4 Communication Mistakes Health Professionals Make With Their Clients

If your clients have a positive experience working with you and get great results, they’ll tell their friends and family about you. If not... well, you’re going to be on a constant hunt for new clients.

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Ashley Sauvé Ashley Sauvé
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When it comes to building a successful health business, here’s what we know for sure: client experience is everything.

If your clients have a positive experience working with you and get great results, they’ll tell their friends and family about you. If not... well, you’re going to be on a constant hunt for new clients.

Even though most professionals know that their client experience can make or break their business, there are still some huge mistakes being made when it comes to client communication. Today we are sharing what those mistakes are, why they could be holding you back, and some best practices for avoiding them.

1. Your client doesn’t know what to expect.

Whether it’s their first appointment, a follow-up appointment, or their last appointment, your client should know exactly what they’re walking in to. Many, many people experience some type of anxiety surrounding their health and seeking services. It is your job to remove as much of this as possible by setting expectations that will allow your client to show up as their best self because they know what is about to happen.

As a health professional, you should be communicating expectations for each visit in the following ways:

  • Send a “What to Expect” email prior to their first appointment.
  • Let them know at the end of each visit what will be covered at the next visit.
  • Explain to your clients how long they should wait between appointments and why.
  • Send an email reminder prior to appointments and ask them if they have any questions they would like to send in advance.
  • If you run multi-week programs, provide an agenda upfront of what will be covered at each session so they are never wondering.

Giving your clients a chance to communicate concerns with you or send questions in advance can be helpful since many people get flustered and forget their questions in the moment. This way, you are empowering them with some control over what is discussed. It also reduces canceled appointments because they know why they're coming and what will be covered.

Tip: If you offer different appointment types, write a detailed explanation of what to expect for each and make that clearly visible from your booking page.

2. You don’t send follow-up emails.

It is not enough to give your client their health plan and see them at their next appointment.

This mistake is especially common for health professionals with an in-person practice, who provide all their client materials at the visit, but even online business are guilty of it sometimes. In the days after your client receives their plan, they might be overwhelmed by the dietary changes they need to make or unwilling to spend money on all the supplements you’ve suggested.

If they are having any feelings of confusion or hesitation, there needs to be an open line of communication for them to express that. Do not leave your clients with buyer’s remorse!

We recommend that you follow-up with your clients three to five days after you give them their protocol or meal plan, ask if they have any questions about the plan or what was covered in their visit. This can be an automatic email that goes out or you can personalize it. Regardless, it is a must for client success!

Note: It is reasonable to expect that following up with clients between appointments can take an additional 30 minutes of time. Price your services to allow for this as it will improve your client retention.

3. You give your clients food lists and nothing else.

While giving your client a list of foods that can help or undermine their healing efforts or symptoms isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s not helpful unless you provide some advice about what they should eat instead.

Providing your client with a customized meal plan or even a sample meal plan to follow will minimize confusion and increase compliance. That means less time spent answering questions between appointments and happier, healthier clients who get better results.

If you are recommending dietary changes, best practice is to provide a five to seven-day meal plan to show your client what their new diet can look like. This can be created in just a few minutes using meal planning software like That Clean Life so you’re offering a lot of extra value without too much extra work.

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4. Not getting to know your clients personally.

Don't forget to show your clients you care about them above and beyond the clinical relationship you have established. During visits, make note of personal details to follow-up on next time. For example, if they mention that they'll be headed to Ikea on the weekend for a new couch, ask them about it when you see them next.

Showing genuine interest can really deepen your relationship with clients and prove you truly care about them. It’s easy to focus on their health goals and challenges, but you should make an effort to acknowledge all aspects of their life like their family, birthday and favorite TV shows.

Getting to know your clients on a more personal level will make it much easier for you to re-engage them later on. Sending a healthy cupcake recipe two weeks before their child’s birthday might be all it takes to open those lines of communication back up and bring them in for another session.

Remember to go the extra mile, it’s never crowded.

By having amazing communication with your clients and showing them you care, they will think of you as more than just a practitioner. They will see you as a meaningful relationship they want to maintain for years to come.