Switching software can be a key part of keeping your spa up-to-date and providing the most relaxing and enjoyable experience to your clientele.
Since your day spa software facilitates the client’s journey from appointment scheduling or online booking to checkout, it plays a major role in both client acquisition and retention. And if your existing solution isn’t serving you or your clients well, it’s high time to make the switch.
This may seem like a daunting step, especially if you and your team are used to your current spa software. But taking on this task is well worth it if you choose a system that enables you to be more efficient, improve the business experience, and drive more bookings.
This post will walk you through the process of switching your day spa software. If you’re not satisfied with your existing system or if you think you can do better, check out the tips and insights below.
When to switch to a new day spa software provide
First things first, you have to be able to identify when your current solution is just not cutting it for you anymore. A few common signs/red flags that your day spa software just isn’t up to snuff anymore include:
When your software inhibits your communication with customers. One of the fundamental jobs of spa and salon software is to make client communication easy. If it’s a real chore or even impossible to send out necessary communications like appointments or rebooking reminders, it’s time to consider switching.
When your software isn’t mobile-friendly for you or your clients. The average person spends at least 25% of their waking hours on their phone. Most people manage their schedules on their phones now. If your software doesn’t provide a mobile-friendly format to your clients you are losing appointments. The software should not lose you business.
In the same vein, if your system’s backend doesn’t function well on the small screen, you’ll be limited to managing your business using a desktop computer, which curbs your mobility and productivity.
When you’re spending more time managing your employees in your software than in real life. Good day spa software should make managing your employees’ paperwork, schedules, etc. quick and easy so you can get back to doing what you love: running your spa. If you’re spending more and more time bogged down in the admin work, it’s time to look elsewhere.
When it doesn’t provide you with the data or insights you need. You can’t operate a business based on guesswork or hunches. Intuition is valuable, but you need hard data to back up your business decisions. If your current software doesn’t provide the sufficient analytics and reports on metrics like your revenue, staff performance, or booking rates, set your sights on solutions that put the right data at your fingertips.
When the provider’s customer support leaves a lot to be desired. A solid day spa platform shouldn’t give you technical difficulties, but in the event that something happens to come up, you need your provider to have your back. If you’re not satisfied with your existing software’s technical support, find a provider that can handle your needs.
If any of these things are happening, it’s time to look and see if your current day spa management software offers any upgrades and how much that costs. If the options don’t cut it or are too expensive, it’s time to look elsewhere.
What to consider when looking at day spa management software
The next step in switching your day spa software solution is to look at and compare other providers—after all you want the best scheduling app for your business, don’t you? The following considerations will help you determine what you need in your new software.
User-friendliness — for you AND your clients
You can buy the most powerful day spa management software in the world, but if you and your clients can’t easily figure out how to schedule appointments, checkout, etc., what’s the point? It’s crucial that the client-facing side is a breeze to figure out. Software that even slightly annoys your clientele will lose you business.
So, pay close attention to the client-facing side of the software. Is the platform easy to use? Does it sport an intuitive look and feel? Navigate the booking page and see things from your client’s eyes to determine if it’s the right fit.
Price is always worth considering when making a new purchase. Take some time to look at your budget again and determine how much you can feasibly spend. They say that small businesses spend about 6.9% of their revenue on IT, so consider your tech stack costs (not just spa software, but any other solutions you’re using) and figure out the right budget.
It may also help to look into the billing structure of your current software and the solutions that you’re considering. Is it monthly billing? Do you get a discount for annual billing? Does the solution require you to sign a contract? What about additional costs like set-up, priority support or cancellation fees?
All of the above must be factored into your day spa software budget.
Again, your software shouldn’t give you any trouble, but issues may come up at one point or another. As you’re looking at providers, comparing their customer support offerings (and customer reviews of those offerings) can save you a lot of headaches later.
You need to consider the times at which the vendor offers their support. For instance, if a company offers 9-5 PST customer support on Monday through Friday, is that going to be enough if you’re based in Boston and do the bulk of your services on the weekend?
You should also consider how support is offered. Is it email only? Or does it include live chat, phone, or even video calls?
As you go to look at day spa software, it’s important to understand what features your business needs versus which features are nice-to-haves. A keen understanding of what’s necessary will help you compare providers’ costs in a more informed fashion.
The first set of features you need to consider are, of course, the booking and client management features, which include:
Booking capabilities. Appointment scheduling is the bread and butter of any spa and salon software. These days, you’ll want to look for a solution that offers a self-service online booking option for clients. Bonus points if you can get a solution that enables clients to book directly through Google or on social networks like Instagram and Facebook. If expanding your customer base is a priority for you, these online scheduling tools are a must.
Customer communication. You want to look for a solution that sends customers reminders of their upcoming appointments via email and/or SMS. The best-in-class solutions can also automate review requests or even rebooking reminders.
Client history and notes. Tracking a client’s history and the therapist or stylist’s notes on the customer is a nifty feature to have. Without it, you’ll find it difficult for your spa to build a relationship with a customer. You’re relying on your therapists, stylists, and technicians to remember all the small details that delight your customer.
And certainly, some people are capable of such memories, but it’s not something you should expect of your staff. Furthermore, if you don’t have a written history, an employee leaving your company results in a complete loss of data on their clients and quite possibly the client themselves.
The next set of features to pay attention to are the software’s backoffice and salon management offerings.
Data and reporting. Having the right business success metrics leads to a deeper understanding of your day spa and inspires ideas for growth. Take a look at the kind of analytics each provider offers. More importantly, take a look at how easy the solution makes it for you to understand the data. If you can’t read the reports you’re receiving, then you’re not going to glean any meaningful insights from it.
Software integrations. Next, have a look at the integrations that the solution offers. Depending on the size of your spa, you might very well have other pieces of software you use, such as an ecommerce platform or payment processor. It’s important to find out if a day spa management software solution you’re interested in can integrate with these other technologies.
Connecting different solutions in your business streamlines your operations, reduces manual work, and keeps you and your team productive.
Data security. Be sure to look at the security features the software solution offers. Your day spa software will be the home to much private data about your clientele and employees. It’s crucial to make sure that your day spa software protects that data well or in other words, is PCI-compliant.
Finally, evaluate that software’s sales and marketing capabilities so you can drive exposure and sales. Some useful features include:
Brand reputation management. Ninety-one percent of consumers say that favorable reviews positively influence their decision to choose a business. So, you can bet that your clients are looking up your business’ ratings and reviews before scheduling an appointment.
As such, choose a day spa software that encourages your clients to rate and review their experience at your establishment. Some booking solutions (such as Booksy) help you do this automatically, by sending reminder emails or text messages to your clients.
Gift certificates. Gift cards are a great way to maximize revenue, acquire new customers, and even manage the seasonal ebbs and flows of your business. That’s why it’s handy to have a day spa software that lets you sell gift cards with ease. Ideally, your solution should enable your clients to purchase gift cards online, through your booking portal.
Before you choose your new day spa software, be sure to read customer ratings and reviews on the software. Simply by Googling “[software name] reviews,” you should be able to pull up results for customer’s reviews on software review sites like Capterra or the App Store (for mobile day spa apps).
Be sure to read a few negative reviews as well as positive ones so you can understand what problems current customers have faced and how the software solution handled them. No company is perfect, so these insights can help you confirm that a company’s marketing of their support or features is accurate.
Your current hardware
Your hardware isn’t exactly a software consideration, however, if you’re operating on a dated computer, it’s worth upgrading to something more modern to get the most out of your new day spa software.
In general, modern-day spa software operates well on mobile devices like an iPad. If you purchase an iPad or two, you can even have your stylists, therapists, and technicians rebook clients at the service stations.
Tips on how to switch software painlessly
Switching your day spa management software may take some work, but there are a few best practices that can help you make the transition simple.
Use the onboarding services available to you
Some day spa management software solutions offer onboarding services. These services usually include help setting up the software and often data migration.
Take care with your data migration
If you’re using onboarding services, you’ll likely have a pro doing your data migration. However, in the case that you have to go at it alone, migrating data doesn’t have to be scary.
Typically, the data a day spa will need to migrate includes:
- Client information, history, and notes
- Retail inventory and sales history
- Payment information
- Staff information
Generally, you should be able to export these pieces of data to a CSV. Once you’ve got that CSV, you’ll need to ensure that the data is structured in a way your new system can comprehend.
Sometimes that means you’ll need to change a column title. You should also take this chance to de-dupe or merge contacts on your list if your new system doesn’t automatically do that. Then upload the CSV into your new system.
Switch software solutions gradually
While you certainly can implement your new day spa software overnight, gradually switching software solutions tends to work a bit better. With a gradual shift, you can try out different segments of the new software at a time, and if something doesn’t work, the flaw is isolated to a small section until you fix it.
Ready to switch your day spa software?
Switching day spa software should not be so much of a headache that you yourself need a day at the spa (though that never hurts). The key switching software painlessly is to be clear on your needs and find the right vendor.
To that end, Booksy provides free onboarding, to make the process of switching your day spa software quick and easy. And if you’re in doubt, take a free trial of Booksy to see if it’s right for you!