Create better rental experiences with understandable digital contracts

by Akseli Lehtonen

13 June 2019
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In the recreational rental business it is important to see the rental as a part of a bigger picture of customer’s experience on her free-time activity, whether it was skiing, surfing, SUP boarding, bicycling, you name it. Normally people want to do activities they enjoy on their free-time and contract disputes are rarely included on that list. In this article, we observe rental contracts from the customer’s point of view.

What forms a rental experience?

Rental contracts are usually not causing too much of excitement and hurray-shouts but they are a necessary step of any rental. In general, a contract is a two-way agreement between two or more parties which obligates the parties to act within the terms and conditions prescribed in the contract. We know, this starts to sound like the dullest blog post you’ve read in a long time but this is important.

Step into the customers’ shoes - understandability matters

Customers always perceive some level of risk, when they purchase or, in this context, rent items. Especially if renting for the first time or in a foreign country, people might be nervous and the risk perception can increase significantly. People might worry about things like:

  • What if I break the rented item?
  • What if I hurt myself while using the rented item?
  • What if the rented item doesn’t meet my expectations?
  • What if I get scammed?
  • What if my trip gets canceled?
  • What if the weather sucks?

There are an endless amount of potential risks ranging between minor and major, irrelevant and relevant. Your customers' fears might sound exaggerated but those are real and you as a rental shop entrepreneur must respect them because perceptions are always individual. What you want to do, is to find ways to decrease the nervousness and risk perception in every way you can. The level of perceived risk is dependent on many things but the understandability of contract and liabilities is an essential part of decreasing your customers’ risk perception.

Rentle's digital contracts are dynamic - what does it mean?

The word “contract” evokes an image of pages full of hardly understandable language with the smallest possible print one can read. According to a study, 96% of the participants felt that contracts and legal documents could be improved. We totally agree and, therefore, started to fix them. Rentle’s contracts are dynamic which means that the content and presentation of the contract changes according to:

  • Language preference of the customer
  • Terms of the rentable products and items
  • The device used to accept the terms
  • Whether the rental happens in-store or online

How to increase the understandability of rental contracts?

Contracts should be easily understandable because they provide legal protection for the parties. If one can not understand her rights, how could she protect them? Dynamic contract adapts to the appropriate context, which means that contracts don’t include irrelevant content. Decreasing the amount of unnecessary information enables shorter and more understandable contract documents. The digital form of a contract also enables embedding tutorial videos (e.g. from Youtube), and other additional explanations in the contract form, which wouldn’t be possible with paper contracts.

In the in-store rental context, dynamic digital contracts make the rental process faster, which means that your customers queuing times drops and you’re able to serve more customers. As a bonus, you’ll get rid of the paper contracts and all the related trouble.

Online, the importance of understandability grows as customers have to do without the help of the sales personnel. Driving customers to book and pay rentals in advance online is highly beneficial for rental businesses for several reasons. But to gain those benefits, you must make the online rental experience so comfortable that the customers won’t abort in the middle of making the rental. An easily understandable rental contract is an important part of a smooth online renting experience.

Our mission is to generate successful and trouble-free rentals with minimal effort, and digital contracts are in the midst of it.

Akseli Lehtonen



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