So, you’re finally deciding to invest in a spa scheduling software solution to grow your spa business? It’s definitely a great idea! Integrating spa scheduling and booking software into your spa business’s workflow can provide you with numerous benefits, which can leverage your spa business’s competitive edge in this digital, post-COVID-19 era.
It’s no secret that the spa industry (and the wellness industry in general) has been heavily affected by the global pandemic, and has forced the industry to evolve along with the shifts in the client’s habits. Consumers are becoming increasingly online, and online bookings and transactions are now becoming the norm.
This is why 70% of salon and spa bookings are made exclusively from mobile devices, and 40% of bookings now happen outside business hours. So, 24/7 online booking is now necessary, and it’s the spa scheduling software that will enable this function in your business.
This is why choosing the right scheduling service software according to your business’s unique needs is important, but with all the different options available in the market, making the choice can be quite daunting.
In this post, we will discuss some of the key features to look for in a spa scheduling software solution to help you make your choice.
What Are Your Spa Business’s Unique Needs?
While any spa scheduling software can definitely provide some valuable benefits to your business, it’s still important to choose the right solution according to your business’s and your client’s unique needs and preferences.
Remember that your spa scheduling/booking software should be a long-term investment.
While it’s possible to switch to another solution midway, in most cases it will be costly and time-consuming, so it’s important to get the right solution the first time around.
With that being said, you choose the spa scheduling software based on your business’s needs, preferences, and budget, and not the other way around.
A very common mistake is to choose a spa scheduling solution first and then adjust the spa business’s workflow around it. This process is often counterproductive.
So, first, identify what’s your purpose of integrating the spa schedule software in the first place, for example:
- Adding online booking to your spa business’s website and social pages
- Reduce no-shows and double bookings
- Automate your calendar schedule so you can manage it anywhere and anytime
- Free your employees from performing administrative tasks associated with manual bookings
Obviously, you can choose more than one purpose, and what’s important is to create a checklist listing the must-have features you’ll need to achieve this purpose (or purposes). Below, we’ll discuss some of the top features to consider when making this checklist, which will help you in making your choice.
Key Features To Look For In a Spa Scheduling Software
Interactive, real-time online calendar
Most spa scheduling software solutions have the online calendar as the core function.
The online calendar must be interactive and easily navigated. Clients should be able to use the calendar to easily view available time slots, and book the slot right on the calendar with just a few clicks.
The online calendar should be updated/synced in real-time, so clients can see your availability updated in real-time. When a client reschedules or cancels their appointment, the slot should instantly (at least, near instantly) become available for other clients to fill. This is a very important feature to maximize reservations.
Online booking page
Another core feature offered by most spa booking and scheduling software is the ability to create an online booking page and integrate it to an existing website (or link to it from social pages).
An advanced spa scheduling software solution should offer the ability to create a professionally designed, user-friendly, and customizable online booking page. You should be able to easily add your spa business’s information, photos/images, different services and prices, logo, branding elements, and so on.
While ideally, you’d want a solution that is readily available all the time, there isn’t a solution that’s 100% free from technical issues. So, you’d want to make sure the spa scheduling software solution comes with a reliable customer and tech support, preferably 24/7 customer support that’s available all year long.
If the spa scheduling software offers a free trial period, use this period to “test” the customer support: ask relevant questions, assess how friendly and helpful the customer support rep is, and so on.
Automatic calendar sync
You’d want a solution that can integrate with popular calendar applications (iCalendar, Google Calendar, Outlook, and others), and support automatic calendar sync.
Meaning, when a client confirms their booking and/or reschedules their appointment, your calendar will instantly be updated so you can keep track of your schedule (and adjust your staffing accordingly).
With this feature, you can also monitor your spa business’s schedule from anywhere, including from your mobile device with ease.
Automated reminders and notifications
A very important feature of a spa booking and scheduling platform is the ability to send smart and automated notifications/reminders via SMS, email, or push notifications. Various studies have suggested that automated reminders can significantly reduce no-shows, and we all know how no-shows can be costly for spa businesses, and other service businesses in general.
The spa schedule software should send a confirmation (via SMS/email) right after a client successfully made their bookings, and this confirmation should include links to easily reply, reschedule, or cancel the appointment, as well as other relevant information. You should also be able to customize the solution on how many customized reminders it will send to a particular client.
Analytics and insights
Consider getting a spa software solution that offers advanced analytics and reporting features, which will give you important insights into your spa business’s performance, as well as your client’s booking behavior.
You can use this information for planning your future marketing strategy, as well as to adjust your staff scheduling accordingly.
While any spa scheduling software can definitely improve your spa business’s efficiency and productivity, especially by offering online booking functionalities, it’s still important to choose the right solution according to your business’s unique needs.
A general rule of thumb when choosing a spa schedule software solution is to choose the most cost-effective solution that offers all the must-have features on your checklist.