#240: Collecting Testimonials & Feedback in Your Health Coaching Business

Collecting feedback from clients is something that health coaches often overlook…or flat out avoid doing. It might feel a little uncomfortable to ask for it! Here are easy ways to gather that important feedback and use it effectively. If you’d like to automate the process, try any Practice Better plan with 30% off for your first 3 months at HealthCoachPower.com/pb (use code HCP30)

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Collecting Testimonials & Feedback in Your Health Coaching Business

Asking for feedback can feel scary – but it can also give you a huge opportunity to improve your clients’ experiences and collect testimonials to grow your business. 

Why is feedback so important for business growth?

The people who experience your work first-hand have the best perspective on what’s working and what’s not working. That means you need to know what your clients are thinking.

What’s resonating with people? Where do they need more support? Where are the expectations unclear? What’s the most exciting part?

This information is the key to growing your business – you can lean in to what’s working and fix what’s not.

What if I get negative feedback?

Positive feedback feels great – and it helps to know what’s working.

It doesn’t always play out that way, though.

Negative feedback happens, too. It’s hard to hear, but it can be a major growth opportunity. Think of it as a chance to evolve. You can’t fix a problem you don’t know about.

Sometimes the negative stuff  isn’t even really about you – everyone has bad days, and sometimes they take it out on whoever’s nearby. But even if you get a real negative Nancy, try to hear whatever grain of truth might be there and use it the best you can.

You might not always agree with the feedback you receive. That’s OK. Just stay humble, hold yourself accountable, and don’t take it personally (I know, easier said than done).

If asking for feedback sends you into a cold sweat, I have good news: there are tech tools that can automate the process for you. 

You can collect feedback without overthinking it every time. Tools like Practice Better can deliver a feedback form to your clients automatically. 

As you receive feedback consistently, you’ll get more comfortable with it. Eventually, it will start to feel routine.

How to collect feedback through Practice Better

A custom form will make collecting feedback super easy. You can build it right into your workflow.

Keep your form short and sweet– no one wants to spend half an hour answering a survey. I like to keep it to five questions or less. 

You can use the automations feature in Practice Better to deliver your form, say, before their final session. You set it up once, then use it for every client. 

(And, you can save 30% off your first 3 months of any paid Practice Better plan with code HCP30. Sweet, huh?)

How to use feedback to help your clients succeed

Ask for feedback while a client is still working with you – don’t wait until they’re done. Then you can adjust your coaching to make sure they’re getting what they need.

Are they meeting their goals? Do they need more support? Are there more resources that would help them? You don’t know if you don’t ask.

Asking for feedback early helps you stay ahead of any potential problems. You get to intervene before they’re unhappy. 

This is a proactive way to ensure your client has a positive experience. And great experiences lead to great testimonials and referrals. It’s good for your client, and good for your business.

Social proof: The power of testimonials

When prospective clients hear it from someone who’s been there, they listen. That’s social proof.

That’s why testimonials matter so much. 

When you ask for feedback, your clients will give you their genuine reactions. They’re not performing what they think a testimonial should say. That authenticity is priceless (just make sure you ask permission before you use their words!)

When I have one of those rockstar clients – you know, the ones who did the work and totally thrived – I sometimes ask them if they’d be willing to do a quick video with me. This is another great way to get testimonials that you can use anywhere you talk about your business– email marketing, a sales page, social accounts, a podcast, etc.

And here’s a pro tip…

Collect testimonials routinely as part of your feedback process. Then you’ll have a stockpile of great material when you need it – no last minute scrambling. You’re welcome!


Full transcript:

Michelle:
All right, Hello there, Health coaches. thank you so much for joining me today. I'm thinking how is it possibly the end of April already? I have some summer things like already getting planned. I'm sure you guys do too. And this just popped up, so I wanted to mention it. I might have an opportunity to get together with some health coaches in San Diego this summer. I would love for that to include you. So, more details are going to come on that. I know we're all planning things. I got my kids camp, I got to get planned, all the stuff. So, I'm going to get details to you as soon as possible.

Is anyone here with us live, by the way? Who is from San Diego? Just say hi in the comments. But anyway, today we are talking about collecting feedback in your business and how to actually use that feedback, use testimonials. It can be so incredibly helpful.

So, first of all, I would love to hear if you're already doing this, how you're already doing this. So again, if you're with us live, just pop into the comments or even if you're watching the replay later, and share maybe one or two ways that you are already collecting feedback in your health coaching business. For example, maybe at the end of your coaching program, you have clients fill out some type of form where they get to tell you what the best parts were about the program and anything that they would like to change, anything like that. All right, we'll see before we get into all of this, as running a health coaching business can be overwhelming at times. Yes, there are endless tasks to do. There's never enough time. As a health coach, you want to focus on what you love to do and why you got into this business in the first place, which is helping people, not all the admin stuff.

And so that's where Practice Better comes in. Practice Better is my favorite complete practice management software. It's founded by health and wellness practitioners for health and wellness practitioners. It helps automate your booking and your client nodes and your invoicing so you can spend more time doing the important stuff with Practice Better. You can easily create shareable client notes, track your client's progress, and engage with them every step of the way. And it integrates very nicely with your other favorite software. So all your data syncs seamlessly. If you're nerdy like that and you're syncing things, Practice Better also offers a programs feature, which enables you to build and run an automated group program that can earn you passive income. We love passive income and you'll become part of a global community of wellness professionals who you can learn and grow with. Try any Practice Better, plan for free for 14 days.

And I've got a cool thing for you as an exclusive offer offer for my listeners. You'll get 30% off your first three months on any paid plan when you go to healthcoachpower.com/pb, and you'll want to use promo code HCP30 at checkout, that's Health Coach Power, and the number 30, HCP30 at checkout. So you can say goodbye to a patchwork of various softwares and hello to an organized efficient practice with Practice Better.

Now let's get into our show and talk about testimonials and feedback. My guest today is my friend Brittany, a business success coach with Practice Better, which I just told you all about. What Britney does besides being a total and utter rockstar is she helps practitioners tap into the potential of their business and find success. And that's what we do here too. So lots of synergy. Thanks for joining us today, Brittany.

Brittany:
Thanks so much for having me, Michelle. I'm so excited to chat with you today.

Michelle:
Not the first time you've been on the show. No, but maybe it's been a little while.

Brittany:
Yeah, we love working together for sure.

Michelle:
So, I love that you suggested this topic. I don't think I've talked about testimonials here on the show in a long time. From your perspective, why do you feel feedback is so important for health coaches to grow their business?

Brittany:
Yeah, first and foremost, I mean, I've been in the shoes of feeling kind of daunted by feedback. I was so nervous about this when I was first starting in my career and it was kind of thrust upon me by the company I was working for that I had to have this feedback. It was really scary, but I've learned through my career just how important it is. I think that feedback and testimonials will highlight or make aware opportunities for where you need to improve or what you need to do to focus on business growth. It's really difficult to have an unbiased look at what we do and how it's being received by either new customers or how the overall experience is being received by our current clients. And we know of course that it takes too. It's as a coach, you know, have to educate, guide, and support your client, and the client has to show up, they have to take action. But feedback is going to show you all the different ways of how these things can be better accomplished. What service is best resonating with people. If you need to offer more hands-on support, if you need to set better boundaries or be more clear with your expectations, the people that experience your work firsthand are going to be the best perspective on what's working and what's not working. And I just think that's so crucial if you intend on scaling your business and growing

Michelle:
Well. Did you ever get feedback after you started asking and that was very hard to receive?

Brittany:
Unfortunately, it happens. That's just part of par for the course that you will have that uncomfortable or discomfort when collecting feedback. There's going to be positive feedback and negative, and that's maybe going to be hard to hear, but we just have to keep the bigger picture in mind. I think that's what I always told myself and what I'd recommend to others is that ultimately both the positive and the negative feedback are going to help our business and our client care evolve. I also think how we respond to this feedback can make all of the difference. So it's worth noting that you might not always agree with the feedback that you're getting. You might have a totally different experience about what you're seeing back from your client, but I think if you have humility and accountability and you can handle these things with grace, it's going to help ease the discomfort that you may feel with these interactions.

And my kind of fake it till you make it tip with all of this with the discomfort of asking for feedback is that there's opportunities to automate some of this stuff. So while we're working on overcoming some of this mindset stuff that can feel really uncomfortable with asking for feedback, let's just kind of put the tech to work and have it automate, ask for feedback in a way where we don't have to manually stew over the discomfort of asking for it and just put that to work so that we're still collecting the feedback. And we don't have to be in our heads too much about it every single time that we are asking, but we are working on that mindset stuff of getting a little bit more comfortable with it.

Michelle:
Okay, good. I'm glad that you could share that. It's not always going to be positive. Sometimes it's going to be positive, it's going to lead to amazing testimonials and case studies and sometimes it won't. My favorite feedback story is years and years ago I offered a program and at the end I asked for feedback and I received this scathing review from this woman just angry and spiteful. I mean, it had been a free program, so I was having a hard time understanding how she could be that angry about it. It's not like she had paid something and it was fascinating for me and I took it really hard because I was very new in my business and then she emailed again the next day and apologized and said I was having a bad day and I took it out on you.

Brittany:
Yeah, I don't think that's totally uncommon. People just are reactive and project their bad days onto us. So, I think that's a really good tip to keep in mind when you are receiving feedback is that it's not always entirely about you as much as feedback should be unfortunately.

Michelle:
But that helped me from then on, I'm like, oh, okay, so if it doesn't feel good, probably has nothing to do with me at all. And then it is just easier to just hear what they're saying and try to find some truth in it. And anyway, most of the time they're great feedback, but every now and then, I think that's what leads to the discomfort. So, you mentioned having these things automated, having what a forum go out automatically can just take some of the discomfort away. Is that what you were getting at? Cause then we're not thinking about it, it just happens in the background.

Brittany:
Yeah, I mean when we're stewing over this discomfort or the potential for negative feedback, we know we're so passionate about what we do that we really tie ourselves and our self worth into people enjoying our experiences and all that. It can shy us away from asking feedback in general. So yeah, I recommend just having a form automatically delivered to your clients so that it becomes so routine for you and you don't really have to think about it. And then you are going to get that feedback, see the immediate value in it, and I think it should encourage you and hopefully inspire you to get a little bit more comfortable with the overall idea feedback and just knowing that positive or negative, there's so much you can take away from it.

Michelle:
Well, it's actually one of my favorite ways because everyone will always ask what's the best way to collect a testimonial? And you know, can explicitly ask, will you write a testimonial for me? Or whatever. But I find that when someone is just saying what they're going to say anyway, and this would be one of those times if you were to send out a form and say, Hey, what were some of the best things you got from working together? Or what was your biggest achievement? Or what are you most proud of? Or however you phrase it. They're not thinking I am leaving a testimonial right now. They're just answering the question. And sometimes you can literally just copy and paste it and say, Hey, would you mind if I use this in my future marketing materials? And it doesn't sound stiff. It sounds like something that really came from their heart because it did.

Brittany:
Absolutely. I think timing of this comes into play. So I actually encourage the coaches and the practitioners that I speak to ask for feedback before you've completed your work with them. So whether that's those mini check-ins when you're having your follow-up sessions with them to just check in and say, how are things going where you can get those really organic testimonials, but even before you've wrapped up in your final services. And this is going to allow you to pivot if needed, to ensure that they do have a great outcome and experience and relevant to what we're talking about today. Great experiences lead to great testimonials and great word of mouth referrals, but it's great to ask throughout their journey working with you, but then if you want to do it in a maybe more formalized way to just time it in a way that it's before the client has finished wrapping up with you, because if they maybe expressed that they haven't achieved their goals or maybe they haven't hit this certain milestone that they're really eager to hit, maybe you've got the opportunity now to come up with a succession plan for them or to work with them for more sessions, sell them for a few more follow-ups where you can have a better chance of mitigating a poor outcome or a mediocre, mediocre outcome where that is then reflected in their testimonials or their feedback, their word of mouth that comes after they've finished working with you.

So, it helps you stay ahead of clients and their overall experience. You have a little bit more, I guess, control in that sense.

Michelle:
Yeah, yeah. So I guess mean we're thinking about collecting feedback for us, but also it has this great impact on the clients and their experience.

Brittany:
Yeah, yeah, I think if, you know, put it into context where you wrapped up the final session of a package that you've been working with a client for months and then you ask them and then you learn that they didn't achieve their goals or maybe they needed a little bit more support or could have used this additional resource, it's almost like too little, too late. But if you ask them before that last session takes place, well maybe you've got the opportunity to work with them for a longer duration of time. And that's beneficial for our business as far as things like generating a little bit more income, but also saving that client's experience where we're ahead of their needs and that's going to be reflected in that testimonial that you do collect from them.

Michelle:
I can totally see how having this automated would be helpful because I know that when I'm working with clients and sometimes they're just back to back and you're just trying to run and have lunch maybe in between sessions, and this is something I know I have not always been good at. So yes, there are lots of different ways to do it. It could be a simple email, but tell us how Practice Better can make this easier because I know you have solutions for this exact scenario.

Brittany:
Definitely. We certainly do, and this is something that I demo at every single opportunity that I get because I think this can be a real game-changer in coaches and practitioners business. So I love the idea of automating, we've already established that, but my preferred workflow of this is setting up that customized form and Practice Better. So I always recommend that you keep it fairly short and succinct, so like five questions so that there's not this barrier of a long form that's going to dissuade a client from actually wanting to fill out this form. You can then use our automations feature. So Practice Better, of course, was designed to eliminate repetitive, repetitive admin work. So...

Michelle:
I'm laughing because there's so much of that. Yes.

Brittany:
Yeah, we're always mindful of creating opportunities to save practitioners time. And in this instance, it's helpful to just have that form sent out automatically and you can actually set up a trigger with our automations feature where you can say, before the final session, you're going to have this feedback form delivered to every client. So you're setting this up once and then every client that from here on out is going to receive that form before that final session. And to make this work, I do recommend setting up a service that is actually labeled final session so that this trigger setup is super simple. And that way it's a great visual reminder to the client and to you as a practitioner, the coach that you're coming to an end. So great time to be in that head space of checking in for feedback, knowing that it's time to have those conversations with the client and then it's automated.

So, the client will receive that feedback form before their final session, they'll fill it out. And then when you do have that last session with them, you can actually use that form as kind of a structure for that conversation going through it together to say, okay, it looks like you achieved these things, but maybe not this. And what can we do to either help you get there or just being on the same page as your client. And I really love this form method because we also have a report in Practice Better, it's called the Form Response Summary. And this allows you to consolidate all of the answers from every single one of those forms in one place. So this way you're not wasting time sifting from one client record to the next, looking through their forms to consolidate all of this information that you've collected. So from every client that has filled out that feedback form, you can go and have one beautiful report that's going to pull all of that feedback, all of those testimonials in one place. And there's of course laws of opportunities to have those little mini check-ins, those asks whether you're doing that through a video session with them or through the secure chat just to have your finger on the pulse of how their experience is going.

Michelle:
So, that's interesting. And I've heard you talk about this feature before where you can, what is the word? Not collaborate, not coordinate, but anyway bring to collate all the information that comes from the client forms in one place. And I can think of one way that that could be incredibly useful to be able to do that. And then I'm curious if there are other ways that I'm not thinking about, because one way that I know this type of feedback and this type of data is useful is for future marketing. So if you can look back and see that 90% of your clients all mentioned the same problem, the same term, they're all talking about midlife weight loss. So they're all talking about, I don't know the term muffin top, which I hate, but I'm just trying to think of those words that clients might actually use their phrasing. And if you can see that something has been repeated over and over and over again among your clients, that's a phrase you want to start using in your marketing. Yeah. Because that's something that's very top of mind and relevant for them. So I love it so much, not just to think to myself, okay, how can I do better? I'm glad I got this feedback, but also to create smarter marketing.

Brittany:
Yeah, when we think about feedback, of course we can start to think about how we can improve in our business, but we can also take positive feedback or common feedback from our clients and apply it into our marketing. So if we have a piece of common feedback, like you said, we can pull that language and use it in our marketing, but if we have a piece of really beneficial or positive feedback that we're receiving, start marketing that as one of the benefits of working with you. If people are more energy, if that's something that's coming up or people are meal prepping in less time, whatever it looks like, if you're starting to hear more people say some of these similar things, use that to your advantage. You can use that feedback to attract more customers. So there's so much we can do with it, whether it's negative feedback, positive feedback, we can apply it in so many ways in our businesses.

Michelle:
That reminds me when I used to run, I used to run a 21 day detox, this is forever ago. And I thought in my own brain I thought the best part of it was the protocol that I had put together for this group detox program. I thought the recipes were pretty darn good. I worked really hard on those and I think all that stuff was good. But I remember back then getting feedback and I think it was more maybe things that people just happened to type into our community group or whatever, but I heard them say over and over that the best part of the experience was having the community, which I didn't realize was going to be the biggest draw. So then that was an opportunity for me to do more with that community, to offer more community-based programs to emphasize it more. Like you said, the next time I sell the detox I can talk more about the community and why it matters and why it's so great. Because I know that's something that man, that made a huge difference for people.

Brittany:
Yeah, exactly. We can start to really speak more directly to our clients by paying attention to what they're saying to us. So whether it's informal collection of feedback in your sessions or just in those mini check-ins or more formalized way, taking that form, we can really just heat so much from this feedback and Practice Better makes it pretty easy to iterate what you do. So if you know are getting feedback that more video sessions, more video component to teaching your program would be really beneficial, go in and record a video and embed it. It's very easy to edit what you already have so that it's not a situation where you're going to get this feedback and feel like you have to start from scratch in order to actually apply some of this feedback into your business.

Michelle:
So that's awesome. So we're going to learn more about how we deliver our programs, what our clients need, how to market them. And I just wanted to add that when you get a piece of feedback from somebody, they have this really great result or whatever, like I said, you can just copy and paste it. You could use it as is with their permission. But when we're talking about testimonials, social proof, and we can talk more about what that means, what I love to do with my best clients, the ones that just did the work, saw the results that just make your heart so glad to have work together is I try to get back to them and ask if they would record a quick video with me. And in that video I ask them a couple of questions, where were you before we started working together?

What was your life? What is it like now? What's been the biggest changes? What are you most proud of and captured on video? Because again, with their permission now you have a testimonial that you could use a video testimonial, you can also just take whatever they said in that video and use it as a written testimonial or you have the audio if you wanted to clip it into a podcast episode or something like that. You get all the different versions of that testimonial that you can use. So I don't do that all the time, but hey, if you get back something that's really great, why not make the most of it?

Brittany:
Yeah, I love that idea. I have the same kind of idea here that when you put together your feedback form, put a little extra question in the bottom saying, can I get your testimonial, ask for consent or permission? And then maybe even a follow-up question asking if they would be willing to hop on a call with you to talk about your experience. I think that's going to just lead to so many opportunities and so much flexibility in how you actually use that because we can take that testimonial and use it in basically everywhere that we're talking about our business, whether that's email marketing, your sales page, your website, your social media, social proof is a big deal these days. It influences a lot of decisions when it comes to purchasing or signing up for things. So building out kind of a library of those testimonials that you can pull from when you're creating those different marketing efforts will be huge for you.

Michelle:
It is huge. I mean, you can put out any program you want, but if you get a couple of people talking about what a great experience they had working with you, what a great experience they had with this program, how easily they were able to make this change, it does the work for you of trying to show someone that you are, have the solution to help them with their problem. So when we say social proof, I dunno if you have an exact definition of that, but I just think what other people are saying.

Brittany:
Yeah, yeah, exactly. I think of it as this idea that prospective clients will adopt the behavior or adapt their behavior to make decisions based on what they see others doing. So if someone's vocal about having a great experience, whether that's a restaurant or a travel destination or working with a fantastic health coach, they're likely to more likely to consider that as a viable option that they'll pursue. If someone has a great experience, they kind of want the same thing. So that's how social proof has this kind of trickle down effect that you see someone who has a great experience, you want it, you kind of pursue it. So we can bring that into our business. And I think it's so nice that we can think about the timing of collecting this feedback so that when you are in that stage of launching something or building out a new offering, you're not scrambling and thinking about, okay, who from my roster of clients can I go back to and ask for a testimonial? If you build this in as part of your workflow of working with every single client, you won't have to have that last second scramble to collect these testimonials when you know actually need to have them and start to utilize them.

Michelle:
Oh yes, I have been there. I'm giggling thinking about that last minute scramble. That is for sure. And what you just said reminded me one time I had a client who she had seen testimonials on my website or whatever, and when I spoke with her, she was like, I am going to, I'm going to do this program. I know this is the right thing for me. I'm going to do so well at this. I'm going to be your next testimonial. I'm going to be on your website with a testimonial. And you know what she is? She absolutely lived up to her word. It's like she saw what other people were doing and she was like, I can do that. I want that for myself. And it gave her this extra motivation. I'm going to master this, I'm going to hit my goals. I'm going to work so hard and I'm going to see my face there one day. And it was so cool when that actually happened.

Brittany:
Yeah, I think testimonials really serve, or the social proof in general serves two different main things of, one, letting somebody know that what you're offering is a great fit for them, and also setting the tone that they could have that similar experience. And it sounds like that client was all in based on what she saw. So that's kind of like the ultimate goal is that we want people to have that big Yes. Feeling that huge buy-in when they see testimonials and feedback from our past clients or our community.

Michelle:
Yeah, 1000%. Oh, wow, it's such a great idea. This idea, building it into your workflow. I cannot emphasize that enough. The scramble that you will feel when you need to publish something, you need to launch a program, you need to whatever, get your website up and you think, oh no, maybe I can go back to my client from three years ago and ask for a testimonial because I haven't, I never did it. Just building it in makes so much sense with, so thank you for sharing how that's possible through one whole automated platform, like Practice Better. I think that's the smartest possible way to get it done on a consistent basis.

Brittany:
Yeah, absolutely. We're all about making things just a little bit easier because we know that business owners certainly have a lot on their plates, so let's simplify at least one element of it, right?

Michelle:
Yes, thank you and thank you again, and thank you for joining me today, Brittany. I'm really glad to see you here on the show. We'll do it again sometime. Yeah,

Brittany:
Absolutely. Thanks so much Michelle.

Michelle:
And thanks to everybody for joining us. I hope you got some really great ideas about collecting feedback in your business. Thanks again to Practice Better for all their support, and please go try any paid plan of theirs. I think you are going to love it at healthcoachpower.com/pb and use code HCP30 and we'll see you next time everyone. Bye-Bye.