Should You Use Yelp To Promote Your Massage & Bodywork Practice?

Yelp. It’s an interesting business. It started in 2004 with the intention to “connect customers to awesome local businesses”. It’s concept is nice and it’s grown to be a very popular software that customers rely on to “discover” new businesses: places to eat, someone to file your taxes, and even where to get your next therapeutic massage.

Have you noticed that when you search for massage in the city you live in, you often find something Yelp related on the first page of your search results? Something that looks similar to this:

Yelp for Massage Therapists

 

Yelp is really good at SEO. For this reason alone, I think it’s a smart idea to list your business on Yelp. You can list your Massage & Bodywork business for free and it can be an excellent source for getting new clients if your practice is ranked well in Yelp’s listings.

But before you jump on board, be wary of a couple things:

1.Yelp makes money from selling advertising to local businesses. If your business is listed on Yelp, it is highly likely they are going to call you and try to sell ads to you. Some practitioners I know have said that Yelp sales representatives called them every day for several days in a row.

This can get a bit annoying. So be aware of that. There are ways to manage the sales calls. You can block the number. You can answer their call and request they take you off their contact list. You can answer their call and tell them you are way to busy from all of your word of mouth referral clients (thanks Scott Lindquist).

Despite the complaints from practitioners about Yelp sales solicitations, listing your massage & bodywork business on Yelp is still worth it.

2. Yelp is also a business review site. This means that people can create Yelp profiles and then rate and review businesses on the Yelp platform. The rating and review system is intended to recommend the most helpful and reliable reviews for the Yelp community. So in other words, your review can have an impact on other people and whether or not they try a business you recommend.

Another aspect that makes Yelp’s business model “interesting” is that there isn’t a super solid way for Yelp to filter which reviews are real from which are fake. Yelp seems to publish any completed review, as long as the user has a Yelp account. (*Note* I haven’t fully confirmed this to be 100% right. Yelp does provide ways to report reviews. For example, anybody can report a review involving a conflict of interest, inappropriate material, or lack of consumer’s personal experience.)

However, if people do publish (and can possibly get away with it) fake reviews, that’s a bit concerning, right?

I’ve heard many stories from Therapeutic Massage practice owners who stated fake reviews were published about their business, they immediately reported the review to Yelp, but the review stayed published on their business page. Bummer. Sometimes this happens, and it can be frustrating because you don’t have control over what is stated (and visible) about your business. There’s a smart way to manage problems like that (but that is a topic for another article).

My point is, due to the lack of complete control over both real and fake reviews, your business could be jeopardized. This might sound scary and could cause you to think that listing your business on Yelp isn’t worth it…

But it is.

Hands down, Yelp will help you attract new clients. It’s better to list your Massage and Bodywork business on Yelp than it isn’t.

Yelp is powerful because the people who use it are looking for something specific. That’s very different from people who web surf. Yelp users 1) trust in the process of Yelp providing the best business for whatever they’re searching and 2) are likely to make a decision (contact you, visit your website, schedule online, etc.) once they find a listing that matches what they’re looking for.

Do you see the difference between using Yelp vs using something like advertising in the local newspaper? It’s the power of search. People who are searching have something specific in mind. Yelp is a platform that allows someone to search for something like Therapeutic Massage (or even Medical Massage) in your area.

So are you gonna do it? Are you going to list your business on Yelp? Before you do, know that there are valuable tips and tricks to listing your Massage & Bodywork business on Yelp that will maximize your exposure. I’m more than happy to show you exactly how to do that. I’m creating a course that shows you the necessary steps to increase your exposure on Yelp. If interested contact me so you can be notified once the course is available.

Posted: April 7, 2018 By: Comment: 0

Search Engine Optimization for Massage Therapists: Is SEO Worth It?

Is it worth it to pay for SEO for your massage practice? It’s a tricky question because the answer depends on how much you pay vs what kind of results you want.

SEO for Massage Therapists isn’t cheap. Especially when you’re a Sole Proprietor and the only income coming in is from the Massage sessions you do.

What are you willing to pay for SEO? $100, $500, $2500? It’s a risk regardless of what you pay because the results of the work may not meet your expectations. Here’s the options for what can happen:

  1. You get SEO for cheap. It does diddly squat for you.
  2. You pay through your nose for SEO. It does diddly squat for you.
  3. You pay a lot for SEO. Your website visits go way up and it gets you more clients.

I know you want option 3 but what if it costs $2500 and you just don’t have that kind of money? You can:

  1. Teach yourself how to do SEO. Take all that time to learn and apply. And it does diddly squat for you.
  2. Teach yourself how to do SEO. Take all that time to learn and apply. Your website visits go way up and it gets you more clients.

I know you’ll take the 2nd option but how much time do you have to learn? Another way to put it is how much time are you willing to invest in order to get the results you want?

Let’s say it took you 10 hours to learn SEO and another 10 to do all the SEO changes for your website. You’ve just invested 20 hours and if you charged yourself the same rate for SEO as you do for a massage (assuming that’s $60 an hour) you’ve just charged yourself $1200 for SEO services. $1200 is a little steep, right?

You still can’t answer your own question of if it was worth it yet. You have to find out first if your website is close to the top of the search engine results and how many people are visiting your website. Knowing those things will help you determine if all the time and/or money was worth it.

What if you had some guidance and didn’t have to take all the time learning and applying SEO changes to your massage website? Your new option would look like this:

  1. Follow SEO guidance. Take less time to apply SEO changes to your website. Your website visits go way up and it gets you more clients.

Out of all these options (6 different options are listed above), isn’t this option the best one for your situation? For sure.

If you want SEO to help your massage practice get more clients, you have to view this page.

 

Posted: December 13, 2017 By: Comment: 0

Best Massage Scheduling Software: How Massage Therapists Choose For Their Practice

Best Massage Scheduling SoftwareChoosing an online scheduling software can be very time consuming and challenging. There are so many options available and it’s hard to distinguish and differentiate between them. If you take the time to do your research, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or confused by looking at only a few softwares. And then if you ask for help through your social media networking groups, you’ll likely get a long list of recommendations, including several for ones you’ve never heard of before. That may make you feel even more overwhelmed and confused. (That’s a vicious cycle!)

All you want is an effective, straightforward massage scheduling software- that’s easy for clients to navigate and makes your work (and life!) more simple and efficient. Right?

To avoid potential overwhelm and frustration, many practitioners decide what to purchase after considering just a few features: pricing, payment processing, and SOAP notes.

If you start deciding on a massage scheduling software by its price, that’s a good place to start. Budgeting is important and you usually have a great idea of what you can afford. If a software’s pricing is within your budget, the logical next step practitioners make is to look at the software’s features… things like payment processing, SOAP notes, text and email reminders, etc. These are all great things to consider and knowing more about the details of these features can give you a good idea whether or not you are going to like the massage scheduling software.

But instead of stopping there and deciding to invest or not, I highly suggest you do three more things before clicking on that “start your free trial” button.

First, take your massage scheduling software inquiry to a deeper level.

For pricing, look to see if the company offers tiered pricing. Tiered pricing means you get access to a certain set of features for a specific price. (Examples of tiered pricing for massage scheduling software include Massagebook, Mindbody, and Bodywork Buddy.) In most cases, it likely means that you pay more money for the use of features that are more helpful for your practice. For example, appointment reminders is a feature that some softwares give you access to once you’ve paid for a higher version (tier). It’s frustrating because appointment reminders are greatly beneficial. They reduce client no-shows significantly. It’s hard to say “okay, I’ll pay more money for that” when you know not all companies charge more to use this feature.

A note on tiered pricing- try to avoid softwares that charge this way. It will get too expensive in the long run. There are many great softwares (like Artichoke) that offer flat fees for every available feature. Flat fees are the better option because you won’t encounter unpleasant surprises. Instead, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting for the amount you pay upfront.

Understanding what’s possible with the SOAP notes feature will also be important. For SOAP notes, ask yourself if you’re okay with text-only options. You may be interested in SOAP notes features that offer visual charts so that you have the ability to look up the names of muscles. You may want to take a little time to consider what kind of SOAP notes will support you doing your best work so that you can continue to help your clients and your business thrive.  This will help clarify your needs, which helps clarify the type of scheduling software that is the best fit for you.

Also, don’t make the mistake of only thinking about how the software works for you as the practitioner.

Think about (and look into) how the software works for your clients who are trying to schedule with you! You need to know that the software will be easy for your clients to use. The last thing you want to do is confuse or cause them stress when they’re trying to schedule with you online. (A client who gets confused is a client who goes somewhere else.)

If you want a really good software that’s really easy for clients to use, I highly recommend ClinicSense!

Take the time to watch demos provided by the software companies. The videos should explain how the software works for your clients too. If they don’t, then it might be a good idea to move on to the next recommendation. You don’t want to spend a lot of your valuable time setting up accounts and business profiles only to learn it will not work for your clients. With any software you choose, it will be a good idea to book a session with yourself online. You’ll learn a lot and will be able to determine how easy or difficult scheduling will be for your clients.

Finally, test the most important features.

Learn how they work. For example, I recently signed up for a free trial with a certain scheduling software. I created my user account and then visited the scheduling link. When I created a fake appointment for myself, I noticed that it took over 20 minutes for the appointment confirmation email to arrive in my email inbox. 20 minutes isn’t a long time in general but it might be too long of a wait for a client trying to get in last minute.

Testing out the features will give you more knowledge about what will and what won’t work for your business. Doing research on the front end is definitely worth your time in the long run. The time you spend testing features out will save you more time once you start using the software. This will ensure that whatever software you choose is also the one that will keep serving you years down the road.

One last tip- For deciding on an online scheduling software, I highly suggest you DO judge a book by its cover. Look into how “modern”, “fresh” and “updated” the software looks. By doing so, you create assurance for yourself because the companies who update their look, design, and software functionality are the companies who plan to stick around. Also, updated software is an indication that the company is listening to its customers’ needs and striving towards better efficiency and ease of use. By keeping their software up to date and looking modern or fresh, you can further trust that the company will still be around a long time from now.

Hopefully, these tips help you feel more empowered when choosing your massage scheduling software. Your investment of time to research things on the front end will save you money and time in the long run.

To simplify your research, I recommend limiting your search to these recommendations:

For Sole Proprietors, visit the reviews I did for Artichoke and Massagebook.

For Massage business owners (with one or more locations), read the reviews for ClinicSense and Mindbody.

Enjoy the process.

 

Posted: December 4, 2017 By: Comment: 0

What’s The Best Online Scheduling Software (Online Booking System) for Massage Therapists?

For many Massage Therapists, there’s a point in our career when we ask ourselves “What can make my work easier?” It’s natural to think this way. As business owners, we strive for convenience and efficiency, helping to save time and reduce stress in our lives.

For Massage Therapists, a common strategy to make work easier is to start using an online scheduling software (also referred to as an online booking system). Online scheduling helps you save time by reducing unnecessary communication and eliminating all the back-and-forth of calling, texting, or emailing to schedule/reschedule with clients.

best online scheduling software for massage therapistsWhat I’ve seen as a common problem for Massage Therapists is not knowing which online scheduling software to use. It’s easy to get recommendations from colleagues and friends but they are often limited to a few vague reasons why we should use a certain recommended software (“I use _______ software, you should too”).

Knowing which online scheduling software to use can be tricky because your practice may have specific needs that are very different from other Massage Therapists. For example, you may mix outcall appointments with sessions held at your office and you want to make sure the calendar accommodates for the time it takes to travel. For this reason and others, it’s hard to know if what’s recommended is actually the best fit for your practice.

To determine the best online scheduling software for your practice, think about these four things:

  1. Pricing
  2. How easy or difficult it is to set up
  3. If the software is responsive
  4. How it captures payment information.

For the remainder of this article, I’m going to expand on each of these four things.

The best online scheduling software for your practice is reasonably priced. It’s neither cheap or expensive, but rather, priced at an amount that makes you think “this is worth it”. There are good free softwares, and there are ones that are too expensive, but the best software is priced somewhere in between.

After doing extensive research about costs of software, I’ve concluded that the amount of $30/month is a reasonable price for a software that is used by Sole Proprietors. If you run a clinic and there are multiple therapists and/or locations, $85/month is considered a reasonable price.

*Note* Both the AMTA and ABMP offer a variety of software discounts for their members. These discounts are very helpful to bring costs down from the original price.

The best online scheduling software for Massage Therapists is also easy to set up. It’s simple, intuitive, and clean. You can quickly tell if new softwares are by asking yourself “Am I confused?” once you’ve logged in. If the answer is yes, move on. There are better softwares out there. But if you think no at first and then change your mind as you navigate further, that’s also an indication that the software isn’t meant for you and a better fit is available.

Many software companies create “Universities”, “Academies” or “Help Desks” to make their software easier to use. They document and categorize the most commonly asked questions and set up databases to provide answers to these questions. This can be a helpful resource to use. If your questions remain unanswered, expect the company to have an available and helpful customer service or support department. You’ll know if you have great customer service when the agent “invites” you to video conference so they can see your screen and guide you through any troubleshooting or other problems you may be experiencing.

The best online scheduling software for your practice is also responsive. This means you can use it on a computer, a tablet, or a phone and no matter what the size of the screen, everything is easy to see and navigate. Links are easy to click. Images fit the size of the screen, etc. As you navigate throughout the software, things continue to look sharp and clean, no matter how big or small the screen is.

The best online scheduling software for Massage Therapists captures payment information. When a client schedules, they enter a credit card number to reserve their session. The credit card information is encrypted (stored) in the software but it is not visible to you. This ensures that you can charge a client if they don’t show up for the session and didn’t give you proper notice that complied with your cancellation policy.

The point of scheduling online is to provide convenience- to you and your clients. Some online scheduling softwares don’t provide payment processing. You would need to invest in a separate payment processing software. This may not be a huge inconvenience, however, it’s easier for you if you only log into one software to manage all your needs. In today’s technology craze, there are several companies that provide enough features to accommodate.

Now that you’ve got the fundamentals of what to look for, use this information to ask some specific questions to your colleagues who have recommendations. For example, asking a question like “How many of your clients schedule online each week with your software?” or  “What do your clients say about the process of online scheduling?” are two very helpful questions to help you move forward in choosing a software to use.

Remember that there isn’t one specific software that is the best fit for every Massage Therapist because people run their practices differently. You will want to do your research. Be sure to ask specific questions so you will get specific answers, which will help you narrow the scope of your search. Clarity, research, and being smart will help you find a great software to use.

Want us to help you decide? Please fill out our brief interest form. We will get back to you as soon as possible with some great recommendations.

 

Posted: November 18, 2017 By: Comment: 2

Massage Software Review- MassageBook

Massage Software Review- MassagebookMassageBook claims to be a “Success Engine” for Massage Therapists. What that means to me is they help you manage your practice with ease (and not just aspects of your business but rather your whole business). These are big claims from the maker of this software. In this article, I am going to address many of these aspects to provide you a fair and objective massage software review.

Before I go into the details about MassageBook and what it can do for your practice, I want to share with you the rating criteria I came up with to help provide a more useful and objective review. There are 8 categories of the review criteria. Below is the name of each one and its meaning.

  1. Pricing.  Pricing is most likely the first thing people look at when the look into massage online scheduling software. 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 to 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). 
  2. 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.
  3. User Friendliness. You will be using this software every day (or close to it). What helps is if it’s 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 using this software.
  4. 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. 
  5. SOAP Notes. I’ve added the SOAP notes criterion because I know it’s important for your practice and several massage scheduling 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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 clients 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.
  8. 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 for MassageBook, let’s dive right in.

Pricing-   4.5

MassageBook offers a free version. This is good you can’t beat free. The free version has its limitations though.  For example, it appears that the digital intake forms and the email marketing are not included in the free version. You will have to decide what your needs are based on the company’s tiered pricing.

I’ve never been a fan of tiered pricing and MassagBook has taken the concept to heart. They have 5 options. This can be slightly confusing because you may not see one of their features to be valuable enough to invest in the increase of cost. Although there are 5 options to choose from, the fortunate thing is that the highest priced version is still inexpensive. It’s currently priced at $30/month.

 Massage Software Review- MassageBook Pricing

If you are a member of ABMP, you can save from 20 to 50% off, depending on what you purchase. Here’s a view of what pricing is like when the ABMP discount is applied:

Massage Software Review - Pricing 2

Responsive-   7

MassageBook might have the vision to compete with MindBody. It’s hard to tell at this point because MassageBook is not as big as MindBody. But the reason why I raise this point is because MassageBook offers a desktop app for computer use and a mobile app for tablets and phones. This is in addition to accessing the massage software from the MassageBook website.

Massage Software Reivew- MassageBook Responsive

This is all helpful. It’s great to have options for accessing the software. However, it is publicly noted that the mobile apps (for tablets and phones) have more limited use than the desktop or website applications. A recent review of the software on the Mac App store states “The website is great but I wish the app would do more of the features that the site does- like being able to write SOAP notes for example. Or even have an iPad version with the extra features. But I would love to be able to do everything on the app that the site can do.”

User Friendliness-   5

Creating a business account is very simple to do. The only thing that may present a challenge is to choose what domain name you want to use. By default the software lists your business name after the massagebook.com/biz portion (which is mandatory) and then lists your business name. For example, I listed my practice as Body Resonance Massage but didn’t want that long of a website address. After some thought and checking to see if anything was available, I selected an acronym.

massage software review - massagebook user friendly

I’m not a fan of using website addresses like these because it can hurt your business branding. Unfortunately, this is the only way you can proceed to use their software though.

Setting up and using your MassageBook account can be confusing because MassageBook wants you to do two things:

  1. They want you to set up a professional profile.
  2. They want you to set up a business page.

Massage Software Review - MassageBook User 2

For me, this is unattractive because their system functions in a way that you have to become a part of it. MassageBook isn’t a product you use. Rather, it’s a scheme that conjugates your information when you sign up. Your info adds to their branding. This is the opposite of what would benefit you, which would be the product integrating with your brand.

Customer Friendliness-  3.5

MassageBook has simplified the scheduling process for your clients if…

If they have an account. You may think no big deal but this is actually critical. You see, your clients don’t want to create an account. They’re not interested in filling out their profile page, adding pictures, and feeling like they’re signing up for Facebook. They want to schedule with you, secure a time slot, and be done with it. MassageBook made a huge mistake when they made their software require your clients to create accounts.

Massage Software Review - Customer Friendliness

SOAP Notes-   9.5

Wow! It’s really helpful that MassageBook’s Founder is a Massage Therapist. Their SOAP notes feature is their strongest attribute. There are things you can do with SOAP notes that are really impressive. You can click anywhere on an image to get a closer look of the muscle tissues.

Massage Software Review - MassageBook SOAP Notes

Additionally, with a higher priced subscription, you can automate part of the SOAP notes writing process.

When I wrote the massage software review for ClinicSense, I was excited about the visual anatomy included in writing SOAP notes. MassageBook has taken the SOAP notes feature to the next level though. Very impressive!

Automation-   7.5

Because of Massagebook’s intention of being a “success engine”, the company has created many features that automate managing your business. For example, anytime a client uses the system to schedule with you, their information is stored in a customer database that is easily searchable. (This is called a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system.)  Here are some more things that Massagebook automates to help you save time and money managing your practice.

  1. Intake forms can be “pushed” to first time clients, requiring them to fill out the form before they come to your treatment room. It saves you time and helps you stay organized, allowing you to know where to access the intake form.
  2. The SOAP notes are stored in the client database. In addition to the organization of the notes, you can set up reminders for yourself to fill out the SOAP notes.
  3. Massagebook integrates with Facebook, allowing you set up a Facebook “Business” page where you can book appointments and build a community following of potential and current clients.
  4. Massagebook gives you lots of options to set up appointment reminders. You can choose text (if you have a premium membership) or email and you can a reminder will be sent a day before the appointment.

Massage Software Review- Massagebook automation

 

Payment Processing-  2

Massagebook claims it’s easy to set up their payment processing system. It is. However, it doesn’t make everything else easy for you because when it comes time for your clients to pay (in person), you have to use a 3rd party card reader (like Stripe or Square). And then there comes that time (And this happens often. I have personal experience with this.) when your card reader doesn’t work. What do you do then? You have to manually enter the credit card number. Every time! (This was very annoying in my personal experience as a client. My Massage Therapist was also unhappy with how that worked).

Assuming your client prepays, things will be a lot easier. But we both know that it’s rare clients prepay for every session.

Also, consider the fact Massagebook keeps 2.75% of every transaction. I’m not sure if you use a 3rd party card reader, you have to give percentages of your session to both MassageBook and that provider. If you do know, please comment below.

Add Ons-   5

There are additional features Massagebook offers to make managing your practice easier. Below is a list of some of the features with explanations of how it can help your practice:

  1. Client Reviews. Because Massagebook makes clients create a user account to book, it also encourages clients to rate and review your services. This is a good thing should every future client use Massagebook to book session. But that’s highly unlikely. You’re best visibility of client reviews is on sites such as Google, Yelp, and Facebook.
  2. Gift Certificates. They can be sold and used online. Everything is tracked. A neat thing about how Massagebook helps you promote and sell gift certificates is any certificate that is purchased online, can be emailed to the recipient, even if you don’t know who they are/have their email address.
  3. Email Marketing Integration. Massagebook provides its own system for email marketing. You can create templates and track how many people are viewing your email messages.

Massage Software Reviews- 5.5 Overall Rating

Massagebook’s software offers a lot but I question the quality of how well it makes managing your practice more simple and efficient. For example, the payment processing feature of requiring a manually entered credit card number is super inconvenient.

I wouldn’t recommend Massagebook 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 sole practitioners.

I’ve written a comprehensive massage software review for Artichoke. You can learn more about it here.

Posted: April 24, 2017 By: Comment: 2

Massage Software Review- Mindbody

Massage Software Reviews- MindbodyMindbody is a company that provides cloud-based business management software for the wellness services industry. It serves about 35 million consumers located in over 130 countries and territories. It’s a very well known software. Almost every Yoga studio I’ve ever been to uses it.

It is by no means a good fit for you if you are a Sole Proprietor. If you work for yourself and only yourself, please see my Massage software review of Artichoke.

For the purposes of this article, I am going to share a comprehensive review of the software, as seen through the eyes of massage business that has 6 – 12 massage therapists and two different physical locations.

Before I go into detail about Mindbody 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.

      1. 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). 
      2. 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.
      3. 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.
      4. 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. 
      5. 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.
      6. 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.
      7. 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.
      8. 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 for this massage software review of Mindbody, let’s explore what it does, how much it costs, and the ways you can use it.

Pricing-  1

Mindbody has tiered pricing. Tiered pricing means you get access to a certain set of features for a specific price. The options are $75/month for Starter, $125/month for Pro, $195/month for Accelerate, and $290/month for Ultimate.

Massage Software Review- Mindbody Pricing

I haven’t seen prices as expensive as these for any other massage software reviews I’ve done. This is very expensive and I’m not confident that Mindbody is an equivalent of 4 times better than any of its competitors- to justify the 4 times as expensive costs.

To make matters worse, below is a screen capture of an email message the CEO sent to all customers in November of 2016.

Massage Software Review- Mindbody Pricing

The pricing you saw above does account for the monthly rate increase of 24%. However, knowing that prices have gone up, I’m very confident that it will happen again. Customers may not see 24% increases each year but they might see something like 8% the next year, 11% the next, and some other number the next. And we all know that this can add up very quickly.

Mindbody doesn’t offer a free trial to test the waters. They want you to schedule a demo so that you interact with someone from their sales team. They do put more sales pressure on you than any of the other companies that compete with them.

 If you are a member of ABMP, you can save 20% on your monthly subscription. This is a great rate for AMBP members, but, even with the discount, you are still paying over $60/month for a starter package. It’s still too expensive to justify the costs.

Responsive-   9

Mindbody is in the business of providing software at your convenience. They create apps in addition to providing the service via the web. Mindbody can be accessed on any device, in either app or web fashion. The choice is yours for how you want to use it (as their customer).

Massage Software Review- Mindbody responsive

User Friendliness-   5

Mindbody offers a lot for its customers. This might be their Achilles heal, though. For you as the user, the most important thing is for your software to be simple to use, right? Mindbody isn’t simple. There are too many features.

Take a look at this demo from 2 years ago. Tell me if you’re overwhelmed after watching the 5 minute video:

Customer Friendliness-  5

It’s a similar story for your clients… They might get confused.

Honestly, Mindbody is good for your clients to use if they only have one account- and it’s with your practice. But Mindbody is a popular software. Your client may belong to a Yoga studio, which also uses MindBody. The problem with that is your client will likely have two Mindbody accounts and will have difficulty distinguishing the correct login credentials. (I just experienced this problem myself when I signed up for some circuit training sessions with a fitness gym.)

Too many accounts is an invitation for confusion. When people get confused, they go do something else.

Make sure you keep things simple. I think Mindbody has grown to be too big to keep their own stuff simple.

SOAP Notes-   ?

I felt it was fair to not rate this criterion for Mindbody because I was not able to review it. Mindbody doesn’t highlight SOAP notes as a feature they offer (but I’m sure SOAP notes are available).

We all know SOAP notes are important in our practice. Isn’t it slightly concerning that Mindbody doesn’t market SOAP notes to us as an awesome feature for their software? (Here’s the screenshot of the web page for Massage. Where’s the SOAP notes?)

Massage Software Review- Mindbody SOAP Notes

Automation-  7

Mindbody has some valuable features for automation. These include:

      1. Appointment confirmation. If your client schedules with you online, they will get an email confirmation that the appointment has been booked. The session also fills up on your calendar. This is helpful for appointment confirmations. 
      2. Recurring Payments.  When your client’s payment information is recorded on the software, you can select how frequent they are charged.
      3. Appointment reminders. When it’s almost time for your client’s appointment, an automated text/email reminder is sent. On the initial setup, you select how long in advance each message will be sent.

Mindbody claims there are 110 ways their software will save you time. That may be true, however, it’s unclear as to whether those 110 ways are all automated.

Payment Processing-  8

MindBody has a “point-of-sale” system that does credit card payment processing. Additionally, they offer an “Express” app that processes payments. Their fees are comparable to competitors, and you get two options for the fees:

Massage Software Review- Mindbody payment processing

 

Add Ons-   7 

Mindbody states they offer 110 ways to save you time. Is that too many? Possibly. On their website, they feature Marketing, Online Booking, Retention, Point of Sale, Client Tools, Staff Resources, Reports, and Automation. They have built extensions for Facebook and their own app. They have plenty of technology to offer to you. The question is- how much of it do you want to use?

Massage Software Reviews- 6 Overall Rating

Mindbody is an okay software to use for owners of massage clinics and integrative healing arts centers. It is more expensive than its competitors and due to how many features it offers, it could potentially be confusing and overwhelming to its users.

Do remember that this review was meant for a clinic/practice that has between 5-12 practitioners. This software seems to be a better fit for companies that offer classes, such as yoga studios and cross training gyms.

Instead of using Mindbody for your massage practice, I recommend using ClinicSense. To learn more about ClinicSense, please read the massage software review posted on the blog.

 

Posted: March 25, 2017 By: Comment: 4