Understanding the PQRS of Coaching for Business Excellence

Mar 11, 2020

Every business, whether it is product or service-based, needs to mind its PQRS in order to be successful. These are:

  1. Pain points or needs of customers
  2. Quality of service met as needed by the customer
  3. Reward and remuneration from the customer on satisfactory execution 
  4. Service above and beyond what was expected by the customer

In the coaching business, PQRS may consist of the following.

Pain points and needs of the customer

These may be work or life-oriented. It may be individualistic or collective in nature, past or future induced.

The coach needs to be able to understand the space that the client is in now, where the client wants to move to in the future, and how to create awareness of what to do and help design effective actions. This ability defines the client’s niche. Capability, as well as perception, defines this space of coach-client compatibility.

An executive client may not accept a coach without business work experience. Irrespective of how much the coach may want to believe coaching to be domain non-specific, the client may want someone who has walked the talk to guide them. The ability of a coach to demonstrate the capability by establishing both credibility and visibility in that niche space is critical to be perceived as capable and accepted.

The coach may need to blog, write, speak and network to establish credibility and visibility. This will help in proving one’s excellence in one’s chosen domain. It is essential to success. Being excellent in what one does, unfortunately, may not be enough.


Quality is what is seen, experienced and evidenced, not merely the number of hours. It may not only be the client but also the stakeholders and their perception. Coach needs to engage critical stakeholders in the coaching journey, be it work or life-related to create confidence and trust, and eventually satisfaction. Almost always quality is an emotional response in coaching, not a cognitive one. 

Client centricity, empathy, presence, the coach’s mindset of emotional intelligence and other such interpersonal factors establish coaching quality far more powerfully than being adept at a coaching framework. After all, the client has the solutions within and does not yet have the awareness. Evoking awareness is an emotional journey defining the quality of the journey.

Rewards and Remuneration

Reward and remuneration are sometimes related to volumes and numbers. Strategically, a coach would wish to establish a brand. This is a more sustainable approach. Attracting more clients at a lesser fee is possibly a good start to build a business. If continued, it may limit the potential is it may be perceived as the coach being mediocre. Rewards are almost always matters of perception and promotion. The perception of scarcity and the endorsement of celebrities enhances rewards. 

There are ways of charging more while delivering more, as in a team and systemic coaching. If the coach charges for time spent, a higher rate is often well justified by evidenced value add to a team of leaders rather than one. This offers greater value to the organization.


Service sustains the business when the other three PQR factors are in the right place. Service is the coach’s unique value-add, above and beyond what others offer and what the client and stakeholders expect. Is the coach willing to spend time beyond the one-hour commitment or the six-session journey? Is the coach open to the client contacting them in an emergency or after the paid journey is over?

Service builds loyalty. Loyalty builds relationships. Relationships alone sustain a business. 

When developing a business plan, most coaches focus on factors of audience, delivery, price, promotion, factors taught blindly in a business school. 

What matters in the life school or even in the work school is how the coach can build a sustainable brand based on emotions, since coaching is about emotional empowerment. Make sure you mind your PQRS.

Ram Ramanathan, MCC
Ram Ramanathan, MCC


Ram is the Founder and a Principal at Coacharya. As the resident Master and mentor coach, Ram oversees and conducts all aspects of coaching and training services offered under the Coacharya banner.

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