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Efficiency and Growth: A Guide to Implementing Automation in Your Wellness Business

By Chesley Long

August 31, 2023

Picture this—the year is 2028. Sounds like a distant future, with flying cars, and robots among us. But, if you scroll back the clock to 2018, someone was probably making a similar statement about 2023 and artificial intelligence (AI).  At the time, it seemed far away, yet here we are. It came fast, and the changes are incredible. What’s increasingly apparent is that automation is here to stay and is presenting itself in new forms at a rapidly exponential rate. 

You’ve all read how this is an opportunity for growth with class- and appointment-based services. You’ve made some changes and are benefiting from some wins. However, don't make the common mistake of just setting and forgetting it. In fact, having your quarterly meeting with your automation systems is just as important as engaging with your employees in your quarterly staff meetings.  

Just take a look at how the user experience has changed with Uber, Airbnb, Google Flights, Uber Eats. It’s very rapid. These minor changes that make a significant impact on how the consumer does business with them, are just as achievable in a small business. 

The benefits of automation for your wellness business

Let’s break down the importance of automation for your business. It’s not to achieve computers taking over and running your business. It is important you get time back for yourself and your staff. To have face-to-face conversations on what’s important to your clients and grow retention. That’s the name of the game here, isn’t it? Retention.  

Nothing grinds my gears more than watching a business that has staff assisting with a transaction manually, while a new client awaits service, or leaves after their first visit with no formal goodbye. 

The following list isn’t a to-do list. It’s a refresher. If you’ve achieved many of these milestones, a small pat on the back, however it’s time for an audit. Mindbody is constantly upgrading the software and you may not be aware of new functionality.  

New client retention

Are you engaging with SMS? The open/read rates for SMS far surpasses email. It’s time to get on board. No need to have your SMS sound automated. Make it have a personal touch, so when they reply, your team can step in with a helping hand. The biggest mistake you can make is selecting a retention/marketing tool that doesn’t support 2-way text. Meaning, if they reply, you can continue the conversation. Messenger[ai]/Marketing Suite have done an incredible job of making this easy. 

Direct to membership contracts 

This could be the GOAT of all automations. For those not keeping up on the trends, GOAT stands for Greatest Of All Time! Wouldn’t it be nice to have an intro offer comparable to how Netflix does theirs? Clients sign up at a discounted rate and BOOM, on the second and all recurring months it goes to full price. No upsell, no client retention team reaching out to talk about the benefits of the monthly package.  

Put the onus on the client to cancel. Not a lot of Mindbody clients know the software is capable of creating this scenario. The end result is spending the entire intro special journey building relationships with your new clients. Conversations never have to eventually end up on price, and what package works for them. It automatically happens, and therefore every conversation is about HOW they are and WHO they are in your community.  

Mindbody’s Card Updater

Did you know Mindbody has an automatic credit card updater? Time to reach out to your Mindbody sales rep and get this feature added. So much time is wasted following up with clients and having awkward conversations about bounced cards. This is yet another automation that does the hard work for you, so that your communications with clients are uplifting and positive. 

Client indexes

This term might not be familiar to you. However, it’s a free feature within your Mindbody software. It will allow you to target your messages to your clients based on certain characteristics. Maybe you have a group of clients that are there to build a community, and another group that’s there for weight loss. Why not send communication to them that is tailored to their needs? Learn more about client types.  

You might be frustrated by the capabilities/limitations of the software. It’s time to let out a sigh of relief and recognize that any, and ALL software experiences this. My suggestion is to never wait until the software is fully ready, because in reality, it never is. Get your hands dirty with the software, make some mistakes, so when AI and automation are REQUIRED parts of your business, you already have your degree in basic automation. Remember those businesses that thought they wouldn’t need a website? Or better yet, a mobile friendly website? That wasn’t so long ago, and where are they now? 

My final piece of advice is: PLEASE become a customer at your own business. Set up test clients, borrow friend’s cell numbers that you have access to. Feel what it’s like to be a customer at your own business and your ability to tweak your automations happens as quickly as the technology is advancing. 

If any of this feels overwhelming, Mindbody has an incredible group of certified consultants that can help walk you through any of this! Happy automating!   

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About the author:

Chesley Long headshot

Chesley Long

Mindbody-Certified Business Consultant

Founder, Camp Yoga

Chesley Long is the studio expert and founder of Camp Yoga, an event company that specializes in bringing people together locally with a fitness focus. His business has excelled using Mindbody software. Running this business in nine locations around North America has taken him to over 300 boutique fitness studios. Seeing the incredible potential that Mindbody has for his own business, he was drawn to share his expertise with the fitness community. Having been to many studios, he's had firsthand experience with seeing what works and what doesn't. With an entire life in sales before embarking on his nomadic Camp Yoga journey, Chesley thrives on helping studios engage in a successful sales process and dive deep on useful automation tools to free up their time, so they have more time to focus on what they love and their businesses grow with ease. Chesley also offers his services embedded within Camp Yoga. You'll have the weekend of a lifetime and take home some incredible tools to grow your business.

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