Duplicating Your 5-Star Google Reviews Process

Duplicating Your 5-Star Google Reviews Process With Your Clinical Pilates Studio Team

Duplicating Your 5-Star Google Reviews Process With Your Clinical Pilates Studio Team

Duplicating Your 5-Star Google Reviews Process

In this episode of The Pilates Business Podcast, our host David Gunther focuses on the essential nature of communication and process duplication within the instructor team. Special guest Adam Tuttle from ActiveCampaign shares his journey, highlighting the importance of understanding and explaining the 'why' behind processes to ensure team alignment and performance.

Through personal anecdotes from his time at ActiveCampaign and interactions with team members, critical insights are discussed on setting realistic standards, teaching the importance of company platforms, and fostering a strong team culture.


Tara Smith from Pilates Can adds to the conversation by emphasising the benefits of respectful dialogue and continuous improvement. The episode concludes with a real-time example of a 5-star review for Pilates Can, celebrating the success and collective hard work of the team.

Show notes

  • [00:00:00] Introduction to Duplication of Process within Instructor Team
  • [00:00:54] Communication with Instructor Team
  • [00:01:51] Adam's Journey and Lessons leading Teams
  • [00:03:29] The Importance of Explaining the 'Why'
  • [00:05:04] Challenges and Strategies in Team Management
  • [00:06:54] Tara's Perspective on Creative Processes
  • [00:08:49] Achieving and Leveraging 5-Star Reviews
  • [00:10:26] Adapting Strategies for Business Growth
  • [00:12:19] Encouragement and Final Thoughts
  • [00:13:05] Live 5-Star Review and Conclusion

"If they're looking for some other type of service, really, then we encourage them to go and find that other type of service. We don't try to sell them to something that's really not going to help them."                                                                               David Gunther – The Pilates Business Podcast, and Co-owner & Instructor Pilates Can, Canberra

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Episode Resources

Episode Transcript

DAVID GUNTHER: Learn how to replicate your 5-star Google review process with your clinical Pilates instructor team. Join us in today's episode, as we discuss this important topic with Adam Tuttle. Adam has led many teams with ActiveCampaign and knows exactly what is needed in replicating processes.

Okay. Let's talk about the duplication of the process with your team. You're in sales, Adam, and you're good at sales. I like think I'm at good sales. I know Tara is good at sales as well. Although when we started going into sales, we probably didn't think that's where we might be going and that we might be good at that.

But for me, sales is just about being able to help people find out the option that is right for them and to help them make the right decision. In the case of Pilates Can, and many clinical Pilates studios I know, we really don't want clientele within the studio that aren't going to get the outcomes that we're looking to give them.

If they're looking for some other type of service, really, then we encourage them to go and find that other type of service. We don't try to sell them to something that's really not going to help them.

So, duplicating with your team is really a process of communication. Perhaps you've got an example of that, Adam?

ADAM TUTTLE: Are you asking specifically what we've done to ensure quality of communication across the team?

DAVID: That's a very good way to look at it, because I believe that this process, as an example, obtaining Google reviews and Claire replicating what she's done by having her team of instructors do the same thing, it is all about communication. Her communication to the instructors, and then communication between the admin team and the instructors with that summary of what's happening, what the system's already doing for them, and then instructors back to admin and obviously with the clientele.

Then also, eliciting that same communication back from the clients, which is what we're trying to do actually. What are some examples where you have worked with your team on that communication aspect?

ADAM: I think just like for some context here, I started at ActiveCampaign in support. I was very customer -facing for the first almost three years of my career in a variety of customer-facing roles, support, the early versions of our customer success teams. I was really used to talking to the customers.

Then I was an account executive, was one of the first account executives in the company, became one of the managers, so on and so forth. Over the last number of years, I haven't led a sales team directly for quite some time, but I've had other customer-facing teams more recently. I've probably hired and managed upwards of a hundred employees that have worked at ActiveCampaign in either sales or a role very similar to that.

One of the biggest lessons I've had to learn is that there are just naturally some people that are better at it than others. That's the truth. What I've done at times, which probably set a ridiculously high standard based on where my skillset was or where I thought my skillset was. That wasn't realistic.

Now, at the same time, you don't want to dumb something down so much that it makes the process poor for the customer. You have to find that balance. I think in the context of ActiveCampaign, the thing that I've found has helped me scale and create that is, I really have to teach people about our platform and teach them why we do what we do. Does that mean that's always 100 percent successful? No, I wish I could tell you that it is, but it's just not. To get the most out of every team member, at least while they're within my teams, it really comes down to helping them have conviction around the importance of what they're doing.

I think one really pivotal example in my career was actually when I lived in Australia. This was probably about four years ago now, and I had one particular sales rep who is very good at his job, but he didn't listen. So it was this constant battle of he could execute the role fine, but I would ask for changes or I'd ask for specific things and there was no alignment there. One day, in frustration, we got on the phone, and I said, 'Hey, I asked you to do a change , you don't do it.'

And he said something that has truly forever changed my career in a positive way, and I'm happy to report we're still friends today. He said, 'You never explained the why to me. I just see that I have a process that I think is good and you tell me to change it and it doesn't make any sense. So I just keep doing what I'm doing.' I think that especially when you're wanting to replicate process and replicate value on a human level, one of the things you have to ensure is that person firmly knows their 'why'.

They have to understand why, in this case, leaving reviews matters to their business and to the business that they're a part of. I think that if somebody can't see that, then sometimes there's not much you can do. But if you can really help someone, in my experience, understand that 'why' and see that there's truly value there.

Going back to the SOP conversation, it's not just an SOP for the sake of it. In sales, we'll call it ROEs, rules of engagement, and it's there for a reason, to help the team, help the customer, help the business at the end of the day. I think that probably my biggest learning really as a leader was, when I make changes or when I implement new things, new processes, procedures.

I have to not only explain it once. Another hard lesson I learned was, I would explain something once. I understood it. I would assume that everyone else was really bought into it. Then a couple of weeks later, no one else is doing what they're supposed to be doing.

With my last team that I managed, which was about 35 people, and they were spread out across four different continents. They're all over the place. We made a big change, and we made a lot of them, that was done on a team level. It was done by their managers on their local team level. I would go into their team meetings. I would meet with all the reps one-on-one. We just kept emphasising the same things. What that does, though, is that also then helps create culture. It's not just helping drive a specific outcome, but it's actually helping drive your whole business because it's building culture within the business.

DAVID: Excellent. That's such a terrific example. I can just imagine what that sales rep was saying to you and how frustrating that would have been when he said, 'She'll be right, mate,' and then continued to do what he was doing. To explain that 'why' as a reason for doing the 'how’ is really important.

Claire will listen to this because we're going to have another episode with Claire on this specific aspect, about how she's gotten on with the duplication of what she's been doing, because she has been so successful with the rest of the team and see if there's an alignment with the whys and the hows of this process. That'll be some interesting outcomes there! Thank you very much for that example, Adam, from your career there. That makes a lot of sense to me. What do you think of that, Tara? Have you got any examples of that?

TARA: Probably my best example would be our creative process, David. In a way, I quite often have my own suggestions for things. You've got your ideas for things, and then there's the element of what is actually possible to do in the center of the diagram of those two things. I do like to think that I do listen to you when you tell me to do things. I'm not just off doing my own thing.

Being able to explain like why and why not with something really helps you in whatever process you're doing really to improve that process. Sometimes, when you ask the why on something, that actually hasn't been considered, or it brings up a whole other thing. Then you've got another 'Oh, we can actually do this, and this will make the whole process way better!' So, I think that just being really open to asking questions about what you're doing in a respectful way.

DAVID: Maybe don't ignore everything, every communication your boss gives you that you don't agree with. But if you don't agree with it, maybe just have that conversation about, 'Hey, actually, if we did do this, we could do it better. Or why do you want this? Because it's actually impossible. Or actually, we could do it, but we need this different tool that we're not using.' It's all about the process of just making everything better for the business. We've worked together over the years. in the early days, things were quite prickly. You had your ideas on how things work, and I have my ideas, and we've gradually gotten better with that communication, and being able to achieve more as a result. With that example of myself and yourself just working together there, I can remember other team members 10 years ago or so. I had one discussion, with a couple of instructors, and after the discussion or partway through, one of the instructors said, 'Wow, Blitzkrieg management!' I realised that I might've been on the wrong track at that point, with that discussion.

We learn from our mistakes, and we move on. In terms of moving forward with what we're doing here, as we've said we're aiming at 100 5-star reviews within 90 days, and we're well on track for that.

That's our path that we're taking. After that, this whole process gives us another pathway for other reviews. If we're talking about other things that are going to help our marketing and our SEO, it also opens a pathway for possibly getting referrals from clients as well.

They're a different ballgame because, whilst every client can say lovely things because they've been experiencing lovely service from Pilates Can, they don't necessarily have someone on hand who's ready for our services that they can recommend and refer.

There's a different timing in terms of that, when is the right time for those communications with the right people in the right way, which is what we're doing at the moment. It's really good that we're doing this. There's a little quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: 'Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.' I feel like we've been doing that, the three of us, with these podcasts, on this process. We've been linking that CRM, and those processes with emails and SMS, with what happens with our admin team and what happens with our clientele and our staff so that everybody benefits within our studios at Pilates Can, but also out there in the clinical Pilates world.

So, well done to us. A big pat on our shoulders for what we have been doing and continue to do and helping people out in our industry as well.

ADAM: Just to add to what you just said, which I think was really great. A lot of times, when you're using software like ActiveCampaign or you're going to business, even though some people have gone down the path, maybe in their own business, you are carving yourself and you have to find what works for your audience.

I think we talked about this really early on, but you could have Pilates studio, one in Canberra where you are, one in Melbourne, one in Sydney, one in Brizzy. It could be completely different audiences based on the same country, same side of the country. Based on where it's at, it could be a really different audience, and you got to have to find the sweet spot that works for those people, And I think that's just such an important lesson. Then, as it grows, I doubt that you're going to want to stop at 100. So, you're going to have to figure out how do we get to 200. And then how do we get to 500?

The strategy might change a little bit as you grow. You have to say, cool, we're going to try to do190 days. Is that going to be how fast we want to do this all the time? Is that maintainable? Or maybe we say it's going to slow down a little bit organically, but we still want to accomplish a certain percentage of our customers that come through, right?

There's going to have to be things to adapt in. When I started with ActiveCampaign, we were probably about 1,500 customers. We've got 180,000 now. We were nine employees. We have about a thousand now. One office, very small. Now, we have many offices all over the world. Each part of that journey, we still had the idea to help small businesses grow, to support small businesses. Those foundational truths were always there for us. Sometimes the way that we attacked it or the market shifts. In the last couple of years, the market has been really tough for tech companies.

We're having to pivot even today, and it's not unique to our business. This is just the nature of the beast right now. It doesn't mean it's less exciting. It just means it's a challenge to overcome. For your audience, I would just encourage them to take it where they're in their business today.

Be willing to make mistakes. Be willing to take some risk because, especially with marketing automation, it's pretty forgiving. I have messed things up big time. We've recovered. We still grew. I didn't break the whole company, but you learn from those mistakes. It can be just such incredibly valuable insight and knowledge that you would have never had otherwise. So, I would just encourage them to take some risks and try new things. Maybe make themselves a little bit uncomfortable. I continue to encourage you both to do the same thing. It seems like you're doing it really well.

I shouldn't really take any credit for the work that you guys have put into this. I'm just piggybacking onto the podcast, but you guys have done an outstanding job attesting new things and trying new things. Your success is a testament to the hard work that you both have put into that.

DAVID: Adam, do you want to know something really exciting?

ADAM: I do.

DAVID: As you started talking then a 5-star Google review came in for our business. There you go.

ADAM: There we go. 

DAVID: I'll show it to you on the screen. There it is from Helen.

ADAM: Oh, that's awesome. 

DAVID: I'll read it out to the listener. So, 5-star Google review, it says 10 minutes ago now, but it just came in on my phone as you were talking.

'I have been doing Pilates at Pilates Can for nine years with Claire and her team. With supervised exercise intuition, it has had huge benefits for my body and my health. It is a most rewarding experience.'

That's what this podcast has been for us, Adam. Having you along, it's been a most rewarding experience.

Tara, have you got something else that you'd like to add before we sign off?

TARA: I just would echo what Adam said before. When I first started, having a look at things on ActiveCampaign, I had absolutely no idea, and I didn't burn down the company by sending the wrong email at the wrong time. There were some mistakes and over the time, all of this complexity becomes easier, becomes more intuitive after you've just practiced. Like all things, right? It's just practice. Practice and learn from your mistakes.

DAVID: I guess we'd better let Adam go and practice looking after four young boys, and with their sporting schedule. It’s after 10 o'clock, I believe where you are, Adam, in the USA, at the moment. Thank you very much for joining us.

ADAM: Absolutely.

DAVID: It's been very good, and we really look forward to coming back to another episode when we've achieved that 100 or over 100. Discussing what’s changed since then and delivering that information for our listeners.

ADAM: I love it. I love it. Thank you so much for having me. I really enjoyed speaking with you over the last few times, and definitely look forward to the reunion after we celebrate100 5-stars reviews.

DAVID: Yes. Fantastic. All right. Terrific, Adam. Thank you very much for your time and we’ll see you hopefully pretty soon.

ADAM: Sounds good.

DAVID: Next week we have Claire Gunther joining us on The Pilates Business podcast. Claire is the lead instructor of Pilates Can in Canberra Australia. Claire, will talk about how she has replicated this 5-star Google review process with her team. Claire provides the episode with her unique and valuable insights as one of the owners of Pilates Can, as well as the lead instructor. Claire will be joined by myself, David Gunther, Claire's business and life partner, and also our Pilates Can marketing and sales manager, Tara Smith. Make sure that you follow The Pilates Business podcast on your podcast platform so that you can benefit from this ground-breaking episode. Until then, Stay awesome. 

"I would meet with all the reps one-on-one. We just kept emphasizing the same things. What that does, though, is that also then helps create culture. It's not just helping drive a specific outcome, but it's actually helping drive your whole business because it's building culture within the business."      Adam Tuttle – Senior Director of Business Activation, ActiveCampaign

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