In today's competitive globalized market, few businesses can survive without a strong online presence. Websites keep shops open around the clock, so your company can be generating passive revenue - even when you and your employees are out of the office.
For service companies, appointment scheduling software is becoming absolutely essential. In industries where offering free consultations has become the “norm”, having the right software in place can help you save time and operate more efficiently. Similarly, businesses that rely entirely on appointments (such as the health or beauty industry) need to automate the process in order to remain competitive. Ten minutes per appointment phone call might not seem like a lot - until you add up the hours wasted each week.
Alongside appointment scheduling, there are a plethora of behind-the-scenes functions that keep service businesses running. Handling tasks efficiently will ultimately enhance customer service and satisfaction.
In the case of spa management, ideal software would allow you to:
1) Better manage internal spa operations.
2) Have automatic staff scheduling.
3) Track and manage e-records management (especially for med-spas).
4) Generate reports for marketing solutions.
It could also serve as your salon POS software with invoice generation and secure payment collection capabilities - taking a significant amount of responsibility out of your hands, without negotiating on quality.
There are many options when it comes to online scheduling software for spas due to the range of generic CRM systems available online. However, some programs are better suited to the individual needs of your business than others. Many software platforms offer customization, but there are some key things every spa owner should consider before deciding which software product is best.
When determining which features you need in your online scheduling software, it's important to understand the basic functions (namely your problem areas) that your software should fulfill and solve. For most online scheduling platforms you need a user-friendly interface, real-time customer support, up-to-date booking, secure digital payment options, inventory systems, and integrated email software. Look for software that offers all the features you need before you click that “purchase” button.
Only you can determine if your needs will be served by a basic online scheduling system, or whether there's added value in a software system that can do more for your business.
There are online scheduling software products that also include integrated text and SMS management capabilities, language settings to meet the needs of diverse customers, promo and voucher management, resource management, and third-party software integration portals. Moreover, the ideal spa online booking software should provide a 360-degree customer view and give you the ability to access a complete client profile with records such as:
- purchase history
- before and after photos
- outstanding balances
- services owed
This vital information enables efficient client management, greatly improving customer relationships.
In addition, the best med spa software would also streamline service management and scheduling by helping clinics digitally coordinate their services, rooms, and equipment. The best software should also create and manage staff schedules, track staff hours, and even approve payrolls.
Reporting and data analysis is another integral module of any spa online booking software. Instantly generating accurate reports with any given criteria at any given time would provide timely insights based on which spa management can make key business decisions.
If these additional functions align with the needs of your customer base and company goals, then finding a more complex system may be well worth the investment in time and funding.
There are two points of contact that you need to consider when selecting an online scheduling software product: customers and employees.
Online scheduling software that's difficult to navigate will frustrate customers and result in lost business. However, while you want to make sure that the software is usable by your customers, you also want it to be easy for your employees to utilize. If your employees don't like it or don't understand how to use it, it can impact their efficiency and even hurt morale. Although the motive of choosing spa software is of course well-intentioned, if not built right, badly programmed CRM systems that are hard to use may in fact hurt your business rather than do good. For this reason, it's important that you look at the interfaces for both customers and employees when considering spa online booking and management software.
Consider the following:
Is it easy to use? Or is it preventing you from wringing all the benefits from your software?
Is there help or support for those who run into roadblocks?
Does it flow smoothly and naturally from function to function?
Is it aesthetically pleasing?
These are all important questions to ask when selecting online scheduling software. The right spa online booking software will measure up to these as well as the other crucial aspects aforementioned.
In the past, many online scheduling software platforms were, by necessity, connected to the internet for customer interface functionality, but the data that was created by the system was then stored on hard drives locally. That model has faded into memory, however, as the cloud is the preferred method for storing schedules and information generated by online scheduling software. There are many advantages of using the cloud for storing scheduling data, but the biggest pro is that it gives you and your employees instant access to your schedule from any device at a moment's notice. It also makes your data less likely to be lost or damaged. Imagine having your schedule for a month's worth of business irrevocably evaporate because of a hardware failure. To give you flexibility and protect your scheduling data, find scheduling software that stores data in the cloud.
If you're sold on the concept of online scheduling software but haven't yet selected a product, make sure you account for the factors mentioned above when selecting the right platform for your business. To learn more about the top considerations when choosing an appointment scheduling software product for your spa, contact AestheticsPro at (877) 260-2907, or even take advantage of our demo to trial the high-quality, top-of the range software you deserve.