Today’s clients, especially millennials, want a seamless experience when they are purchasing products or services. They also seek out vendors and service providers familiar with their personal preferences and can make suggestions for offerings that meet their specific needs. That’s why spas and massage practice providers need to keep up to date with the latest software to support clients online and off, whether they are booking appointments, evaluating treatment options, and making product purchases for at-home use.
There is a host of software available for spas and massage practitioners to consider for handling all business aspects. While online booking software is often the starting point for automating operations, other software options include:
- Point-of-sale programs collect payments and link information back to clients.
- Loyalty rewards software tracks purchases and rewards clients for treatments and products. Programs also send out promotional incentives, and automated thank you messages for visits and purchases.
- Client tools can create profiles on every client from what treatments and products they prefer and payment and visit history.
- Marketing tools, such as automated email marketing, help attract new customers and secure repeat visits from current clients.
Do your homework
Before purchasing any software, whether to expand on what you have or automate processes from the start, you’ll want to have a game plan. You don’t want to purchase just any program that promises to do the job. You want to evaluate and test programs and consider how the software will enhance the user experience and be easy for your team to get up to speed. Here are some specific things to consider:
Functionality: Consider what features and functions are essential, which ones would be nice to have and what is unnecessary. Tracking client purchase history may be one of your “must-have” functions while sending automatic thank you messages may be less of a priority.
Ease of use: Consider how easy the software will be for your team. Evaluate how long it will take them to speed, including how much time will be needed for training to take them away from their work. Some programs have so many features they can overwhelm users.
Online or in the cloud: Do you want to host your own software on-premise running on your computers or in the cloud, which means you can conveniently access programs from any computer from anywhere.
Support: Find out what kind of support the provider offers. You’ll want to know if you will have a dedicated tech support person to call if there is a problem or if you need to email customer support.
Cost: You don’t want to pay for features you don’t need. Analyze each offer you are reconsidering in terms of the complete package as well as the various components. You may like the inventory management component of one product but like the whole package from another vendor more. Then you have to decide what is most important to running your business.
Technology can help move a business ahead. Still, to make the right choice, you need to plan, research and trial various options. Take the time to make sure the programs that you select fit the bill.