Is it time for you to upgrade your spa management software? This question is bound to arise at some point as legacy systems grow old and tired and software products continue to improve and become more innovative.
If you are running a 4-5 star property and are, or want to be, a leader in the spa and wellness industry, you must be running on the absolute best software system. What is the best system? One that meets your needs and allows you to grow and improve your business and offer the ultimate guest experience with minimal effort on your part.
If it is time for an upgrade to your spa software, there are certain things to consider. Here are three of the most important.
1. Customer support
The quality of customer support offered by your software partner will make a big difference to your day-to-day operations and business success. You should ask yourself if you can see yourself working together with this company in the future, and whether the software company appears to care about your success rather than just their own.
Some software companies may treat support as an afterthought. They can be difficult to reach and take time to respond. You want to know that you will have direct access to a fast and reliable support team that will pay attention to your individual issues and help you solve them. The last thing a spa needs is system downtime, during which you are unable to run your business.
Check reviews and ask people you know who are using a software about the customer support. Also, ask the company about their support options and what you can expect. Is support 24 hours and is there a phone number? How long are the average response and ticket resolution times? The more you know, the better equipped you will be to make a decision.
2. Ease of Use
How easy is the software to use? Will everyone on your team be able to use it with no issue? A complicated system can put everyone on edge, and your team may even be afraid to use it.
Everyone at your organization should be able to figure out your software system and use it comfortably. Is appointment booking simple and comprehensible? Can your team see their schedules from anywhere and at any time with just a few clicks? How easy is it to access, read, and understand your reporting dashboard and your payroll? Will your integrations work smoothly? Does your system communicate across your multiple properties and share information, and how easy is it for stakeholders to access that information?
Note that “easy” and “simple” is not synonymous with “few functionalities.” In fact, the more your software can do for you, the more important it is that the system is easy to use. Your software should do a lot – easily.
When it comes down to it, value will be one of your most important deciding factors (particularly if you’re justifying the cost to a CEO or hotel management team!).
Not all spa software is priced the same way, and one of the main differences here will be between cloud solutions and on-premise solutions. On-premise solutions require that you pay the full price of the software upfront for a set number of users and a set package of products and services. Should you then wish to add more users later, you will have to pay for additional licenses. Similarly, if you wish to add functionalities later, such as mobile booking, you will have to pay separately for those too.
Cloud software is purchased by subscription, and typically uses a utility pay structure by user and access level, meaning you pay only for what you use, and services can be added or removed as needed. Cloud software also saves the cost of the IT staff required to maintain an on-premise solution, as well as the cost of any IT infrastructure you would have to put in place. There will also be cost differences between cloud platforms.
Value, however, is not all about the cost of the item in question. For example, if you are upgrading to a software that offers more comprehensive reporting, payroll, scheduling, inventory, and customer relationship management than your previous software, this will save a number of hours a week that would otherwise have been spent on those things. If you’re losing appointments because of the way your booking is set up, that is another cost to consider.
It’s a good idea to do an audit of where you are losing time and revenue, then use that information to find the software that will best help you get it back.
Spa Executive is published by Book4Time, the leader in guest management, revenue and mobile solutions for the most exclusive spas, hotels, and resorts around the globe. Learn more at book4time.com.