Do you ever find that your rental store is just too busy and you’re struggling to serve customers fast enough? Well, it’s a common problem, especially during the high season. Some companies have mastered the art of efficient customer service, but it is tricky to reach that point. Plus, it can always be better, right?
Of course, the answer might seem simple, just hire more staff, but that comes with financial burdens. For most companies, hiring more people is simply out of the question. So, what can you do to accelerate in-store pickups and returns without increasing your costs?
There are many ways to go about it, and they don’t all have to be done individually. If you have the drive and determination, you can do them all in conjunction with each other for a super-optimized handover workflow. So let’s go through the five best ways to accelerate rental pickups and returns.
1. Optimize stock assignment
If you’re using advanced rental software like Booqable, you will have the ability to assign stock to orders. Often this is done at the point of pickup, but if you spend a little extra time assigning it early, you’ll thank yourself. It’s a relatively quick process and should only take 10mins a week to get right.
The result is that you know exactly what each customer has ordered and what stock item is assigned to them. It will also allow you to fully book each stock item out so that you can get the most out of everything in your inventory. In addition, it speeds up pickups and returns as usually when a customer is returning an item, the next customer is already waiting.
2. Prepare orders at the beginning of the day
Following the previous tip, getting organized at the beginning of the day can be a huge timesaver. If you have a dashboard or a calendar that shows upcoming bookings for the day, it is being underutilized. Many will only look at it when a customer walks in to pick up their order, but there’s a trick that you could be using.
By preparing all your orders at the beginning of the day, everything is ready to be picked up ahead of time. This means that you don’t have to spend time faffing around looking for every customer’s order because it’s in front of you already. This can also be a great time to optimize stock assignment for the day, so you kill two birds with one stone.
3. Accept online payments
These days, many rental businesses have some form of online booking, but they don’t always allow customers to pay immediately. This leads to longer handover times as customers have to pay for their rental at the same time as they pick it up. However, it can be avoided entirely with online payments.
To accept online payments, you will usually have to integrate a payment provider to your online store, which can be achieved in a few steps. It will give your customers the convenience of paying online, give you less work to do at handover, and make the whole experience much more enjoyable for all of those involved.
4. Place QR codes around your store
QR codes are an easy and convenient way to allow customers to interact with your business without interacting with a real person. This is often more comfortable for them and saves you and your staff time. In addition, it is straightforward to implement, and once you have placed them around your store, the job is done.
The advantage of QR codes is that they can be scanned by customers and taken to your website. Here, they can book the items they want to rent and pay for them on their phone. This means that walk-in customers can be served the same way as those who booked ahead of time. In turn, this reduces handover time by removing obstacles like making a booking in-store.
5. Add barcodes to your stock items
Finally, we come to adding barcodes to your stock items to make it easier to scan them in and out. This one takes a little more time and money to invest in, but it can be a game-changer for rental businesses. Your pickup and return process will be quicker than ever as you can quickly specify items that are handed out.
A lot of handover time is spent on the process of assigning stock in or out of your store for rentals. However, you can simplify this process by investing in a barcode scanner to make it almost instantaneous. There are many to choose from, so make sure you do your research and check with your rental software provider to see if it is compatible.