26 February 2020

How Can an Equipment Rental Portal Help You Serve Customers Better?

How can To-Increase's DynaRent Customer Portal help serve equipment rental customers better

As an equipment rental business, meeting your customers' evolving needs is no easy feat. With newer trends in the equipment rental industry, contractors and renters expect easier access to the equipment or services they pay for.

The rise in eCommerce, such as Uber and Shopify, has led the whole world to turn to online buying, and customers in the rental industry are also opting for digital rental options. Customers renting out equipment for construction or rental projects need instant access to vital information, especially on the work site.

Digitalizing your rental business has become more critical than ever, and online rentals with telematics will soon become a common way of renting equipment, according to the American Rental Association.

With over 18 years of experience in the rental industry, we have seen the paradigm shift and the growing significance of taking a customer-centric approach.

Gone are the days when rental customers would wait to call customer support to get the desired details. Today's customers expect 24/7 support for communication and equipment-related queries.

So, how can you keep up with your competition and continuously improve customer relations within your business? An equipment rental customer portal is the way to achieve this!

This blog will share an overview of an equipment rental portal, how it helps boost business growth, key benefits, and the information you can get.

What is an equipment rental customer portal?

An equipment rental customer portal is an online platform or a forum that customers can visit, log in, and get the information they require about various aspects of their equipment rental transactions. The concept of a portal is to empower your end customers by providing them with quick access to rental insights and customer support.

Customers and their teams often spend a lot of time waiting for operating instructions. A rental portal eliminates lag time as it offers information based on different pieces of equipment that customers can easily access for self-service.

How does an equipment rental portal help meet customer needs?

A rental portal offers customer support that is easy to access and use without intervention or help from the equipment rental company's team.

For instance, a customer has rented out a piece of complicated machinery but is having trouble operating it. A visit to the rental portal can clarify any doubts they have about the operation of the machinery and also provide some tips on the proper care of the machinery when not in use.

Customers can also download the equipment documentation and safety instructions, with which they get a comprehensive understanding of the equipment's history, purpose, and operations.

The rental customer portal not only operates as a user manual but can also be used to update location details, share vital information, offer safety information, and streamline the daily operations of your rental company and your customers.

A rental customer portal proactively informs customers about the rented equipment's utilization through telemetry. The portal can notify customers about equipment idle time and downtime, which can help them make quick decisions like off-hiring the equipment instead of keeping it still on site.

What information can the equipment rental customer portal offer?

Once you introduce a dedicated customer portal in your rental business, the possibilities for usage are endless. After implementation, you will find that the portal can store and share infinite information.

 

However, when looking for a rental portal, a good starting point is to start with the essential features and scale up.

 

Some essential information a typical rental customer portal must offer you include:

Worksite data

Rented equipment details

Equipment details

  • Project details
  • Customer details
  • Work location
  • Rental period
  • Rental status (ongoing, closed, etc.)
  • Rental transaction details with order number
  • Rental type
  • Fleet number
  • Safety instructions
  • Other documentation

Insights

Financial details

Other information

  • On-time delivery
  • Late delivery
  • Pending rentals
  • Past rentals
  •  Current rentals
  • Invoice information
  • Payment due details
  • Off-hire equipment
  • Request new equipment
  • Report damage
  • Request exchange

With this information, an equipment rental customer can easily keep track of the equipment they have rented and the actions required from their end, and get quick resolution as and when needed.

What are the main benefits of an equipment rental customer portal?

One of the key benefits of the portal is to enhance customer experience and strengthen customer relations by improving service and customer communication.

Below we explain some of the main benefits of an equipment rental portal.

Ease of customer interaction and support round the clock

While many businesses provide round-the-clock contact centers to support customer queries, it may not always be viable to do so due to economic and operational reasons. A rental customer portal mitigates the issue of support 24/7 as it runs on auto-pilot mode.

It also allows self-service, which means customers do not have to wait for someone within your company to answer their queries. This reduces dependency on internal staff and improves customer loyalty.

Since the update and sync of the portal with your equipment rental software is in real-time, customers can access the latest information from the portal to solve their immediate queries.

Improved equipment usage and insights

When renting sophisticated equipment, customers often do not clearly understand the analytics and KPIs to track and the actions to avoid. This type of issue can be addressed swiftly through the equipment rental portal.

You can offer dashboards, tips, and list out frequently asked questions or customer queries based on previous experiences and interactions.

Enhanced payment tracking and invoicing

The customer portal allows you to enhance the billing and payment tracking processes with reminders. You can see all the rental invoices with options to filter on the payment date and download the invoice directly.

You can also approve invoices on the customer portal, ensuring both parties agree and avoiding discrepancies.

Two-way sharing of vital information on rental equipment

With the equipment rental portal, you get insights into the matters that customers worry and care about, allowing you to communicate with them easily.

The rental portal offers you a channel to guide customers on how they can maximize asset utilization, get into payment routines, and follow other best practices.

Customers can request, extend, manage, and track their equipment anywhere and anytime directly from their device of choice.

Begin strengthening your customer relationship today

If you want to introduce a portal for your customers, explore solutions that support a customer portal.

The quickest way to add a customer portal to your rental business is to look for an equipment rental ERP software that enables you to build an equipment rental portal or offers a customer portal as an add-on solution.

If you are looking for an ERP-agnostic app, you could explore our equipment rental customer portal. You can easily connect the portal with any ERP, including Dynamics 365 F&SCM (Dynamics 365 F&O), SAP, Infor, etc. Built on Power Platform, the rental customer portal offers a rental dashboard and Power BI integration.

To learn more about our rental customer portal's benefits and key features, check out the solution factsheet.

Alternatively, you can watch the on-demand webinar below to explore the rental portal's market trends and significance.

Discover how a state-of-the-art rental customer portal can boost business growth.

Rental-Customer-Portal-solution
Michiel Toppers,
Michiel Toppers,
Senior Director of Product Management

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