It’s very disheartening when clients ask for a refund… Especially, if you already invested time and energy in coaching them.
Most coaches have a no-refund policy in place, usually in a form of a written coaching agreement. But even with a contract in place, clients can still insist on getting a refund, dispute a charge with their credit card, or simply start bad-mouthing you. Ouch!
This can especially happen in a group coaching program, where participants don’t feel the same intimate connection with you as in 1-on-1 coaching and can easily withdraw from the group – even if you have a no-refund policy.
So what can we do to prevent refund requests?
I will assume that you’re a good coach who truly care about your clients’ success. You show up on all the coaching calls, have a proven process or roadmap, and consistently communicate with your clients.
There’s a lot written about preventing refunds – choosing the right clients, having a great client onboarding process and client care, and so on.
But one of the biggest reasons clients don’t get results from coaching is not doing the work, not being fully invested in the process, not actively participating in their own success or transformation. In other words, not being fully committed to doing the work necessary to achieve results… then blaming the coach or the coaching program.
When I run my coaching programs, I always ask my clients to submit their work inside their client journals. I also like to ask specific questions before each coaching (or group coaching) call using the Weekly Check-ins so I can see what they need help with and what I need to focus on during the calls.
So when a client asks for a refund, I do 2 things:
- I immediately go to their journal to see if they’ve been doing the work and submitting their weekly assignments. If there’s little or nothing there, it tells me they haven’t really been actively participating in the program so they can’t possibly expect results.
- I will then ask to get on a call with the client to discuss what’s happening and address the non-participation issue, and will usually turn them around having them re-commit to the process or the program.
Client ask for a refund for different reasons. Life can get in the way, money is suddenly tight, or they simply realize that they’ll need to do the work.
I learned that we’re not responsible for our clients, we are responsible TO our clients. Which means it’s up to them to do the work required to get results.
By using Coaching Genie’s client journals and weekly check-ins during coaching, you’re able to create a “trace” of the work your clients have done, and their level of participation in the program. This way they can actually see, in a very tangible way, that they’ve been “slacking” and that the coach has provided everything possible (live coaching calls, tools and resources, accountability, etc.) to help them succeed.
What has your experience been with coaching refund requests?
Milana is an entrepreneur, business strategist, and marketing mentor to coaches, authors, and speakers. She is the author of two books, “Coaching Millions” and “Simplicity Entrepreneurship”, the creator of telesummit. She is also the creator of Coaching Genie, an online platform for designing and delivering coaching programs with ease. She came from Soviet Ukraine almost three decades ago as a classical musician with zero knowledge of the business world and has since built multiple six and seven-figure businesses. Today she’s passionate about showing entrepreneurs how to use simplicity as a growth strategy. Goodbye complexity and overwhelm. Hello, simplicity, profits, and ease.