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Renewal Order Forms: Retain More Customers

Two colleagues looking at a set of computer screens around a desk | Renewal Order Form

Renewal order forms can save your clients time and effort each billing period. These forms allow clients to renew their agreement with your company without filling out a brand new order form. They are a simple but effective way to encourage customer loyalty and offer better customer service. Here’s what you need to know about these forms and how to create them. 

What is a renewal order form?

A renewal order form is a contract where the client agrees to renew a prior agreement, like a subscription or product delivery agreement. The form is already partially filled out, unlike a brand new order form. You can send a renewal order form to your clients to encourage them to renew their arrangement with your business and save them time. 

These forms can vary in the amount of pre-filled information. Some fill in the client’s contact information, while others go as far as selecting the services the client will renew. The amount of data to pre-fill depends on your business and clientele. 

Renewal order forms can be found in all types of industries; for example, many grocery delivery services offer digital forms. These services save the customer’s last order or track their most commonly purchased items. Then, when it’s time to “renew” the order for the next week, the services present an order form that’s already partially filled in with the customers’ information and favorite items. 

The purpose of renewal order forms

Renewal order forms are intended to save your customers’ time. In many industries, brand new order forms take time and effort to fill out. If customers need to fill out the entire form every time, they’re less likely to renew their contract. 

By offering renewal order forms, you can reduce churn in your customer base. These forms make it easier for customers to keep using your service, reducing friction and encouraging loyalty. It also discourages your clients from choosing another service where they need to fill out the order form from scratch. Remaining with your service becomes the path of least resistance, which is excellent for customer retention.

Types of renewal order forms

There are two main kinds of renewal order forms: physical and digital. A physical form is a printed contract pre-filled with the customer’s information. Meanwhile, digital documents remain virtual from start to finish. 

In general, digital renewal forms are more accessible and flexible. You can design digital renewal forms that allow clients to change the pre-filled information, which isn’t possible on paper. Digital renewal forms are also easier to manage since they can be sent and filled out online, reducing reordering delays. 

When do I need a renewal order form?

Any company that regularly requires customers to renew a subscription or reorder products can benefit from such a form. These forms are convenient for your customers and can be relatively low-effort for your business. If you want to improve client retention or simply improve your customer service, renewal order forms are a useful tool. 

Parts of a renewal order form

A renewal order form has four main components.

  • Customer details: Like all order forms, a renewal order form should include a section for the customer’s details. In a renewal form, you can fill this in with contact information you’ve already collected. If your client’s contact information has changed, it may be easier to fill out a new order form from scratch.
  • New billing period: If you’re offering a renewal form for a subscription or service, you should fill in the new billing period the document covers. Otherwise, specify the new dates for the contract, such as for deliveries, payments, and expiration deadlines.
  • Services and products: A renewal form may or may not come with the products or services section prefilled. For example, if you’re offering a renewal for a subscription, it makes sense to prefill what the client is renewing. On the other hand, if you’re building a form the client can use to order products, you may not want to prefill this section automatically. With digital renewal forms, you can instead suggest items the client has ordered in the past and allow them to choose.
  • Applicable fees: Last, the form should include a section explaining the expenses the customer incurs for renewing the contract. Digital documents can automatically fill these sections based on what the client selects. Meanwhile, physical forms should just fill in unchanging fees, such as delivery costs and handling charges.

Limitations of a renewal order form

Renewal order forms are helpful, but they work best in specific circumstances. There are two significant limitations that these forms face:

Less flexibility for the customer

If a customer wants to change their relationship with your company, a renewal order form isn’t the best solution. Physical documents, in particular, take away some of your customers’ agency since it’s not possible to update any of the prefilled information. Suppose your customers move or regularly need products delivered to different addresses. In that case, a form may cause more complications than it solves. 

Less simple than automatic renewals

On the other hand, renewal order forms can still take too much work if a customer knows exactly what they want and never changes it. Unlike automatic renewals, a renewal order form requires the client to actively choose to renew the contract. That means these forms aren’t the best choice for services where it’s rare for the client to change what they want each month. In these situations, a clickwrap renewal order form may be a better and simpler solution. 

Creating and managing renewal order forms

Renewal order forms can be time-consuming or straightforward to create. The amount of work depends on the method you use to produce them. 

One option is to generate renewal orders manually. However, that can quickly take up the majority of your Legal or Sales team’s time. If you need to manually enter your customer’s information whenever you update the billing period, then all the time you’re saving time your customers, you’re wasting yourself. 

Many companies believe that manual generation is the only solution. These businesses store all their data in isolated systems that can’t exchange information. There’s no way to automatically pull client data and place it in a form because their contracts are stored somewhere wholly different from their customer details. There’s no transparency and no easy way to keep track of whether a renewal form has been created or signed.

There is another option, however: digital contract management.

How digital contract management can help

Digital contract management is the act of using a comprehensive information system to store all your contracts and relevant information in one place. It allows you to perform proper contract lifecycle management. From the moment you first connect with a prospect, their details can be stored in your digital contract management platform, along with any agreements they sign and any documents still in negotiation. 

Digital contract management is helpful for a broad range of contracts, but it’s especially valuable for renewal order forms. When everything is stored in the same system, there are no doubts about whether a document has been created. You can check the Ironclad Repository to see upcoming and completed renewals at a glance. 

It’s also easy to load client details, letting you produce and send a renewal order form in minutes. All your contract systems are designed to talk to each other, so it’s as easy as pulling up the client’s details in the Ironclad Editor and adding them to the form.

You can streamline the process even further with templatable workflows. A templatable workflow connects tasks within your CLM directly to specific contracts. You can build the workflow you want the contract to follow once, and every time the template is used afterward, it’s automatically applied to the contract.

Ironclad's Workflow Designer

When it comes to implementing templatable workflows, Ironclad’s Workflow Designer is the perfect tool. This turnkey solution makes it easy to develop workflows around your renewal order forms. You can simply drag-and-drop fillable fields into your template and assign signers and approvers from within the platform. 

Furthermore, the Workflow Designer is integrated with the Ironclad Dynamic Repository. The Repository can automatically alert you whenever a client’s renewal date approaches. You can kickstart the renewal process well in advance, so your renewal order forms will never be late. In combination with the built-in workflow, you can save your Legal team time and let them focus on contract negotiation instead of creation. 

If you’re ready to discover how Ironclad’s digital contract management system can help you streamline your organization’s form and agreements, request your demo today.

Ironclad is not a law firm, and this post does not constitute or contain legal advice. To evaluate the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability of the ideas and guidance reflected here, or the applicability of these materials to your business, you should consult with a licensed attorney. Use of and access to any of the resources contained within Ironclad’s site do not create an attorney-client relationship between the user and Ironclad.

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