Thinking of finally getting a massage scheduling software solution but don’t know where to start?
Then this post is for you.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly forced the majority of consumers all around the world to adopt the digital lifestyle: Zoom meetings, online shopping, contactless payment, and so on.
In the massage therapy industry, one of these changes is the fact that today’s consumers also prefer the flexibility of online booking. 70% of massage, spa, and salon appointments are now booked online from mobile devices, and around 40% happen outside business hours.
So, if your massage business doesn’t offer 24/7 online booking, your prospective clients will simply move on to your competitors.
Fortunately, nowadays enabling 24/7 online booking is just as simple as purchasing a massage scheduling software solution and integrating it into your website. Yet, it’s still important to choose the right vendor according to your needs and available budget.
Without further ado, below, we’ll share some actionable tips on how to choose the perfect scheduling and online booking software solution for your massage business.
Massage Scheduling and Online Booking Software: The Concept
A massage scheduling software refers to an application that offers two core functionalities:
- Allowing your massage business to start accepting bookings online
- Integrating an online interactive calendar to your website/web application/social media profile
While the actual features may vary between different solutions, these two core features should always exist.
For example, a prospective client of your massage business can visit your website or mobile app, then access the online interactive calendar. This prospective client can then choose a service/therapist, view available time slots, and book the desired slot immediately with just a few clicks or taps.
With an online booking and scheduling software for massage businesses, you can simply build a professional website and/or app, then integrate the online booking feature into the website easily., You can also require clients to pay upfront via an integrated payment gateway that transfers the payment to you.
Having a 24/7 online booking function can allow your massage business to get more bookings while also reducing issues like double bookings and no-shows. Also, when a client inevitably cancels or reschedules their appointment, the massage scheduling software will make the slot available to other clients in real-time, or even automatically pass the slot to the next client on the waiting list (if any).
Choosing Your Ideal Massage Scheduling Software
- Identify Your Needs and Budget
A common mistake made by many businesses when choosing a technology solution is to pick a product first (i.e. based on good reviews or affordable price) and then adjust the business’s workflows around the new solution. In many cases, this can be counterproductive.
Instead, it’s best to first figure out your massage business’s unique purposes needs first. What’s your objective in adding online booking and scheduling functions to your business? Just to secure more bookings? Reduce no-shows and double bookings? Streamline the scheduling process?
Once you’ve identified your objective(s), you can start identifying your minimum requirements for massage scheduling software to help you achieve this objective. Create a checklist listing what features are must-haves, nice-to-haves, and those who aren’t your priority. By preparing this list, you can have an easier time narrowing down your options.
Important Features to Consider
Besides the two core features we’ve discussed above, here are some top features to consider when choosing a massage scheduling software.
- Customizable interface and widget, so you can present your business to your clients as you see fit
- Easy integration to your website and application
- Integration with Reserve with Google so your clients can book your massage service directly from your Google Maps listing
- Automated notifications via email and SMS
- Automated calendar sync so your schedule always stays up to date
- Secure online payments integration covering popular payment options (credit card, PayPal, Stripe, etc.)
- Data security features
- Reliable and qualified customer support. Accidents do happen, and you’d want to have available help
- Assess Ease of Use and Customer Service
If the massage scheduling software solution offers a free-trial period (most credible solutions should offer one), then you should make the most of this period to assess how easy it is to use the solution and to integrate it into your current digital ecosystem.
Even if the solution offers a rich set of features, it shouldn’t be too difficult to use. Remember that you may need to train your staff on how to use the solution, so if it involves a steep learning curve, it can be a major waste of time.
Also, use this trial period to test the vendor’s customer support. Is the tech support provided friendly/fast/reliable enough?
- Evaluate Price
Your massage scheduling software should be a long-term investment.
While it’s possible to change to another solution midway, migration can be time-consuming, expensive, and difficult to do. So, it’s best to choose the right solution in the first place, and the price is obviously an important consideration here.
As a golden rule, you should choose the most affordable solution that offers all the must-have features you have on your checklist.
Also, 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. Pay attention to the fine prints to avoid any hidden costs.
- Pay Attention To Data Security
In offering online booking functionality, you’ll collect potentially sensitive consumer information, including their credit card and/or banking details. Obviously, this sensitive information will often be targeted by hackers.
So, it’s crucial to choose a vendor that offers the highest level of security available, has implemented end-to-end data encryption and has maintained proper cybersecurity best practices.
Also, make sure to choose a massage scheduling software solution that is updated frequently both in terms of technology, interface, and security.
Today’s consumers simply expect your massage business to offer a 24/7 online booking solution, so if you are not integrating a massage scheduling software solution to your website and application, you are going to miss out on a lot of potential clients.
While choosing between different massage booking systems can be challenging with the vast number of options available, it is possible to find out what should you be looking for by first identifying your needs and objectives.