Self-service makes renting as easy as online shopping

ShareFox and ShareBox complete rental system
In recent years, there has been a sharp increase in rental and sharing services. This societal trend is important, both from a sustainability perspective - and for the individual's finances. The growing trend of self-service creates opportunities for the rental industry, and here one can consider different technologies and concepts. How can such solutions contribute to a better customer experience for your customers?

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Offering a good customer experience has become an important competitive factor, whether you sell goods or offer services such as rental and subscription. According to the consulting company PWC , 32% of customers will not repurchase if the customer experience does not meet expectations. Self-service with all the benefits it provides is therefore an important piece to make renting as easy as online shopping, - something we at Sharefox work to achieve. We want to ask rental companies the questions: How much will your turnover increase if you stay open 24 hours a day? How satisfied will your customers be if your rental service is open 24 hours a day? The answers to these questions are discussed in this article. Read about how self-service is important for a number of industries and what solutions are available on the market.

Which industries should use self-service?

We consumers today have become accustomed to using various forms of self-service. You may not even think about it anymore, but there are several everyday chores where you use such solutions. Many people prefer to go for self- service boxes in the grocery stores or use Norway Post's self-service parcel boxes when they pick up parcels that they have ordered. Various car sharing services give you access there and then, and when you need to pick up sports equipment or tools you have rented, this can be done at a pick-up location at any time of the day. The technology has been tried before, but is only now ripe for the broad market.

Self-service can provide new growth opportunities for many industries within both B2C and B2B. Companies in sports rental, car rental, trailer rental, machine and equipment rental will be able to benefit greatly from introducing self-service solutions. It is also relevant for large retailers that offer pick up & return outside opening hours. During the corona epidemic, such technology suddenly became urgent in connection with the reduction of contacts and infection, and many feel that customers now want it to continue. There are therefore now a number of industries that will be able to benefit from offering self-service to their customers.

Man googles tools

What are the benefits of self-service?

Self-service in society has become more common, and customers have increased expectations that services will be available at all times. For you as an end customer and for you as a rental company, it can provide great benefits to start with self-service. Your service will be able to be more efficient, accessible and become a better offer on the market. We see that it will give you as a company both increased sales and more satisfied customers.

Increased turnover

Many rental companies eventually want to expand their business to more locations. How are you going to handle an expansion without big investments and hires? This is where self-service solutions come in. You will be able to achieve increased growth by expanding with more warehouses around the country, with equipment available for rent around the clock. This can give a competitive advantage over competitors where customers still have to relate to their opening hours.

By getting started with self-service, it will also be able to provide a higher degree of utilization and saved costs. There will no longer be a need to have staff available at all hours of the day, because you can now offer your customers unmanned pick-up points in their immediate area, preferably in combination with home delivery for those who want it.

Satisfied customers

Self-service helps to make the rental process easier for your customer, and it provides a better customer experience because they experience that the service is adapted to their needs. Customers get the opportunity to pick up the product they have rented around the clock and throughout the year. There will also be less waiting times to rent because it reduces the time employees would otherwise spend on picking up and delivering a product.

What are the different solutions?

There are various technologies and players for self-service solutions. The technology used is everything from digital locks to digital boxes. 

Unloc is a player that has launched digital locks on the market. Their solution works by downloading an app on your mobile where you can access the relevant door via bluetooth. Unloc's customers no longer need to use keys, which means that they always have the key available on their mobile in case they forget it, for example. This is often used in office buildings and garages where there are many who need access, when renting cabins, to housing associations, private houses and apartments or mailboxes. For rental companies, this can be a very useful solution if you are going to give a customer access to your warehouse for a limited period of time.

Another player is KeyFree, which also works to solve the issues of easy but at the same time secure access. With Keyfree, your keys go digital. You easily and safely add both those who will be allowed in and those who will manage the doors, thus facilitating home delivery services. Bikely is another player that offers your own bicycle parking, where you can leave and pick up your expensive bicycle in a locked box. Bikely has, among other things, an agreement with OBOS and the service is also available at a number of campuses.

Self-service of trailers with ShareBox

Sharebox offers self-service solutions to its customers using fully automatic self-service cabinets. Their solution is that the customer can open and close the cupboard via their mobile phone, so that they can pick up what they have rented. Among other things, this is used diligently to hand out keys to a rental product. This allows companies to deliver what the customer has rented in a safe, easy and traceable way, without having to be in the same place at the same time. Read more about self-service with Sharebox

What self-service rental services are already on the market?

With the help of simple technology, Verktøybua Utleie offers its customers a completely unique offer, their service allows them to use self-service when they rent tools. Their service takes place by the customer himself going in and booking the tool they want at the time that suits them. When the payment is made, they will receive a code by e-mail, which is used to lock in the tool store and retrieve the tool. VB Utleie has good experiences with self-service rental because customers are incredibly good at returning the tools in the same condition as they were picked up and at the right time.

DNT Kayak rental self-catering

DNT (The Norwegian Tourist Association) rents out kayaks from various locations in the Oslo Fjord. At the Breivoll location, they also offer self-service kayak rentals. Here, everyone can book and order a kayak online in advance, and pick up and return the kayak at the agreed time (open 24 hours). The self-service solution works so that you receive a code during the relevant time period for the rental and use this to pick up kayaks and equipment at the self-service location. A fantastic service in a suburban and magnificent setting. Try it yourself (PS! Requirements for Wet Cards for rent).

How to maintain overview and control? 

What prevents you from starting self-service? We experience that many rental companies often have questions related to security and handling of the inventory. By getting started with inventory tracking, you can still have full control and overview of all your inventory. There are various methods you can use which, for example, involve barcodes, or you can use the packing lists for easy check-in and check-out. 

A system of barcodes works so that each machine or equipment is given a unique barcode, and then you use a barcode reader to read the barcode when the rental product goes in and out of the warehouse. This means that you can have full control over where the products are at any given time, you can closely monitor that everything is returned, and you get the opportunity to see which warehouse it is in.

Is your rental company ready for self-service and when are you going to start? Feel free to get in touch for a professional chat!

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