Massage Software Review- ClinicSense

Massage Software Review- ClinicSenseClinicSense is a software company that helps small healthcare clinics reduce their administrative costs and workload with easy-to-use practice management software. In addition to providing an online scheduling software, it provides SOAP notes, invoicing, electronic insurance claims, email reminders and recalls, revenue reporting, and more. In this article, I am going to share a comprehensive review of the massage software, as seen through the eyes of massage business that has 6 – 12 massage therapists.

Before I go into detail about ClinicSense 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 ClinicSense, let’s dive right in.

Pricing-  3.5

ClinicSense has tiered pricing. Tiered pricing means you get access to a certain set of features for a specific price. The options are $29/month for Basic, $59/month for Grow, and $99/month for Pro.

Massage Software Review- Clinic Sense Pricing

In the image above, I put a red box around the difference maker, practitioners. The software is $29/month for 1 practitioner, which is okay. However, this review is more geared for clinics that have 6 or more practitioners. For 6 or more practitioners, you have to look at the Pro version, which is $99/month. This is expensive. It also makes me wonder what happens to the clinics that keep growing? If a clinic first signed up with 7 practitioners and grew to 12 in less than a year, how would ClinicSense accommodate the growth? Would they charge more money? My guess is yes and that would make things even more expensive. Yikes.

I did email my question to ClinicSense support. They responded promptly. Their response stated “The cost is an additional $10/mo for each practitioner after 10.” This would mean that if you have 15 practitioners listed on the software, you will be paying $150/month for use. $10/mo for each additional practitioner doesn’t sound bad but quickly, the cost can add up.

ClinicSense does give you a 14-day free trial to test the waters. This is helpful. It will give you enough time to decide if the software is a good fit or not for your practice/clinic and its needs.

 If you are a member of AMTA, you can save 25% on your monthly subscription. This is a great rate for AMTA members!

ClinicSense is on the more expensive end of the massage softwares offered. However, the features that are available to its users are pretty good. (More information about the features can be found in the Automation criterion section.)

Responsive-   6

ClinicSense 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. ClinicSense does offer a mobile version, however, on their FAQ page, they don’t mention that you can login from a smartphone. After looking at the mobile version of the platform, I realized why they don’t list the login from a smartphone option. It wasn’t as “crisp” and user-friendly. You are also limited to what you can do. Here’s a view of the mobile version:

Massage Software Review- Clinic Sense mobile

The best way to use ClinicSense is on a desktop or a laptop. When used from a computer, you will have more options to what you can do. Things also seem easier to find via the desktop version.

Do consider how you want to access your massage software. Do you want to use your phone or a laptop/desktop? Knowing how you will access the software will give you a better idea as to whether ClinicSense will work for you.

The calendar tab is kind of like the homepage or dashboard. It’s your “home base”, being the page you always want to come back to. With more practitioners on the schedule, ClinicSense organizes sessions by changing the colors of the time slots. This is really helpful because all of our brains will quickly adjust to seeing different colors for different practitioners.

User Friendliness-   8

When you first sign up for ClinicSense, you are advised to view their 3-minute intro video. The video helps you get more familiar with the software.

massage software review- ClinicSense user

 

The video is worth your time to view. You’ll learn a lot. And when you’re done viewing the video, there are prompts to complete your setup.

ClinicSense has done a great job to make the software easy for you to use. Navigation is very simple. There aren’t too many tabs or links to click. The layout/design is very organized. Even the colors are clean. The site is mostly a white background with some blue and gray to further organize tabs and other features.

Customer Friendliness-  8

ClinicSense will allow your clients to schedule from your website. I really like this. It simplifies things for your clients. In the video below, you will see exactly what your clients experience when scheduling online with you.

As mentioned in the video, the only challenge is to get the scheduling button on your website. ClinicSense will help you do this if you are not able to do it on your own.

When I requested an appointment with myself to see what the experience was like, I found it to be really easy. Immediately, an email was generated and sent both to a practitioner email account and a client one. The practitioner email showed a pending appointment (you can adjust your settings to approve each appointment or not) and the client email verified that an appointment had been requested. It also notified the client that they needed to complete their online intake form.

SOAP Notes-   9

Filling out SOAP notes can be a fun experience when you use ClinicSense, mostly because there are some great things you can do with this feature.  You can pin a note to a visual chart, which could either be noted for a trigger point or another specific issue addressed in the massage appointment. Here’s a screenshot of what that looks like.

Massage Software Review- ClinicSense SOAP

Organizationally, ClinicSense has done well with attaching SOAP notes to clients and the dates of the sessions. They’ve also done something helpful to “Autofill” SOAP notes. This means that you could copy a note from a previous session and then customize to the session you’ve just completed. This makes things more convenient and saves you time when completing your notes.

Sharing SOAP notes are very important. ClinicSense allows you to print any SOAP note you select. In order to share the note electronically, you have to follow the prompts to print the note but not actually print it. Instead, you save the note as a PDF and then share that with a professional via email or whatever electronic file sharing service you would use. It isn’t the easiest, but it is doable, which is a step up from other softwares that have little or no sharing capabilities.

Automation-   7.5

ClinicSense has some features that are automated and created to make things more convenient for you. Here are some of the things the software automates to help you save time and money for managing your practice.

      1. Calendar synchronization. You can do things like embedding the scheduling calendar on your website, allowing clients to schedule right then and there- if they happen to be on your page. There is also the capability to sync your calendar with iCalendar and/or Google calendar if you use either one of those.
      2. Online intake forms. When a client schedules for the first time through the software, they are automatically emailed a link to fill out their intake forms. Here is a screenshot of what that email looks like: massage software review- Clinic Sense email
      3. When the intake form is filled out, a client file is automatically created. This creates an organized client tracking system for you, allowing you to search your “cabinet” for clients by their name.
      4. Clinic Sense can invoice clients automatically. All you have to do is choose the method of payment for the client. Receipts and invoices are sent digitally to each client that is configured for digital invoices.
      5. There is also a feature for your signature. It’s pretty fun. Once you complete it once, it is saved for all invoices and other forms that you assign it to. Here’s a signature box I filled out: massage software review- ClinicSense signature

Payment Processing-  8

When using the “grow” or “pro” version of ClinicSense, you can hold a credit card number for clients. This will help you easily charge for no-shows and manage the payments of clients that purchase packages from you. It’s easy to use and all that is required is an account created with their partner, Stripe. An account with ClinicSense and Stripe will charge you 2.9% plus 40 cents per transaction. This is very competitive with other payment processing systems and good enough to invest in.

Massage Software Review- ClinicSense Payment

Add Ons-   7 

There is some add-ons ClinicSense offers. Below is a list of some of their featured ones and more information about their usefulness for your practice:

      1. Gift certificates. Clients can buy gift certificates directly from your website. All gift certificates are digital. They will be sent to the recipient via email and they can schedule their session by clicking a “book online now” button at the bottom of the email. Graphically, the emails aren’t the prettiest. However, 5 different templates are offered so at least you have options.
      2. Automatically generated sales reports. This makes knowing your numbers a lot easier and can be quite useful for business analysis.
      3. Email reminders for clients who haven’t scheduled in a while. You can customize the message to match your communication styles. Here’s a view of an email message I started.massage software review- ClinicSense email
      4. Automated birthday emails. You can offer to gift the birthday client and give them an opportunity to use a discount for their next session.
      5. Sales tax. For every service you create in the software, you can add sales tax onto the cost of the session.

Massage Software Reviews- 7.1 Overall Rating

ClinicSense is a good software to use for owners of massage clinics and integrative healing arts centers. It can seem expensive to pay for, however, the features offer a lot to help provide organization and convenience for your practice.

Do remember that this review was meant for a clinic/practice that has between 5-12 practitioners. I’m very confident that this software will work for you if you have 1 or more practitioners working for you.

Now that you know the ins and outs of ClinicSense, you may be interested in trying the software out to see if it works well with your practice. If so, I would like to help.

I’ve created a step-by-step instructional tutorial to help you set up the software very quickly, without any confusion or stress. Instead of spending several hours to set up everything by yourself, follow my lead and save yourself a ton of time.

I will also help you integrate the systems to make this software work in ways that automate things. I will walk you through every step of the set-up and management process. This step-by-step tutorial will eliminate all possibilities of confusion and doubt, helping you set up your systems the right way.

The instructional tutorial is a $27 investment. Following my lead will make life easier. You will have more time to massage clients, relax, do yoga, take an Epsom salt bath, go for a walk, or read a good book. Plus, you’ll feel really good about how to manage your new software.  Get started here

Posted: February 25, 2017 By: Comment: 6

Massage Software Review- Bodywork Buddy

Massage Software Review- Bodywork BuddyBodywork 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.

  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 of this massage software review of Bodywork Buddy, let’s dive right in.

Pricing-  3

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.

massage software review- bodywork buddy

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.

 If you are a member of ABMP, you can save 15% on your monthly subscription. If you are a board certified massage therapist by NCBTMB, you can save 45% on your monthly subscription.

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.)

Responsive-   6

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.

massage software review- bodywork buddy responsive

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.

Massage software review- Bodywork buddy User Access

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.

massage software review- bodywork buddy customer friendliness

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.

Massage software review- bodywork buddy SOAP notes

 

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.

Automation-   6

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Posted: February 18, 2017 By: Comment: 2

Massage Software Review- Artichoke

Massage Software Review- ArtichokeArtichoke is a massage scheduling software that is helpful for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers who work for themselves. In addition to providing an online scheduling solution, it offers other helpful tools for you to manage your practice and run a successful massage therapy business. In this article, I am going to share an objective massage software review.

Before I go into the details about Artichoke 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 of Artichoke, let’s dive right in.

Pricing-   9

Artichoke’s pricing is $25 per month, with the opportunity to do a 30-day free trial. 30 days of free use is generous. (Most massage scheduling softwares offer a 14-day trial.) There is no tiered pricing (tiered pricing means that you pay “x” amount of dollars for “x” amount of features, and pay more for more features). I really like this. It makes things more simple for you, knowing exactly what you get, and not have to be bothered with the upgrades or downgrades. Payments are month to month. You are not bound to a contract or a long term commitment.

massage software review- artichoke pricing

If you are a member of ABMP, you can save 20% on a yearly membership. I know I just stated there is no long term commitment but Artichoke must have some special arrangement for ABMP members. It isn’t advertised on Artichoke’s website. 20% off a yearly membership would cost you about $240 for the year, rather than $300. You save $60 a year.

Artichoke has done a really great job to make the pricing very simple to understand. Also, for what you get, $25 a month seems like a steal. (More on what you get is in the Automation criterion section.)

Responsive-   6

Artichoke is web based 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 chrome, 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. Artichoke may have chosen the better option by making something that is web based.

massage software review- artichoke responsive

User Friendliness-   8

When you use Artichoke, it’s like logging into a simple website. The key is to know your login credentials and to know what the login URL is, as noted above. (Every Artichoke URL is something like <your business name>.getartichoke.com) Once logged in, the navigation is pretty simple.  There is a column on the left-hand side of the page that tells you exactly where you are and what your next step is.

Massage Software Review- Artichoke User

 

Sometimes you get stuck without knowing what’s happening or why. When glitches in the software arise, or you have a question about your use, you want to talk to someone about it. The logical thing to do is to contact support. Artichoke has a support system that is set up by a company called Zendesk. This is a good thing because “tickets” are created and it makes sure that your questions/needs get fully answered.

Artichoke also has a platform they call “University” available to help answer frequently asked questions. This saves you time by not having to wait for a response.

Customer Friendliness-  6

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 Artichoke (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. Artichoke’s branding looks something like this:

massage software review- artichoke branding

Notice the colors; black, white, and gray (and an orange “book now” button). This isn’t too exciting and looks kind of stale. If your website, logo, and marketing colors are purple, blue, or green, then this display on the book now page is going to look very different to your client. This may confuse them. Once they are confused, they might think twice about booking a session. They may ‘x’ out of the page, leaving you short of a new or returning client 🙁

Contrary to the branding challenges, the client user navigation is really nice. It’s easy for them to book a session. They select the location of the session (you list the options when you set up your account. I’ve created a tutorial for that) and a time. If the time is available, they are prompted to confirm. If the time is unavailable, they are offered alternatives. This is very easy. Artichoke has done really well with this aspect of online scheduling.

Once your client schedules, they are sent a confirmation link to their email address. This is a good thing because it helps eliminate chances for a no show but it’s a bad thing because it is an extra thing your client has to do. Ideally, you want convenience for your clients. Convenience ensures more sessions scheduled with you.

Lastly, clients schedule sessions via an artichoke booking URL. This link needs to be embedded/pasted on all digital marketing materials. I didn’t see an option to make the URL something of a subdomain for your website- like schedule.mymassage.com. You would have to do some redirecting through your domain provider, and that gets pretty techy.

SOAP Notes-   6

Artichoke’s SOAP notes are pretty basic regarding their design. They don’t offer any cool visual aids. Instead, they focused on features that help you stay organized. They added a search bar in their notes section so that if you have a dozen notes for one client, you can use a keyword to search for a specific note relating to that keyword.

Massage software review- Artichoak SOAP

Artichoke also stores notes automatically in your client online files. Again, this is great for organization. If you create a SOAP note, you will need to connect that note to a name.

Automation-   8.5

After looking more into how Artichoke designed their software, I realized they were well intended with helping their customers automate processes and business management. Artichoke offers a lot in this area. Here are some of the things that Artichoke automates and helps you save time and money managing your practice.

  1. Intake forms can be automatically sent to clients. This can greatly benefit you if done right. It’s a bit technical for setting up (you have to have a web page to link to) but I have covered that in the instructional tutorial for how to set up and manage an Artichoke account.
  2. Client notes are customizable (can make templates) and each note automatically attaches to a client file.
  3. When a client pays by credit card, their information is stored in the system. When the client schedules another session online, they can select their credit card as the method of payment. Nice.
  4. 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 the scheduled.
  5. When you log into your Artichoke account, you see numbers in a bar graph. This is an automated bookkeeping feature. There’s a lot that the numbers indicate, which is very helpful come tax time (or anytime).

massage software review- artichoke automation

Payment Processing-  8

Artichoke has done their best to streamline credit card payments. They assume credit card is the preferred method of payment by every client you work with. There is a process of capturing information to create a one-touch payment process. If Artichoke has assumed correctly that your clients want to pay by credit card (and you want to charge credit card), then the software is going to work pretty well for you.

The software partners with Stripe for payment processing. You will be charged 2.9% and 30 cents per each credit card transaction. This is reasonable and also competitive with most other payment processing companies.

Add Ons-   7 

There are several add-ons Artichoke offers. Below is a list of some of their featured ones and more information about their usefulness for your practice:

  1. Client Reviews. They are stored on a “booking” page within your Artichoke account. You can comment on these, copy and paste (or screenshot) them to your website, and invite clients to write reviews. It’s not the best thing for your practice because you actually want the reviews written on Yelp, Facebook, or Google so that new/potential clients see how great you are before getting to your booking page.
  2. Automated Referral Engine. Artichoke has an “engine” that helps you ask for referrals. You can also track referrals and a total value of each referral. This “engine” is a little foreign to me (how it works) but as long as it doesn’t steer clients away, it can only help.
  3. Gift Cards. They can be sold and used online. Everything is tracked. You are able to see unredeemed gift cards on your Artichoke dashboard. It’s all automated and it helps your Gift Card tracking stay organized.
  4. Email Marketing Integration. If you use mail chimp or constant contact for email marketing, client emails will sync when someone new schedules a session with you via Artichoke.
  5. Fallen Off Clients. Artichoke has a reclaim feature that creates a list of clients who have “fallen off” (haven’t scheduled in a long time). Once you view your list, you can contact your clients and try to get them to reschedule.

Massage Software Reviews- 7.3 Overall Rating

Artichoke is a pretty good massage software (7.3 out of 10) to use for your scheduling and practice management needs, especially if you work for yourself. Its functionality is pretty smooth and the company has done their best to make things work with less effort on your part. The price is pretty fair at $25/month. When used comprehensively, you will get more than what you bargained for.

Now that you know the ins and outs of Artichoke, you may be interested in trying the software out to see if it works well with your practice. If so, I would like to help.

I’ve created a step-by-step instructional tutorial to help you set up the software very quickly, without any confusion or stress. Instead of spending several hours to set up everything by yourself, follow my lead and save yourself a ton of time.

I will also help you integrate the systems to make this software work in ways that automate things. I will walk you through every step of the set-up and management process. This is a tutorial that eliminates confusion and doubt.

The instructional tutorial is a $27 investment. Following my lead will make life easier. You will have more time to massage clients, relax, do yoga, take an Epsom salt bath, or read a good book. Plus, you’ll feel really good about how to manage your new software. Get started here

Posted: February 12, 2017 By: Comment: 2

How to Get Massage Clients to Rebook

I just finished reading Massage & Bodywork’s January-February 2017 online Issue. The article I was most drawn to was about why Massage Clients don’t rebook sessions. The article was written by Tera Johnson-Swartz. She had some interesting reasons why clients don’t rebook sessions with you. I’m going to analyze the reasons and also provide the best solution for how to get massage clients to rebook. Here’s a summary of the reasons:

  • Availability. This one makes a lot of sense. Massage clients want things to be convenient for them. When they are not, they look/book elsewhere.
  • Stuck in a Rut. Massage Therapist routines get a bit too predictable. (I’ll speak to this reason more below.)
  • Money Talks. Sometimes things get a little too expensive and a massage client may have their financial threshold. For example, a Massage Therapist friend raises her rates $5 every year. (She does this to match the costs of inflation.) If I became a client of hers when her rate was $75 an hour, 3 years later, I’m expected to pay $90 for the same hour massage. That adds up and although I love her and her work, it seems more affordable to find a new Massage Therapist.
  • Bad Blood. In a nutshell, this means differences of opinions, beliefs, values, etc.
  • Just Because. This reason is more of a blanket term for reasons that remain unknown.

Although I liked Tera’s reasons, I couldn’t help but have a sense of disappointment once I finished reading the article. The disappointment stemmed from her missing the #1 reason for why clients don’t rebook.

How to Get Massage Clients to Rebook

How To Get Massage Clients to RebookIf you read the article and found yourself nodding your head when you read the section about getting Stuck in a Rut, you were on to something. Humans are funny creatures of habit (they like their routines) but it’s arguable that humans also like a little drama. Not a lot, just a little. Drama can add a little spice to life. It makes things more interesting, less predictable and more entertaining. The human interest in drama is why the entertainment business makes so much money.

Is being more dramatic a solution for how to get massage clients to rebook? No. (But it could help. Depends on the person.) But it’s part of it.

What gets your massage clients to rebook is staying 150% focused on them and staying curious about the what’s happening with their body.

Why do your clients come to work with you in the first place? The answer is different for every client but there’s always a reason. If you remind yourself of that reason each session and you further inquire, your clients will feel more cared about. That’s essentially what they want.

I’ll use myself as the example. Over a year ago, I scheduled a massage with a practitioner in my town. My initial inquiry was about helping me heal from right shoulder pain. My Massage Therapist has since done amazing work. My results have been very substantial in pain reduction, increased range of motion, etc.

In the year that I’ve worked with my Massage Therapist, there has been evolution and a transition of focus during our sessions. This is quite common. It happens to everyone. But there was a point where my Massage Therapist started focusing less on my physical pain and focusing more on my mental stress.

Our sessions are very different now compared to what they were 6 months ago. There’s more energy work integrated in each session. Though I appreciate the efforts, I sometimes wonder if my soft tissues are getting enough attention and ‘work’.

My Massage Therapist does check in and follow up post session. She does everything right except for staying curious about my needs. Right now my perception is that her work is a reflection of what she thinks is best for me.

This repeated process has peaked my curiosity about scheduling with a different Massage Therapist- someone more focused on soft tissue injury recovery.

Staying Curious About Your Client’s Needs is the Solution for How to Get Massage Clients to Rebook

Keep your focus centered on their needs. Remind yourself of the results they want. Sort through your “Rolodex” of memories about the changes in their soft tissue. Tell them about what you notice, feel, or see. All of these things will have an impact on your client’s perception of each session with you. If they keep hearing about how things are getting better for them, they will continue to rebook.

Why do you think clients stop rebooking? Do you have a special strategy you implement to keep massage clients on your schedule? Let us know in the comments below.

 

 

Posted: January 2, 2017 By: Comment: 2

SEO for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers

seo for massage therapistsI recently received an email from a friend of a friend. The person who contacted me heard about my SEO services and wanted to know her options regarding a Yellow Pages’ “sizzling” (sarcasm there!) SEO offer.  Betsy (who reached out to me) wasn’t sure what she should do and wanted to know what’s the best SEO for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers. Her exact email was this:

Hi Reid,
I’m a friend of ____ (name removed to honor privacy). She had said you offer SEO services, or at least you have in the past. 
I am currently looking at my options for SEO services. I was approached by someone from Yellow Pages who had said the cheapest I could do would be $129/month. Then she emailed me saying she could do $70 for setting up my online presence and use one local ad that will link to my website.
I built my website through Weebly. It is phone friendly. But I know that it’s not optimized at all. You basically have to type in my exact website to find me. 
I am new to all of this and not very tech savvy. I’m writing you to ask if there is any one-time fee that could help me or if I have to purchase these monthly services. Are you able to offer any services?
I trust ____ immensely and she says you’re the guy. 🙂 
Thanks in advance for any input!!!!
Cheers,
Betsy
p.s. I am a Rolfer/OTR. My website is www.TheBeProjectLLC.com
Does this sound familiar? I would love to hear your situation too. Leave a comment below.
Before I begin sharing some thoughts about Betsy’s seo options, let’s look at a couple facts:
1) Betsy is looking to boost her SEO for her services. She does a lot of different things. She’s a Rolfer, does infant massage, Doula services, and laughter clubs!
2) Betsy has been approached by a 3rd party provider who has indirectly told her to expect to pay up to $130 per month for SEO services.
Let’s address point #1 first. Betsy does a lot of different things…
When thinking about the best options for SEO for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers, I know that you all have many gifts and talents and you probably provide a lot of different services too.
This can make your SEO be more challenging because the search engines want to put you in a tiny little box. Of course I don’t mean this literally but the metaphor couldn’t be any better matched. Search engines are like grocery stores. They stock a lot of different items and try to organize things so that shoppers can find things easier. Your services are like an item that goes on one of the shelves. The question is: “Which shelf? And which section will you be?
The world wants an expert and search engines are built to tell you who the best experts are. If you provide 4 or more different services, it’s going to make things harder for your website to be at the top of Google.
If you want to succeed with SEO, your best interest is to pick one service that you want to focus on for SEO.
In my opinion, Betsy should choose a service that she sees herself happiest in doing the most. This will become the focus of starting her SEO work. She can still list her other services on her website but she should expect more inquiries for the service in focus.
You can still list all your services too. But be smart about what you choose as your focus. You want to make sure people find you for what you want to do + it’s a service that people want to experience.
Let’s now move on to point #2 (I have a lot of opinions about this point). Betsy has been approached by a 3rd party provider who has indirectly told her to expect to pay up to $130 per month for SEO services.
In Betsy’s original email, she also stated “Then she emailed me saying she could do $70 for setting up my online presence and use one local ad that will link to my website.” (“She” is referring to the Yellow Pages representative who first contacted her about SEO.)
There’s just so many things wrong with this!
First, SEO service providers are in full control of taking advantage of their customers. Who really knows what SEO is? Yes, we know what it means but do we know what it fully entails? A company that provides SEO services could tell you that you need to do X, Y and Z and would you be confident in calling them out on it if you weren’t sure?
Second, $70 is way too cheap. I know this for a fact because there are dozens of things that are needed in order to setup an online presence and nobody is going to make a living by charging $70 total for it. I would have loved to ask the Yellow Pages rep what’s all included in setting up an online presence!
Third, when a third party SEO service provider gets your business, they usually provide services that don’t really help your SEO. They’ll work but they’ll do stuff that have very little impact on your rankings. Think of what they do as “busy” work. Yes, they do something, but no, it’s not fulfilling a purpose and producing results. So in a way, you’re duped because you’ve just paid for something and have expectations- but you’re never going to get your expectations fulfilled.
(I think it’s time to stop ranting about what’s available out there and get back on track by talking about seo for Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers!)
Your first option is to hire a 3rd party service. Most SEO companies are pretty expensive. You can find a diamond in the rough though. Just be careful (and critical) of ones that are very cheap in costs. They’re really not going to do you any good. (If you’re not sure what is cheap or not, feel free to comment or contact me. I’ll let you know what I think.)
Your second option is to do it yourself. This will require learning A LOT about what to do and how to do it. I assume most of you reading this aren’t as interested in this option so I’ll keep this brief. If you are interested though, I suggest reading the work of Quick Sprout. That guy is for real and helpful!
Your third option is a hybrid of the first two. It’s you doing the work but all you do is follow directions. I created a program that helps Massage Therapists and Bodyworkers boost their online presence in a step by step guided course. It’s affordable and simple. Please look it over and see if it’s in your best interest to do.
I wish you well on your SEO journey. It’s no easy task. But hopefully, you make the right decisions that keep things simple and get you to where you want to be- in the search engine results and in life.

 

Posted: December 11, 2016 By: Comment: 0
Massage Business Plan tips

Massage Business Plan Irony

In a recent article written on the Sohnen-Moe blog, there were some strong claims for creating a massage business plan. Although I agree with the point of the article, I had a couple related thoughts that are important to share:

  1. Always be careful about articulating features vs benefits in the marketing of your massage business. At the beginning of the article, a massage business plan is well defined. But then you are informed of how a business plan “provides an overview of how you intend to organize your resources to attain those goals.”  These statements are classic examples of features or specs about the business plan. They are less emotional and more intellectual ideas to consider. Instead, it’s smarter to communicate the benefits of what a client will experience. Will they relax? Of course they will. But what else? They want to know what they will get out of the session- overall.

I’ll admit, it was challenging to read the rest of the article. The juice was lacking. I started to ask myself “How much do I care about this?”

The reason I started to ask myself that was because I was not emotionally drawn into the topic. The features were put in front of me first when I wanted the benefits. Fortunately, the benefits did present themselves- later in the article.

The lesson is to always speak to the benefits of something first when you are trying to create an influence. It’s just a million times easier to gain someone’s attention and gain their interest because they are making a stronger connection to your conversation with something in their lives.

2. Creating business plans are overwhelming. It’s ironic because if they are actually created, they help eliminate the overwhelm of knowing/not knowing what to do. It’s just that you have to create the document first. Thinking about creating the document is overwhelming.

Irony… gotta love it.

Posted: June 30, 2016 By: Comment: 0