What is the coaching process?
You will find many variations of the coaching process, however, it is generally accepted that it is made up of these 4 steps:
Step 1: Understanding/Assessing where the coaching client stands
Step 2: Customising a plan based on the feedback gathered in step 1 and the client’s desired outcomes
Step 3: Identifying milestones and goals
Step 4: Executing, inspiring action and re-assessing every step of the way
No matter what kind of coach you are, you’re likely to use all of the above steps in some shape or form in order to bring your clients to the desired results. How well you do every step will have an impact on the quality of your coaching and the results your clients get.
In the long run, the quality of this process will impact your reputation, pricing and scalability.
This is why you need to build systems around your business that allow you to optimise this process and pick a tool that supports your process and systems effectively.
The systems that support your coaching process should also be broken down into 4 main stages, just like your process. The systems reflect the coaching process above.
Here are the four pillars that help you systemize your coaching processes effectively for repeated client success:
1. The Onboarding Experience
In order to create an onboarding experience that supports your success, it needs to help you understand...
- Where the client stands today
This can be done by means of an assessment, quiz or an online form. At this
delicate initial stage it’s very important to collect information about where your
clients are starting the coaching journey and where they’re looking to end up.
- What he/she wishes with regards to the outcomes of the coaching
You want to create an onboarding process that helps you clearly understand
and record the client’s motivation for working with you and their desired
- Make your terms clear through invoicing and contracts
As Italians often state “Patti chiari amicizia lunga”, meaning, clear terms make
for a long friendship. Make sure your systems send payment terms, invoicing
is timely and well organised and contracts are clear and easy to reference for
both you and the client.
2. Assessing Progress
As a coach, the process of creating milestones and success criteria is very important. It has a large impact on the performance of the client. When creating your systems you need to keep in mind that every client is different, but you also need a plan to follow. You can make the assessment easier for
both parties by:
Creating generic milestones that describe the journey you will take them on. Every coach has their own blueprint, the way they take clients through the transformation required. This process should be clear and easy to follow for both coach and client.
Create custom milestones for the client to go deeper on those coaching topics he/she needs the most help with. During the assessment process, you should have collected all the issues you need to tackle and what is most important to the client. These will translate into milestones that the coach needs to customise. Every coaching program requires customisation, this is why it always happens on a 1-to-1 basis.
Have a clear way of assessing progress, such as to-do list, success criteria, actual tasks to be carried out by the client etc. Assessing success every step of the way is key to success. You want to catch difficulties early and tackle them in a timely manner. This is where to-do lists for each milestone are going to help you improve your coaching. When you employ a system to track your clients’ progress (or lack thereof), you will always be on top of things. You will be able to retrieve the information you need about each of your clients quickly and easily.
3. Support and Resources
Your systems should also provide some self-service features. Creating a space that acts as a repository for your clients, where you share useful documents, links, videos and other resources that they can access whenever they need to, is important to help them get unstuck.
Make it easy for them to book extra calls with you, even buy more sessions if your extra support comes at an extra charge. Make sure your systems allow your clients to get additional help and get unstuck. In order to build your reputation, you need the best support for your clients. The better their results, the better your reputation! So treat this with the utmost care and attention.
4. Client Engagement and Overcoming Obstacles
Going deeper with clients individually is always the best course with 1:1 coaching. However, you should t efficiently document your session notes in order to minimize your administration workload. This will enable you to manage client interactions as frequently as required to deliver results, without becoming overwhelming.
Providing a repository of support documents can help save you a lot of time and email communications or messaging to and fro with your clients, whilst still supporting them should they encounter any obstacles.
Picking the right tool to mirror your systems and optimise delivery
When creating your systems to optimize your coaching process, you’re going to need some online tools. Ensure that you have an onboarding system that works well from the beginning, in order to easily scale later. If your systems are not strong and efficient when you’re small, you’re going to drop the ball at some stage as your clientele grows and you get busier.
You want to use online tools to avoid missed appointments, undelivered documents and an email influx that makes you feel overwhelmed. In order to help you pick the right tool we have broken down the features needed to support you along each step of the coaching process:
Step One: The Onboarding Experience
Requirement: Understanding/Assessing where the coaching client stands and enrolling them into your coaching program
A Scheduler - Schedule your client meetings automatically. Pick a tool that allows your clients to automatically book a call with you to avoid relaying emails to and fro. Research shows that the average person trying to book a call will exchange up to 15 emails to agree on a date and time.
To avoid this time suck, select a tool that’s flexible enough to let you set your availability rules and parameters For instance if you want to coach a particular client or offer a specific program only on Tuesdays and Thursdays, your scheduling system needs to allow you to set these parameters.
Program Enrollment - Make the program enrollment process a delightful experience for your client. It should be seamless and professional. They should be able to enrol into your coaching program by making payment online, digitally sign e-signing the coaching agreement and schedule the first coaching session with you, all online and in a single workflow.
Step Two: Assessing Progress
Requirement: Customising a plan based on Step One and client desired outcomes
Forms - You also want to ideally collect information about people applying for your discovery calls and paid calls. So pick a tool that also allows you to create an intake form or questionnaire which you can customise to ask relevant questions of your client during the booking process.
Quiz - A quiz or online survey tool, will allow you to assess your new clients. You want to design a simple yet effective questionnaire to understand where your client is starting from so you can customize your 1:1 programs.
Step Three: Progress, Support and Resources
Requirement: Identifying milestones and goals, sharing files and other resources
Pick a tool that allows you to create and track goals and milestones for your clients.
Each goal should ideally be broken down into smaller milestones so that your client can take satisfaction in achieving small wins to get to the desired prize. By creating a series of tasks for each milestone, clients can clearly understand where they’re stuck and request support.
Whenever a client has completed a milestone, goal or assignment, you should be notified automatically so that the achievement can be reviewed or discussed during your next coaching session.
Coaching Resource Repository
Every coach needs a resource repository, period.
Coaching requires sharing and relaying a lot of documents with clients. Whether it’s something they need to read or a worksheet that they need to work through, it’s best to not relay these by email.
A document repository is ideal. You can pick one like Google Drive or DropBox but that won’t save you from time-wasting emails. These free tools are specifically for file storage and sharing but lack the functionality needed for tracking clients’ goals or schedule.
It would be a much better option to choose a coaching platform like CoachVantage that incorporates not only a document repository but also scheduling and setting and tracking clients’ goals, all in one place.
Step Four: Client Engagement and Increasing Lifetime Value
Requirement: Executing, inspiring action and re-assessing every step of the way
Tools/Features Needed: Manage and measure the performance of the coaching engagement at every stage
An online coaching tool like CoachVantage allows you to invite your clients to create their very own client portal. You and your clients can collaborate easily throughout the coaching engagement.
The tools you need to support your process
Creating a seamless system to manage all the moving parts of your business is key to quality coaching. Your systems should support your coaching approach and process.
Being able to provide a high level of support to your clients without spending a lot of time scheduling, relaying emails and administering client requests is very important to retain your coaching standards once you’re fully booked.
It is also key to scaling effortlessly. If the time of administration per client is high, you will not be limiting how many clients you can handle at once. You need streamlined, semi-automated processes to keep administration time to a minimum.
There are two ways to achieve this:
You can look around for a multitude of different tools for different aspects like scheduling, document management, invoicing, etc, or
You pick one tool like a coaching platform that’s purpose-built for coaches
A lot of new coaches try to sew together various ‘free’ online tools in an attempt to save time and money. However, very often they end up spending more money and wasting time. The free (or cheap) option on many online tools that coaches use soon gets pricier as your needs grow.
The best way to avoid expensive surprises and save time setting up separate tools to create one system is to use a coaching platform.
A tool that was specifically created for coaches, is built with scalability in mind for businesses like yours and encompasses all the key aspects of your business, from client acquisition to onboarding, progress tracking and time tracking.
CoachVantage gives you all this and much more. Book your one-on-one demo below to learn more.