Unless you are offering completely DIY programs you’ll need to have some method for client communications. In this blog post I’ll review some of the options for group and 1:1 communications. This doesn’t include methods for having coaching calls, which could be your only form of communication.
What makes a good client communications method?
Client communication should be easy for both you and your client. It should be quick, and it should be mobile friendly. It should also be reliable. Client communications should also support the way you and your clients like to communicate - voice, video or text.
Client communication can be real time, but is usually asynchronous.
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Email For Client Communications
For many people email is their choice for client communications. The advantages of email are that you can automate and schedule some emails using your email marketing platform. Almost everyone has email and is familiar with using it. They are already likely getting emails for your program so it’s a low friction method of communication.
But there are several disadvantages to using email as your primary method of client communications. The first is deliverability. If you are using an email marketing platform or a CRM for sending emails, you may find that your emails tend to end up in spam or promotions. The second is email is harder to keep track of. It’s easy for client emails to get buried. I recommend setting up a email address that is strictly for client communications if that is how you choose to communicate. And lastly unless you have an older client base, your clients might not be using email as much as they used to.
Phone For Client Communications
I don’t recommend giving your phone number out to clients. The problem with phoning is that it can be intrusive. It also doesn’t allow you time to prepare a thoughtful response.
Text (SMS) messaging can be a useful form of communication, and many people use it for quick reminders or other client communications.
The disadvantage of text messaging is that it requires you to give out your phone number. It also requires your client to give out their phone number which they may be reluctant to do. But some CRMs can make text communications as seamless as email and much more reliable.
In app messaging
If you use a fitness or coaching app in your business this is probably the best way to facilitate client communications. It’s an easy sell for clients because they are already using the app and it makes it easy for you. You’ll know that any notifications you get from the coaching app are for clients. And you can easily check in with a client who isn’t meeting their goals or is not checking off habits.
The disadvantage of this method is cost. You’ll likely pay per client you have active in the system. A coaching app only makes sense if you are using it for other areas of your coaching practice.
If your business is one where a coaching app doesn’t fit, then you’ll need to find another solution.
If you have a Facebook group for your program, then Facebook messenger might be a good way for client communication. Your group can be used for group communications and Facebook messenger for private communications. You can use Facebook messenger for text, voice and video calls so it can be quite convenient. You can also set up a group chat if you like.
On the other hand not everyone uses Facebook, so there could be some resistance to using it. The other issue is that notifications can get lost in the sea of Facebook and messenger notifications.
Despite being owned by Meta (the parent company of Facebook) most people don’t consider What’s app to be social media. So there is less resistance to using it. You can use it for text, voice messages or for voice calls. You can also set up group chats if you prefer group communications.
One advantage of a separate messaging app is that it removes the noise and the algorithm of Facebook from your client communications.
Voxer is a walkie-talkie (push to talk) app that is often used for asynchronous communications. It can be used with voice or text. Voxer also offers a paid version that has several features not found in its free version.
The disadvantage of a voice communication method like Voxer is that you’ll need to take notes, otherwise it can be difficult to find the right message.
Some course platforms allow questions, file uploads and comments. These could also be used as a form of client communications. The advantage to this is keeping everything in one place for both you and your clients. But depending on the course platform you use, this might require some work to get it set up properly.
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Client communications is an important part of your 1:1 and group programs. I’ve offered some methods that you can use to facilitate private and group communications for your clients. You may need to experiment to see which method works the best for you.