Readying yourself, your staff and your clients for the mobile future will allow you to capitalize on the mCommerce revolution from all angles. Mobile devices increasingly serve as the first point of engagement between a client and a new brand or service. This powerful consumer-brand connection, coupled with the efficiency and convenience that come with new mobile technologies, make the mobile device an invaluable tool for yoga studio owners, instructors and students alike.
As a studio owner or instructor, mobile apps like MINDBODY ExpressTM--an extension of MINDBODY’s desktop yoga studio software--allow for a new kind of streamlined, on-the-go management. As an owner, your studio can essentially “live” in your pocket – with access to your schedules, your clients, check-in, digital signature capabilities, credit card processing and marketing tools, all at your finger tips. The ability to manage a yoga class outside or run a sales report from the train station in another city provides both the freedom of mobility and the security of knowing how your business is doing at any given moment.
As a yoga student, new mobile technologies make finding and booking a yoga class, writing a review, or purchasing a gift card or package effortless. Consumer booking apps like MINDBODY ConnectTM, which locates classes nearby and allows the user to book, pay, sign in and write reviews in a few simple taps, are revolutionizing the way consumers engage with yoga instructors and their services. Apps like MINDBODY Connect are helping to facilitate both the discovery of yoga studios, with tools like studio finder buttons by zip code, and the adoption of the yoga practice by streamlining all the various consumer transactions involved (mainly finding, booking, paying, and sharing or reviewing).
With new mobile technologies emerging right and left, where do you start? How can you best ready yourself and your yoga business for the 2014 mobile explosion?
First - assume that your students live on their mobile devices. Second - get started now.
Mobile usage will only become increasingly prevalent – more so in 2015 than in 2014, and even more so the year after that.
Start preparing by integrating mobile management into your existing practice, if you haven’t done so already. With mobile management comes flexibility and ease, and the transition should be a delightful one. Encourage your studio staff and instructors to download a management app like MINDBODY Express . In addition to streamlining business management tasks and saving time, the app will foster an improved studio atmosphere. By removing the need for a “front desk” area, the app facilitates more personal staff-client interaction, allowing for better relationship building. Creating client profiles, class sign-in, collecting waiver signatures, viewing schedules, completing sales and emailing receipts - this can all be done face-to-face with the client in what’s called the “client comfort zone.” Along with this increased personal interaction, the app provides enhanced security. When Internet connectivity fails, studio owners and staff can still access their class and client data and continue to run systems on MINDBODY Express. No matter where you are, with new mobile technologies like MINDBODY Express, every aspect of your studio is accessible to you at any point in time, from any given location.
Next, incorporate mobility into your marketing strategy.
Keep in mind that mobile users are social users. Reassessing how you reach and engage with your target audience is a must. Leverage the power of mobile-based social media networks, focusing on those networks with strong mobile presence - like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. According to Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg, over 600 million of Facebook’s 1 billion users are logging onto the site through their mobile devices - a reminder of the increasing prevalence of mobile usage.
The mobile user is also an informed one. In their searches for yoga classes, they’re reading reviews, comparing class and package prices and researching competing studios near you. Leverage review sites like Yelp to build your reputation and establish credibility, and listen to what students are saying about you by monitoring comments, questions and complaints.
In engaging with your students, think mobile. Mobile friendly web pages, opt-in client communications like reminders and confirmations via text messaging, and optimizing your website for mobile search are all ways to maximize your mobile influence. Establishing a presence on mobile maps is critical too, as the majority of searches these days are location-based. Apple’s map function on iPhone, for example, includes Yelp reviews for local searches -- claim your business on Yelp if you haven’t already.
The MINDBODY Connect app is a great example of a location-based mobile finder, as it connects users to yoga studios in their geographical areas. Encouraging your clients to download MINDBODY Connect will allow them to find, book and pay for your classes in a streamlined way. They can even “sign in” on their phones before walking through the door, preparing you for their arrival and enabling you to be truly present and greet them by name. What better way to start a class?
Interested in MINDBODY’s Yoga Management Software? Request a free guided tour today.