How to create a client retention strategy for your nutrition business

This article was created in partnership with Portuguese nutritionist Liliana Silvestre (2963N).

The main focus of every nutrition professional, regardless of the area of expertise, should be the client.

In clinical nutrition, attracting new clients is essential for the sake of our profession, but is a single appointment enough for our clients to achieve the expected results?

It certainly is not. Right from the moment the client walks in your private practice is when our client retention work begins.

When clients seek your guidance, they are looking for assistance and guidance in long term changes and most of all, in having someone to always remind them how to be on track of their goals. That is why creating an effective client retention strategy is the single most important thing to increase your revenue and success.

To make things easier for you, I created a list of strategies that I regularly use to increase the commitment of my clients and make sure they are succeeding.


Customisation

Customization is something that should always be on our minds, but it is also important that the client recognizes that during the consultation, and notices we are not only advertising it.

The first thing I always ask is if the client wants to have access to a permanent follow-up with me. If so, I set them up with the Nutrium mobile app while we are chatting, and I’m creating their meal plan.

As I work on it, the plan will begin to show in the app. Just by doing this, we are creating a bond of trust, and I’m giving them a sense of commitment.

Innovation

Nutrition as a profession has been around for a few years now, and many of our clients have seen a nutrition expert at least once in their life. Therefore, it is up to us to make a difference when providing the service and have something that can set us apart.

For example, besides weight assessment, we may analyze body composition through bioimpedance or even skinfold measurements. You will find it hard to believe, but many of my clients have never been to an appointment where all these parameters were checked.

Moreover, by taking advantage of technological advancements, we can improve communication with clients. Not having to deal with the paperwork and being able to offer a mobile app instead is certainly an advantage.

Attractive design

Ideally, the meal plan should be clean, organized, and pleasing to the eye.

We should keep in mind the client will spend a lot of time analyzing it, so special attention should be given when creating those dietary recommendations.

Thanks to Nutrium app, I do not have to worry about this, since the meal plan design is automatically generated and it has an intuitive layout that my clients love.

Recipes

It is not required that a nutrition professional be a chef, but they should know a little bit about cooking, especially to help the client make healthier exchanges and prepare their favorite meals without going overboard.

During my nutrition consultations, I always try to give the client a new recipe that they are not used to cooking or try to show them a different way of cooking food. It is especially the case with vegetables since many people only eat them in stews or salads. Having a blog of my own with healthy recipes is also very useful.

Once I build a relationship of trust with the client, it is the ideal time for them to recreate it and feel that the recipe is "safe" for them.

If you do not want to build a blog because you are not sure if it would be the best use of your time, Nutrium also has the possibility for you to create a personal page, for free and within minutes, where you can share your recipes with clients. Check here.

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Follow-up appointments

At the end of the first appointment, I immediately try to schedule the next one, but I let the client choose when it is more suitable for them. I can recommend an appointment every two weeks, but it can also be done monthly if the client wishes to do so.

In the Nutrium app, in particular, this step is very intuitive as the calendar to book appointments is available where I also give clients' access to the mobile app.

This is of the utmost importance since it will ensure that both you and your clients are aware of your next commitment, which is the follow-up appointment. It is essential for you to continue to keep track of their progress and for them to be accountable.

Messages

I usually message the clients reminding them of the date of the appointments. The app also reminds them automatically, but I prefer to confirm the appointment myself, so the client notices our interest in them.

I also usually send clients to check up messages, at the beginning of a new year or when the last appointment they had was over 2 or 3 months ago.

It is crucial to keep in touch with them between appointments because that is what clients are looking for, they are paying you because they want someone to guide them and remind them of their goals. More often than not, clients fail to retain because they are too lazy to change and lack of someone to remind them to keep going.

Freebies

To offer a small gift at special times, such as Christmas, can make a difference and, once again, it can make your clients feel special. As an example, last Christmas, I offered a customized bag of nuts and another with homemade granola to clients who attended appointments in December. All of them were truly surprised.

In addition to the ones I mentioned here, there are other strategies that I do not usually follow but which may be useful to you:

  • Appointment Packages: Subscription of 5 nutrition appointments up front
  • Free appointments: After 10 appointments with us, we offer the 11th
  • Bring a friend and pay half of your follow-up appointment: If you recommend a nutrition professional to a friend and they make an appointment, you get a 50% discount for the follow-up appointment
  • Calling or sending messages on birthdays: another strategy that shows you care for your clients. With Nutrium, I can do this with one click only, so much easier.

In short,* we have a lot of strategies at our disposal to motivate our clients and prevent them from leaving after the first appointment*.

It may be the case they are not willing or prepared for nutritional monitoring, but it is up to us to keep motivating them and work with them to achieve their goals and expected results.

This article was created in partnership with Portuguese nutritionist Liliana Silvestre (2963N). This project has the goal to bring professionals together and allows them to share their experience with colleagues and Nutrium community.