Health coaching is a difficult profession, exacerbated by inadequate industry tools that have yet to catch up with the needs of today’s health coach. Where have been the industry specific tools to help coaches provide better care to their clients?
The difficulty in trying to speak to any type of coaching technology is that it’s rare for a single tool to be able to really cater to the accessibility and needs of every client. Where a 40 year old client, may be comfortable with using a device like a Fitbit, an 80 year-old client may only feel comfortable with text message. Some flexibility is certainly required.
As a coach you’ve probably had to identify and piece together your offering (maybe more low-tech than you’d like to admit) specifically catering to the wide-ranging client.
Regardless of the degree in which you are incorporating technology into your model, it’s helpful to learn how other industry coaches have tried engaging their clients, and some of the technologies and processes they’ve adopted to help better manage touchpoints.
Here is what some coaches had to say…
“When I use emails, I love the tool ‘FollowUpThen’, which really helps me keep track of my clients at once. I use it to remind myself to follow up with clients by email or text, when they’re having an important day or to give them motivation and encouragement between sessions."
“When working with clients, I find it extremely valuable for them to do some sort of real-time tracking. Whether tracking food choices or exercise habits, it fosters a sense of accountability and transparency... I find that client tracking promotes a feeling of progress. It incentivizes better behaviors and helps me tailor my advice. ”
“I used exercise sheets that had the images of the exercise with dates to complete and the clients were to bring them in filled out. Then I moved to preloading automated emails to send to clients at specific week intervals in outlook. It worked well but it wasn't as personal as I would have liked. I sometimes still use these methods depending on the client’s needs and understanding of their level motivation.”
- Michael Carpenter - Carpenter Health and Wellness - Doctor of Physical Therapy
“...one of my personal favorite tools is called laser coaching. This valuable approach incorporates a short 10-15 minute phone or Facetime session with a client, offering all of the benefits of staying human through the process coupled with an authentic presence. Coaching requires listening and understanding the individual challenges of a client's personal change process.
Studies prove that it is this kind of true connection and presence that allows for the client to describe challenges and to establish trust, allowing the coach to tap into their own expertise and intuition to encourage success. This coach/client teamwork results in lasting lifestyle change...”
“I have been a part of a Facebook group for creating (and driving) a community for clients, but I found it to be sparse and with little success in terms of quality engagement.
I would revert back to the tried and true 20 - 30 min phone check-in as part of my offerings as a coach..It seems like different clients have many ways they track their daily activities such as wearables, Strava, and good ol' journaling! Because of this variety, you really have to be adaptable and be open to whatever works for the client, and I've found that the phone check-ins help ground the client with whatever goals they are working on at the moment. ”
Through these conversations it’s been clear that coaches are constantly searching for more effective client engagement strategies. While no two coaches are the same, it’s obvious that they share some common needs, such as ...
- Ways to better manage touchpoints with their clients.
- Methods to gather lifestyle data in order to provide actionable feedback.
Interested in learning more about health coaching tools and solutions?