We both know you’re an excellent coach. But there are also many excellent coaches out there.
When clients start their search for the perfect coach, and they find you, you’ll likely also have some competition. Clients also conduct their search with certain expectations. They’re likely seeking out a coaching relationship because they have a specific need to address or a list of goals to accomplish. As coaches, meeting customer needs and expectations means delivering the results that clients want to see — which isn’t always easy. Certain results may be intangible. lients might be unfocused or unrealistic about what they want.
Part of delivering value as a coach means managing those expectations through open and honest conversations with our clients about realistic deliverables. When we understand customer expectations, we retain clients and gain a solid selling point as we try to attract new coachees in the future.
Let’s discuss some tools coaches need to identify customer expectations and how we can fulfill those needs to the best of our abilities.
4 key customer expectations you need to meet in your coaching business
First, let’s run through some top expectations that to-be clients may have. Understanding them helps us identify and address them directly as we pitch our services to new customers. This is the first step in establishing a productive customer journey.
1. Up-to-date knowledge
We need to stay up date in our trade. While mentorship is an age-old profession, this industry changes - just like any other. New technology, for example, can help coaches schedule meetings and keep track of client progress. Great coaches should also study techniques and activities to implement and experiment with other methods. It’s always the right time to go the extra mile for our clients by staying as informed as possible.
2. Ample experience
We all have to start somewhere, but once we’ve got some experience under our belts, it’s time to flaunt it. We accumulate customer feedback, testimonials, and statistics on goals reached as we work with more clients. We’ll also know which methods we — and our clients — prefer. We must show off our experience to potential clients so they know they’re in good hands.
Don’t panic if you’re new to coaching. You can easily gain experience by offering your services to friends and acquaintances for free as you launch your business. This creates a perfect opportunity to follow up and gather real feedback, use word-of-mouth to share your services, and gain social media followers to build your brand.
Accessibility is key to a successful coaching business. Clients may choose the easier route if our scheduling, pricing, payment, and administrative processes are too complex. They may work with another coach whose system is more streamlined or backed by better customer support. Take advantage of tools like Practice’s CRM-style tool, developed by coaches for coaches to drive seamless, self-service customer experience.
4. Quick resolution times
Coaching is all about reacting quickly and thoughtfully. Each client is different and responds in their own way to our particular styles and frameworks. If a client doesn’t feel like they’re making progress, address this concern as quickly as possible, if not in real-time, to avoid falling short of a client’s goals or receiving negative feedback. Each customer also requires and deserves a personalized experience; know that what works for one person might not for another, and you’ll need to adapt accordingly.
How to start exceeding customer expectations: Examples
So, how can we be sure that we’re meeting our clients’ expectations for speedy, streamlined, quality services? The following are field notes you can use as a guide to achieve customer satisfaction.
1. Understand your target audience
Even though all clients are different and, over our coaching careers, we’ll address a range of needs, most coaches have a specific target audience. Understand your target audience, what types of services they’re looking for, and what attracts them to your specific methodology. If you’re a health coach, for example, you’re seeking clients who want to boost their wellness. If you’re a religious coach, you work with clients who want a spiritual approach to coaching. We can better understand our audience by talking to colleagues in the field and gathering feedback from our clients.
2. Always overdeliver, never overpromise
We can only ever do our best to help clients reach their goals, but there’s no guarantee. Coaching is a working relationship full of learnings for both parties. We must aim high and work hard for our clients without overpromising our time, abilities, or outcomes. Clients will only end up disappointed (both in themselves and us) when they can’t meet their goals, and this negative experience can hurt a coach’s reputation or harm the relationship’s trust.
3. Understand your clients’ pain points better than they do
We’re the experts. People seek us out when they need help. It’s our responsibility to learn our clients inside and out. We must actively listen when they speak and remember that each person has different points of view and ways of working. It’s equally important for us to record these nuances and turn them into tailored solutions or plans. Doing so helps foster a trusting relationship and shows our clients our ability to be proactive. After all, we’re here to offer solutions. And, if we’re lucky, we’ll expand their problem-solving process, too.
Getting it right
There’s no one customer expectations definition, but as long as we’re listening and responding to clients' needs, we’re learning how to offer them the best possible services.
As we get to know our target population better, we can better project client needs and rise to meet them. In doing so, we set our definition of customer expectations that guides our business toward successful outcomes for us as coaches and our clients.
If you need support with your administrative work or getting started, consider Practice. We know what you need to be the best coach possible.