The Episode: My Client Isn’t Checking In, Can I Still Charge?
The nature of an online training program is that opportunities for connecting in-person with clients are scarce. This can lead to situations where clients do not show up for predefined online check-in sessions. There are a few problems associated with this type of situation, the first being that as coaches we can start to feel like we are failing and that our clients have disengaged because our services are not up to scratch. Another big issue here is that we have possibly not set up a program for checking in that suits the client. Today on the show we dive into these and other issues and share our thoughts on the best way of managing them.
In This Episode
- Feeling guilty for billing clients who are not present [0:12:18]
- The main problems at play in situations where clients are not engaging [0:14:15]
- Negative stories we tell ourselves and how to overcome them [0:15:11]
- Being compassionate to the personal reasons for why clients might not show up [0:17:57]
- Setting up systems for keeping in touch with clients [0:20:41]
- Designing your course to allow for life at its most complex [0:23:28]
- Whether an absent client means client who is not engaging in your course [0:26:33]
- Asking clients about their preferred schedule [0:30:37]
“There’s a thousand reasons for why people ghost their coaches. Some are related to the coach. A lot of the time it has nothing to do with anything the coach did in particular, so stop making assumptions.” — Carolina Belmares
Avoiding Slipping into Negative Thought Patterns
If a client becomes distant, it is easy to blame ourselves. Taking things personally in this way can lead to a lot of issues, and we can even start to feel guilty about billing clients because from the outside it feels like they are not getting any value from the program. The first thing to remember here is that just because communication between a coach and client has broken down, this does not mean the client has stopped engaging in the program itself. The second point is that there could be a thousand reasons why a client is not engaging in a program. People’s lives are complicated. As coaches it is our job to be compassionate and set up our programs to accommodate for life’s unexpected crises. If you are in the loop with what is going on in your client’s life, then you are better equipped to decide to charge or not for a particular month.
Setting Up Systems for Keeping In Touch
The second major problem that could be responsible for a gap in communication between coaches and clients has to do with systems. You could have a fantastic course that the client is getting a lot of benefit from, but your systems for communication could be poor, and this could be the reason you have not heard from them. It is useful to keep in mind that the types of people who engage the services of online trainers often have personality types that struggle with regular communication. One way of handling the different personality types of your clients is to have a candid conversation about how they like to communicate from the outset and design your systems around this. As you progress with your client you should measure how your systems are working, and tweak them as you go, because there is often a gap between what clients say they want and what they actually need.
Keeping Focused On Your Main Responsibilities
At the end of the day, the job of the online trainer is to offer clients their skills and knowledge in a digestible program, not to be their best friend who they chat to all the time. Ultimately, the responsibility of putting in the work and keeping up with the program is the job of the client and not the coach. Keeping this in mind can help you rest easy if you have not heard from a client in a while. Provided that the program you offer is of a high quality, the client has the choice to either engage with it or not, and the choice they make should not be used as a measuring stick of the quality of your services.
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