Thursday, September 30, 2010

Spa Insight-Looking at SpaBooker Performance Indicators (SPIs)

Here at SpaBooker, we like to take the time to look at some of the key indicators that impact our clients’ businesses. This invaluable insight allows us to look at how the SpaBooker platform can be used to drive these SPIs and help our clients use them to move their businesses in the right direction. These recent performance indicators are based on aggregate data across almost 1,500 SpaBooker partners over the first half of 2010.

We are seeing an increase in membership programs overall but many businesses have yet to implement one. Membership programs drive more retail business: Businesses without membership programs average 14% retail spend, whereas businesses with programs average over 25%.

Specials and discounts are also popular with our partners’ members. 6% of members used specials available only to them and 8% used generally-available specials. Our suggestion: businesses should create more member-only specials, which in turn will increase the value of membership benefits and sign ups.

Across the board, spa retail revenue as a percentage of total revenue is 8%, which is around the industry average. Across a sample of over 600,000 services tracked on the SpaBooker network, the breakdown by service type was:

We respect the privacy of our partners; therefore SpaBooker only analyzes and publishes data in aggregate. We hope the SPIs mentioned will provide you with insight into the business results of spa and wellness operations around the globe and how SpaBooker is contributing to those results.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

SpaBooker Version 6.3 Released

We’re excited to announce that the latest version (6.3) of the “Booker” platform has been released.  In this release we have introduced many new personalization and ease of use features, including:
  • More functionality in the marketing section
  • Extended Twitter and Facebook integration
  • New appointment types
  • Extended CRM functionality
  • 100s of other features and enhancements
As usual, the full list of features and enhancements can be found upon logging in to the system
or in our support section.  Let us know what you think!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Putting a Positive Spin on Cancellations and No-Shows

Cancellations and no-shows can be a nightmare for service based businesses anywhere in the world. But with SpaBooker it doesn’t have to be that way. There are a number of steps that you should be taking, which will minimize the number of cancellations and deal effectively with the inevitable no-shows that you just can’t avoid.

First, make sure you confirm all appointments. The very best way to do this is to call each client, but you may not have a receptionist with the time to do that, so use SpaBooker’s automatic email confirmations to do it for you.

It’s crucial that you have a clear cancellation policy and that your clients are aware of it when booking. SpaBooker provides the platform to create the policy and will also ensure that it is agreed to prior to your clients booking online (which will also help you fight the inevitable charge backs).

So, how should you set up your cancellation policy? Luckily SpaBooker has built in tools that will guide you through setting the rules in terms of who it applies to, when to apply the fee (X hours before appointment), how much the fee is, if there is a different fee for no-shows, and any class cancellation fees.

Next, you will need to write the text that your customers see during the online booking process and in your email communications. For example:

Spa del Tranquillo values your business and appreciates your understanding with regards to our cancellation policy. Please respect our schedule by honoring your appointments. If you do need to cancel, please provide a minimum of 24 hours notice. If you are unable to provide at least 24 hours notice, please contact us. If we cannot rebook the appointment, you will be charged 100% of the service cost.

For a detailed step-by-step guide to setting your cancellation policy up in SpaBooker, click here to read our Tuesday Tip. Tuesday Tips are SpaBooker’s weekly email to all our clients, which cover support hints and advice. Next Week’s tip will look at how to charge for cancellations through SpaBooker.

Finally, SpaBooker’s built in social media features can help you rebook canceled appointments. As soon as the cancellation happens, use SpaBooker to post to Twitter and to your Facebook page and your clients will hear about the availability – you could even offer an incentive or promotion to accompany the appointment. For a more detailed look at SpaBooker and social media, don’t forget to sign up for tomorrow’s webinar: Social Media and Your Business II: The Next Level.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Spa of Tomorrow

Do you wonder what spas may look like in the next 5-10 years? In this article, James Bremner, Senior Director of Marketing for SpaBooker, provides insight into how he envisions the customer journey may change, and it’s pretty exciting.

Engagement, relevance and immediacy: these are three words that are going to be central to consumers in the not-so-distant future. You may have seen the Steven Spielberg film Minority Report, where optical scanners read retinas and display advertising targeted specifically at that person. Well, that type of personalization and ‘suggested sell’ is not far away. The data is there, it needs extracting and then analyzing, with a healthy dose of intelligence thrown in.

‘Suggested selling’ analyzes a customer’s information and determines which retail product to suggest to that person. It takes all of their available information into account – age, what they’ve bought in the past and which services they usually have. It knows what treatment they just had, which product(s) are ideal post-treatment, and applies algorithmic calculations to pick appropriate products. In the future, this calculation may trigger a video to be displayed at the point of sale, inviting the customer to buy the product, possibly at a discount. It’s an incredibly powerful way to drive greater retail sales.

Now imagine the customer is part of a loyalty program and has an electronic loyalty card. The card has an RFID chip in it, which is essentially a radio transmitter. The computer at the point-of-sale picks up the radio waves, identifies the customer, plays the suggested selling video, sends some information to their smartphone and adjusts their loyalty points automatically. It may also check them out and apply the transaction to their account.

Let’s add another possibility; this time, exactly the same thing happens but the customer is prompted to rate the experience on their mobile phone. The review is added to the database, providing great feedback and allowing the spa to make the suggested selling algorithm smarter and to offer other services through various forms of marketing.

Social media may well play a part in the experience too. The customer’s review not only helps the spa but via services like Foursquare and Yelp, also helps the customer’s friends. This will develop into trust networks, allowing friends to decide which friends’ judgments they value most. They may even have access to promotions through these trust networks, creating more viral connections at every stage of the customer journey. There are endless possibilities as these types of connections expand and compound; like connecting these location-based mobile services via apps and websites with direct links to online booking and special discounts. Actually SpaFinder and SpaBooker combine to offer that right now!

This technology isn’t all here today, but you can certainly perform your own suggested selling right now. Observe your customers, find out who was buying a product regularly and then stopped, and ask them why. Offer them a small discount to start buying from you again. Try and up-sell your customers to the next price point . You can do all of this now with targeted marketing and you can even use social media to create groups of customers.

Watch this space for feature news as SpaBooker is continually innovating and thinking of new, bright and interesting ways to make your life easier and your businesses more profitable.