Does your spa business have the resources it needs to support performance, growth, and profitability efforts? Have you grown beyond the capabilities of your current systems? These days, the keys to improving operational efficiency are consolidation and optimization. Integrated software systems can allow your business to do just that.
In this article, we’ll first talk about the benefits of route optimization, customer relationship management, and customer tracking. Then we’ll look at three innovative solutions designed specifically for the spa industry and how they can help you jumpstart healthy growth in your business.
Delivery and Service Route Optimization
Believe it or not, some businesses schedule deliveries and service calls based on the next available date and time. This “first come, first serve” method may seem like a good way to gain customer satisfaction, but it’s inefficient for both your people and your customers.
Consider this: You schedule a spa delivery and installation for 1:00 pm and a service call for 3:00 pm. The locations are 30 minutes apart. The install takes longer than expected ma,king you run late for the service call. Maybe you end up rescheduling the service call altogether. In this scenario, you’ve lost money and cost yourself and your customer valuable time.
The 'first come, first serve' method may seem like a good way to gain customer satisfaction, but it's inefficient for both your people and your customers.
With route optimization software, you can schedule appointments according to proximity of location and time necessary to complete the job. Consider these benefits of delivery/route management software solutions:
- Route Management: Lets you optimize delivery and service call routes for more efficient customer service
- Real-Time Visibility: Know where your people and products are and if they are running on schedule
- Access to Analytics: Track service/delivery data and monitor driver/installer performance so you can improve overall route management
- Customer Communication: Allows customers to track service and delivery and receive real-time updates
- Recordkeeping: Paperless storage and organization for easier access to service and delivery records
Customer Relationship Management
Establishing strong relationships with customers is what keeps them coming back. It is an ongoing process that requires businesses to continually analyze interactions with both current and potential customers. CRM goes beyond taking down contact information and following up with emails and phone calls. It is a time-consuming process for sales staff, time they could be spending on the sales floor. CRM software makes it easier to increase customer retention and thereby increase profits.
The right CRM software solutions can benefit your business in terms of customer knowledge, organization, and optimization.
- Provides a complete picture of customers and sales by helping track who your customers are, why they buy your products, and how you can better meet their purchasing needs
- Lets you assess where your customers are in the buyer’s journey, so you can more effectively consolidate leads and close sales
- Meets customer needs with automatic notifications of service appointments, maintenance reminders, warranty renewals, discount offers, and special sales and events
- Allows you to streamline marketing campaigns and other customer interaction processes to increase customer satisfaction
- Offers data analysis to better track customer information and demographics to help focus your sales efforts
- Affords a means to more effectively track, issue, and receive bills and invoices
Customer tracking can be as simple as counting the number of people who enter the store or as complex as tracking the number of people visiting specific sections of the store along wit how much time they spend in that area. People counters allow you to track customer movement throughout the store. Information from door counters and people counters can help you:
- Optimize store layout
- Plan more effective staffing
- Evaluate hours of operation
- Determine how long customers are in the store and if they get prompt staff attention
- Compare customer traffic across multiple store locations
Different sensors have differing levels of data capture that range from simply tracking movement to knowing the difference between a shelf and a stationary shopper to distinguishing between a moving cart and a moving person. Others can tell the difference between individuals and groups and between children and adults. Some even have 98% accuracy in the data they capture. A good place to start researching door/people counting technology is this site which gives a good run-down of the types of people counters available and how they work.
The Software Analysis
Now that you have a basic understanding of what you need, let’s look at three spa industry-specific companies offering these solutions: Snorkel Software, RB Retail & Service Solutions, and Evosus.
Snorkel Software uses their CBOS, Customizable Business Operating System, to help you design a software solution that fits your business needs. They customize each system to the direct specifications of each client. In addition to custom software, they offer consulting services and business analysis to ensure the end product is exactly what your business needs. A final bonus is their work with Spa Industries (Just Spas), so they have experience designing software specific to spa businesses.
RB Retail and Service Solutions also offers software specifically designed for pool and spa retailers. It provides integration with leading water testing software, chemical maintenance calendars, and troubleshooting handouts. In addition, it has CRM, POS, Pool Industry Integrations, scheduling and service, inventory management, employee management, reports, marketing, and accounting features.
Mobile Live, their real-time mobile app for accepting payments in the field, gives users access to customer information, service schedules, and sales orders via tablet and cell phone.
Mobile Live, their real-time mobile app for accepting payments in the field, gives users access to customer information, service schedules, and sales orders via tablet and cell phone. It also allows techs to clock in and out at job sites, see what jobs have been done, and send electronic door hangers all in real-time.
Other features available are Water Lab Sync, Online Bill Pay, online bill pay, and job costing.
Another provider of software specifically designed for pool and spa businesses, this point of service and business management software includes retail, service, and construction applications. Major features of Evosus Business Management Software include:
- Integrated payment processing
- Scheduling of service appointments and deliveries
- Inventory tracking
- Integrated CRM
- Employee time tracker
- Integrated accounting and report functions
- Payroll services
- Integrated water testing
In an Aqua Magazine article, Nicole Ragel of Patio Pool and Spas says, “We just finished our first inventory and we experienced something we never have before—accuracy. We were off pool cleaning trucks by $95.00 in our favor and $637 in the main warehouse in the positive. We have NEVER EVER been this close. I love Evosus.”
Keep in mind that the costs of these software solutions vary depending on the features they offer. You can also purchase stand-alone solutions for route optimization and CRM. Customer foot-traffic tracking solutions are nearly always stand-alone products. In any case, when you are ready to take the next step toward more efficient operations, these products are worth a closer look.