How do you handle customer onboarding and support? Do you continue to nourish the relationship once a prospect has decided to purchase?

I recently worked with two clients who are coaches with similar services and credentials but very different results in their first program. When you read their stories, think about what each is doing differently.

Coach Sharon’s Customer Support System

How Customer Support Can Make or Break your Coaching BusinessLet me introduce you to Sharon. Sharon is a coach who has just completed her first 3 month coaching program. For her first program, she had taken all the right steps to set up her marketing plan and had been rewarded with her first 6 students.

When they enrolled, Sharon promptly sent them a receipt and short welcome email. The enrollment was open 6 weeks prior to the class, and she received numerous emails in that time from the students asking when the class would start. She answered each email and referred them to the program landing page. The day of the class, Sharon sent another email. For the duration of the 3 month class, she only interacted with her students on class days.

By the end of the first month, two of students had dropped out of the program. At the completion of the program, no participants were interested in continuing coaching with her.

When I talked to Sharon, she told me she was very surprised that not one student signed-up for her ongoing coaching program. She asked me to see what went wrong. I advised Sharon to send an email to the students from her class asking for feedback. What we heard was:

  • Disorganized
  • Poor communication
  • I felt like a number
  • No personal contact

How Customer Support Can Make or Break your Coaching Business

Coach Joe’s Customer Support System

Now, let’s compare and contrast Sharon’s case with Joe. He is also a coach and, as mentioned earlier, had the same credentials and a similar program. Joe’s customer support and nourishment, however, was completely different.

When a new student enrolled in his program, Joe’s virtual assistant immediately sent the Program Welcome Package. This package included a welcome letter, a receipt, a program contract, and a student goals worksheet. The body of the Welcome letter consisted of:

  • acknowledgment of his new student
  • lists of forms needed before the first session
  • follow-up instructions
  • reminder of the first class date

Since some students registered for the class two months in advance, they received a brief “tickler” email once a week. This email repeated the class reminders and provided a quick, useful tip related to the program’s topic.

The week of the class all students were sent reminders three days and then again one day before the class and a final one the day of the class.

In addition to the contact before the program started, Joe’s team sent the following emails: reminders the day of each class, recordings of each class and a class evaluation after classes three and six.

How Customer Support Can Make or Break your Coaching Business

At the end of Joe’s three week program, four of the students purchased Joe’s next offering. In his final evaluation, the words students used to describe the program were:

  • Very organized
  • Great communication
  • I felt like each class was speaking directly to me
  • Highly recommended

How did Sharon and Joe’s approach to customer care differ? What were the results?

Sharon didn’t make a connection with her students. People like to feel that the coaches they work with actually know them and care about their needs. With so little interaction, just an email, there was a disconnect. Sharon could deliver the best content on earth but if she doesn’t create and nurture her relationship with her students, they won’t stay around long.

Joe, on the other hand, made each of his students feel important. When you make sure students have all the information they need, a connection is established before the first class ever starts. That connection is nurtured when you keep the information flowing throughout the program. Joe’s customer care system showed his participants that he cared about them and their issues.

This comparison shows the difference a well-planned customer care system can make in your bottom line. While Joe will have a steady stream of loyal clients, Sharon will have to spend much more of her time marketing to continuously find new clients.

Which coach do YOU want to be?

When you set up these systems in advance, you don’t have to recreate the wheel every time you have a new offer. With an auto responder you can quickly create a system for each program by simply duplicating the system and customizing it.