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
If you want to learn more and take your communication and coaching skills to the next level, you need to join the Way Finders Academy. This a FREE membership space designed specifically for anyone working in employment services. When you become a member of the Academy, you have access to world-class soft skills training created for employment consultants, career counsellors and case managers. The Academy includes a dedicated training areas, resource library and community forums where you can ask questions and answers to some of your biggest clients challenges.
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