When it comes to talking about a cloud based spa software, one must start with defining a cloud based systems. Software solutions that store, deliver, update data on a remote server, by using internet are known as cloud based software solution. Compared to legacy systems, cloud systems have a host of advantages such ease of access, data security, affordability and in the last decade have become increasingly popular. A cloud based spa software is simply an extension of the above analogy. In other words, it an upgraded version of the legacy spa management software and comes with a host of new and intuitive features to make the lives of spa owners and staff members easy.
Surveys indicate that in US alone about 56% of spa owners have switched adopted cloud based spa software to run their operations, and have seen marked improvement in sales and reduction in operational costs. With multiple cloud based software now available in the market, each with its own set of features, the choice of selecting the right one can get quite daunting. However, we’ve got you covered and compiled an all-you-need-know checklist that will help you in choosing the right cloud-based spa software for your business. So, let’s begin.
Booking & Appointment Scheduling
This is the first feature that you should evaluate, and pay a lot of attention to. This is where it all begins. In other words, if you have no bookings then you have no need for other administrative processes, so it is paramount to focus on the booking & appointments feature of your cloud-based spa software. Guests today want instantaneous results. Therefore, look for a solution that is easy to use, intuitive and quick. Ideally, the process of booking should end in no more than 4-5 steps, followed by the software intuitively matching the client with either their desired staff member (if chosen) or with the next available skilled staff almost instantaneously. Once the booking is confirmed it should auto populate it in the daily, weekly schedule of the spa, and the selected staff member. The system should be equipped to send automated reminders of upcoming appointments to avoid no-show bookings and be intuitive to create a waiting list of guests (to fill no-shows, if they do occur).
Integrated Billing & Payments
Having received the bookings, and provided the service, it is time to raise invoices to collect payments. The cloud based spa software must be equipped to automatically raise invoices as soon as the service is over and the guest is ready to leave. The process must be swift and error free. The last thing you want is guest who is happy with the service but unhappy with the wait to clear the invoices. Further, the cloud based spa software should able to collect payments in multiple ways i.e. contact based and non-contact based. With the days of card or cash long behind, it is imperative that the software allows your business to democratize the payment methods and be able to receive payments through NFC, wallets such as Apple Pay, Google Pay etc, and simply by scanning QR codes. Some cloud based spa software such as Zenoti have advanced features, which creates relevant accounting entries in books and inventory as soon as the invoice is settled.
The third important feature to look for is inventory management. Often a tricky terrain to navigate, it goes without saying that adequate inventory is the key to providing proper customer service. Have excess inventory and you block cash flow and have too less and you find yourself disappointing guests. The inventory management module will help you navigate this terrain like a pro. By tracking consumption, stock lead times, and highlighting slow moving inventory, it will auto prompt you when it is time to re-order stocks and also make you aware of what inventory to keep. The helpfulness of the inventory management feature is perhaps better understood if you run a multi-location spa brand. As the cloud based spa software has a centralized database, and maintains all updates on real-time basis, it allows you to have a holistic picture of your location wise and overall inventory.
A personal favorite amongst all the cloud based spa software benefits is how it allows you to be in control of the business at all times and empowers you to take data driven decisions. Unlike the legacy system, which need you to be present at the premises to study business data, a cloud based system allows you access the data anytime and anywhere and generate multiple reports such as cash flow, expense statements, income statements, balance sheet, and financial metrics in just a few clicks.
Often an ignored topic, but extremely important is the after sales support from the developer. You may have got the best cloud based spa software but if it frequently malfunctions and needs you to run pillar to post to resolve it, then you don’t need it. Remember the software has to work for you, not the other way round. The best way to assess tech support from developer is to speak to past clients and take their feedback.
Aside the above basic features that you must look for in your cloud based spa software solution, some cloud based spa software also have additional nice to have features such as employee management, marketing management, customer loyalty management etc. As the cloud based spa software is designed to work organically, you can always choose to add other features based on the dynamically evolving business requirements. Amongst the key players in the cloud based spa solutions such as Zenoti, Vagaro, SimpleSpa, MindBody, Salonist and Klickbox, we love Zenoti for its meticulous details, easy scalability, transparent pricing, and unique features that allow the business to grow organically and grows with the business.