From Wary to Ecstatic – Calgary Hot Yoga’s Transition from MindBody to WellnessLiving Success Story
Since making the switch to WellnessLiving, Calgary Hot Yoga has increased their online sales from 30% to 60% in total revenue and has drastically cut down on their management software subscription costs.
Six years ago, fate laid an unexpected and undeniable opportunity onto Craig Esau’s lap when he had the chance to purchase the yoga studio at which he already worked. After falling in love with yoga, becoming an instructor, and working his way up through the ranks to become the manager, it seemed that Craig had found his path. “I jumped on it,” Craig told us.
Under Craig’s leadership, Calgary Hot Yoga has changed a lot over the past six years. “We just want to make it so that everybody feels comfortable when they walk in the door, no matter who they are.” In that spirit, Craig and the team at Calgary Hot Yoga are all about casual comfort. “It’s just about the yoga, not all the fancy, frilly stuff around it.”
While still working as a manager at the studio, Craig watched Calgary Hot Yoga make the daunting switch from a paper filing system to their first software, MindBody. As the manager and eventual owner of the studio, Craig, by necessity, developed an intimate understanding of the MindBody system over time. Unfortunately, even just learning to use the software was a struggle. “Just tons of options and tiny checkboxes, and something’s not going right so you’re trying to find out what the heck was wrong with it. It definitely was a challenge that way, but everybody seemed to be using it so we thought that’s just the way that it was.”
When issues arose, Craig turned to the support team at MindBody. In the beginning, the team was always responsive and accurate, but over the years, their service deteriorated. “We noticed as time went on, we were having trouble getting the answers that we needed in a timely fashion. It was hard just to get in touch with someone, to speak to someone. Or if we did talk to someone, they didn’t know how to fix it.”
While the capability and helpfulness of support continued to dwindle, Craig and his team continued to try to work within the limitations of the MindBody system until finally, the last straw was added. “We already felt that it was quite an expensive software, and then we were alerted to a 25% increase in our prices.” Unwilling to see his business gouged, Craig went on the hunt for a new and better solution.
A pioneer in the WellnessLiving Partner Program, Craig made the wise choice to be proactive and began his research by contacting subscribers to various software solutions. “I wanted to talk to the folks that were actually using it to see their experience. I thought that if I’m talking to an actual owner, they’re gonna tell me the truth.” He scoured the internet to its end and back before finally finding the solution he was looking for sitting in his own email inbox: a “MindBody-itis” email from the team at WellnessLiving. “I was like, ‘Yep, that’s me.’”
After years of frustration, Craig finally found his new solution and was ready to start getting educated about the switch. Wary of transferring his studio’s huge amount of data, he took his time to get to know WellnessLiving before the official transition. After reviewing the program and ensuring that the functionalities required to run all the tasks at his studio were present, he was finally ready.
Craig picked a date for the data migration and was ready to pull the plug on MindBody. “After that, the data transferred over when it was supposed to. That went great. It was actually exciting to see that populate in WellnessLiving.” But as Craig watched his data move over, he noticed that something wasn’t quite right: some of the passes didn’t have the right number of classes. Anticipating the impact on his system and customers, Craig was understandably concerned. “I just let [WellnessLiving] know. Overnight, they worked their magic, and the next morning it was fixed.”
Despite Craig’s enthusiasm, his staff were suspicious of this new addition to their day-to-day. After working with MindBody for so long, they couldn’t believe that he was taking this risk and expecting them to hop on board. But once they got to know WellnessLiving, their excitement nearly matched Craig’s. “I still get comments from my front desk that the system is a lot easier to use. They can figure things out pretty easy with a client’s account or if something doesn’t look right, it’s pretty easy to fix or figure out what’s going on.”
Since making the switch to WellnessLiving, and getting to know the ins-and-outs of the software, Calgary Hot Yoga has experienced a noticeable impact on their online sales. “The total income of the studio, probably about 60% of it, is now generated online, either through the app or our website. Before, that was just about 30%.” Craig attributes this surge to the usability of the store. “People love to buy things online rather than coming into the studio. It’s an easier shopping experience for them.”
Along with the online store, Craig has harnessed several other features to make the WellnessLiving system work for him. With the automated marketing tools, he has been able to set up unique and specific advertising campaigns that directly target his clients. “It does take a bit to figure out and set up client types and things like that, so there’s a bit of work on the backend. But once that’s set up, it’s really great to know those emails are going to go out automatically to clients. That’s been really beneficial for us.” And thanks to versatile review requests and Google integration, the review system has further helped to improve the team’s marketing and revenue. “We’ve been getting a ton of those right through WellnessLiving. I use the widget to put them on the website so people can see those reviews. I just love that it’s all integrated, all in one spot.”
After a year with WellnessLiving, Craig is still implementing new strategies and his business is growing as a result.
So what’s next for Craig? “My New Year’s Resolution is to get the rewards going.” With the reward system, points, and leaderboard, Craig expects to see even more growth with WellnessLiving in the near future and beyond.
If you would like to talk to a WellnessLiving representative about how we can help your studio grow, contact us today at 1 (888) 668-7728, or, book a free demo of the platform.