Business Insider Intelligence reports estimate that smartphone adoption will exceed 80% in the U.S. and the U.K by the end of 2015. For health coaches, better access to mobile technologies like fitness apps and wearables provides a significant opportunity to expand the scope of services, and enhance the overall value that you can be provide to your clients and patients.
Getting your clients to use the Nudge App lets you not only leverage these technologies to better monitor your clients, but more importantly, it expands your ability to better manage your client relationships by creating more opportunities to provide regular feedback through simple messaging in-between consultations.
We believe better and more consistent feedback, or what we call "touchpoints" with your clients, is the key to unlocking the maximum value of the coach-client relationship. Happy clients stick with you longer, and as we've covered in past posts like this one about creating a great health coaching offering, developing longer term relationships with recurring revenue is incredibly valuable to growing your business over time.
Introducing the Nudge App to a client can feel like a hit-or-miss proposition, but you shouldn't think of it that way. Even the biggest technology novice can easily be guided to get started with Nudge so long as expectations are managed by starting simply with a single targeted goal.
While the initial introduction you give to the basics of the app may always be similar, the art of handling the next steps with those clients who may be on the fence is the key to getting the most out of the Nudge system for your entire book of clients.
Introducing Nudge - The Basics
If at all possible, you will want to walk your client through the app by either showing them your account, or walking them through the process of creating their own account in a one-on-one conversation. Here are some of the basics of Nudge that you will want to touch while they are looking at the app.
- Here's the Nudge Score - it shows you a snapshot of how healthy you've been living over the past 30-days, and ranks it on a scale of 1-110. A Nudge Score of 50 represents meeting U.S.D.A. minimum recommendations.
- It incorporates four key pieces of your lifestyle - nutrition, hydration, exercise and sleep, to help me get an idea of how you're doing in each aspect of your lifestyle and the balance among them. Yellows and Greens show a good balance.
- It only takes just 60 seconds a day to tap into the Log your servings of water and basic nutrition. Your device will automatically send me your activity and sleep data. All this info comes straight to my desktop, which helps me monitor you and help you stay on track.
- And best of all, I can send messages right through the App to your phone, so you can get the most possible value out of me, and my knowledge along the way.
A big part of coaching is being observant and able to identify when an individual is truly motivated from within to take a next step forward, whatever that may be. Many of the coaches I meet are absolute experts at gauging "readiness for change", and this is a skill that can be leveraged for success when it comes to Nudge.
You will have clients who emit audible ooh's and ahh's, clearly fired up to start using Nudge with you. You will be confident prescribing more aggressive Nudge app use with this group from day one as it helps develop a motivational environment for them.
But many other clients may not be as ready to dive in, and therefore may require a more nuanced approach. Finding the right place to start with this group is the key to getting the most out of Nudge as a tool for optimizing your coaching business.
The Phased Approach - Fostering The Nudge Habit
For those who appear more hesitant, skeptical, or wary of technology, the key is to find the most valuable way to start simply with them by targeting a single area of focus. You want to make 'the ask' as specific and concise as possible without being pushy. For example...
"Do you think you could take 30-60 seconds each day this week and tap in all your beverages? Try to just drink what you normally would and tap it into Nudge each day. Next week we can review it together and I’ll give you feedback."
... Or ...
“Let’s just sync your wearable and you don’t have to open the Nudge App. This will get us started.”
Getting a client started like this is a huge step for many reasons. Most important is their new awareness of personal lifestyle behaviors that impact health. Additionally, the behavior of logging in Nudge for a few consecutive weeks, helps develop a habit of using Nudge, which helps you better identify positive and negative behaviors which maximize your health coaching potential. Coming back later to add new areas of focus will now be much easier because they are already using their Nudge app on a daily basis anyway. Why not tap a few more buttons?
"I've used this strategy with many of my patients" commented Dr. Steve Feyrer-Melk, "and sometimes I'll notice that these people will just start tracking more of their habits all on their own, without me ever asking for it. This is a significant moment as patients start to link personal choices with health and wellness."
This speaks to the stickiness factor that the Nudge app can have, and is the ideal outcome of going this route. Having clients that are making their own conscious decision to track more of their lifestyle for you will make your life a lot easier, but of course this won't always be the case, so what else can we do to grow the Nudge habit?
It's vital that during the first week of a client starting to log some items in Nudge, you respond with a quick message. This doesn't have to be anything more than a quick note to let them know that you are there for them and that this information will help you help them. Here’s an example...
"Thanks for getting started! This is going to be in helping me provide you better guidance. Keep this up and we'll review it together next week."
The key is to help your clients see the importance of lifestyle behaviors, and that you are the important link to help them reach their goals. Although technology is a very powerful tool within health and wellness today, research shows a health professional is needed to maximize these tools. Before long, you may find you have a full picture of their lifestyle when you log into your Nudge Coach account.
To review, here are some key suggestions that you will want to consider when trying to get a client up and running with the Nudge App...
- Have a discussion with your client about Nudge. Try walking through your own Nudge account to gauge their initial comfort level and readiness to get started.
- Focus your message on how it will help you to do a better job helping them. "I want you to get the best guidance from me that you possibly can, and this helps me do that for you."
- Focus on the ease of using Nudge. "It just take 30-60 seconds a day, and I can pay it back to you many times over with much better guidance."
- If they don't seem as ready or excited to get started, try lowering the barrier to get started by only asking them to log one or two initial areas of focus or none at all, just sync the wearable.
- Bring the encouragement early once you see they have started using it. Positive reinforcement may be one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it's still a good one.
- Try suggesting they log a new aspect of their lifestyle after 2-3 weeks, or once you feel the initial habit of using Nudge has begun to set in.
I hope you'll give these strategies a try, and if you have other strategies that have worked well for you, let us know by sharing in the comments section below.