If your small business provides a personalized service, chances are you either already have or desperately need a booking solution that your clients and employees can use to set appointments. If that's the case, Mindbody can do that for you ‒ there are just some caveats you should be aware of.
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If you're in the market for an employee scheduling and booking solution, then you likely already know that nearly every company out there bills customers on a monthly basis; Mindbody is no different. We were unable to determine if the company offers an annual subscription option.
If you're looking for a platform to solely handle your timeclock or employee booking needs, Mindbody may not be for you. Mindbody strives to be a comprehensive solution for small businesses in the wellness industry. And while it handles employee scheduling and booking, it also has marketing, point-of-sale (POS), and client and staff management features all rolled into one package and served up for a monthly fee.
As such, the monthly costs are on the high end compared to other software scheduling solutions we evaluated. The company has three tiers to consider; prices, except where noted below, are for a single location.
- Essential: This is Mindbody's entry-level offering. It comes with a free app and web listing, appointment/workshop/event-scheduling capabilities, retail POS options, 24-hour customer support, and branded web widgets – among other booking needs. There are a lot more features this tier provides. For a single location, the cost is $129 per month. That figure nearly doubles to $258 per month for two locations and nearly triples for three locations.
- Accelerate: In the Accelerate plan, users receive more features like two-way text notifications and reminders, an email campaign builder and templates, and 90 reports to quantify and visualize relevant data. In fact, the number of features expands in every service tier offered by Mindbody. For that increase in usability, small business owners pay $239 a month for a single location, $478 per month for two locations and $717 a month for three locations.
- Ultimate: With the Ultimate tier, subscribers get access to yet more features like personalized drip campaigns, customer feedback and reviews, and payroll integration (though this is available in the Accelerate plan as well). Expect to pay $349 per month for a single location, $698 a month for two locations and $1,047 per month for three locations for this plan.
If your company has more than three locations, Mindbody can accommodate your needs, but you'll need to speak with a sales rep for a personalized price quote. If those numbers shock you, it's important to remember that Mindbody isn't just a scheduling solution. With that in mind, it might be more cost-effective to bundle your needs (scheduling, email marketing, etc.) into one software app (and a single price point). If you only need bits and pieces of the services Mindbody offers, however, those prices may be a bridge too far.
As we previously mentioned, Mindbody's offerings cover several small business needs. For our review, we have concentrated only on the features that affect employee scheduling and booking.
As an online booking solution, with Mindbody your clients can view your schedule before booking and paying for appointments directly on your business's website. Schedules are updated in real time and – if organized under the right service tier – can be designed so it fits in with your website's overall aesthetic. Clients can also schedule appointments on Facebook, or through the Mindbody iOS or Android app. If your business offers classes, the instructor can pull the class roster beforehand to not only see who's enrolled, but who has paid and who hasn't. If clients have joined a waitlist for a particular class, they are automatically added when there is an opening; all the manager has to do is set a maximum class size.
In addition to clients booking their own appointments, employees can schedule walk-in appointments. One of the best features of Mindbody is the group calendar. You can assign each staff member a color that helps you easily see at a glance whether he or she is booked.
On the back end, users can sort a location's entire schedule by multiple criteria, including the provider name, gender, service and other filters. When booking clients, the software notifies users of potential scheduling conflicts. You can also customize the length of certain services. So, for example, if your spa's facial takes an hour, you can customize the software so all facials are set to one-hour increments.
Along with the logistical features that Mindbody comes with, all three tiers provide reports so managers can dive into more detailed data about the business. At the Essential level, users get access to 35 reports, while Accelerate and Ultimate users get 90. These reports help visualize things like your ongoing costs, sales trends, and habits of your clients and staff.
With that in mind, it's a good thing Mindbody can integrate with other business solutions for better scheduling and promotions, including Microsoft Outlook, Google Calendar and your social media accounts. However, it does not integrate with CRM or accounting solutions.
When you sign up for Mindbody, not only do you choose which tier you want to take advantage of, but the company sells retail hardware, including credit card readers, receipt printers, cash drawers, barcode scanners and label printers. Bundled hardware packages cost anywhere from $389 to $875. Mindbody can help with other aspects of running a business, too, such as creating a branded mobile app for customers and offering fitness performance software through FitMatrix.
You can handle payments directly through Mindbody in 40 countries and territories worldwide. In the U.S., Mindbody's rates are 2.75% per qualified transaction and 3.5% with an additional 15 cents per nonqualified transaction. If you process less than $550 a month, an additional $15 monthly fee is added.
If you're looking to only buy the service and have someone else set it up for you, Mindbody does that for an additional fee. Through the company's Premium Onboarding or Project Management packages, the company handles the manual work and tailors the software to your company's specifications. For regular one-on-one consultations and personal help from a product expert, MINDBODY offers professional advisory services.
In the event of a question or concern, you can reach customer service by submitting an email on Mindbody's website or by phone. In our interactions with customer service, we were met with a pleasant rep who quickly and clearly answered our questions.
When it comes to why you might want to reconsider Mindbody, there's really one elephant in the room – the price. Given the fact that this vendor makes no bones about its focus on businesses in the wellness industry, it may not be for your business right off the bat.
Also, perhaps you don't want a service that rolls everything into one package. There certainly are some benefits to consolidating services, but that tactic is likely to help certain businesses more than others. If you need a more piecemeal solution, Mindbody may not be for you.
Another drawback is that Mindbody doesn't offer a demo unless you first contact a sales rep. It's one thing to provide a free demonstration on the website or host videos that demo the product to help potential customers understand how a specific feature works, but asking someone to provide their contact information just so they can see how a product works (and which has such a hefty price tag) is a big ask when other companies are more open about their products.