Thinking of finally investing in a massage booking software solution but don’t know where to start?
You’ve come to the right place, and in this post, we’ll discuss all you need to know about choosing the right massage booking software for your business, whether you are a solo massage therapist or the owner of a massage clinic.
It’s no secret that today’s consumers simply prefer the flexibility provided by 24/7 online booking. More than 70% of massage, spa, and salon appointments are now booked from mobile devices, and many of them happen outside business hours.
In short, without online booking, you are going to miss out on a lot of potential clients, and it’s no secret that the global COVID-19 pandemic has also further accelerated this shift to the always-online world.
However, as we know, choosing the right software solution between all the available options can be such a challenging task if you don’t know what you’re looking for. This is why we’ll share some actionable tips on how to choose the right massage booking software solution based on your needs and budget.
Let us begin right away.
The basic principle: Identify your business’s needs
You should choose a massage booking software solution based on your massage business’s needs, and not the other way around.
Also, while it’s possible to change to another solution if you’re not happy with one, it’s not recommended. Changing to another platform midway will translate to another training process for your staff, and your clients may also need to adapt to the new interface. In the long run, this can be costly and time-consuming, so it’s best to get the right solution the first time.
A very common mistake is to choose a solution first and then adjust your business’s workflow to wrap around it, which can be counterproductive, so it’s very important to first identify your business’s unique purpose and needs.
What’s the purpose of integrating the massage booking software in the first place? Just to add online booking on your website and social profiles? To streamline your overall booking process? Reduce double bookings and no-shows?
After you’ve identified your purpose, you should create a checklist of your minimum requirements in achieving this purpose. Identify what features are must-haves, what features are nice-to-have, and which aren’t very important. Preparing this checklist upfront will significantly help you in narrowing down potential options.
What features are important?
Most massage booking software solutions will offer pretty similar core features, especially an interactive calendar where your potential clients can view available time slots and book the desired time with a few clicks.
However, different massage booking platforms may offer their own unique features not available anywhere else.
Bookeo massage booking software, for example, offers an advanced online scheduling functionality where you can display different services, different durations, and different prices easily, and you can also customize and display combined services when needed.
Some other important features you might want to consider are:
- Customizable widget
- Easy integration to your website
- Integration with Reserve with Google
- SMS and email automated notifications
- Calendar sync, all bookings are added in real-time so your schedule always stays up to date
- Reliable and qualified customer support. Accidents do happen, and you’d want to have available help
- Data security and hosting (if data is not stored on your premise/cloud-based)
- Secure online payments integration covering popular payment options (credit card, PayPal, Stripe, etc.)
Don’t forget to review ease of use
If the massage booking software offers free trial periods, make sure to make the most of it to test how easy it is to use the platform and how reliable it is.
You wouldn’t want to use a solution that is too difficult to use with a steep learning curve, even if it checks all the other boxes on your checklist. Remember that you may need to train your staff on how to use the software, and if the interface is too confusing/difficult for your clients, they’ll simply move on to your competitors and won’t waste their time.
Check whether the interface of the online booking function is well-designed. Make sure the customer-facing interface is both attractive and easy to use.
Different pricing structure
Since, as discussed, the massage booking software should be a long-term investment, obviously, you’ll need to choose a solution that fits your budget.
However, you should consider the overall value of the solution rather than simply choosing the most affordable option available.
As a general rule of thumb, you should choose the most cost-effective solution that offers all the features you need according to your checklist.
Also, when comparing different solutions, keep in mind that different vendors may structure their prices in different ways. Some of them may charge a one-time upfront fee, but some others a monthly subscription fee.
Many vendors that offer a subscription-based pricing model may also offer different plans/tiers with different fees.
Therefore, pay attention to the details so you wouldn’t be “trapped” with hidden fees that will inflate your overall investment.
The massage booking software may involve the transmission of potentially sensitive customers’ data, including their financial information, which is a lucrative target for cybercriminals and hackers.
Make sure to choose a vendor that offers the highest level of security available: end-to-end data encryption, and have implemented proper best practices on how information is sent and stored online.
Since technology and design are advancing at a rapid rate, make sure to choose a massage booking software solution that is updated regularly both in terms of back-end technology and interface. These updates should also include regular security updates to further ensure your data and your client’s data are always protected from the latest cybersecurity threats.
While choosing between different massage booking systems can be challenging with the vast number of options available, it is possible if you know what you should be looking for.
So, begin your research by first identifying your needs, purpose, and budget. Then you can evaluate the available options accordingly.
Investing in the right massage booking solution can significantly help in maximizing reservations, attracting more clients, and ultimately, growing your massage business.