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How to switch your salon or spa software

What does it take to switch your salon or spa software system? View our step-by-step guide.

How to switch your salon or spa software

Have you realized it's time to say goodbye to your current salon or spa software and upgrade to something that better supports your business?

You are not alone. A lot of business owners are upgrading their software now. But making this switch can feel like a daunting task.

To help make this more manageable, let's unpack the 8 steps of switching your salon or spa software system.

Step 1: Understanding your software needs

What tools do you need to operate your business? What is your current spa or salon software system lacking? Here are a few essential features and considerations you might look for when choosing a new software:

  • Client accounts: Does the software force clients to make an account before booking a service with your business? According to 2023 research by the Baymard Institute, this is the second most common cause of online checkout abandonment, discouraging 25% of potential customers. You can spare your clients the trouble and earn more when partnering with software that saves client information and supports appointment scheduling without forcing them to create an account.

  • Customer support: Are your chats and requests answered by a robot or an actual human? Do you have to pay to speak with customer support? These red flags should help guide you away from less helpful software systems.

  • Reviews: Every software company thinks it is "the best." Instead, listen to the voices of other businesses in your industry. Consider reading software reviews across platforms before making your decision.

  • Advanced online booking: Find a system that makes it quick and easy for clients to book an appointment. Advanced features like Service Customizations, resource scheduling, Express Booking™, and a Virtual Waiting Room ensure a seamless experience for you and your clients.

  • Email marketing: The more processes managed by a single solution, the better. When your software system has built-in email marketing, you can use your existing client list rather than a 3rd-party app. Internal email marketing features also makes it easier to filter down your client list for personalized and effective campaigns.

  • Self-checkout: Streamlined features, like client self-checkout, will help save your business time, trouble, and overhead expenses.

  • Expenses: You often get what you pay for in spa and salon management software. Compare the ongoing costs to the time and money an upgraded system could save your business.

  • Payroll: Without the right support on your side, payroll can be complex, time-consuming, and stressful. You may consider seeking a salon or spa management software with built-in payroll processing.

  • Individual staff accounts: Do you need to manage the entire platform yourself? Or is each staff member given their own accounts to control their schedules, hours, and more? Staff management simplicity can make your job easier while helping you retain more talent.

Step 2: Trying out a new platform with a free trial

Don't be afraid to try out a new system. Reliable platforms will offer a free, no-obligation trial for your business. If your prospective booking system does not allow you to view the platform before committing or requires extended contracts — ask yourself, "Why?" They are likely trying to tie you down for a reason. Transparency is critical when finding a new salon software — start your trial with a platform with nothing to hide.

Step 3: Getting comfortable with new software

Exploring a new software system can be overwhelming. It is essential to take the time you need to get comfortable with the platform. There are a few steps you can take to make the most of your free trial:

  • Check out the software's learning center. Here, you will find all the help articles and tips needed to get started.

  • Explore the platform on your own. Intuitive software will include some on-screen guidance and a user-friendly interface.

  • Get a free demo of your software. During these sessions, an expert will walk you through the system and answer all your questions.

  • Schedule a free onboarding session with a platform expert.

  • Watch software videos online. From webinar recordings to YouTube insights, videos provide visual solutions that many find easy to follow along.

Step 4: Setting up your account

Switching your salon or spa software offers the perfect opportunity to reorganize your booking flow, evaluate your prices, ensure your service offerings are up-to-date, and give your service menu a facelift.

First, add each of your services with a custom description that includes any necessary details with the personality of your brand voice. You can use Service Customizations to offer add-ons, collect appointment info, and adjust the price or duration of the appointment accordingly. This setup window is the perfect time to tailor your general settings to your business's preferences — like cancellation policies, intake forms, deposit requirements, payment management, and online booking configurations.

Next, you can set up resource scheduling — which ties services to their in-house requirements. This process ensures that you never double-book a room or piece of equipment for any appointment window.

Finally, add each of your staff members to your account. You can set staff permissions to maintain control over your business. Additionally, each staff member will get their own account to view upcoming appointments, manage their notification settings, and make the updates allowed under your configurations. This gives you control where you need it — and a hands-off approach where you don't.

Step 5: Switching your data over

Some companies will charge for data import support, but this service is complimentary at Mangomint. A dedicated onboarding specialist will ensure the bulk of your information is transferred properly — including client data and current appointments.

However, it is vital that you add your future appointments and keep this updated with any new bookings from your previous software that might come through before your launch date. Not only will this ensure your account is accurately configured, but it will also give you and your staff valuable practice in comfortably booking appointments within the new software.

Step 6: Getting ready to launch

Once your account is fully set up, train your employees on the new software system. Give them the time they need to practice and learn so they are ready to go after the launch. You should also test all the most vital functions — like making an appointment and charging a card — to ensure everything is working the way you would like.

Step 7: Spreading the word to customers

Take a moment to let your clients know they should expect a new booking system. Your email should include a few insights, including:

  • Why you are switching software — acknowledge any issues with your previous system to help your clients feel heard.

  • Reassurance about the switch — Let clients know that their upcoming appointments, memberships, gift cards, and credits will all transfer to the new system.

  • What you need from clients (if applicable) — Do clients need to update their booking links or referral process? If so, ensure you guide them in this email.

  • Any changes clients should expect — Take a moment to address any changes clients should prepare for in the switch. For example, if you are switching away from a system that requires clients to create an account and log in to book an appointment, you will want to inform clients about your newly simplified booking process.

  • New features they can take advantage of — If your new system offers pay-by-phone, a virtual check-in process, or any new upgrades, take a moment to fill in your clients. They may not know to take advantage of these features without your insight.

An example email template includes:

"Exciting update from your friends at [your business name]!

We are upgrading to [new software] for our online booking and scheduling system. Our business is committed to providing you with the best. The new system is fast, reliable, and advanced — offering the high-quality experience we want for our clients.

This platform accepts newer forms of payment, supports advanced service options, and will no longer force you to create an account or login before booking. We are excited for you to enjoy this system beginning on [launch date]."

Step 8: Out with the old, in with the new

Now, you are ready to launch! Understand that it might take a moment to get comfortable with your new software. These growing pains are normal — and you can reach out to your support team with any problems, questions, or concerns you have along the way.

Once you are fully launched in your new platform, you can cancel your previous software subscription. Double-check that everything is transferred — then close your old contract before you get charged for another month.

Frequently asked questions about switching salon software

Will I lose client data if I switch my salon software?

No, any new software system you choose should accept an import of your most essential client data — such as names and contact information (like email addresses and phone numbers). You can also expect a seamless transition of your gift cards, products, and inventory.

However, some elements of client files may not transfer from specific software systems — like images, future appointments, and previous notes. Your onboarding manager will discuss what you should expect and explore any potential solutions with you.

Will I need to close my business for a day to switch my software over?

No, with the right support, you can switch things over without missing any business days. Mangomint, for example, gives you a 30-day free trial to set everything up before launching. This time is also used to explore the system and ensure it is what you really want before paying.

What is salon management software?

There are countless different kinds of software systems for salons and spas — from payroll to marketing, sales, scheduling, and beyond. A salon management software is your "all in one" system for core functions like online booking, appointment scheduling, employee management, client management, and more.

When is a good time to switch?

When dealing with an old, outdated system — there is no wrong time to switch. However, you will want to ensure you and your team have enough time to learn the new system and manage the transition.

Once you're ready to go, your onboarding expert will help you find the perfect time to launch. Many customers find it helpful to make the switch after a day off — offering a little extra time to prep. You might also choose to launch on the first of the month or the end of your payroll period to ensure a clean-cut and seamless transition.

Once you're ready to switch, your onboarding expert will help you find the perfect time to launch. Many customers find it helpful to launch after a day off — giving you a little extra time to prep. You might also launch on the first of the month or the end of your payroll period to ensure a clean-cut and seamless transition.

Switching to Mangomint's salon and spa software

Mangomint is helping salons and spas move away from slow, outdated, and glitchy management software systems. At Mangomint — you say yes, and we do the rest. No lost data. No business downtime. No overwhelming data importing processes.

Our intelligent and supportive transition process has helped over 10 thousand businesses enjoy improved booking, client management, staff management, and more. If you haven't yet experienced the Mangomint platform, click here to book your free demo or start a trial today.

Emily Holzer
Emily Holzer is a Content Marketing Manager at Mangomint. She has a master’s degree in English and a passion for helping salons, spas, and other local beauty businesses thrive. When she is not writing, you can find her playing chess or tending to her houseplants. Fun fact: Emily has donated 8 ponytails (so far) across 5 hair loss charities in the U.S.

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