching business.
What is a CRM system?
CRM systems are software that help business owners manage, process, and analyze client data. They assist with attracting new customers, communicating with existing clients, and supporting an excellent client experience.
Each coach’s process and required tools look a bit different. Some coaches prefer to create their own CRM system by storing client data in a network of documents and spreadsheets and keeping their marketing plans separate. If managing your client relationships manually works best for you, that’s OK!
But if you’re struggling to stay on top of customer service and acquisition, CRM software makes your workflow more agile. A single tool covers the entire CRM process cycle, allowing you to store customer data, schedule messages, and keep tabs on client metrics all in one place.
Having a streamlined CRM process frees up your time and headspace to devote to clients and makes it easier to convert leads into sales. CRM systems can act as a marketing funnel that covers the entire client lifecycle, and many CRM softwares provide tools for lead management and digital marketing so coaches can reach out to potential clients with promotions.
How does a CRM process help coaches?
Your current client relationship system may work well enough, but could it be better? Even the most experienced coaches benefit from CRM software. Here’s why:
- You get to know your audience better by tracking and analyzing client and lead information collected through your CRM. Even if you already have an idea of the services and content your clients prefer, you can back up these inklings with hard data.
- You can manage client relationships even when you’re off the clock. CRM software can send automated messages to clients, provide customer support, and take appointment bookings while you’re away from your desk.
- You source more leads when CRM software automatically sends information about your practice to those who inquire about it through marketing campaigns or the business website. Contact management requires a human touch, but CRMs can handle a potential clients’ first touchpoint.
- You can improve forecasting to better understand your future workload and income. CRM software keeps track of outstanding bills, upcoming appointments, and client turnover, factors that influence your day-to-day and big-picture workflow and earnings.
Developing a CRM process
Think about your current client relationship process — not the strategy you use in your coaching sessions, but the one that gets new clients through the door and keeps them happy. You’re likely already doing great work to attract new clients and provide excellent customer service. But implementing a firmer client journey — with the help of a CRM system — will only help you do that work better.
Here’s what a basic CRM process should entail:
1. Getting the word out
The first step in a CRM process is outreach, which consists of generating interest in your business. This means setting up a website and social media accounts (if you don’t have them already) and using a marketing strategy to drive traffic to them.
You might also purchase advertising space, partner with an influential brand, or start a blog for your business that ranks in search engine results. Whatever path you choose, the focus should be attracting people to your high-quality services.
2. Earning leads
Once interest is piqued, keep potential clients engaged using targeted promotions of your relevant services and content.
Add a popup on your site and forms on your socials encouraging visitors to reach out with questions, receive more information about a specific product, or opt-in to a mailing list. Generate response templates for standard messages you may receive over email in your social media inboxes.
3. Converting leads into clients
As the requests for information roll in from potential customers and you gather sign-ups for your newsletter, store leads’ contact information and preferences in your CRM.
Follow up with leads and share any upcoming promotions that may entice them to try out your services. Many CRM softwares provide tools for segmenting clients based on their demographic and interests, which you can use to tailor automated messages and marketing efforts.
4. Maintaining relationships
Once you’ve landed clients, it’s essential to provide an excellent customer experience to retain them.
Prioritize making customer interactions seamless and scheduling as easy as possible. With CRM software, you can easily follow up with clients, invite them to sign up for and modify future appointments, and make billing painless.
Set your CRM process up for success
Before you even plug in your first few pieces of client data, we recommend checking off the following boxes to optimize the customer journey:
- Whip your website and social media accounts into tip-top shape. You’re ready to receive new customers on the back end, so ensure your company’s virtual facade is appealing, engaging, and easy to use. Potential clients are turned away from a digital presence that appears unprofessional and offers little value.
- Set clear boundaries and expectations. Include a message on all forms and popups that tells clients and potential leads when they can expect to hear from you — for example, you only respond to emails and direct messages during business hours.
- Have your client intake forms ready. When new clients start flowing in, you want to be prepared. Have all the relevant intake information bundled so you can easily send clients the necessary waivers and insights to streamline your registration process.
- Offer flexible payment options: Practice package payment plans allow your clients to purchase your services in installments, making coaching more financially accessible. You decide how to break up payments, when they’re due, and we handle the rest — including automatically charging clients’ on-file payment methods.
At Practice, our CRM software is specifically designed to help coaches as they establish their own unique client journeys. The private messaging portal lets you keep customer information in one central place, securely share notes, forms, and files, and track to-do lists with clients. Plus, it allows you to schedule sessions and take payments all in one place. Give it a try and see if it’s the right fit for your coaching business.