I wrote recently about how we were making it possible to keep track of your bookings in HireLogic. This week we release the next evolution of this feature. We have developed an innovative way to integrate your website with your hire management software. Using this, your customers can create their own bookings on HireLogic, while seemingly never leaving your website! This post will describe how we intend to help you save time, and increase your hire revenue.
It is generally accepted that physical, hard copy catalogues are a thing of the past in the hire and rental industry. As in many other industries, the great digital revolution has elevated the humble website to the primary resource your customers use for browsing your hire offerings. This has allowed smaller hire and rental companies, who maybe couldn’t afford glossy catalogues, to level the playing field somewhat against their larger more resourceful competitors.
This post is not going to wax lyrical about the importance of having an appealing website for your company in this new age of marketing we find ourselves, that point has already been covered elsewhere, many times. Let’s assume you already have your website. You paid a small fortune to a design agency to get the bare bones of your website up and running, you put in the hours adding all your equipment, details, photos and rental rates; you checked, double, then triple checked that you were receiving emails from the contact form on the website. Finally, one day a few years ago, your glorious new website went live to the public.
The website has been doing its thing for the past few years, ticking along, directing customers to pick up the phone and call you, or submit their enquiries via the contact form.
As we know, the hire industry is a dynamic one, in order to stay competitive you regularly review your stock, and the prices and variety of rental equipment you offer. With the administrative overhead that come with these reviews, it’s not hard to imagine how website listings might get overlooked. Given the frequency of equipment changes in most rental companies, over time, the forgotten website changes compound. A few short years after your website went live, much of the information is now incorrect, the equipment images might be of the wrong models, some of the items listed aren’t even part of your stock any more, worse again there is lots of new equipment you have invested in that hasn’t yet made it onto the website.
Having some of your stock not listed on your website impacts revenue, afterall how can a customers know that you have certain equipment available when it isn’t listed on your website? Maybe you can rely on the customers loyalty, that they will pick up the phone and check with you, or stop by your premises and ask in person.
Inaccurate listings on your website can also damage your business, for example if you have recently increased your prices but haven’t yet got around to updating your website. If a customer hires an item on the basis of the prices advertised on your website, this can lead to an awkward exchange when you ask the customer to pay for the item. You might explain the price has changed but the website still needs updated, so you either honour the price on the website, or you stand firm on the new price. Neither scenario is ideal: this can have an extremely negative impact on the confidence and loyalty your customer has in your brand. As noted in Forbes “Outdated content is bad for business. The content on your website needs to be accurate and up-to-date. If a visitor discovers incorrect or old information on your site, they are likely to lose confidence in your company”.
This new democratised age of the website has once again become an uneven field. You can be sure the bigger players in the market have a member of staff, or maybe even a team, dedicated to keeping their websites up to date, and an automated process to ensure the enquiries from their websites get handled.
If any of this rings true to you, then HireLogic is the solution. Our innovative website integration makes it incredibly easy to manage your website listings directly within the Hire Management System. From this week every HireLogic customer has this integration enabled straight out of the box.
When you add a product, it is automatically listed on your website. When you update the products prices in HireLogic, they get updated on your website too. You can even add photos of the product from within HireLogic. Maintaining your website has never been easier.
Enable E-Commerce on Your Website
As if that wasn’t enough convenience for you, we have also added the ability for your customers to book one or multiple items through your website, using the familiar concept of a shopping cart. When they select their products, enter their details and submit it, you not only get an email notifying you of the booking, but the email will contain a link to the booking request that has been created in HireLogic. From here, you can check the prices that were automatically assigned to the items on the booking, and reply with a quotation to the customer without even having to leave HireLogic. Alternatively, you can contact the customer outside of HireLogic using the contact details collected during the booking request process, which are also available in HireLogic under the newly created customer record.
Along with this, we have also added an integration with the payments giant Stripe. After you connect your Stripe account to HireLogic, you can specify a deposit amount that your customer must pay secure a booking in your reply to a booking request. The customer then receives an email with the quotation along with a link to pay the deposit. Once the deposit has been paid into your Stripe account, the booking gets updated as confirmed in HireLogic.
A Level Playing Field Again
This is a massive update to HireLogic, and we’re hugely excited to see what our customers make of it. Simultaneously, we have made maintaining your website listings easier, as well as streamlining the customer booking process, not to mention the ease at which you can now collect deposits. We are very confident of our customers seeing a positive impact on their revenue and customer confidence as a result of this change.
We’ll be reaching out to our existing customers over the next couple of weeks to discuss this customising their new web listings layout and customer booking process. If you would like to see it for yourself, sign up for an account now for free.