Buyer's Guideby Agnes Stubbs,
Last Updated: November 20, 2018
Many massage therapists find themselves overburdened with managerial and administrative tasks, such as tracking appointments, communicating with clients, collecting payments and stocking up on inventory. This can lead to high levels of burnout and stress.
Investing in massage therapy software can help take the administrative burden off of therapists and massage center owners.
Massage therapy software automates tasks such as scheduling or canceling appointments, marketing new services and gathering customer data. Based on your business's specific needs, the massage therapy software features you require will vary.
This Buyer's Guide provides an overview of the common features, benefits and key considerations that you must look out for when purchasing massage therapy software.
In this guide, we'll cover:
What Is Massage Therapy Software?
Massage therapy software helps independent massage therapists and massage center owners manage their daily operations. It enables massage therapy businesses to manage their calendars, get feedback from clients, process payments and market their services. Massage therapy solutions also help to analyze staff productivity, reduce no-shows and manage inventory.
With massage therapy software, your clients can book, modify or cancel appointments online. You can use the software to manage pay rates and staff payrolls, as well as tips and commissions. Massage therapy software also offers features that send appointment reminders to clients, create loyalty programs and design email/SMS marketing programs.
Common Features of Massage Therapy Software
Massage therapy software tools automate administrative tasks involved in the running of a massage therapy center, including managing calendars, payments and client communication. Most massage therapy software solutions offer all or some of the following key functionalities:
|Online appointment scheduling||Clients can book, cancel or modify an appointment 24/7 through the massage center's website or social media page using their mobile or desktop devices.|
|Automated reminders||Send customized SMS or email reminders to clients at scheduled times prior to their appointment to confirm their availability and to reduce no-shows.|
|Inventory management||Track inventory levels, automate reordering of items when stock levels are low and scan barcodes of new products to enter their details, label descriptions and photos.|
|Staff management||Track attendance, work schedules and skillsets of staff members and assess performance by analyzing metrics such as average profit per booking, customer retention rate or clients served per day.|
|Customer management||Capture customer information such as name, city, visit history, birthday, anniversary or other special life events to support marketing campaigns and segment customers by preferences and spending levels.|
|Feedback collection||Collect and manage reviews from customers using surveys and forms embedded in the business website or through emails/SMS.|
|Marketing automation||Create and measure the success of marketing campaigns, loyalty programs, promotional packages and gift vouchers using built-in marketing tools or by integrating with third-party solutions.|
|Billing and payment processing||Generate invoices and accept payments via multiple payment processing methods including credit/debit card, cash, electronic wallets or gift cards.|
|Reporting and analytics||Track business performance through different types of reports including appointment activity reports, sales reports, tax reports, profit and loss records, and more.|
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Large massage therapy centers require advanced features that can handle more clients, varied marketing campaigns and payment methods while smaller businesses or individual therapists should look for less expensive and complex options that can automate tasks and help them save time.
The choice of a massage therapy solution will vary depending on the size of your business and your specific needs. Here, we consider some common buyer types and their main requirements:
- Individual therapists. Independent massage therapists require a solution that lets clients make online appointments through a web interface. The solution should also help them track the status of the appointments and collect payments via cash or plastic cards.
- Small and midsize massage therapy businesses. A small business usually employs 5 to 20 employees while a midsize business may have between 20 to 50 employees. These businesses require a solution that helps them with staff management, client management, appointment scheduling and payment processing. They may also need software with features that help to capture customer data and send customized promotion offers via SMS or email.
- Large massage therapy businesses. Large businesses operate multiple massage therapy centers in one or more locations. Along with the basic software features, large massage therapy businesses also need a centralized repository to store client information and generate performance reports. Large businesses would also want the software to integrate with their existing marketing tools to create data-driven marketing campaigns.
Benefits of Massage Therapy Software
Massage therapy business owners and independent therapists can realize various benefits by using massage therapy solution. Some of key benefits are listed below:
Improved customer experience. Massage therapy software helps massage centers improve their customer experience through online appointment scheduling systems, SMS reminders and gift coupons to loyal customers. Some platforms also capture customer pictures, notes and purchasing habits that help massage business owners provide personalized services. The feedback collection mechanism feature offers customers a platform to share their compliments or grievances directly with the centers.
Reduced client no-shows. By providing automated SMS/email reminders to clients along with options to confirm, cancel or reschedule their appointments, businesses can reduce the possibility of no-shows and utilize their staff more efficiently.
Increased productivity of staff members. Massage therapy solutions help plan work schedules for staff members. They allows you to manage time off and payroll of employees, as well as add additional allowances for working overtime or on holidays. You can also track individual performance and collect regular client feedback to improve service levels and productivity in the workplace.
Better control over business operations. Massage therapy software generates daily, weekly or monthly reports on various performance metrics to track revenue generation, client satisfaction and productivity. These reports can be shared with different stakeholders and analyzed further.
Along with deciding the massage therapy software features that your business needs, you must also make these key considerations when buying a massage therapy solution:
Mobile app availability. The software must be accessible on mobile devices including iOS and Android-based smartphones and tablets. This will help you track and manage your business from anywhere. Mobile access will also let you easily keep track of appointments, client queries and grievances while you are at work or away.
Pricing and functionality match. As a small or midsize business, cost is an important criterion in most of your business decisions. Most massage therapy software solutions offer a subscription-based pricing model. Check the pricing options offered by different massage therapy software providers and choose a plan that is within your budget and offers the required features. A freemium version supporting a single user may suffice if you are a solo massage therapist.
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