Massage Software Review- Bodywork Buddy
Bodywork Buddy is an online-based massage software system with online scheduling for individual massage therapists. In addition to providing an online scheduling software, it provides income/expense tracking, text-only SOAP notes, gift certificates and custom packaging tracking. In this article, I am going to share a comprehensive massage software review.
Before I go into the details about Bodywork Buddy and what it does for your massage practice, I want to share with you the rating criteria I came up with to help provide a more useful massage software review. There are 8 categories within the review criteria. Below is the name of each one and what it means.
- Pricing. Pricing is most likely the first thing people look at when they look into massage online software reviews. Once someone knows a price, they pretty much say to themselves “it’s okay” or “it’s too expensive”. Unfortunately, this preconceived notion prevents Massage Therapists from better understanding what the software actually does, compared to how much it costs. My rating system for pricing is based on what the software actually does for the cost of use, as well as in comparison to what else is available (I’ve reviewed 12 different softwares and determined the average cost for using an online scheduling software is about $23 a month).
- Responsive. There are different ways someone can use an online scheduling software. You could use it from your computer, tablet, or smartphone. You could also use an app or a web-based version of the software. This rating criterion is called “responsive” because it will cover how compatible the software is with all of the viewing platforms that you use.
- User Friendliness. You will be using this software every day (or close to it). The software has to be easy to navigate and use. You also want to feel good while you are using it. Why deal with headaches or heartaches because of a bad software that’s not user friendly? From this rating criterion, you will know how you will feel when you use the software.
- Customer Friendliness. You’re not the only one who will use this software. It is so important to also make sure that your clients feel good when they use the software! However, they won’t be using it like you do. I’m going to make sure that you know the software is also good for your clients to use.
- SOAP Notes. I’ve added the SOAP notes criterion because I know it’s important for your practice. Also, several massage softwares include SOAP notes as a feature. But just because SOAP notes are offered doesn’t mean that they’re good. Considerations like how SOAP notes are stored, shared, and what kind of visual aids are available need to be weighted as either pros or cons. I’ve done the research for you and you will have a full understanding of what you can and can’t do with SOAP notes for this software.
- Automation. Part of investing in a massage scheduling software is the ability to automate certain processes. Automation saves you time and money. If your online scheduling software is compatible with your website and social media pages, that will make things more automated. It will further help you feel saner because you won’t have to remember so many things that you need to do. In this rating criterion, I am going to help you know what will save you time and money if you use this software.
- Payment Processing. Yes, some online scheduling softwares take payments. Maybe you want a software that will hold a credit card as a reservation or charge a client for a no show. Payment processing can make your life a lot easier when the software is working right. I’ll be sharing a lot of helpful information about the software’s payment processing capabilities and what it can or can’t do for your business.
- Add-Ons. Sometimes softwares have some cool features that you may have not even considered. I’ll review these features, providing more information about whether they’re worth your time and money.
When reading through each criterion, you will see an overall rating number after the title. I used the familiar “on a scale from 1 – 10” rating system. This number represents the quality of the software, specific to the criterion reviewed. For example, if you see a number “5” in the section, you will know it is average. 1 is poor. 10 is excellent. After each number rating is shared, there will be explanations and examples about how the software provides this feature.
Now that you know the what and how of this massage software review of Bodywork Buddy, let’s dive right in.
Bodywork Buddy’s pricing is $35 per month, with the opportunity to do a 15-day free trial. You can pay for a 6 month period and save $30.30 for that time frame. You could also pay for a 12 month period and save $120.60 for that time frame. Regardless of the subscription you pay for, you get the same amount of features.
Bodywork Buddy’s pricing is a bit confusing because the company claims you can cancel at any time because there is no binding contract. However, the company doesn’t provide reimbursements for cancellations that are withstanding. This means that if you pay for a yearly subscription of $299.40, and after 2 months decide you don’t like the software and want to leave, you won’t get any of your $299.40 back. Yikes.
Bodywork Buddy has done a poor job to make the pricing work well for you. The average cost of most massage softwares is about $23/month. Bodywork Buddy’s price of $35/month is expensive and their additional features don’t offer enough value to justify the cost of the software. (More information about the features can be found in the Automation criterion section.)
Bodywork Buddy is a web-based system with responsive design. This means that you can access the software from any type of device, as long as you can access the Internet. This is both good and bad. It’s good because it’s convenient. Yes, it’s great to quickly login and check something on your phone while at the grocery store or somewhere else that is unpredictable.
The bad part is that you either have to remember the URL or you have to bookmark the login link on every device you use. For example, take this scenario into account. You’re at your best friend’s house hanging out. You realize your phone was left at home and you haven’t checked your massage scheduling software in 6 hours. You’re a little anxious so you ask your friend if you can borrow her laptop to see if anyone scheduled for tomorrow. You open the computer, open the web browser, and then what? You have to type in the website of your login page. Plus, you have to remember your username and password (we know how hard that is to remember!).
An app might be more helpful in most cases of using the software. However, in the example above, an app is of no use because you forgot your phone at home.
There really isn’t an ideal option for a massage scheduling software that is responsive to all situations and all types of technology. Bodywork Buddy may have chosen the better option by making something that is web based.
User Friendliness- 4
When you first sign up for Bodywork Buddy, there is an initial “Registration” process. This is pretty simple to navigate through. It’s 7 steps of inputting information to create your account. (It’s kind of like an intake form, where you’re trying to gather basic information.) The only challenge I had was knowing some of their terminologies (like the difference between stacked or interval scheduling).
Once registered, you get access to their back end dashboard. It looks similar to the back end of a wordpress website.
If you are not familiar with this type of layout, this presents big challenges. There are a lot of tabs on the left-hand side of the page and when you select one, it opens a sub menu. That means even more options. This is problematic because it’s just too easy to get lost and confused. This software appears to have been developed with an assumption that its users have the tech experience needed to use it. This isn’t the case though.
To compensate for the confusion of its users, Bodywork Buddy offers customer support via phone, email, or an instant messaging system called “live chat”. All forms of customer support are unlimited and have no additional charges for usage. Just be prepared to invest a lot of your time for customer support if Bodywork Buddy becomes your chose massage software.
Customer Friendliness- 5
Since Bodywork Buddy is a web-based system, it can be easy for your clients to use. It really depends on how you set things up. Ideally, you want your clients to click a button from your website. Clicking that button will take them to the online scheduling page where they select the service and the duration of the session. Your clients will be able to schedule with you in a few clicks of a mouse or taps on a phone or tablet. The thing that I’m not that excited about is that they are taken away from your website (your branding) and pointed in the direction of something created by Bodywork Buddy (their branding). Ideally, you want everything to look the same. This has an influence on whether or not your client follows through with booking a session with you. This is all part of branding and it is vitally important to your practice.
Bodywork Buddy also offers a “microsite” that can be used for marketing and scheduling. I don’t recommend this though because the site design isn’t great and you’re limited to how many changes you can make. Here’s a screenshot of the mobile version.
I also requested an appointment with myself to see what the experience was like. It was fairly smooth. However, I set things up so that the practitioner needs to confirm the appointment. What I discovered was a delay (about 20 minutes) from the time the appointment was requested to the time I (the Massage Therapist) got the email for the appointment request. I know 20 minutes is not a lot of time but in your clients’ minds, it may be forever. In 20 minutes, some clients may have reached out to 3 or more other Massage Therapists.
SOAP Notes- 3.5
Bodywork Buddy’s SOAP notes are text only. They don’t offer any cool visual aids. Also, they are hard to find. You will find the template deep within the “Sessions” section of the Dashboard.
The SOAP notes do save in the sessions section of the software. You can find SOAP notes from viewing the client or sessions section. If you want to share a SOAP note with a client or another professional, you will need to copy and paste the notes into a document or an email.
Bodywork Buddy has some features that are automated. Here are some of the things that the software automates and helps you save time and money for managing your practice.
- You can sync your client calendar with google’s calendar. If you use google calendar, this will help you have a visual of your client schedule. There are also capabilities to sync to other calendars like iCalendar.
- From the clients section, there are available forms that are customizable. At the time that this review was composed, the two forms available are “Massage Information” (intake form) and “Medical History”. You can add or modify sections within each of these forms.
- The day before an appointment, the software will send an appointment reminder to your client. This is sent via text or email, depending on what they chose when they first scheduled.
Payment Processing- 1
Bodywork Buddy doesn’t process credit cards. On the dashboard of the software, Square is recommended as the credit card processing software.
Although you can’t process payments through Bodywork Buddy, you can track payments. You have to manually enter in your expenses though.
Add Ons- 5
There is some add-ons Bodywork Buddy offers. Below is a list of some of their featured ones and more information about their usefulness for your practice:
- Gift Cards. They can be sold and used online. Everything is tracked. You are able to see unredeemed gift cards on your Bodywork Buddy dashboard. It’s all automated and it helps your Gift Card tracking stay organized.
- Email Messaging. Emails can be sent automatically to confirm appointments, etc. There is also a tracking history to see what emails have been sent and received.
- Fallen Off Clients. Bodywork Buddy has a feature to look up clients by the amount of time that has passed since their last session.
Massage Software Reviews- 4.2 Overall Rating
Bodywork Buddy’s massage software does a below average job of helping massage and bodyworkers manage their practice with ease and confidence. For the price you pay ($35/month), I don’t think you’re getting enough value to justify the cost of the software.
I wouldn’t recommend Bodywork Buddy for a Massage Therapist that runs their own practice. Instead, I would recommend using Artichoke. Artichoke is a massage software that is also meant for solo practitioners.
I’ve written a comprehensive massage software review for Artichoke. You can learn more about it here.