Spa Software: Which to choose?
According to G2.com, there are 145 spa software brands to choose from. With that many choices, it’s no wonder spa directors are left scratching their heads about where to turn. I’ve tried to make things a little easier for you spa owners and spa directors out there by narrowing it down to my favorite 4 software brands as it relates to spas. I’ll let you know what some of my favorite features are of each software and let you make the decision from there. Sound good? Great!
The Pros: One of the things that I hear most often about Meevo is the ease of making and checking appointments. With an enormous database, you can book almost anything you could imagine. If you’re a reporting nut like I am, you will love Meevo. The reporting functionality is incredible. This makes it easier to determine where to put your marketing dollars! If you’re a new spa or a growing spa, that means you’re bringing on new employees. One of the great features about this software is that it’s really intuitive and easy to learn, which is very important when it comes to hiring new staff. Meevo does allow clients to book appointments, purchase gift certificates, and update personal information via their personal devices or computers.
The Cons: The biggest complaint I get about Meevo is that it’s buggy. That usually means the software sometimes freezes. Keep in mind that this product is pretty robust, so if you’re in a busy spa, it would probably do best if it were directly connected through ethernet cables to the Internet vs. using WiFi.
If you’re interested in learning more about Meevo, you can request a free 20-minute demo here.
The Pros: If you’ve been in the spa industry for long, you’ve likely tried, or at the very least, heard of MindBody (which acquired another frequently used spa software – Booker.) That’s a benefit in and of itself. It’s widely used in the industry, so if you know others in the spa world, you can trade MindBody tips and tricks. MindBody is another robust program that has a ton of features like an integrated email marketing platform, as well as text marketing. Their customer service team is also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week which is a big bonus. Customized Software Training is offered to business owners and staff members through the MindBody Premium Services Team. Training is offered in one-hour increments where clients can train with MindBody experts on fundamental topics. Now, of course it’s up to you to schedule and stick to those calls. Trust me when I say it’s worth its weight in gold to know your way around this software to make it work for your business.
The Cons: Probably the biggest complaint I hear about this software is from long-term MindBody users. They’ve been with the company from the beginning and they’ve seen some pretty tremendous price increases. Different Spa Directors or Spa Owners will have differing opinions on whether the price increase was actually worth it. Like Meevo, there are multiple ways to get to the same function, so that can be confusing too.
For a free demo of MindBody, you can click here.
The Pros: Salon Ultimate is the only hybrid management system in the industry. One of the features I most like about it is that it has desktop-based software for fast and reliable on-location operations that doesn’t rely on an Internet connection, plus it has a cloud-based version you can access from your computer at home or your devices. On top of that, they have incredible customer service and a platform that is easy to use, making it easy to train staff. One of the really nice features that this platform offers is the ability to custom build features if you have a larger spa. Most of my clients have been incredibly happy with Salon Ultimate.
The Cons: The most common negative feedback I get about Salon Ultimate is that the updates they push out can be really buggy at first. Of course, like most technical updates, once they find out what those bugs are, they typically resolve pretty quickly. It also doesn’t have the functionality to connect to a credit card machine for checkout. I would hope that with all of the feedback they’re getting on this one feature, that it would be available in the future, but that remains to be seen.
If you would like a free demo for Salon Ultimate, click here. Then click the green button in the upper right hand corner.
The Pros: I was actually pleasantly surprised to find out about Square Appointments. While I thought it would be a very simple system without much functionality other than accepting payments, I quickly found out I was wrong. From integrated appointment setting, to integrated text and email marketing, it’s actually a nice solution for small and medium sized spas. The thing I like most is that unlike the other 3 platforms I reviewed, Square Appointments offers a free version for businesses that only need 1 employee to use the system. From 2-10 employees, it’s still only $50/month, which is very affordable for most small business owners. Square also offers 24/7 support.
The Cons: I personally don’t love the look of the embedded scheduling widget. It doesn’t blend well with most websites and is very noticeably a square application. To me, that’s kind of like making a website on Wix for free which allows them to keep their branding on your company’s website. The other big negative is that the client list does not connect back to the charges or appointments made by that client. That makes it very difficult to backtrack and figure out how a client has interacted with your business.
There are so many choices when it comes to scheduling and marketing platforms for your spa. I hope this blog helps sort things out for you and makes your decision a little easier. As always, if you need help getting your spa over a hump or just need a fresh pair of eyes, I’d love to speak with you about working together. You can fill out this quick form to get in touch.