07 Dec 2011
Written by Alice Smithson
Following our last spa software blog about the important features in management software for spas, this article asks the question: what should you look for in a spa software company? Levels of service vary dramatically, so proper research is essential if you want to be sure you won’t be let down.
Background to the Spa Software Industry
A bit of background about how and why so many of these smaller companies spring up is helpful here. It’s actually fairly easy for anybody with programming skills to put together a piece of software to manage spa appointments, and even if our entrepreneur isn’t a software developer him or herself, it’s not difficult to find a low-cost techie to write a new programme for them. Add a colourful website to the mix and you have the basis of many of the smaller spa software companies you will come across when searching online.
Worrying, isn’t it, that you could be placing your money and trust in the hands of someone with little industry knowledge, relatively untested software, no training experience and zero customer support?
Why Spa Software Support is Essential
An investment in any spa software is an investment in the future success of your spa business. Even if you are uber-confident when it comes to learning new software programmes, there will be times when you need extra help to get the results you expect, or when the system crashes and you need a quick fix; after all, you can’t allow any unnecessary down time.
You should be able to call your software partner when you need help or advice and speak to someone straight away. You should also expect your problems to be solved quickly, whether they are training queries or something more serious.
10 Questions to Ask your Spa Software Supplier
Here are our top ten questions to ask spa software companies to ensure you don’t accept anything less than you deserve:
1. How long has the company been established?
Particularly in times of recession, it’s good to know that companies you choose to do business with have a proven track record of strength and robustness.
2. How many people are there in the company?
If there are just a handful of staff, can they provide the service you deserve?
3. How many people are dedicated to training and support?
Rather than making sales and collecting your money.
4. How many customers do they have?
Specifically, how many customers like you? That means spa businesses in the UK.
5. Can you speak to some of their customers?
It should be a huge red flag if your spa software supplier isn’t keen to introduce their existing customers to you. They should be proud to show you how happy their current customers are.
6. Where does the computer equipment come from?
Is it new or second hand? Is the computer business quality and are there options designed specifically for retail businesses which need hardwearing computers?
7. How quickly will your spa software system be installed?
You’ll want to get up and running as soon as possible once you’ve decided to take the plunge, so make sure you won’t be left waiting around or chasing your supplier once you’ve signed the cheque.
8. What level of training will you receive?
Look for a company that will send you a dedicated training consultant to your spa, preferably for 2 days or more, to give you proper software training. Never accept online training, unless you feel that your learning style is suited to this more remote training style.
9. How experienced are their support team?
Ask to speak to someone in support if you’re not sure of getting a straight answer from the sales person. You can then ask them directly about their experience and see for yourself what their telephone manner is like _ and how quickly they answer your call, too!
10. What are their plans to develop new spa software?
As part of your investment, you should expect to receive regular updates to your software, including new features and tools to keep your chosen software (and your spa business) at the forefront of the industry.
Next time, we look at the question of getting value for money from salon and spa software. How much should you expect to pay and what will you get for your money?
Contact us to speak to one of our team about trialling i-salon software in your spa.
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