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Call Center Spotlight: MINDBODY, Inc.

Who is MINDBODY, Inc.?

Since its birth back in 2001, MINDBODY, Inc. has undergone many significant breakthroughs - and growth spurts - as it has evolved from a small software consultancy to the major online business management solutions provider in the health and wellness industry that it is today. Currently, the company serves more than 19,000 clients around the globe, and its business continues to grow steadily.

MINDBODY, Inc. at a Glance:

Location(s): San Luis Obispo, CA (company headquarters); East Hampton, NY; Bedfordshire, UK.
Hours of operation: 24 hours M-F, 8-6 Saturday and Sunday
Number of agents: 110 (not including supervisors, managers, etc.)
Services your center provides: Customer Service and Software Support for our proprietary product (online business management software for the health and wellness industry)
Channels Handled: Phone, Chat, Email, Forums
Contacts Handled Per Day/Week/Month/Year: We are in a period of client growth so each year and month yields more calls. In the past 12 months, we have had 317,809 calls or an average of 26,484 calls per month. Our weekday call average is much higher than weekends and averages 1,208 per day (including weekends 930 calls per day and 6,509 calls per week).
Mission Statement: "The MINDBODY mission is to leverage technology to improve the health and wellness of the world."

However, as with any growth spurt, there’s bound to be some “growing pains” felt along the way. For MINDBODY, this includes seeking out new ways to improve planning and staffing for their contact centers, without sacrificing the quality of their service.

To find out more about what the the team has been up to, including some of their top challenges and how they’re working to overcome them, I spoke with Annie Woo, MINDBODY’s "Customer Love Goddess" (aka Director of Customer Service).

ICMI: What is your center doing really well?
Annie Woo:
After attending an ICMI symposium on quality management, we implemented our first official quality management program. We chose to do live random call monitoring in which a supervisor listens in, and then meets with the agent shortly after to discuss each area of the call as well as get their feedback on what went well, and what needs improvement. The supervisor and agent agree on 1-2 action items where needed, and both sign the quality management document. In addition to the document, we also provide all agents with spider charts (see below) with progress over time that show their proficiency in the major categories of quality, which for us is: Opening, Questioning, Offer Solution, Conclusion, Professional Voice, Phone Etiquette, and Call Leadership, which were all developed after reviewing customer feedback and gathering input from agents.

We don't use scores with the agents because we found it deters meaningful conversation away from the important areas and focuses the agent on a number, but we do acknowledge where the agent missed, met, or exceeded quality. Some areas such as opening cannot be exceeded, and these are clearly communicated with the agent. On the reporting side, these ratings are interpreted into a number scale that we can quantify for overall reporting and provide appropriate performance based pay increases, but we find it’s not necessary to provide a number score to agents.

ICMI: What are some of the challenges your center has experienced past or present?
This year, we experienced issues in planning our staff resources to accommodate growth. We primarily failed in this area due to the method in which we approached the budget. We presented our entire spreadsheet full of availability factors, workload forecasts and Erlang C calculations which caused our decision makers to focus less on the strategic value of our department to the organization and more on confining the contact center to what was perceived as the ideal budget from a staff payroll perspective. Unfortunately, the "ideal budget" did not allocate enough resources to our department to handle the workload and consistently meet our service level and response time objectives.

ICMI: What have you done to overcome these challenges?
It’s been difficult for everyone involved in the contact center (agents, team leaders, and managers) to experience repeated periods of high occupancy, but it has caused us to focus even more on maintaining high quality. We know if quality is high, then the wait times become less important to customers and can contribute to a reduced call load and improvements in service level. Our customer feedback regarding our support teams is overwhelmingly positive and proves that quality is more important than wait times. This doesn’t justify issues with accessibility that impacts our customers and staff, but when you are able to focus on quality first, it can make a significant difference in dealing with other challenges.

This year for our budgeting we are taking advice from Call Center Management on Fast Forward in how we prepare and present our budget ensuring that we focus less on the spreadsheet and more on the strategic value of the contact center in the organization. We have already started our planning and are practicing how to sell through powerful illustrations in our metrics, and sprinkling in real stories from our staff and clients. Our goal is to illustrate the importance of not just high quality, but accessibility within the contact center to create a balance between customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and business costs.

Corporate Culture

MINDBODY has not only succeeded in becoming an industry example for exceptional customer service, it also bears a reputation for outstanding corporate culture. Among the company’s list of Core Values, it pledges to clients and customers alike that it will be:

  • Purpose Driven
  • Humble & Helpful
  • Caring & Happy
  • Committed to Wellness – Mind, Body & Spirit
  • Environmentally Conscious
  • Committed to the "Three C" Leadership
  • Continuously Evolving

Meet the MINDBODY team, hear testimonials from their clients and take a peek "behind the scenes" inside their contact centers.

Christina Hammarberg is the former associate editor at ICMI.