The CoachAccountable Blog

What's new with the CA platform, tutorials on using it, and customer spotlights.

Archive for Messaging

On Not Overwhelming Your Clients

I’m going to open this discussion with a quote:

With great power comes great responsibility.
– Voltaire (or maybe Spiderman, for some reason it’s not clear)

CoachAccountable gives you, as coach, great power to cause accountability, follow through, and ultimately results with the people you coach.  It can serve as a brilliant “auto nag” system that can gently guide your clients to act upon your coaching, doing so in a hands-off manner that takes the edge off any creepy feeling that you’re obsessing over what they’re doing (or not doing) in a given week.

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System Email Addresses

“I love having messages to my clients captured in CoachAccountable.  It would be nice if I could just send a regular email without having to log in, and have it show up in their file.”

– Like, a dozen coaches.

CoachAccountable messaging is nice, a quick way to fire off messages between coach and client, affording tidy, on-topic comment threads and becoming part of The Record of the coaching process.  But traditionally, messages sent via CA had to be send from within CA.  Wouldn’t it be lovely if you could post a message to your clients from right within your usual email?

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Metric Progress Now Visible via Email

This is one I’m excited about.

One of the serious wins of Metrics is that they makes progress evident: they turn a set of numbers into a tangible experience of how things are going, with a satisfying visualization of results relative to a target.

One of the other serious wins of Metrics is that they make it dead simple for your clients to track that progress at regular intervals, thus eliminating much of the tendency to forget as well as keeping goals regularly within their awareness between coaching sessions.

Those two major wins have been combined: now when your client replies to a Metric reminder email with their number for the day, they’ll get back an email response which shows them their freshly-updated progress in graph form, like so:

Visual feedback comes right back to your client when they report progress via email.

Visual feedback comes right back to your client when they report progress via email.

It’s an effect that I’ve already enjoyed while testing, and one which I think many clients will benefit from.

Why?  Because it’s satisfying to get that feedback right away, and that satisfaction motivates further effort towards next data point.

Formatting Messages

There’s a new goodie for CoachAccountable client and group messaging today: the ability to add HTML formatting.

Previously messaging was constrained to just plain text.  This is generally sufficient and right in line with how most email messages are composed.  Starting today however coaches can opt to add rich text formatting to messages sent through the system:

Just on click turns a plain text area into...

Just one click turns a plain text area into…

...a WYSIWYG editor, ripe for making a formatted message.

…a WYSIWYG area, ripe for making a formatted message.

All told, this new ability applies to messaging a single client, bulk messaging some or all clients, group messages, and group private messages.

It’s nothing revolutionary, but kinda nice.

Bulk Messaging Your Clients

Hot of the heels of the release of in-system messaging within CoachAccountable, I’ve already had a number of requests that it be possible to send a message to some or all clients at once.

I never meant for CoachAccountable to serve as anything resembling a email broadcast platform, but when I see what a natural fit it is to build upon the in-system messaging (with all of it’s perks) I see this as a rather nice fit after all.

You can personalize your bulk message by inserting your client's name and a magic login link.

You can personalize your bulk message by inserting your client’s name and a magic login link.

In-System Messaging, a Nice Little Step Up From Email

Every now and again I’m asked if CoachAccountable can be used to send messages between coach and coachee.  My thought process in responding usually goes like “Well, sort of: journal entries, session notes, action alerts, reminders, file sharing notifications… all kinds of messaging!”  But the real essence of the question is of course concerning more fundamental messaging, like an email.

Until now my response has been to just use email.  Email is great, everyone gets it and is already setup to use it.  There’s no reason to reinvent that wheel within the context of coaching software, I figured.

It turns out there are a number of perks CoachAccountable can offer by way of a messaging system, perks that specifically support coaching relationships.

Let’s look at how it works.

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New Goodies

A number of new goodies have been added to CoachAccountable, this time with an emphasis on making the system even easier and smoother to use.

» Continue reading “New Goodies”

Reminders just got better: mark Actions done and enter Metrics via email

One of the huge wins of coaching software is to keep a running record of actions and performance metrics.  It makes it easy for you to know at a glance how your client is doing (way better than burning through precious coaching session minutes getting the progress update), allows you to give insightful support based on what is and isn’t working, and gives both you and your client a tangible sense of progress and accomplishment as records accumulate.

The key to realizing these benefits is to make it super easy for a client to keep these records up to date.  Having them log in each day to record what’s new is a lot to ask, trust me.  Over the summer I built a way for my clients to update the system by responding to text reminders, for both actions and metrics.  “Just enter your cell and set up text reminders” I told them, and this worked/works swimmingly for me and my peeps.

» Continue reading “Reminders just got better: mark Actions done and enter Metrics via email”