Setting Client Expectations for Success

As health and wellness professionals, client experience should always be top of mind. Working to ensure clients have a great experience results in better outcomes and paves the way for scalability in your practice, as they will be more likely to spread the word to others. Managing expectations is an essential part of ensuring clients have a great experience working with you. Knowing what to expect from the beginning, sets the tone for what working with you will entail and what type of outcome clients can anticipate. You’ll draw the right people into your business and have a better opportunity to provide exceptional results working together.

We’re sharing 4 strategies to help set client expectations for success and how you can use these strategies in Practice Better.

Be Upfront and Clear with Your Offer

From the time a client is first introduced to your business, who you are and what you do should be clear and easily understood by the client. In setting client expectations, it can be helpful to consider the type of verbiage you use to ensure you are speaking in a way that will be easily understood by someone who is learning about what you do for the first time with no prior knowledge.

Your Practitioner Profile is a great place to share who you are and what you do, so prospective clients will be certain they are finding the right type of care for their needs. Further, you can get extremely detailed with what your services entail and the type of outcomes clients can expect by providing thorough descriptions when building out your services in Practice Better.

A service agreement is a great place to house details that go beyond who you are and what you do in your practice that you still want clients to know before committing to work together. Think items such as your communication preferences and boundaries, cancellation policy, expiration policies, and other items that will impact your client’s experience working with you. Sharing these items in advance can be done via a Waiver, which will require the client’s signature which will act as proof your client has read, reviewed, and acknowledged the information you’ve shared with them.

Map Out Journey and Milestones

Every health and wellness practitioner will have their own unique offering and workflow. As such, it can never be assumed that a client will innately know what to expect working with you and what you’ll, in turn, expect from them. Be transparent and upfront about timelines and what you’re able to do for your client. What’s in your scope of practice, and what isn’t? It can be easy to unintentionally underdeliver what the client expects from you if you’re not preemptive to first set proper expectations. Not clearly sharing what working together will entail leaves an opportunity for the client to determine their own assumptions and opens up the chance of misaligned expectations.

Consider mapping out the client journey with each milestone and what they can anticipate along the way. Working to map out their first session with you, to the last, with every follow-up session in between, will help set expectations when it comes to it come to setting realistic timelines for what clients will receive from you.

Choosing to upload client support resources into their Document folders will allow clients to easily reference this information whenever they need a refresh and mitigate the need to repetitively field questions from clients seeking out clarity on your process.

Set Goals

Goals act not only as a great way to promote accountability with your clients but also as a great strategy to help set client expectations. Working together to set goals ensures you are in alignment with where your clients should be spending their time and efforts. In turn, goal setting with your client will make for a more efficient journey working together, as the client will have direction and understand what needs to be accomplished before their next session with you. As an added bonus, you’ll understand how best to support your client along the way where you can then more easily follow through on what the client is expecting of you.

A great strategy to keep goals top of mind in Practice Better is to utilize the tasks feature, where you can opt to include a due date and provide a time estimate of how long the task will take for your client to complete, to further set expectations. Certain goals that are an ongoing focus for your client can be set to automatically recur at your desired frequency, whether it be daily, weekly, or monthly. These scheduled tasks will serve as great reminders to help keep client expectations in check.

If choosing to use the Food and Mood Journals with clients, targets can be set within journals as a secondary option to display client goals and where they should be focusing their attention.

Communicate Often

The best way to get in front of misaligned expectations is to communicate often! By providing a space for clients to share their thoughts, you’ll be able to understand where they stand at any given point with their journey. Clients will evolve as their time working with you progresses, and their expectations may shift over time, too. Regular touch points are a great way to remind clients about what is next, what they can expect, and ensure you are both on the same page.

Within Practice Better, there are many ways to stay in regular contact with your client, including ways to automate your outreach to save time. Broadcast messages are a great way to send a personalized message to more than one client at once. Additionally, consider automating a check-in form to go out before a session to act as a touchpoint, This is a great way to ensure you are consistent in the type of feedback you are collecting that will help you stay aware of your clients current status to inform how you work together going forward.

Setting expectations is key to working successfully with clients. In doing so, you increase the likelihood of great client engagement, results, and word-of-mouth referrals. As a rule of thumb, it’s ideal to set client expectations before they have a chance to assume they know what to expect. With a few well-timed, simple strategies you can set the tone for a great experience for yourself and the client. Doing so will avoid drawing the wrong client into your practice, disappointment, and disengaged clients.

Better Business Conversations

Each month, our Business Success Coaches, host an interactive BBC YouTube Live, bridging together expert advice and Practice Better technology. Take a moment to watch the session below where they discuss ‘Setting Client Expectations for Success.’

Video Duration: Approx. 30 minutes

Subscribe to our YouTube channel to be notified about our next YouTube Live event!


Practice Better is the complete practice management platform for nutritionists, dietitians, and wellness professionals. Sign up for free today.

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