Trial Equipment: A Vision for Web-based Ordering

Posted on June 23, 2010 | by Eric

I’ve ordered rental equipment for trial a lot.  Figuring out what we’ll need for the courtroom and war room, working from old lists that were similar to what’s needed this time and reworking them, scaling up or down based on the size of the team, looking at the price quote and adding, subtracting or starting from scratch.  It gets pretty tedious, but I recently had a brain thingy about where it should be headed.

Here’s the idea, and it’s up for grabs.

  • Initial orders begin with some basic packages like Large Trial, Medium Trial, Small Trial with definitions for each based on number of team members and length of time.
  • Then there could be some questions to refine the package and make suggestions.  ”Will you be scanning documents on-site?”, “How much color printing do you anticipate?”, “How many users will be accessing your network?”  ”What equipment does the courtroom already have?”
    There could even be questions like “Will someone be focused on creating backups regularly?” that would introduce the customer to new data protection products, or whatever the latest thing is.  People would rent more items without feeling like they’re being upsold, because the recommendation is contextually relevant.
  • The system would allow you to pull up previous orders and tweak them to meet the current needs.
  • À la carte ordering would be done by checking off equipment that has photographs and specs that are easy to see and understand, and each item would be open for users to post reviews of their experiences after renting it.
  • You can type in your courtroom info (or browse/search for it) and get back recommended equipment for that particular courtroom, based on previous orders by any customer.  Users can also upload their own diagrams or photographs and make comments to expand the database.

This would give people a reason to visit the general website as well, which could be loaded with special offers and other information that interests people in our industry.

That said (WARNING: Unsolicited shameless plug coming, but no one asked me to write this), I’ve worked with some great folks at Aquipt since the 90′s and they’ve always made me feel as though my needs are top priority.  That’s exactly how it should be and has created fierce loyalty in me as a customer.  And that ain’t because of the printers, projectors, laptops or elmos.  It’s because of the people.

The beauty of this system would also be that it wouldn’t replace people.  In fact you’d need more, a full team of high energy, motivated people to keep that site up to date and to interact with the customers to make absolutely sure they’re getting what they need.   Not to mention more techs to handle the exploding business as this simple process resulted in more and more referrals.  As technology advances, nobody is craving further detachment from humanity, we all hate those endless phone menus that get you nowhere and indicate the company you’re calling is understaffed or doesn’t care about customer service.  We’re demanding that technology make our interactions with the companies we do business with more streamlined and elegant.

All that to say I’d really like to just check off  boxes next to pretty pictures of equipment.  Someone please make that happen.

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