We all know the world has moved online. We do everything from taxes to business registration to birth announcements digitally. Online contracts were cemented legally in 2000 by the Information Technology Act, and they’ve truly exploded in popularity ever since.
So what’s the big deal with online contracts? Why do so many people use them and why should paper contracts get the boot, anyway?
Here are the top 5 reasons everyone in the event rental industry should change to digital contracts:
1) Your customers will thank you.
Nobody likes having to print a contract, sign, scan, and email a return. Most people don’t even have a printer and/or scanner in their home, so this act might require them to make a trip to a print store or use their work supplies for personal reasons. If the alternative is coming to your business location to sign, you’re asking customers to make an extra trip and asking them to sign a binding contract immediately without the opportunity to have a business partner, spouse, or lawyer review.
By sending a client an e-contract, you’re letting them review and sign on their own time. They can sign from their phone at their kids’ soccer game, or in the middle of the night from their bed, if that’s convenient for them. An e-signature shows that you respect your client’s time and that’s something everyone appreciates.
2) You’ll never lose a contract.
Anyone who did business regularly 20 years ago can tell you about a time they couldn’t locate a signed paper contract. Anyone in the party rental business today can tell you a million tales of a difficult customer who claims they never signed anything or never requested some of the rental items you provided and, therefore, shouldn’t have to pay. * Insert eye roll *
Online signatures mean an easy-to-access, digital copy of the agreed upon terms that you can pull up on your tablet whilst dropping off their rentals to ensure you always have proof of what was expected on both sides.
3) Your whole team can access it.
If you print contracts, you need to make copies for your drivers, your installers, your accountant, and yourself. If you have a last minute staffing change and someone doesn’t have a copy, they could end up on premise for the event with nothing to reference for their own understanding of the event or for proof of terms to the client.
Digital contracts can easily be accessed from tablets and smartphones, making them hyper-accessible to your whole team. This leaves less room for error on your staff’s part, and less stress in terms of any dispute from a client.
4) You’ll heighten your professionalism.
You probably would be extremely perplexed if you went to pay at your dry cleaners and they pulled out an abacus to calculate your bill. The truth is, we’re often making judgments about a company’s success and level of professionalism based on the tools that they use. If you’re using dated methods of collecting a signature and/or payment, you’re risking being perceived as inefficient and unprofessional. Tech savviness is linked in consumers’ minds with being a high quality business, which helps you gain more high-end clients.
5) You’re saving trees!
So much paper gets used in the rental industry. Sometimes a printed back up copy of pullsheets and other documents is smart way to be prepared. But, can’t we all do our part to limit some of the unnecessary waste? Instead of printing and scanning a contract that you’ll then throw out in favor of a digital copy, consider keeping it all online, sans trees.