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How to Maximize Client Retention in Your Coaching Business?

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How to Maximize Client Retention in Your Coaching Business?

Follow these effective strategies to learn how to retain your coaching clients longer.

Retention is equally important (if not more) to client acquisition — so much so that with only a 5% increase in retention rate, the profits increase by 15-20%.

Getting new customers is risky; you can’t be sure you’ve acquired a client until you get money — no matter how much time and resources you invested.

But retaining existing clients is safer; you just have to provide incredible service (think: underpromise and overdeliver) to keep them paying longer.

So you shouldn’t focus on acquiring new clients for your coaching business but on retaining your existing ones for longer.

The question is:

How do you maximize client retention in your online coaching business?

I interviewed online coaches/consultants who’ve successfully retained their clients for one year or longer to find your answer. Here’s how to retain coaching clients:

  • Offer discounts for long-term contracts
  • Deliver seamless, personalized onboarding
  • Proactive client support
  • Offer exclusive resources
  • Share loyalty incentives
  • Personalized acknowledgment
  • Organize virtual retreats and workshops
Table of contents

You can also check out all the free guides available at the Course Creators Academy.

Let’s get started.

Offer discounts for long-term contracts.

A straightforward way is to make your clients commit to long-term contracts, say one year or longer. And you do that by offering an irresistible discount with annual membership.

For example, here the yearly membership costs 17% less than paid monthly.

Offering discounts is a win-win situation — your clients enjoy a discount, and you enjoy a stable revenue.

Normand Chevrette, CEO of CME Corp, says, “We offer discounts to healthcare facilities that sign extended contracts with us. Our clients are happy with this setup, causing a 20% surge in our retention rate within just a few months. The discount has saved them money and solidified our relationship.”

Not only it helps you improve your retention rate drastically, but a good system in place enables new work opportunities. Chevrette further says, “It has also convinced them to continue working with us for their supply chain, logistics, and biomedical service needs.”

Deliver seamless, personalized onboarding.

Another way to retain your clients longer is to simplify systems — clients want results; they don’t care about the fancy tools you use.

Riva Jeanne, an online coach and coordinator at Nadrich & Cohen, advises coaches to streamline their onboarding process and contract negotiations and provide user-friendly platforms for communication.

She gives an example:

Consider a client comparing two providers—one with a complicated onboarding process and the other with a straightforward one. The latter has more chance of winning the client's favor because it's easier to work with. Prioritizing simplicity can make all the difference in retaining clients and winning their loyalty.

Riva suggests reducing response times, offering self-service options, and providing clear and concise information to avoid confusion, minimize unnecessary steps, and create a seamless experience for your clients.

Your clients will always appreciate seamless onboarding, saving them much time.

Proactive client support.

78% of leads are lost if the response time is five minutes or longer. Yet many online coaches don’t respond to client requests or inquiries.

Leaving your client’s questions unanswered for long shows unprofessional behavior and affects your trust — which can also lead to them terminating their contract.

After you’ve closed a client, their goals become yours, and you must be available to help them succeed. Showing proactive support puts you on their good list — they know they can count on you when encountering problems. They would want to keep a coach who always helps for longer.

You can provide 24*7 on-demand doubt-clearing sessions if you work with a few clients (3-5) at a time. Or you can set a dedicated one-hour weekly session for each client to answer any questions.

But, if you work with many clients, on-demand calls can become exhausting. Then, you can organize a group doubt-clearing session where you’ll take everybody’s questions.

Another method is to give them a form to ask questions. However, this might not be as effective as an on-demand call, as they will still have to wait for you to respond.  

See how nicely Carole Ann has planned her coaching sessions and provided many options to support her clients:

Offer exclusive resources.

Retaining clients longer also depends on how special they feel while working with you. Membership stretches longer because the coaches provide exclusive resources that members won’t find anywhere else.

For example, if you coach SEOs, then you can offer bonuses like:

  • A premium keyword research tool membership
  • Your SEO hacks list
  • An ultimate on-page SEO checklist
  • Discount offers for domain purchases
  • Free access to premium website themes
  • And more

And you provide these resources exclusively to your group members. So, as long as your members need access to these irresistible bonuses, they won’t mind paying for the membership.

In addition, you offer regular coaching sessions (which is invaluable) so your clients are hooked and wouldn’t want to quit anytime soon.

PRO TIP: Share something unique (your clients don’t know about) in every coaching session to keep them excited and interested.

Here’s how Holly Bray offers irresistible freebies to add more people to her community:

She adds these interested people to an email list, nurtures them by sending valuable content, and later converts them into coaching clients.

You don’t have to create a massive library to share bonuses. Sharing loyalty incentives every once in a while can keep your clients longer. For example, you can create one new resource (e.g., an online course) monthly and announce it several times to build hype.

Online courses are less effort-taking. You can collect old recordings of sessions and create an online course. OnlineCourseHost.com is a perfect platform taking less than 5 minutes to host online courses on a professional website.

Personalized acknowledgment.

Acknowledging your clients when they achieve wins (even small ones) can positively impact in retaining them longer.

You need to help your clients achieve their goals and celebrate their wins with everyone by sharing how you helped them reach there. This makes them feel valued and gives them a feeling of growing.

They will see that by getting your coaching, they’re moving closer to their ultimate goal — your coaching is helping.

Alex Cattoni is a copywriting coach, and she shares #win every Sunday in Sunday Celebrations of Posse members:

This does three things:

  • Lifts her client’s spirits, and they want to do better.
  • Motivates her group members to keep improving.
  • Encourages her email subscribers to join the premium membership.

Another benefit of keeping clients happy is to get referrals. If your current clients like your service, they will recommend you to their friends. You can also create a referral system to reward your current clients for each referral they get you.

Create a community.

Getting your clients together to share their stories, wins, fails, and everything is the best thing you can do to make them build deeper connections with you and your people.

And once they build those connections, leaving such a healthy group where they belong becomes difficult. Here’s a testimonial of a Superpath Slack community member:

Read: “I have no idea where else I’d turn if I didn’t have access to it anymore! There’s just nowhere else like it on the internet for me.” — that’s the effect of a powerful community.

That’s exactly what Alex Cattoni says — building a community is one reason she could scale her business so quickly. And she recommends everyone start their business by starting a community.

So, as an online coach, you should create the following:

  • A member-only community for clients who’re currently taking your services and
  • A free community of people who’re interested in your services (and will likely convert in the future)

This makes you a valuable asset because if they decide to leave, they will have to leave you and a loving community.

Organize virtual retreats and workshops.

You should organize virtual retreats or workshops regularly to keep your community interesting.

These can be fun sessions where your clients come together to interact or learning sessions where you teach them something new they should try.

Other things to do is running contests, giveaways, and offline meetups — where you cover all the costs.

By doing these things often, your clients start feeling that you’re not all about work and that your relationship with them isn’t strictly professional. That’s where you connect.

Conclusion: maximizing client retention in your online coaching business

Offering exceptional coaching and helping your clients achieve what you promised still trumps the list. You will do just fine even if you skip everything else and focus on getting them to achieve their goals.

But also remember to have fun and build deep relationships with your clients — that’s why you started in the first place.

And if you need any help, feel free to reach out.

We also publish helpful guides and tutorials on our blog to ensure we’re helping new course creators. Join us to become the first to know when a new post goes out.

If you are looking to ask any questions on online course creation, you can reach me on my Facebook group:

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I hope you found this post helpful. Let me know in the comments below what other topics you want me to cover.

Have any questions about how to start an online coaching business? Leave your questions below!

Thanks for reading… and enjoy the course creation process! 😉

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