This week someone asked me what are my worries in this project?
There are a bunch but thinking about it, the biggie is the high dropoff rate in the beta.
Right now the coaching is via email, and many don't respond to the initial email (regardless of the type - we've tried a bunch of approaches) and of those that do, more drop within the first few days.
On the positive side, folks that stick with it for a week usually successfully continue on for the long term, but the ratio of those who do vs those who sign up in the first place is low.
Why do folks drop?
Not easy to be sure as most folks won't reply to let you know why (have tried but rarely get anything back 🥴) but my guess of the main reasons are:
- Email is awkward for this type of coaching. eg- too time consuming, do you start new emails every time or reply in a huge chain? do replies to questions go in the old thread or new ones? it's distracting to be conversing in a big inbox and feels too formal, or like another work task to be done instead of deeply personal reflection and improvement with the aid of a professional etc
- We are doing the beta service for free and we recruited the initial clients rather than them coming to us (no marketing so far), and as such, some don't take it as seriously as if they heard about us and paid to start the service...
- Lack of a personal connection with the coach to kick things off. So far we've taken an approach to make the focus on clients and not on us as coaches, but have come to realize there needs to be more of a human connection for folks to build trust and the connection - this is different from therapy
All these 3 should be fixed when the service launches - email will be replaced by a dedicated app which is much easier and more fun to use, the service will be a paid not free. And we plan to switch to a more friendly new onboarding so clients get to know the coaches (not just a one way street).
So why worry?
To be honest, there's still some doubt my head.
Not about whether the service can be useful (we've already had breakthroughs with clients who continued with it, and I know first hand the power of accountability to transform your life). But that somehow either my assumptions are wrong*, or they are right but fixing those will just uncover others like peeling an onion...
It's probably not that useful given we'll find out one way or another soon enough, but that's the honest answer to the question 😶
Til next week...
* ps -if you happen to be one of those who joined the beta but never got started with the service, would love to hear what the reasons were...
pps - can't wait til we're into the app beta so we can start to gather more feedback - especially with more "real time" tools like in-app polls, chat, analytics etc