- Robust feature Set
- Varied support materials
- Steep learning curve
- Expensive monthly cost
If MINDBODY sounds more like your neighborhood yoga studio that scheduling software, that’s not a coincidence. MINDBODY Software is one of two companies founded in 2000 by Rick Stollmeyer, a naval submarine officer who set out to create internet-enabled tools that could help small businesses be more efficient. His target audience was businesses that provide wellness services, a focus his company has kept to this day.
Today, MINDBODY offers a huge suite of small business solutions, software, hardware, and connectivity to the fitness community. MINDBODY is costly, sprawling, and highly specialized, making its niche very specific.
For those companies that fit MINDBODY’s profile, I still have a few reservations about recommending it, however. Read on for more information.
Table of Contents
MINDBODY bucks the common and usually very welcome practice of offering a free trial. The closest thing you’ll find to a free trial here is a 20-minute guided demo with a MINDBODY customer service representative through join.me.
MINDBODY’s pricing tiers have changed significantly since our last update. Recent updates have done away with the staffing limitations, but this change comes at a premium.
MINDBODY offers three pricing tiers, with each tier offering all of the features of lower-level tiers.
- Essential: $125/month
- Mindbody app listing
- Class, Appointment, Workshop, and Event Scheduling
- Retail POS
- Automated Emails & Texts
- Reporting (35+)
- Branded Features
- MINDbody University on Demand
- 1:1 Onboarding & Training
- Accelerate: $195/month
- Advanced Automated Emails & Texts
- Reporting (90)
- Advanced Scheduling
- 2-way SMS scheduling
- Ultimate: $395/month
- Custom Mobile App
Ease Of Use
MINDBODY is a bit overwhelming at first glance, with enough tabs and sub-menus to populate a small city. While most of these are self-explanatory, it will probably take you a few sessions to really begin to wrap your head around the scope of the software.
- Scheduling: MINDBODY’s scheduling features offer a great deal of flexibility, with the ability to set staff permissions, assign classes, clients, and tasks to specific staff or rooms, and offer a number of different products and price points to potential customers. Once you’ve assigned the appointment to a staff member, you can view the entire staff’s scheduling on a columnar chart and easily edit appointments with a click or a drag.
- Customer Booking Experience: Clients can book appointments through links on your site to MINDBODY’s scheduling system. Once there, clients are given the option to create an account (if they’ve never booked an appointment with you previously) or connect via Facebook. They’ll see a list of available appointments or classes, separated by day. A neat option for clients is the ability to book recurring appointments by week or month. Depending on the settings, they’ll be able to book paid or unpaid reservations.
- Calendar: For those who like all their appointments in one place, MINDBODY features a Google Calendar integration at every pricing tier. The software’s calendar can be accessed under the appointments tab, which will pull up a column chart of each staff member’s appointments for the day. In the upper left corner, you’ll see a calendar displaying the current month and the next month. Appointments are displayed as colorful blocks within the scheduling columns and as shaded squares on the calendar. You can easily drag appointments around to reschedule them, or quick on them to modify their details.
- CRM & Analytics: MINDBODY tracks all of your interactions with your clients, storing them in a profile you can access online or through the mobile app MINDBODY Express. The profile can track not only sales and appointments, but referrals, relationships to other clients, and custom fields. Interestingly, clients can also access and update their profiles, which is handy when dealing with a highly engaged user. On the data end, MINDBODY will generate a number of reports every month, depending on the plan you’ve selected. Number crunchers will find plenty to like on the analytics end of MINDBODY, which can generate over 100 different types of reports, tracking everything from sales to payroll. You can also view daily breakdowns of sales, bookings, and similar data and view them year over year. At the higher tiers, you can view that information on your mobile device.
- MINDBODY Express: Recent updates to MINDBODY have focused heavily on improving the functionality of the mobile app. You can now manage your client info from the app as well as view it, as well as perform sales functions like selling contracts.
Customer Service & Support
MINDBODY offers quick and responsive customer support. Most technical support questions are addressed by form submission, but users can contact customer service at (877) 755-4279 or access live chat. I received a phone call back approximately 30 minutes after submitting my request. And, of course, you’ll have access to MINDBODY’s comprehensive knowledge base. MINDBODY also maintains a blog that offers advice on topics related to business scheduling, management, and sales.
The company also offers guided learning sessions for new subscribers.
Negative Reviews & Complaints
While MINDBODY maintains an A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau, there are a large number of negative reviews. It rates a dismal 1.5 stars on TrustLink. You may also notice that many of our own readers have logged some complaints below.
- Difficulty: MINDBODY is a comprehensive piece of software, with numerous tabs and features to navigate. Many users complained that MINDBODY was overly complicated and difficult to use.
- Customer Service: Many of the complaints revolve around customer service, which is depicted as slow, hard-to-reach, and unresponsive.
- Billing Issues: Several users claimed they did not receive promotional rates offered by MindBody sales staff. Others complained about sudden rate hikes.
- Lacking Key Features: While MINDBODY offers a ton of functionality, several users remarked upon the inability to manage multiple locations. More alarmingly, this issue extends to client-side features, like the ability to easily manage your profile.
- Glitchy: A number of users reported encountering bugs that made the program harder to use.
Positive Reviews & Testimonials
MINDBODY has an A+ ranking from the BBB, as well as a number of favorable reviews on Capterra, where it currently ranks 3.5/5 stars after 311 reviews. And, of course, the MINDBODY website features testimonials from happy customers. Here’s what customers liked about the software:
- Breadth Of Features: This software covers a lot of ground, from scheduling to point of sale to the kitchen sink. Many users remarked that the service feels very complete.
- Networking: MINDBODY also serves as a tool for promoting and discovering small fitness businesses.
- Support and Training: MINDBODY offers training sessions and documentation in addition to its online knowledge base.
A full list of MINDBODY’s features can be found on their website. It’s more unusual features include:
- Point Of Sale Functionality: A lot of scheduling programs offer the ability to accept payments, usually by integrating with an online payments system. MINDBODY is somewhat unique in offering full POS right out of the box. Note that when setting your prices, you can make use of MINDBODY’s dynamic pricing system, which allows you to alter prices based on the number of people taking your class. Billed as a way of staying on top of shifting markets, this seems like a helpful feature, though I am curious how MINDBODY intends you to communicate to customers why different participants in your class paid different rates. The whole thing kind of reminds me of the way airlines price their seats, which might be good for airlines, but feels unpleasant to customers.
- MINDBODY Express: The companion app to the online system is available for both the iPhone (4.4/5 stars) and Android (3.8/5 stars) and offers a high degree of functionality away from your desk. You can schedule clients, run reports, make adjustments to your staff and even collect signatures and process payments.
- MINDBODY Connect: This client-centric app serves as a scheduler and health tool for users looking to locate and book classes in their area with businesses who use MINDBODY. It’s the tool they’ll be using to make appointments with you. The app got a redesign in 2018, focusing on improving functionality and brushing up the design to allow more connecting between customers and businesses.
One of MINDBODY’s big pulls is its inclusion of a complete POS system, which will allow you to sell your retail products and services through the program. If you’re inclined towards one-stop shopping, it’s worth noting that MINDBODY also sells PoS hardware for in-person transactions.
Out of the box, MINDBODY POS can process:
- American Express
- Gift Cards
- Groupon Coupons
One of the neat aspects of the POS system is that, because it’s integrated with other MINDBODY products, you’ll have access to a lot of information about many of your clients, allowing you to easily track sales and set up recurring payments. You’ll also be able to use the POS via MINDBODY Express and with the help of a peripheral, allowing you to process credit card payments with a mobile device.
The limitations of the POS system are similar to those of the program at large. MINDBODY is designed first and foremost for yoga studios and gyms, with an eye toward classes. While it can do inventory tracking, you won’t be able to track items based on their raw materials/components, for example.
MINDBODY’s subscriber information is stored on secure servers with multiple, redundant firewalls or backup directories that require access authentication. SSL Encryption is used to protect data being transmitted across the net. Data centers are hardened against earthquakes and feature numerous redundancies to protect data from loss.
MINDBODY passes Webutation’s Google Safebrowsing and Website Antivirus standards.
Integrations & Add-ons
Mindbody runs an integration marketplace where you can find a number of possible add-ons for your app. These include:
- Weebly: A build-your-own website service
- Emma: An email marketing service
- Trainerize: A software program for personal trainers
- WaiverKing: Allows customers to electronically sign documents
- ClassPass: A fitness studio network
- HealCode: For an additional charge, you can use this drag and drop MINDBODY partner to create websites and integrate MINDBODY into your website. It also provides a roundabout way to integrate with WordPress, with whom MINDBODY does not directly integrate.
- Constant Contact: An email marketing service provider
- Fitbit: The mobile app integrates with popular fitness tracker, Fitbit.
Let’s cut to the chase: MINDBODY is a complete and comprehensive software suite designed for businesses that offer fitness classes. Period. While bending it to some other purpose is certainly possible, you simply won’t be able to take advantage of all its features and use it at an optimal level, nor will you be able to take the software for a free trial test drive to see if it offers the functionality you’re looking for.
If you’re in its target audience, MINDBODY can pretty much take care of all your digital needs, from scheduling to sales to website design (if you choose to go with the HealCode add-on). It’s a big, somewhat complex program, but not necessarily as complicated as learning a scheduling program and POS program separately would be. Unfortunately, there are a number of red flags reported by users that give me pause, including bugs, price hikes, and unresponsive customer service (a big problem for complex programs).
Spa and fitness club owners may find a lot to like here, but everyone else should steer clear.
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