But first let me clear out why you should invest in a system. Your software system will be your main resource for administrating your business and make your employees focus and dedicate their time to the guest, not the systems used (pen and paper for instance.) It will help you achieve optimal allocations of all your resources and services every day. It will not only show you the statistics and help you optimize scheduling, but also help you to get to know your guest and always be one step ahead. Your system will give you valuable tools to satisfy your guests, market your spa and increase revenue.
But how do you find out what system would work best for you? Before you start to look you need to do some reserach and be sure of what functions are crucial for your business.
Research to do:
– What interfaces do we need? Maybe you have an already existing hotel system, accounting system, credit card devise, gift card processor or other back office systems.
– From where do you need to access your system, only at the Spa, from home or even on all staffs smartphones?
– Do you need unlimited users or computers for usage? This is often what the price depends on.
– What systems are my competitors/colleagues using, and are they happy with it?
– What is the main procedure for your reception? Let’s say: booking treatments.
Write down a booking procedure for yourself, everything from first searching for an appointment. Example) A package in couple’s room, add-ons, cancellation, re-scheduling, send itineraries, check in, recommend products, check out and pay. Think of all possible scenarios and let the software company show you how this would work in their system.
– What is the main procedure for your therapists? Let’s say: Guest history/recommendations. Write down all possible scenarios.
– What is the main procedure for Management? Let’s say: Scheduling therapists.
– What is important except for this? Possibly a functional reporting system, POS, guest history, membership database, stock control, web booking… And so on. You will get a more clear picture if the company you are talking to show you not only what they want to show you (their core functions), but the main procedures you definitely need to work in your preferred way. Make sure to push them hard so you get an idea if they are flexible and can solve your individual needs.
Important tips about Spa Software:
– Learn to love your spa software, know it in and out and you will save a bunch of time and make use of a major resource you have invested in. No exceptions!
– A system should be easy to understand and learn and be used by ALL staff, not only reception and management
– Support and flexibility is always important when it comes to IT (beacuase there will always be problems..) Make sure that you have a good collaboration with your software partner and that they can answer your questions without being to technical
– Do not take anything for granted from a new system. Even if they have all new and flashy functions, you might not be happy with for instance the POS procedure
– Choose a system that can make individual adjustments and be tailor-made after your facility (yes, they exist!)
– Interfaces are crucial, but let your IT-department (or the software company) do all research needed before if you really can use them
– Make sure the software company keeps you updated of new functions and always request new individual ones that will make your day easier (you will not come up with all before your start)
Part 2 will tell you what functions you can expect and what is out there today!