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Call us for a free FastStart Consultation: (844) 685-8455


 

Buyer's Guide

by Justin Guinn,
Market Research Associate
Last Updated: March 25, 2017


The introduction of specialized spa management software is having a huge impact on the appointment-based industry. With spa management software, customers can book their own appointments online. These suites also provide businesses with marketing and automation capabilities that help them attract and retain more customers.

But, choosing the best software with the right features for your spa business can be a daunting task. That’s why we’ve put together the following information on common spa software features, benefits of spa scheduling software and general buying tips for selecting your new system. You can use this buyer’s guide, along with user reviews and discussions with vendors, to find the best system for your operation.

Here’s what we'll cover:

Common Features of Spa Software
Benefits of Adopting Spa Software
Spa Software Buying Tips for New Buyers

Common Features of Spa Software

There are many moving parts that make up even the simplest spa business, and software suites provide a variety of features. But, there’s a core set of features that the spa software you choose should offer. They include:

Core Features of Spa Software
Online bookings Provide first-time and repeat customers with an easy-to-use way to book appointments. Enable customers to select their prefered staff members. Offer payment options to expedite the process once the customer is on-site.
Staff management Manage and coordinate staff schedules. Ensure customers see their requested employee. Enable staff messaging and shift trading. Provide staff with a snapshot of their calendars and profiles of the customers they’re working with.
Reporting and analytics Record, analyze and report spa sales data and key performance indicators (KPIs) you’ve established. See raw data visualized in easily understood reports and dashboards.
Marketing Centralize social accounts and track business driven through social channels. Manage email lists of past customers. Generate coupons, deals and gift cards to attract new and repeat customers.
Customer relationship management (CRM) Create customer profiles to store and maintain valuable data, such as: purchase history, contact info, treatment preferences etc. Leverage information to create a more personalized experience that helps build loyalty to your spa.
Point-of-sale Process transactions both online and physically at your location. Accept multiple forms of payment to meet the expectations of your customers.

It’s not surprising that online appointment booking is at the top of the list. Appointments are key to any spa business. But coordinating schedules of customers and employees requires a high level of organization, unless you have software in place to manage booking times.

Online booking capabilities let your clients schedule themselves. Of course, you can always black out certain staff if they need time off. But overall, online booking puts the scheduling in the hands of your customers. Meanwhile, staff management features enable your employees to communicate, trade shifts and receive updates and important documents. You can take that responsibility off your plate.

Marketing and CRM functionalities are intrinsically connected in the sense that they manage customer data and outreach. This is an area you don’t want to slack on, especially with the rise of social media channels as viable avenues for marketing. You need every advantage in order to rise above your competitors, and in-depth marketing and CRM capabilities will enable you to do so.

Benefits of Adopting Spa Software

A properly utilized spa software system should help you do more business, avoid costly scheduling mistakes, attract new and repeat customers and maintain an understanding of your business performance.

More specifically, the benefits of using a spa management solution include:

Easier booking for customers. Don’t force customers to call a receptionist to schedule their spa appointments. An easy-to-use online portal enables customers to quickly book a time with you and your staff. You can even require a full or partial payment at the time of booking to prevent and recoup damages from no-shows.

Fewer scheduling mistakes. Offering online bookings requires scheduling automation. You and your staff no longer need to worry about the dates and times for every single appointment. Let the scheduling software take care of that for you while you spend more time focusing on what’s important.

Increased consumer engagement. By marketing through social media, email and other channels, you can extend your reach and build your brand. Running specials and offering physical and digital gift cards is a great way to engage repeat customers and get them back in your spa.

Actionable insights on repeat customers. Keep track of customer purchase histories and determine who your most valuable customers are. These are the people that you want to shower with coupons so they keep coming back and spending more every time. Managing personal and contact information with a CRM is key for this level of engagement.

Accurate understanding of operational performance. Stop assuming you know how your business is doing in a given day, week, month or time of year and actually get the numbers. Look at where your business peaks and where it slumps. Consider scheduling your staff accordingly during these times to ensure you’re well-equipped while also avoiding unnecessary overhead.

Spa Software Buying Tips for New Buyers

Consider the following tips when you actually get down to choosing the new spa software that’s going to drive your business. There’s no doubt the many different vendors and software packages will seem rather daunting. But, our cross-industry software buyer survey uncovered some effective tactics for building a business case and choosing from among multiple systems. The following are the most recommended tactics from this survey:

  • Take the time to research current market offerings. Build an understanding of what basic spa software looks like. Research core and additional, or ”nice-to-have,” features, typical prices and payment options (monthly subscription, license etc.) Get to know industry terms and differentiate marketing jargon on vendor websites from key information.
  • Rank the business needs you need spa software to address. Create as in-depth a list as possible of what your new spa management software needs to accomplish. Start with recording the pain points you and your staff have with current software or with any inefficient operational processes currently being deployed. From this record, put together a needs document to centralize all your requirements. This will be valuable to reference later and can also be easily shared with vendors to keep them on track.
  • Exhaust software reviews from your peers. Reading spa software reviews from business owners in the same space as yourself is a great strategy for narrowing your list down to a few specific vendors. After you’ve identified three to five spa management systems that are right for you, reach out for vendor demos to get a full snapshot of what each solution is truly offering. Consider functionality and ease of use during these valuable demos.

 

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