3 Digital Trends to Streamline the Rental Experience
The pandemic has proven that when push comes to shove, many businesses are resilient and able to innovate new ways to serve their customers. The process of innovation isn’t always easy. Many rental businesses are still wrestling with the best approach to take as they digitally transform their services.
We at Texada have discovered that the most successful digital transformation happens when the desire to create an incredible customer experience is at the forefront of all decisions to make work easy and instant. If processes that have multiple, manual, inefficient steps become streamlined using software, decision-making becomes easier and transactions are simplified. Over the past year and a half, we have tracked the top three digital trends our rental clients are adopting to provide the best possible experience for their customers.
1. Digital work orders and inspection reports are the new norm.
From paper to excel work orders and inspection sheets, rental companies have accelerated their migration towards mobile functionality on their smartphones and tablets. The ability to obtain repair status accurately and in real-time allows the service team to instantly communicate information back to customers. Having real-time data such as the location of a dispatched service technician, what parts are available, and when a work order has been completed allows customers to quickly assess any potential delays on the job site. When there is a damage dispute, photo records showing images of the equipment before and after the rental, along with any repair history, provide rental companies a fair assessment of the situation. This gives customers greater peace of mind.
2. Online portals are steadily gaining traction.
When extending or ending a rental, customers are starting to prefer online methods. An online portal empowers customers to reserve their own equipment online, check invoices, pay outstanding rentals and off-rent equipment for pickup. Although accessing accounts online is a norm in other industries such as hotels and auto rentals, the equipment rental industry is catching up. In the coming years, an online portal will very likely be a required feature for any rental company wanting to provide a great customer experience.
3. Pen and paper need to stay in the past.
Still operating using paper contracts hand-signed on a dotted line? There is definitely some psychological comfort to confirming a commitment on paper. However, we have found that instantly sending a signed contract with an e-signature back to a customer is much more convenient. Being notified when all parties have signed and having a searchable record in an online repository makes it so much easier to complete a rental transaction. When customers sign on a mobile device or computer, there is no need to access a printer or scanner, rental transactions become almost instant. Compare that to now, where a signed contract can take hours, if not days to be returned. E-signature is here to stay and has now become a powerful tool to ensure transparency and efficiency in facilitating agreements.