Looking to get more appointments for your massage business? Investing in online booking and massage schedule software will provide you with the necessary edge to compete in this digital era.
It’s no secret that the massage and spa industry was among the industries most heavily affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic, and the new consumer habits and demands formed by the pandemic have also forced the industry to evolve. One of these new consumer habits is their preference for online bookings.
Latest studies have suggested that more than 70% of massage, spa, and salon appointments are now booked from mobile devices, and many of them happen outside business hours.
Meaning, not only 24/7 online booking is now a necessity, but we also need to take mobile friendliness into account.
This is why choosing the right massage schedule software solution according to your business’s unique needs is important, and in this post, we will discuss some of the most important features to look for when choosing between different massage booking and scheduling solutions.
The Golden Rule: Utility-Driven Choice
First things first, you should choose the massage schedule and booking software based on your unique needs, and not the other way around.
A very common mistake is to choose a software solution first and then adjust the business’s workflow around it. While this is a viable approach, it’s often counterproductive. So, it’s important to first identify your needs and how your online booking workflow will be shaped.
Your online booking and massage scheduling solution will be a long-term investment, so it’s very important to get it right the first time. Changing to another solution midway can be time-consuming, and may result in another adaptation period for both your team and clients (and your clients may simply run to your competitors if they find this inconvenient.)
First, identify what’s your purpose of integrating the massage schedule software in the first place:
- Adding online booking to your website
- Automate your calendar schedule to reduce double-bookings
- Reduce no-shows
- Free your staff’s time from performing administrative tasks
And so on.
Once you’ve identified your purpose, you should create a checklist of the must-have features you’ll need to achieve this purpose. Below, we will discuss some of the key features to consider when making this checklist.
Top Features To Look For In a Massage Schedule Software
1. Customizable online booking function
Although different solutions may offer their own unique features, all of them should offer the ability to create an online booking page and integrate it into an existing website.
A good massage schedule software solution should offer a well-designed online booking page that is also customizable so you can add your business’s unique information (address, phone number, etc.), photos and images, services (including prices), service providers (if you have your own staff), logo/header image, and so on.
Massage scheduling software, for example, offers the ability to add different services with different durations and prices on the online booking page.
The online booking page should be a one-stop information hub for your potential clients, and also a place where you can showcase your brand and what your business is about.
2. Interactive online calendar
Another key feature to look for is an interactive, easily navigated calendar where clients can easily choose the service they’d like, view available time slots, and book the slot right on the calendar with just a few clicks.
The calendar should be updated/synced in real-time, so clients can see your availability updated in real-time. When, for example, a client makes a cancellation, the time slot should instantly become available for other clients. This is a very important feature not only to improve user experience but also to maximize reservations.
3. Customer reminders and notifications
Customer reminders and notifications can help ensure your clients won’t forget their appointments. Various studies have shown how SMS/email reminders can significantly reduce no-shows, so don’t underestimate this simple but important feature.
Automatic reminders can also encourage clients to reschedule when it’s inevitable (which is better than a no-show), and the automated calendar will also ensure their time slot instantly becomes available after the reschedule.
The online booking system should send a personalized confirmation (via SMS, email, or both) right after they’ve made their bookings. You should also be able to customize the solution on how many customized reminders it will send to a particular client (i.e. a week before the appointment, a day before, an hour before).
With each reminder, you should also offer the option to reply, reschedule, or cancel the appointment with ease.
4. Automatic sync
The massage schedule software solution should offer automated calendar sync so you can integrate it with popular calendar apps (Google Calendar, Outlook, etc. )l
This way, when a client makes a booking and/or when they reschedule/cancel the appointment, your calendar will instantly be updated, allowing you an easier time to keep track of your schedule and make the necessary modifications when needed.
This feature will also allow you to monitor your schedule and the online booking software from anywhere and on any device.
5. Reporting and analytics
Reporting and analytics features will give you important insights into your clients’ booking behavior, which can be useful for planning your marketing strategy and scheduling your staff.
Consider getting a massage schedule software solution that offers advanced analytics features that will allow you to understand your customers’ behavior better, for example, the ability to export your customer records, data on a particular appointment, and so on.
6. Customer support
Although ideally, you’d want a reliable software solution that’s available all the time, accidents can happen, so you should make sure the massage scheduling software comes with reliable customer and tech support.
Check whether the vendor offers 24/7 customer support 365 days of the year. If the solution offers a free-trial period, use this to check how friendly and helpful the tech support is.
A general rule of thumb when choosing a massage schedule software solution is to choose the most cost-effective solution that offers all the must-have features you’re looking for. So, assess whether the potential solution of your choice offers the six top features we’ve discussed above. Then, you should weigh other features the solution offers and how they will fit your needs.