Industry • Best Practice
The Spa Management System Buyer's Guide for 2023
Dec.21,2021By Boulevard Staff
Find the perfect platform for your business with our software feature cheat sheet
These days, having the right technology is almost as crucial to a thriving business as its people, leadership, and culture. Without it, running your business can feel like a nightmare: Schedules can get hectic, inventory mismanaged, and valuable clients neglected. Spas are complex operations, and a spa management system is often the glue keeping them together.
If you're thinking about upgrading your current system — or maybe buying your first — then this article is for you. From reporting to payments, we’ll cover the key features you should look for in a quality platform: One that will set you on the path to success.
Looking for more tips on how to run a successful spa? Download our guide to managing a spa.
What is a spa management system, anyway?
Spa management systems help managers grow their businesses by improving their key operations. These platforms will help spas handle bookings, payments, inventory, scheduling, reporting, client relationships, and more. While specialized software solutions will only tackle some of these areas, a comprehensive spa management solution will provide features that cover the entire set. When properly integrated, these systems can significantly increase the efficiency of both back office and front office operations, accelerating and streamlining processes across the business.
The checklist for a five-star spa management app
Stellar client management
Even if you know your customers like family, you can’t afford to keep all that info locked up in your head. This is just one of the many reasons you want your spa management system to have customer relationship management (CRM) functionality. CRM tools enable you to understand and nurture your client relationships. They should have features like multi-channel communications support, in-depth client profiles, and task management tools, which will ensure you’re staying on top of every customer interaction. You’ll also want a CRM that has robust reporting and an intuitive analytics dashboard to help ensure you can understand high-level trends at a glance.
Scary good scheduling
Scheduling and room management may not be all that glamorous, but they’re undoubtedly essential. Optimal resource management ensures your team is as productive as possible — which is another way of saying your spa is as profitable as possible. To maximize your spa’s ROI, look for a spa management system that gives you the entire appointment landscape in a single pane, has an easy-to-use and flexible calendar view, and works seamlessly with the client booking process. And if you suspect you have some slack in the system — or you just want to boost your staff’s performance — find a platform that leverages automation, like Boulevard. Boulevard’s platform features Precision Scheduling™ technology, which automatically optimizes your scheduling through intelligent appointment clustering, downtime minimization, and more.
Booking matters — a lot. A poor online booking experience will often prevent clients from frequenting a business. In other words, it pays to find a spa management system that has slick online booking functionality. “Slick” means it should have a customizable service menu, automatically show clients the best appointment options, support waitlisting, and send helpful appointment follow-ups and reminders. It should also be visually sleek and allow you to match your brand’s aesthetic.
Infallible payment processing
You don’t have much of a business if you can’t process your customers' payments. A top-of-the-line spa management system has a clean and uncomplicated staff interface for payments, fast and secure payment delivery, cardless checkout, comprehensive dispute support, multi-merchant support, and inclusive financial software integrations. Finally, you’ll want to check the fine print on the processing details because any platform worth its salt will have a fair fee structure and contract terms you’ll have no problem signing off on.
Unreal inventory mastery
What does good inventory management functionality look like? At a high level, your spa management system should enable you to know the state of your stock — incoming, outgoing, and stored — for both internal supplies and retail products. At a feature level, you’ll want multi-location tracking, bin tracking, automated replenishment, stock alerting, predictive analytics, and complete product lifecycle traceability. You’ll also want to access inventory analytics from any device you use, so it’s always a good idea to do a compatibility check.
Your inventory is far from the only thing you’re going to need hard data on in your spa. For maximum visibility into exactly how your business is doing and who is performing, find a spa management system that has robust reporting functionality. The days of manually populating spreadsheets and tedious number-crunching are long over, as modern reporting tools will do the analytical heavy lifting for you — freeing you up to do the higher-order business thinking you do best. When it comes to specific capabilities, look for a platform that allows you to build tailored reports via customizable templates, makes it easy to explore your data through intuitive filtering, has a smart data organization and sharing system, and integrates with all your business tech.
Finding your software soulmate
While some spa managers build out a management solution component by component, that approach often runs into integration and support problems — and can take forever. Fortunately, it is no longer necessary for anyone to take that approach: There are now mature solutions on the market that check every spa management app box and then some.
Of these, Boulevard sits at the top of the stack. Boulevard’s platform has everything you’d want in a spa management system, including comprehensive client management, smart scheduling, online booking, intelligent inventory management, customizable reporting, end-to-end payments functionality — and so much more. Stuffed to gills with the latest tech, this solution helps you quickly understand your business’s performance, meet your clients’ needs, and accelerate your team’s productivity.
Boulevard was built to help your business achieve profitability at scale without losing an inch of sanity. See for yourself! Get a free demo today.