The Client Engagement Problem
What gets people engaged and stay engaged when working with health professionals?
Wecudos started off on a journey to bridge the gap between health professionals and people looking to bring about positive change to their health & wellbeing. Over the last four and a half years we have explored countless ways to do this. From the health professional side, we are proud to say that we have made it possible for them to reach new clients and ultimately provide great care for them. It was more difficult for the client side, but we have condensed our findings down to three core issues:
We created an online campaign to attract people who had a health & fitness goal to offer them virtual support from a personal trainer and a nutritionist. Yes, we got a lot of interest and people went ahead and entered their name, email and goal into the field- they took action! That's the first step, right? The next step was for them to get on a call with one of our team to discuss more about their health & wellbeing goals as well as any difficulties were having. The results were shocking! Here’s why:
a. They had very generic goals like ‘I just want to lose 20kg’ or ‘I want to eat healthier’.
b. Most people were not actively doing anything to help themselves reach their goals
c. They did not realise the value of getting the right professional support or guidance
In a nutshell, a huge number of people have some sort of health & fitness goal and were willing to try anything new that may help them but if their mindset is wrong and they have not made any changes themselves like joining a gym, it's a truly uphill battle to get them to work with new health professionals. This is why we made the decision to start working with clients that are members of gyms or those who have been referred to us by their work, GP or hospital.
The trust issue
Our research has shown that many people are afraid of working with a health professional or afraid of seeking one because they feel intimidated. For example, one lady we interviewed thought personal training was for those who were already fit and active, whilst another thought a nutritionist would be constantly dictating what she could eat.
We have found that health professionals should be able to touch prospective clients with their own unique story and philosophy and not just advertise their professional services. It’s so important for clients to be able to relate to you on a personal level and not just on a professional level. The more you open up and share about yourself, the more your audience will connect with you. It can be about your everyday life, your ups and downs with your own health and training or about your personal journey and routines/habits. Let your prospective clients know that you are human, just like them! By coaching our health professionals to work in this manner we discovered it made a massive difference in the overall engagement after they met their health professionals.
In our free 5-step marketing guide for health professionals, we talk about 5 ways to instil trust and authority with your online audience. If you manage to portray yourself with honesty, both with your successes and failures, and how you might have overcome those obstacles on your journey, you will instantly connect with your prospective clients who want to be motivated and learn something new every day.
When it comes to health, people don’t just want to be sold to- they want to be able to trust you.
With the growth of internet usage and the rise of mobile internet consumption, people are now ‘Googling’ anything and everything. There is a vast sea of information in the health industry, and not all of it is credible. For example, self-diagnosis, following diet and fitness trends are becoming more prevalent particularly on social media. As a consequence, people feel like they can get all the information they need online. I know this is not what you are wanting to hear but unfortunately, this is quite common.
However, this is also one of the problems we are tackling. We feel that health professionals have a duty to educate and bring trust and authority to the industry. Health professionals have a wealth of expert knowledge and advice to share but unfortunately, the industry is so unregulated that you, as health professionals, cannot seem to get a word in! The Wecudos Academy was created for this exact purpose, as we feel that there is a disconnect between your excellent client care and reaching those people that really need it.
We can't stress the importance of understanding the behaviours and choices of your prospective clients. In business we talk about buyer persona, market segmentation, customer development etc; as a health professional you should start thinking in this line of thought too and really try to understand your end 'user'- they hold the answers to a lot of your questions.