The CoachAccountable Blog

Master CoachAccountable and become the best dang coach you can be. Also, news.

Offerings for your Established Clients

CoachAccountable Offerings were originally designed to be, first and foremost, for your prospective clients: those clients who were just checking you out, not yet having any working relationship with you, and certainly not yet set up within your CoachAccountable account.

An Offering allows them to schedule that introductory call with you, or purchase a Course of yours, or join one of your groups.  All of this can be done from a widget on your website, or by following a link (as shared any which way): both are perfect for a casual visitor with no established relation with you yet.

But it turns out it’s darn handy to allow your established clients to sign themselves up for (or purchase) additional Offerings in a self-service sort of way.  By making certain Offerings readily accessible from in-app, your clients can peruse and select from your “mini-marketplace” of coaching services at any time.

Let’s see how it works!

Setting Up Offerings for Established Clients

Making certain Offerings accessible in-app to your clients is as simple as creating an Offering Collection, choosing one or more Offerings to be part of that collection, and checking the “List this for in-app access by established clients” checkbox, like so:

Setting up an Offering Collection for esablished clients

Note how there’s also the option to make this collection ONLY accessible to established clients… more on that later!

When you dedicate Offering Collections as listed for in-app access, your clients will see them as new items in their top-right user menu.

If there’s just one such collection, it appears by name in the menu:

Offering Collection as seen by Client

If you list more than one to be client-facing, they’ll appear in the “Offerings” sub-menu:

Offering Collections as seen by Clients

 

If you designate the Offering Collection as available only to your established clients, anyone who accesses that collection when NOT already logged in (say, if they get to it by the direct URL rather than the the in-app link) will be redirected to log in first.  In this way, by checking both check boxes you can designate collections of Offerings that are truly meant only for your established clients, and not the prospective ones.

The Client Experience

When your client clicks on the collection, they’ll be sent the the Offerings Collection page to choose and sign up (or purchase).

Unlike the usual flow for new clients, they’ll not need to fill in their name and email, since that is naturally already known. The other key difference is that they’ll be able to use any payment cards they have on file to make purchases, making the process as quick and seamless as possible.

As you would expect, their signing up for a new Offering this way has whatever effects occur on their existing client account, rather than creating a new client account.

These effects can include:

  • Scheduling themselves for an appointment (this can be one that they might not otherwise be able to schedule themselves for)
  • Paying for an appointment
  • Purchasing several appointments by way of a new Engagement
  • Participating in a Course
  • Gaining membership into a Group
  • Having a new Client Agreement to agree to

Single-Item Offering Collections

Offering Collections are generally meant to be just that: a collection of several Offerings.  The Offerings Collection page presents a menu of all contained items, like so:

Several Offerings in a Collection

Clicking the “view more…” link reveals the detailed description.

However, you can make an Offering Collection with just one Offering.  In that case, presenting a menu with just one choice would be a little silly, so instead the system puts the blurb and description for that Offering front-and-center, like so:

Single Offering Collection

Since there’s just one option, the description shows front-and-center.

This allows you to have an Offering that is, in many ways, its own standalone landing page, with all the information about it to let visitors make an informed choice.  (Incidentally, the behavior works whether the collection is meant for established clients or new ones.)


Offerings have always been a powerful and flexible way to let your new clients start in on (and optionally pay for) your coaching programs.  This ability, to feature Offerings specifically for your existing clients, gives them a similar self-service capacity by which to engage with you further.

Enjoy!

PayPal

In addition to Stripe and Square, you can now use PayPal to allow your clients to pay your invoices and purchase your Offerings.

CoachAccountable’s support for PayPal has been a bit of a winding path.  PayPal was the original and only payment processor one could choose for client invoice payments for several years.  It was phased out in favor of Stripe and Square, both of which had better support for in-app payments (as opposed to the need to bounce on over to paypal.com), and the ability to save client cards on file for later invoices.  The former advantage was especially nice for Offerings, and the later for automatic recurring payments in coaching Engagements.

We really wanted every payment processor option to be on even footing, meaning we didn’t want some users to have less functionality available than others based on that choice.  Everyone using PayPal was grandfathered in, but we removed it as an option to steer folks towards Stripe and Square for what they made possible with Offerings and Engagements.

AND YET, it turns out that years later, with the growing CoachAccountable customer base in an increasingly varied set of countries, for many Stripe and Square simply aren’t options due to more limited country support.

So, in spite of the limitations, the time has come for PayPal to rejoin the ranks of payment processors supported by CoachAccountable.

Let’s see how it works!

As always, you choose your payment processor from the Settings >> Client Invoice Config page:

Choosing PayPal as a payemnt processor

A fine choice if it’s the only one available, but do mind the notice in red!

Despite having more coverage, globally, even PayPal supports billing only in select currencies.  If you try to choose PayPal while having selected a currency that is not supported, the system will alert you of as much.

Instead of entering payment details in-app, like with the others, a button will whisk your customers off to PayPal to complete the transaction.  In the case of Offerings, this is a pop up window, like so:

PayPal popup window when purchasing an Offering

It appears more centered than that–I just wanted to show off a little more of what’s going on. :)

PayPal offers a few trade-offs from the other payment processors.  For one, one needn’t even have a PayPal account to get started: you can simply enter your email address.  Whenever you get your first payment this way, PayPal will let you know you’ve got money, and guide you through the steps to retrieve it (and set up your account in the process).

Your customers going to PayPal means they can pay in alternative ways to just a credit card, like bank transfers or with their PayPal balance.  Though not guaranteed, this opens up the possibility of you collecting on your invoices without being subject to the usual merchant processor fees.  (The flip side of this, of course, is that the activity of making the payment is all happening at the PayPal side of things, and thus there’s no way for you, as a merchant, to store information about their payment instruments for later payments.)

Overall it works fine, both to allow your new clients to purchase your Offerings and your established clients to pay your invoices.  We recommend Stripe or Square over PayPal for the aforementioned reasons, but to all of those for whom those aren’t an option, PayPal’s got you covered!

Improve the Sales Funnel Journey With Offering-Specific Page Arrangements

In a recent conversation with a coach, I heard the following request:

I want to nurture my clients through a very specific sales funnel.

  1. They should come in through a basic, self-paced Course, which only includes a few items (Actions and Worksheets).
  2. Then, if they want to (and have proven themselves as a good fit), at the end of the Course they can see what else is possible with the system and upgrade to Group Coaching.
  3. After that, I want to upsell with my One-on-One Coaching.
  4. (Optional) the big-ticket private mastermind.

How can I best use CoachAccountable to make this funnel happen?

Enter Offering-Specific Page Arrangement. Let’s take a look.

An Offering allows clients (or prospective clients) to sign up and book with you, with other items kicking in automatically if you want. These automated items can include:

  • an Appointment,
  • a set of onboarding materials (Course),
  • enrollment in a Group,
  • a set of signup questions (Worksheet),
  • a contract (Agreement),
  • a series of invoices (Engagement).

Now, you can also set a specific Page Arrangement as part of signup.

New Client/Prospect: Pared-Down Portal

For the above example, the coach will set the Page Arrangement for the self-paced Course to only show a bare-bones setup: Overview, Stream, Actions, and Worksheets.

Set that in the last tab of the Offering editor.

Now, when a client signs up for this Offering, they’ll have a brand new CoachAccountable account with just these things showing!

Here’s what that looks like from the client’s perspective.

Bare-bones setup in action!

And just like that, our client is off to the races.

The Upsell Opportunity

Then, at a later point, our coach can turn on some of the other features and introduce these items to the client (here’s how). The ensuing conversation can open up discussion around how the other features can help the client reach her goals – and the coach’s sales funnel is set up to include certain items at certain price points, as listed in the original request.


Step up your sales game by giving new clients a tangible view into your system. Sign up for your free 30-day trial of CoachAccountable here. 

Different Offers, Different Clients, Different Currencies

For the longest time in CoachAccountable, choosing the currency in which you did business with your clients (for invoices, Offerings, and Engagements) was a one-and-done, set it and forget it kind of thing.

This simple model of one-currency-per-account has worked just fine for over 99% of our customers: most everyone using CoachAccountable to bill for their services only needed to do so in exactly one currency across the board.

But as we get to serving more and more folks, particularly larger organizations with an international base of customers, they “hey I need to bill some folks in X and others in Y” sentiment has become more prevalent.

The time has come for CoachAccountable to support billing in multiple currencies, and so this is now a thing.  Let’s check it out!

Setting up to Transact in Multiple Currencies

It all starts with choosing the currencies you plan to invoice in.  This, as always, is found in the Client Invoicing Config.  You’ve got the usual drop down menu to pick which currency you’re invoicing in, and there’s now a little extra link, “Actually, we bill in several currencies…”

I like to keep the UI conversational.

Click that, and you’re able to choose whichever are relevant to your business:

Need to invoice in something that’s not here? Let us know.

Using the Right Currency

Because invoicing in multiple currencies is such a niche feature, I thought it essential to not clutter up the UI in any place for the majority for whom a single currency suffices.

Accordingly, the ability to choose multiple currencies is tucked away behind that link.  But more importantly, when you choose more than one, only then will you find the option to specify currency (from among those chosen) in certain other places: for given clients, Offerings, and Engagements.

You can set the preferred invoicing currency for a given client by finding them in the My Clients listing and clicking on their gear icon.  In the “Manage Client” pop up that appears, you’ll find the setting under Settings >> Preferences:

Presumably this won’t change much once first set… but it’s easy to update if it does!

Once set for a client, all invoices you manually create for that client will be in their preferred currency.

When setting the price for your Offerings, IF you have your account configured for multiple currencies you’ll see a little link by which to set the currency for that price.  Click it, and the menu to choose will appear.

Choose currency for an Offering

You might make two sets of Offerings, one for each currency you’ll be selling in.

Setting the currency for the invoices of an Engagement and Engagement Template works the same way: if you’re configured to transact in more than one currency, you’ll find the place to choose which one.

Note that the currency set for an Offering or Engagement takes precedence over the currency set for a client: if a client is set for GB pounds, for example, but is enrolled into an Engagement which entails invoicing in euros, those engagement invoices will be issued in euros.

Also note the presence of “$USD” in above example: the system won’t ALWAYS clutter up the display with those 3-letter currency codes, but if a currency you’ve chosen could be one of several that use the same symbol (in this case, “$” which could refer to US or Canadian dollars), CA will automatically adjust the display in order to disambiguate.

Different Offerings for Different Markets

If you have customers in different countries who are to be charged in different currencies, you might make multiple sets of Offerings (and/or Engagements), each one priced appropriately for their respective market and currency.  You can do this quickly by setting up an Offering (or Engagement) in one currency, and making a clone that varies only in pricing.

From there it’s up to you to make available the correct set of Offerings to the right people.  You might, for example, create two Offering Bundles, one that you present to Canadian customers and another for those in the US.

Currencies and Your Payment Processor for Online Payments

If you’re set up to accept payments from your customers online (via your chosen payment processor, Square or Stripe), the currencies that you’re able to accept those payments in is a matter between you, your payment processor, and your bank.  So be certain that the currencies you pick are actually ones you can accept payments in!

If you’re not processing payments online, then you’re free to choose whichever currencies you like (as you’ll be manually recording payments that have been received by some other channel).

Reporting in Multiple Currencies

It’s nice to see the sum total of invoicing action in your account, and CoachAccountable offers plenty of places to do that.  Having multiple currencies amid your business transactions makes totaling up the numbers a little hairier, but not insurmountably so.  CA handles this by listing items all together, but showing currency-specific totals broken out at the bottom:

See totals for invoicing broken down by currency.

This should do fine for your bookkeeper. :)

And there you have it!  If you do business in only one currency, things will work as they always have with no real changes to the system.  But if you need to transact in multiple, the setup is easy and CA will handle the differences seamlessly.

Coaching Gone Viral

As the entire world feels the impact of COVID-19, social distancing becomes more important by the day. During this time many businesses are shutting down or scaling down operations, which makes some coaches wonder: what can I do with my coaching business during this time?

We’re keeping a finger on the pulse of the coaching industry, and here are CoachAccountable’s suggestions for the era of Coronavirus (as well as what we’re doing at this time).

Clean Out Your ‘Garage’

By this we mean ALL those areas where you might have some loose ends. Physical spaces, your computer, even interpersonal relationships.

Almost all of us have them: the half-baked ideas that would be good to pursue someday, the resources list we made last-second one day and never got around to refining, the antique grandfather clock that needs sanding (ok, maybe that’s just Morgan’s real garage).

But really, the slowing down of society affords us time to evaluate those ideas, tidy up the resources list, get rid of outdated files you no longer use, and all the rest. Just as it feels good to clean a room and throw out old items, cleaning up your CoachAccountable account and other records will probably feel good too.

Develop New Content

Especially if you have clients who slow down their frequency with you, it’s a great opportunity to create additional Offerings.

If you don’t have one (or if a new one would be a fit now), set up a self-paced Course for people to work through. How about an Onboarding Course, where you compile all those items you already send to new clients manually? A nice video walkthrough of the system with your voice and branding is also an easy start for many clients, and could be the perfect thing to produce right now.

Many coaches use CoachAccountable as a sort of lead funnel: a pre-set Course as the bottom, Group coaching at a middle price point, some one-on-one coaching at a higher price point, and perhaps an exclusive mastermind or workshop at the top. This allows clients to do more of a lifetime cycle with you, too. Any one of those steps could be a good entry point for new products – maybe a new free or paid Course to let people experience your expertise in a bite-sized lesson, for instance, or designing that exclusive high-priced product.

It could also be a good time to test the efficacy of the tools you already have as well as new ones, perhaps by offering a test of your new material for returning clients.

Discover What You Might’ve Missed

Chances are, you dove into CoachAccountable, started with the portions of the system that you needed right away, and maybe explored a few other features along the way, but never had time to check out that thing you were curious about. Now is a great time to experiment with features of CoachAccountable you’ve never used before. It might be a good idea, for instance, to finally drop Docusign in favor of Agreements. Or ScheduleOnce in favor of Appointments. Maybe you’re ready to automate the tracking of sessions with Engagements. Or any other places you can cut an additional system, removing complexity from your process, and likely saving some money at the same time.

Never made it through the Getting Started guide? Click on your name in the upper right >> Help >> Get Started to walk through it. Want to dig deeper into a feature or find what else you’re missing out on? Find a selection of recorded webinars to peruse. Click on your name in the upper right >> Resources >> Webinars to help you along. And if you’re curious about new tidbits that have come out since you joined, check out the rest of the CoachAccountable blog (the column on the left has Essentials and Tactical articles).

We’re happy to help as you expand your usage of the system to assist with remote working. Just drop us a line and we can meet with you (via Zoom of course) and make some recommendations for new avenues to explore. And if you’ve been a ‘lurker’ waiting for the right time to try out our free 30-day trial (or the right time to share some of your resources/referrals with other coaches), it might fit to try us out. We’re happy to meet with you, too!

Revamp Your Website

Perhaps you’ve got some new Offerings that you haven’t yet included on your site, or perhaps your “Book Now!” link leads people to a contact form, rather than an actual booking. This might be a good time to add those in using CoachAccountable Offerings.

Consider asking past clients for testimonials to beef up that portion of your website with real results you’ve helped achieve. That walkthrough video mentioned above could be a nice addition to your site, too, to show prospective clients your sophisticated system and help distinguish you from other coaches in your field.

Likewise, you can take a look at your website with fresh eyes: the copy, testimonials, images, and everything else, seeing if it’s still compelling and accurate. We actually did a webinar on enhancing your coaching website, with a little copywriting lesson in it.

Sharpen Your Tools

Since you’re a coach, you know more than most how much room we all have to grow. In fact, in our experience, the more you learn about yourself, the more responsible you are for all of it! This is a great time to self-evaluate. Resharpen the tools you use with your clients by applying them newly to your own life. Take your own Course. Measure something important to you with a Metric.

For many, the nature and structure of work may be changing. You can use this time to refine your business and work practices, streamlining by removing wasted effort. You’ll also have room to be creative with your approach: if you normally deliver group coaching in person, for example, what are some outside-the-box ways of recreating that co-creative experience virtually?

Find Your Own Coach

What’s an area of life where you could use a BIG breakthrough? Maybe, like those dusty corners of the garage, this area has felt like something to clean up later, when you have more time. Now is a perfect time to throw your hat over the wall and commit to a program or coach that will stretch you in uncomfortable ways. By being coached yourself, chances are you’ll get more present to what it’s like to start in on something tender, and the trust level it takes to work with a coach. You’ll represence the client’s experience for yourself. For Morgan’s part, she’s taking on an 8-week group financial coaching program with 5 other women.

And who knows – taking on being coached could spark some great ideas for other ways to run your programs or additional products.

Rest

This seems to contrast with much of the above, but hear us out. This slowdown in normal societal function gives us a wonderful opportunity to rest. To not hustle around all day from activity to activity. To be quiet. To reflect. To align. To snuggle with family.

You’ve likely been forced to remove many activities outside the home, so as things change later in the year, you’ll have the opportunity to add back in each one, or not. Like a strict diet cleanse, you might find that adding back in any non-healthy items will seem unappetizing.

And What’s Happening at CoachAccountable?

The team is healthy, and since we already work 100% remotely, we’re still working our normal hours from our separate cities and trying not to touch our faces. We’re available to help, meet you on Zoom for handholding, and answer any questions via support tickets. And, we’re taking our own advice and cleaning out our respective garages of any lingering to-dos in CoachAccountable land.

Let us know how we can help. Especially if you’d like to expand your use of CoachAccountable to work more remotely, and you’d like us to help determine what areas you can explore next!

May you and your loved ones and your communities be well.

 

If you’re thinking about getting started…

I got this email today:

I am just getting started as Hypnosis and Life coach.

I need this program as I have ADD and struggle with the maintenance/admin part of any job and now I am on my own, and want to be professional and be able to manage business on my own.

I don’t have paying clients yet, only peer coaching, but anticipate paying clients soon and would like to try the trial program. Or should I wait?

What do you think?

We get this question a lot from coaches who are just getting started, wondering if it’s worth potentially wasting their 30 free days of the trial period when they’re not quite yet off and running with their business.

To others who find themselves in a similar situation, I figure the response I gave her is worth sharing:

Great question!  As indicated in Item 1 of our Terms of Awesome (which the system will guide you to check out whenever you sign up) we’re happy to extend your trial if you haven’t yet really used it with real clients, so there’s no downside to giving CA a whirl sooner than later if you’re keen to do so.  (Plus you’re always free to come back and get another trial account.)

Moreover if you anticipate paying clients soon you may find having CoachAccountable to be a substantial advantage in attracting them and differentiating yourself.  Our webinar titled “A Better Coaching Website” gives a lot of ideas on how to make the value of what you do and the how of your process more evident to people who are considering working with you, and with CA Offerings you can make it so that people can sign up for your services or even just book an exploratory call with you right from your website.

All of these things will help you convey your professionalism while you’re getting established, and will help you manage a lot of the admin bits!

Whether now or later, and with CA or some other platform, I hope you find what you’re looking for to support your business!

Cheers,
John

So there you have it: if CoachAccountable looks in any way worth exploring, feel more than free to grab an account, EVEN IF you’re not sure you’ll have paying customers soon.

Our policy of liberally extending the trial periods of folks who are clearly still just kicking the tires means you don’t have to worry much about taking on a premature expenditure1, and having CA up and running as part of the professional presentation of your work can help you get started with those paying clients sooner.

Note:

  1. We don’t extend trials indefinitely, of course, but we’re happy to forego the opportunity of charging you $20 for a month or two!

What’s the Difference Between Offerings and Engagements?

When setting up your coaching business in CoachAccountable, the difference between Offerings and Engagements can be confusing. Here, we’ll detail what each one is for, and how to use the two in tandem.

What’s an Offering?

Offerings allow the automation of your sign-up process. 

Offerings are client-facing.

With an Offering, you can have clients:

  • Choose a coaching product
  • Enter their basic contact information
  • Complete an intake form (or not)
  • Book a consultation call with you (or not)
  • Pay (or not)

You can also use Offerings to automatically have the client:

  • Become part of a Group (or not)
  • Start receiving your materials, such as onboarding videos and intake forms (or not)
  • Be presented with a Coaching Agreement to sign when they first log in (or not)
  • Begin a monthly payment plan (or not)

The client or prospect is automatically given a CoachAccountable account, which makes it more likely for them to say yes to your coaching (for prospects) and be more engaged (for clients).

You can embed Offerings directly on your website, or use the standalone link when you’re emailing your list or posting on social media.

Here’s a bunch of Offerings to choose from, in what’s called an Offerings Bundle

What’s an Engagement?

Engagements allow the automation of your billing and packages.

Engagements run behind the scenes, visible only to coaches/admins.

With Engagements, you can:

  • Set up recurring invoices (like a monthly subscription, or installments on a payment plan)
  • Track how much of a client’s coaching package has been used
  • Notify yourself and/or your clients when the client is coming to the end of a coaching engagement
  • Limit clients’ ability to book more sessions than they’ve paid for

You’ve got a nice at-a-glance display of where the client’s at and what’s going to happen next. Each individual’s Engagement is easily adjusted if necessary.

How Do Offerings and Engagements Work Together?

The interaction is this:

Starting an Engagement CAN BE part of an Offering.

That means that (along with whatever else you’ve got starting automatically for the client via your Offering) you can have a sequence of invoices automatically begin upon signup. If someone’s purchasing a 3-month coaching package that includes, for example: 

  • one invoice per month and
  • 4 coaching sessions per month

the Engagement tracks how many sessions have been used, and sends out the monthly invoices for you so that you don’t have to think about it.

For more on how to include an Engagement as part of an Offering, check out this article

Together, Offerings and Engagements can automate away some of the drudgery of getting clients started, so you can focus on the coaching itself.


Get started with a free 30-day trial of CoachAccountable now.

(And if you haven’t seen this video showing how to set up an entire Offering in just 3 minutes from a brand new CA account – we recommend it!)

Direct Sync with your Apple Calendar

And then there were three.

Around this time two years ago I added direct sync with your Google calendar.  That fit the bill and did the trick for the vast majority of CA users.

Then around this time last year I added direct sync with your Outlook calendar.  That did the trick for most of the remaining CA users.

Now it seems there’s just remaining a rather small sliver of the CA community that uses neither, and rather instead keeps their online calendar with Apple Calendar with their Apple iCloud account.  Today I’m happy to report CA has them well covered too1: you can now directly sync your CoachAccountable appointments with your Apple Calendar.

Let’s see what’s new!

How to Sync iCal with CoachAccountable

As with the other two, syncing your calendar is a matter of visiting Settings >> Appointment Config >> Calendar Sync.

Take your pick and you’ll be on your way.

When you click “Sync with Apple!” you’ll be presented with the following prompt:

The first question should be easy…

You probably know your Apple ID, it’s the one that you would use to log in to your iCloud account2.

After that, though, you ALMOST CERTAINLY don’t know your App Password: rather than let CA know your actual iCloud password, (yikes, that would be too much sharing, and frankly we don’t want the burden of knowing that!) Apple lets you create a single-use password for specific apps that you want to grant limited access.  In this case, that’s just perfect for letting CA connect to your calendar.

How to Generate an Apple App-Specific Password

For better or worse, Apple requires you to set up 2-factor authentication in order to create app-specific passwords.  If you haven’t done so already, you’ll see the place to do so in the “Security” section on this page:

You see it? Yeah, it’s that blue “Get started…” link right down there.

Once 2-factor authentication is setup, you’ll see in its place the place to generate an app-specific password:

I’m sorry this is such a hassle. Yeah, I like the login-click-and-go flow offered by Google and Outllook better too.

Once you get that, paste it back where called for in CA and you’ll be on your way!

Nobody hack my stuff, okay? Just kidding, it’s just a dev account–do your worst. :)

Like any other direct sync, you get to choose which calendar CA should publish your appointments to (if any) and which calendar(s) CA should read from in order to prevent double booking (if any):

Which will it be?

Finally, like any other direct sync, your clients can go through the exact same steps to connect THEIR Apple Calendars.  They’ll find the place to do so under their “My Account” page, and, unlike you as coach, they won’t be prompted for which calendars to read from, but they do get their choice of which calendar their appointments with you should show up on.

Enjoy!

PS: Support for Apple Calendar means CoachAccountable can sync with any online calendaring system based on CalDAV protocol.  If you know what that means and it would be useful for you to connect to a CalDAV server outside of Apple, let me know!

Notes:

  1. Not that they’ve been left in the cold until now–the “old fashioned” way of calendar feeds and subscriptions has stood for years as a workable 80% solution!
  2. If you don’t have that, either you’ll need to sign up for an iCloud account OR Apple Calendar sync is not the one for you!

Delightful Collaboration X – Client Activity Stats

I got an email from Arne of Empowerment Holdings with a request:

I have a question regarding the statistics for client engagement.

Since we have to report how active all of the coachees are we need to go to client activity and count all action assignments/completions by hand. Is there a possibility to add a feature where we you can list all stats in a certain timeframe for the whole client stock with one click?

That would be great!

A great thing about the record of coaching happenings (that CA naturally accumulates over the course of common use) is that there is a lot of insightful data that can be drawn from later to summarize and analyze things like participation, effectiveness, and ROI.  In this case I could see how the particulars of how many times a given client has done this or that would make a useful report, and one for which CA has all the data.

I sometimes get requests like this, and when I do what’s incredibly helpful is to have a mock up.

So I replied:

Possibly! It would help to have a concrete example of what sort of report would be useful in terms of tabular data.

If you mock something up as an example of what would be genuinely useful as a simple CSV, containing information and/or stats derived from what CA would have available, I’ll see about adding the ability to generate such a report automatically!

Often times when I pose the challenge, more or less to the tune of “sounds promising, please mock it up for me”, I don’t get anything back.  That’s problematic, because that means the idea for the report likely isn’t yet clearly based on a thought out use case, OR that the desired information might not actually be readily known to CoachAccountable (and if all that is clear, lacking a mock up still means I’m likely doing a lot of guesswork to create what would actually serve the need behind the request).

No such issue here.  What Arne gave me back was exactly what I needed, PLUS a little more insight into the desire fueling the request:

Hey John,

Sure, so for our client it’s super interesting to see how active the coachees are. So I could imagine a Report like this to answer the question: How actively engaged was a certain group of coachees during a certain time.

Coaching Report
Cycle I Cycle II Cycle III Total
# Coaching sessions that have taken place 231
# Coaching time in hours 288,75 h
# Milestones & Goals formulated 276
# Actions formulated 855
# Actions completed 340
# Actions incomplete 515
# Cancelled Coaching sessions 22
# Worksheets assigned 100
# Worksheets completed 60
# Data points added 100
# Metrics added 400

Perfect! Now this I can work with.  The vast world of all possible things that CA tracks (and thus could ostensibly report on) is reduced down to a set clear stats that I am assured would be interesting and worth including, and the insight into why this would be cool at all (“for our client it’s super interesting to see how active the coachees are”) made me excited to cook this up.

You can see the end result in Reports >> Data Lab >> Client Activity:

Lots of data to look at, but no need to feel overwhelmed! You can modify what’s included to get only what’s interesting.

As you can see, it’s not verbatim as suggested.  While building it I realized there were other similar categories of stats that might be interesting, and that breaking it in to sections made it more clear to follow.  I also added flexibility in letting the user choose how the data is broken into columns (either by day, week, month, quarter or year).

This is significant to point out, because it highlights an important fact: we never do programming for feature development to spec for a customer’s request (no matter how big the customer), BUT we very often run with input about what would be useful in order to create something that has the potential to be generally valuable.

Fun fact: while composing the above portions of this blog post this morning I noticed that Arne’s mock up contained a “Total” column, yet that wasn’t in the CA report as originally released last month. So I just spent a little time to add it, as well as the options to include averages and percentage stats.  Do I love my job and feel empowered to act?  You betcha!

When I originally released this I was delighted to hear back:

Thank you so much! This helps us A LOT!!!

Music to my ears: to save an organization time AND help them to better show off the work their doing to the folks that hired them?  That’s a serious double win, and I hope you’ll get similar value from this.

My thanks again to Arne who was thorough enough to illustrate what he was needing… CA is better for everyone because of it!

Group Whiteboards

Whiteboards are a great place to keep a living document – perhaps an evolving business plan, a 5-year outlook, or a list of suggested reading materials. Until now, you’ve been able to keep your own Whiteboards, collaborate with an individual client on them, and share them via Courses.

Now the members of a Group can collaborate on a Whiteboard. Let’s take a look.

How to Enable Group Whiteboards

You’ll need to enable Whiteboards on a per-Group basis. Do this by going into the Group’s Settings; in the Add Ons section, tick the box for “Enable Group Whiteboards”.

Enable Group Whiteboards in CoachAccountable

You’ll now see Whiteboards as an option on the left sidebar. Go there, then click + Whiteboard to create a new one.

Note you’ve got the typical privacy options: to share the Whiteboard with the Group or keep it private for yourself. Team Edition accounts have additional privacy settings pertaining to the team coaches.

As with single-client Whiteboards, you’ll have the ability to peruse past versions of the Whiteboard to see what’s been changed and by whom.

See drafts of a Group Whiteboard in CoachAccountable's coaching software

In this case, each group member used a different color to contribute, but that convention is up to you!

That drafts view gives you a Google Drive-like functionality, without the creepy potential for someone watching what you type (I’m looking at you, Anonymous Llama).

Whiteboards in Non-Visible Groups

If you’ve got some admin-only Groups (meaning your clients can NOT view and participate in the Group, but you’ve set it up to help with your own management of clients), these Whiteboards will simply show up in each client’s respective individual Whiteboard tab.

You can still edit that Group Whiteboard, and those changes will show up in each client’s version of the Whiteboard. This is a great way to share items like resource lists across sections of or all of your client base.

Clients will not be able to edit Whiteboards in admin-only Groups, because they don’t know they’re in a Group! (For more discussion on the uses of admin-only Groups, check out our Webinar on the topic. Click on your name in the upper right >> Webinars to watch.)

 

Group Whiteboards: Another great project management tool in CoachAccountable brought into existence by the requests of our users!


Start your free trial of CoachAccountable today. Groups (and the new Group Whiteboards) come with your account at no additional cost.