Feb 14, 2024 • 2 min read

Mastering the art of rebooking

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Client retention as a lever to practice growth

Building lasting relationships with your clients helps ensure their success. You know from your own experience that the clients who stick with you are more likely to achieve their goals and remain successful in the long term. It turns out that long-term retention of your clients isn’t only beneficial for them, it’s essential for the growth of your private practice.

For guidance on this topic, we turned to Zaya Dietitian-in-Residence, Jacqueline Rodgriguez. Jacqueline is the owner of Body Fuel Thrive, and has established rebooking strategies and cornerstone of success for her clients and for her business. 

Jacqueline’s top tips:

Lean into offering insurance-covered care

When a client is able to cover costs with their insurance, they’re able to focus on their long-term health without continually worrying about the cost of their care.  The payment method can also change the nature of the relationship you have with your client. The client may be more open to establishing more of a “coaching” relationship with you when they pay with insurance. Jacqueline shared: “I’ve found that when I work with  cash-pay clients, my client and I feel more pressured to get to their goals faster due to money constraints. Whereas health insurance-based clients stay with me much longer because there is very little out-of-pocket cost. When I work with health insurance clients, I can dig deeper into their daily habits and nutrition because we aren’t pressed for time or sessions.”

Create bite-sized action steps

Making lasting behavioral changes is difficult. You’ll set your client up for success if you break down the ultimate goal into many pieces. This may feel like common knowledge– but, we mean REALLY bite-sized. We asked Jacqueline for an example:

“I had one client who was seeking help losing weight.  Her current eating habits included a light, carb-based breakfast, ordering takeout for lunch and dinner, and loads of sugary coffee drinks. For the first 4 weeks, the goals we worked on were: modify breakfast, limit takeout to once per day, and reduce the fall-themed coffee drinks to 2x a week. That’s really it. By starting really small we were able to build a relationship and make progress.”

Imagine a different scenario. What if Jacqueline front loaded all the necessary education? What if they set a goal of getting takeout once a week? Chances are the change would feel insurmountable; the client wouldn’t be able to experience wins; and Jacquleine would have struggled to build a long-term trusting relationship. 

Never leave an appointment without the next one scheduled

Ideally, you and your clients will find a regular cadence for their appointments. Preserving the same time slot on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis makes nutrition counseling a consistent part of your client’s life, and sets them up for success. Establishing this cadence increases the likelihood that your client will make time for their appointment, and that you’ll have the time available for them.

Zaya makes it easy to schedule a client for a recurring appointment. Check out our knowledge base to learn about this product feature.