2020 has challenged our industry in unexpected ways. Being a witness to this, a few recurring themes have stood out:
- The rental industry must adopt new technologies to address the ever-changing landscape.
- Empowering customers to become self-sufficient is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity.
- Going digital does not mean you will lose your personal business touch – it’s an opportunity to elevate it.
Technology, if implemented properly, will cultivate stronger relationships and drive value that will set your business apart from the competition. Although this may seem counterintuitive, it has shown to be consistently true. If you find yourself questioning this, allow me to outline a few positive technological changes in our industry that will help increase your bottom line.
Historically, the rental industry has been slow to adopt technology for myriad reasons. The most common deterrents were a fear of losing control of the rental process and not being able to build personal relationships. However, March of 2020 hit, and the world as we all knew it pivoted. The creativity that came from these new challenges has generated opportunities that are helping rental businesses reposition themselves and align with their customers’ new needs. The apprehension toward online quotes has shifted to a sudden demand for various versions of e-commerce. This shift is exciting as you now open your business up to automation and more flexible processes that help minimize clerical work. The possibilities of a customer visiting your website, adding items to a quote, and paying for that rental all within the same website can create conveniences and customer journeys that we’ve all grown accustomed to with the Amazons of the world. And that customers these days are honestly expecting.
Like Amazon, the ease of use and being able to make a few clicks knowing in a few days I’ll have the product at my door is an experience the customer doesn’t take for granted. Also, allowing customers to maintain and update their payment information, physical addresses etc. as they please, which ultimately takes time off you.
How impactful would it be for rental businesses like yourself to empower your customers to become more self-sufficient? With the adoption of a Customer Portal, you can now create a self-informed customer that sees you as a player within the space. Something else to think about, by offering this self-sufficient customer experience you are building trust and loyalty with your customers because you’re fulfilling the experience they want when renting or purchasing.
Adopting technology can seem daunting, but the ones that have are reaping the benefits of finally being able to provide services based on what their customers want vs. a process that feels dated and out of touch. Customers are becoming loyal based on those technology adopters understanding and providing familiar solutions for them. How often have you gone through a transaction that just felt backwards? It may not happen often, but when it does, your brain silently raises red flags. It goes without saying that red flags don’t cultivate the customer journey you set out to provide for your customers. Your customers will gravitate to options that make doing business with you easier. Once the customer uses your new technologies and processes, it will allow your team to shine to build that relationship more than you thought possible.
The rental community has always exuded grit and perseverance, but it’s incredible to see so many adopt technology during a time that is all about contactless processes. Much like all businesses form operational strategies, the ones that have invested time and strategies around their websites, customer portal, and customer journey are often the ones who seem resilient to the times.
Find out more about Rental Hosting by visiting us online or contacting us at (682) 888-1913. Rental Hosting is a proud sponsor of the Point of Rental International Conference in November – check out our online presentation on Nov. 5 at 3:45 p.m. CT!