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Why You Should Add Padding Time Between Bike Rental Bookings

Author: Nathan Crossley March 30, 2023 · 4 Min read
Why You Should Add Padding Time Between Bike Rental Bookings

As a bike rental business owner, maximizing rental time and increasing revenue by scheduling bikes back-to-back seems logical. However, this decision leaves out an essential practice all bike rental companies should be implementing - padding time. By leaving time between rentals, you can account for delayed returns, maintenance, and, most importantly, safety.

Of course, you want your bike rental business to be as profitable as possible, but that shouldn’t come to the detriment of customers. Booking back-to-back bikes can cause many problems that will ultimately harm your business. This could be things like delays, accidents, damage, or overuse of equipment that leads to unnecessary expenses in the long run.

You can think of padding time as a safety net that protects your business and customers while improving flexibility and satisfaction. By implementing it, you can manage your inventory more efficiently, reduce stress, and improve maintenance. This will lead to a better experience for everyone involved, reduce the chances of harm, and reduce business costs.

The problems with back-to-back bookings

Every bike rental business would love to have their bikes utilized 100% of the time their store is open. Theoretically, it would mean more revenue and higher profit margins, but this isn’t the case. The reality is that bikes and people are not always reliable, and back-to-back bookings can have dramatic consequences. Here are some key issues to consider:

Delays in returning bikes - If customers are running late or encounter unexpected delays, it can delay subsequent customers, causing frustration and inconvenience.

Overuse of bikes - When bikes are rented back-to-back, they may need more cleaning, maintenance, and inspection time, leading to safety hazards and equipment damage.

Inconvenience for customers - Customers may have to wait for their bikes to be cleaned and prepped, which can detract from their overall experience and make them less likely to return.

It’s important to remember that you are responsible for your customers’ safety if something happens due to poor maintenance. This harms your customers and incurs additional expenses for your business. So, as much as back-to-back bookings seem like a good idea, the above negatives certainly outweigh the positives of a potential revenue increase.

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The benefits of adding padding time

Padding time is a gap between the end of one booking and the start of the next so that bikes can be cleaned, inspected, and maintained. Generally, 15-30 minutes of padding between bookings is recommended. This is essential to avoid these running into problems mentioned above. Here are some of the benefits of adding padding time to your rental schedule:

Better maintenance and cleaning - Padding time allows you to ensure that bikes are properly cleaned and maintained between customers, reducing the risk of equipment damage and improving safety.

Flexibility for customers - Adding padding time gives customers flexibility if they run late or need extra time. This can improve their experience and make them more likely to return.

Improved customer satisfaction - By providing a well-maintained and flexible rental experience, you’re more likely to earn positive reviews and referrals, which can help grow your business.

As you can see, padding time provides only net positives for your bike rental business. It affords you the time to deal with unexpected delays while allowing you to ensure bikes are appropriately maintained. Meanwhile, it improves your customers’ experience and reduces the risk of harm and unforeseen expenses you might otherwise face.

Implementing padding time with Booqable

Adding padding time to your rental schedule is straightforward and easy to implement in Booqable. You can add padding time automatically, so you don’t have to manually schedule it into your calendar. Each product you add to your inventory has availability settings where you can set the padding time for your bikes to make them unavailable before or after every booking.

It is also essential to communicate the importance of padding time to customers and encourage them to be mindful of their return time to avoid delays and inconveniences. You can add this to your product’s description or include it in your terms and conditions. In addition, to preventing delays, this can also give customers peace of mind that their bike well-maintained.

Adding padding time between bike rental bookings is a simple yet effective way to improve the customer experience, reduce equipment damage, and grow your business. By taking the time to properly clean and maintain your bikes and giving customers some flexibility in their rental schedule, you’re more likely to earn positive reviews and repeat business.

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