There are certain basic standards of service to which all health coaches and exercise professionals must adhere. These are not things that will differentiate you in the marketplace. Rather, they are what every savvy consumer will expect and, as such, should be the foundation of your day-to-day work. Setting these standards is a necessary step toward establishing your credibility with potential and current clients and participants.
You’ve already earned your ACE Certification, so you’re on the right path when it comes to earning and maintaining credibility through your credentials. It’s important to remember that passing a certification exam means that you have the “minimum competency” required to work in your chosen profession. To continue to demonstrate your dedication to both your clients and participants and your own professional development, you must pursue meaningful and relevant continuing education throughout your career.
2. Appropriate Pricing
Strategic and appropriate pricing is vital. While most people would list price as a top consideration when making a purchase or choosing a service, the truth is that people generally don’t make these decisions based on price. Instead, they focus on the quality of the product or service and its importance in their life. While many health coaches and exercise professionals may worry about setting prices too high, it’s also important to note that pricing your services too low to undersell the competition may actually undermine your credibility in the marketplace. The adage “you get what you pay for” means that less expensive options are often viewed as being lower quality.
Professionalism takes many forms and begins with first impressions and the initiation of rapport building. It also includes things like preparation before classes or sessions, responsiveness to participant or client needs and all aspects of communication (including verbal and nonverbal communication during face-to-face or video interactions, email or text messages, social media and all types of marketing).
4. Quality of Service
Providing high-quality service should be at the forefront of your mind during all interactions with potential and current clients or participants. Remember, you are working in a service industry! Staying up to date with industry guidelines and trends is important, as you want to able to respond to questions in a professional manner (even if that means saying, “I don’t know,” and then getting back to the client or participant after doing some research). Being professional, offering the highest standard of care and staying present and focused are essential. Finally, be sure that you utilize the best (not necessarily the latest or most trendy) methods and tools. You don’t want to chase the trends, but you also don’t want to be viewed as behind the times.
Taken together, these four standards of service should help you enhance your credibility and begin working toward establishing yourself as a category authority in your chosen market. Clients and participants want to feel as though they are important to you and well cared for—they are trusting you to guide them to better health and wellness, after all!
Shannon is a certified Book Yourself Solid® Business Coach providing information based on the BYS System.