Client engagement can be challenging at the best of times, but during COVID it’s been harder than ever.
While your clients aren’t required to maintain the same level of contact with you right now, it’s important that they know you are still there for them.
If you are having trouble making contact with your clients, they are avoiding calling you back or if you do get to speak to them – they’re very not open to having a conversation with you, chances are you’re not in rapport with them. Rapport is the foundation of every great job coach-client relationship and the best way to build rapport, is to provide:
Fig. 1. The Three C’s of Engagement & Trust – the foundation great of coach-client rapport.
If you can provide CERTAINTY, CONNECTION and CLARITY to your clients, every time you engage with them, your relationship will be built on a foundation of rapport, deep trust and mutual respect. Then, when you have trust and engagement, you’ll get much better outcomes.
At any given time, your clients may experience a range of different emotions reflective of their personal situation. These emotions may include worry, frustration and anger, or they may lose motivation to work towards the goals you have set together. They may be feeling alone, uncertain and confused.
By re-framing the way you see your role and how you engage with your clients, you’ll experience a connection with them that will deepen and strengthen your relationship. When things get back on track, you’ll be in a great position to help them achieve positive employment outcomes.
In the first instance, your role as their Job Coach is to check in with them, ask how they are and let them know that you’re there as a support resource for them. If you can build trust and engagement by providing the three C’s, your clients will be more likely to want to chat with you on the phone regularly.
What are the Three C’s?
Certainty is what we need when things feel out of our control, and while there will be things you cannot provide answers to, if you can provide advice and reassurance around the things you do know about, your clients will go to you as a trusted source of information.
- What information can you provide?
- What support can you offer?
- What do you know to be true or factual?
- How can you help remove doubt?
If you can’t meet in person, it’s important to maintain regular contact via the phone or through email. An SMS is often the simplest and fastest way to engage your clients – use it as a way of gauging how receptive your clients are to your connection.
Meaningful connection is:
- Making regular contact – touch base weekly or fortnightly on the same day and at the same time.
- Building rapport – get you know your clients, ask about their family or the things they like.
- Being true to your word – call when you say you will.
- Following through with your commitments – send through an email to confirm what you’ve discussed or planned. Uphold your end of the relationship.
Conveying your message clearly is essential if you want to build trust. If your clients are confused or don’t understand your message, it’s important that you review how you’ve delivered the information.
How to deliver information:
- Be clear
- Provide transparency
- Remove confusion & distractions
- Ensure understanding
We’ve created a handy downloadable poster to help you remember how to use the three C’s in all your interactions. Keep it next to the phone every time you make a call to a client, so they’re always front of mind.
If trust, appreciation and understanding are values that resonates with you, and using it them part of your client engagement process appeals to you, check out this exclusive training opportunity become a master Rapport Builder. You’ll learn the 3 most effective strategies for client engagement, that are guaranteed to get you great results!
About the Author
Way Finder, Thought Leader, Rule Breaker
Maria has been delivering soft-skills, employability skills and job readiness training to the long-term unemployed, as well as professional development to consultants and leaders within employment services sector in Australia and internationally since 2006.
Maria is passionate. Her mission is to ignite human potential and help people find what it is that gets them excited to live every day.
Maria’s unique knowledge in Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and Positive Psychology have been the corner-stone of our Bounce training programs which are successfully delivered in Australia, the US and New Zealand.