The CoachAccountable Blog

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

Archive for Using CoachAccountable

Getting Clients to Love Using CoachAccountable

CoachAccountable is designed to be a complete experience for coach and client, with the intended goal being to make the coaching relationship better for both parties. This comes with the assumption that coaches AND clients use the system. Due to a number of reasons: lack of familiarity, aversion to technology in general, the hesitance that comes with trying anything new, clients might not use the system as much as you’d like, or how you’d like.

Fortunately, we’ve noticed a number of things one can do that increases the likelihood that clients not only use the system, but embrace it and love it.

Clients should know that you’re a fan, a big fan

To start, we’ve noticed that clients who take to the system do so because the coaches themselves are fans of the system. More importantly, these coaches communicate to the clients that using the system is an important part of their coaching experience. Some coaches even pitch CoachAccountable as an “added bonus” clients receive as part of their coaching program, and talk about the ease and convenience that online software will afford them.

There’s something to be said about showing enthusiasm when letting your clients know about the benefits of using software and how it’ll make their lives easier.

Communicate HOW you want your clients to use the system

Related to this, coaches should have an idea of how they’d like their clients to use the system, and be able to communicate this to their clients. Clarity is key here. If you expect clients to be more active users, ones that setup their own Actions, Worksheets, Metrics, and are active in Journaling, make that clear. If you expect clients to be more passive, only interacting with CA via the various notifications and email reminders that get sent out, that’s fine as long as it’s clearly communicated.

A bit can be said about selling the process here. For example, the more passive type of usage can be billed as a simple, time-friendly way to interact with the software. Many clients are busy, and this is the perfect way to improve results but also keep actual software usage time to a minimum.

Communicating that the system is important, as well as how to use it, can be done in many ways. Aside from your personal interactions via actual client calls, there are many opportunities within CA. Some coaches assign an initial Worksheet that welcomes the client to the system and walks them through certain features and how to use them — a personalized software manual if you will. You can also use a Whiteboard as a persistent reference. Feel free to use both.

Some coaches record screencast videos of themselves as as clients, clicking around the system and talking about the experience. None of this needs to be long — the best ones are relatively short and to the point (videos less than 1 minute). Starter Kit Courses are great for onboarding new clients so that they hit the ground running.

Metrics, Metrics, Metrics

Another important thing is to setup at least one or two Metrics for your clients. If you’re not sure what to track, you can ask them. Metrics are important because they make progress real for your clients. Metrics basically take your coaching, and the impact that you make, and turn it into numbers that your clients see. This is exciting stuff and should be communicated to the clients as such. Clients should know that Metrics are a way of showing that the coaching that they’re paying money for is having a tangible impact in their lives.

Happenings Reports

The Stream allows a client to view a record of their work within the system. It does its job well, but still requires the client to login and actually click into the Stream tab.

Especially for clients that seem to interact with CA only via email, Happenings Reports can be a nice way of showing them their progress. Having an automated email summary of what they’ve been up to show up right in their inbox can certainly be a delight. More on Happenings Reports here.

Everything discussed above assumes a certain amount of proficiency in CoachAccountable — in other words, knowing the tools that exist and how to use them. Understanding the system well and being able to communicate its benefits increases the likelihood that clients embrace CA.  To that end, I encourage you to reach out to us at support@coachaccountable.com if you’d like to brainstorm about anything regarding to your coaching, or simply just to do a session to understand the system better.  Happy Coaching!

How to Integrate CoachAccountable with your Website

You may already have a website whose purpose is to present you and your services to the world, and if so you might wonder how best to “integrate” that website with CoachAccountable.

It turns out that CA is itself designed to be a complete experience for your clients, so integrating it with your regular website is often as simple as making it easy for your site visitors to log into the CoachAccountable accounts they have with you.

Here are a few ways to connect your website with CoachAccountable:

Login Link

A common way to integrate CoachAccountable with your coaching site or member portal is to make a link from your site to CoachAccountable’s login page (https://www.coachaccountable.com/login).

Wrap the login link as a button or even a prominent line of a text, such as “Head to my personal coaching account” or “Login to my account.”  Something like this:

loginbutton2

They can click the button or text, log in as usual, and will be taken right to the system.

You can direct your clients to check the “Keep me logged in” checkbox when they log in.  If they do so, clicking that big button in the future (from the same device) will have them be taken right from your site and on into their account, making for a truly seamless transition.

With white-labeling, this concept is taken further as the login page itself can be customized using your branding.

When you have white-labeling enabled, the standard login page (again, https://www.coachaccountable.com/login), will appear branded (with logo and color scheme) for visitors who have logged in previously to your system, like so:

standardloginwl

White-labeling also allows you to direct visitors to a custom login page using a unique login link, found by going to My CA > My System > White-Label Branding, then scrolling down to Customized Login Page. This custom login page always appears branded according to your settings:

loginpage

This customized login page contains Custom About Text, found on the right side of the page

Use this simple but effective method to unite CA with your website, and give your clients a straightforward means to access their accounts.

Remote Login

White-Label Branding gives you the ability to embed a login widget on your website.  This is similar to the login link above, except now your clients have the ability to enter their username and password right from your website — no need to be taken to an intermediary page to do so.  Here’s what the login widget looks like, embeddable anywhere:

Super basic, but you can style it with CSS to make it fit right in with your website.

Super basic, but you can style it with CSS to make it fit right in with your website.

 

Head to My CA > My System > White-Label Branding then scroll down to Remote Login System. Here you’ll find the HTML snippet you’ll place somewhere on your website. This section also allows you to define the logout URL, where clients get taken after they log-out, the text that appears on the widget, and any custom CSS you would like to style the widget with.

remotelogin

Due to the ability to match the style of the widget to that of your website, Remote Login is a truly consistent method of integrating your two systems.

Both a simple login link and the login widget represent two easy ways of integrating your site with CoachAccountable. Give these a try: there’s a good chance you’ll find one of these approaches is all that’s needed to integrate CoachAccountable with your website.

Using CoachAccountable to Share Progress

CoachAccountable helps translate idea and insight into real, tangible progress. Over the course of a coaching engagement, this progress gets captured: Actions completed, Metrics recorded, Worksheets filled out and more all serve as tangible proof of your clients’ growth.

As a general rule, the detailed documentation of this coaching work is private, just between you and your client.  There are, however, scenarios in which it is desirable or even necessary to share how things are going to an interested third party.  When working with individuals from a client company, for example, the hiring entity will often want to peek in at how things are going in order to be assured that their coaching dollars with you are well spent.

In these situations it’s useful to take advantage of CoachAccountable’s ability to summarize client happenings and export the data in a format that’s easy to both share and understand.  CA is setup to make sharing a breeze.

Here are three methods you have available for sharing the results and progress of your coaching work.

1: Happenings Reports

Happenings Reports allow you to set up automated, recurring reports of what your clients are up to.  You set the report up once, then sit back as they get delivered to the pertinent parties on whatever regular schedule you choose.

Happenings Report listing

Setup is simple. Head to My CA >> My System >> Happenings Reports and click +Happenings Report. From here you’ll simply need to indicate who to send to, which clients to report on, and when to send.

Here’s what one looks like in your inbox:

Happenings Report example

Happenings Reports are meant to be versatile enough to handle different types of recipients and scenarios. For example, you might find HR management calling for once-a-month reports on concrete, quantifiable evidence of client performance. A Happenings Report is perfect for this, especially one that hyper-focuses on the numbers by being configured to include only Metrics.

Another useful feature of Happenings Reports is the ability for client and coach to make comments on any item within a Happenings Report via email by clicking on the small comment icon next to the item. Comments made via email are recorded in CoachAccountable as Stream Item, and (as always) emailed automatically to the other party.

This feature creates another opportunity for you and your clients to have productive discourse. In this way, Happenings Reports function as both a reminder and opportunity for conversation. Going through a Happenings Report might trigger a comment that wouldn’t have been made otherwise.

To learn more you can check out the full illustrated lowdown on Happenings Reports.

2: Client Exports

Have you ever wanted to download a record of everything you and a client have ever done together?  CoachAccountable allows you to do this in a couple of clicks through Client Exports. Though not automated like Happenings Reports, Client Exports offer a bit more flexibility in how the information is presented.

On the Clients tab, hit Export for a given client. Here you’ll choose the date range that the export is to cover (or just leave it blank to include the complete history), which types of items you’d like include, and whether you want items to be displayed in chronological or reverse-chronological order.

Include as little or as much of the client record as is appropriate for your purposes.

Include as little or as much of the client record as is appropriate for your purposes.

What comes out is a lightweight HTML file that’s easy to publicly showcase, or send in a secure manner:

clientrecordaaron

Use Client Exports as case studies to show off your coaching style and results, as a regular end-of-engagement souvenir for your clients to keep, or as a way to keep interested parties in the loop on how the coaching work is unfolding. Read more about Client Exports here.

3: Direct Access

This method is the most involved but especially handy for those third parties who would like a live window into what’s going on with your clients. Rather than give someone a report, you can, with CoachAccountable Team Edition, allow them to login in order to directly view (and not interact with) certain clients of interest.

For a third party, there’s a certain assurance in this practice that nothing has been altered in any way — the third party is viewing what is actually happening in-system.

There are two ways to go about this, with the difference being how much the third party can actually see.

Approach 1: Selective Client Pairing

Client pairing is appropriate for when you want to give a third party view-only access to one or more specific clients.

To set this up, add the individual as new coach.  When presented the Permissions Settings for this new coach, designate the individual as one of the team coaches but DON’T grant any of the permissions for that role, like so:

viewonlycoachperms

This setup ensures that the third party will only be able to view the clients you pair with that coaching account. The next step is to actually do the pairing and make sure no interaction can take place between the client and the third party user. Click the Pairing button for your newly added coach, then click the clients you’d like to pair the coach with.

By default, clicking on a client will give a coach “Coaching” access. Since you don’t want the third party to actually engage with your clients, simply select the triangle in the upper right of a given client to toggle the status from “Coaching” to “View only.” Hit Save Pairings and you’re all set.

viewonlycoachpairing

The red triangle in the upper-right indicates “View-only”.  In this setup we’re giving Frank view-only access to Lee Bron.

In the majority of cases, you’ll use this client pairing approach because it allows you to retain control over which clients your third party actually sees.

Approach 2: View All Clients

This approach gives the third party complete access to view ALL clients within your account, and is useful and appropriate to, for example, give someone high up within your organization a the complete picture of all coaching being done.  It is the ultimate in administrative oversight and enables complete transparency.

Similar to selective client pairing, you’ll add the interested third party as a new coach. When presented with the permission settings, instead of making this person one of the team coaches you’ll give them an administrative only role.   Then under the Administrative Permissions, check the boxes for “View all client happenings”.  If groups are relevant and this individual should also get to see all group happenings, check the “View all Group happenings” permission as well.

viewonlyadminperms1

This user will, like a normal coach, be able to login and see the list of clients as well as everything your clients are up to.

The Admin can't interact with the client at all. Notice the lack of big, green buttons.

The Admin can’t interact with the client at all. Notice the lack of the usual big, green adder buttons.

A powerful and detailed record of the coaching work naturally arises over the course of using the tools of CoachAccountable within a coaching relationship.  In addition to making the actual week-to-week coaching better, you can leverage this record to share the results of your work and better demonstrate the value of your work.  Enjoy!