It is not unusual for a logistics company or delivery company to claim they provide “unmatched care” in handling shipments. However, there is a new trend that you have undoubtedly heard about: white gloves.
There is a lot of confusion about what this means. We’ll try to clarify what that means and how it can be used.
What Are White Glove Services?
As with many things, it started with a literal interpretation. The idea of white-glove service was born as movers and shippers wearing white gloves to protect their product. The term “marked with special care or attention” is the most common usage.
Many people trace the origins of the term to the gloves worn in the traditional English butler. This connects the idea to the personal, deferential attention that a butler would give. The confusion can sometimes arise when “white glove” and “final mile” are used interchangeably.
Our current consumer economy has led to an explosion in final mile logistics. Consumers want to know when their products will be packaged, labeled, and shipped. In many cases, they want it within 24 hours or sooner. According to the Logistics Bureau consumers are more likely to repeat their purchases if the previous purchase and expectations are met during last-mile delivery.
“White glove” goes beyond the “standard” delivery expectations. Customers can rest assured that everything will go smoothly, from the moment they place an order to the time they receive it. This could include everything from packing and unpacking to removing packaging materials, overnight storage, unique packaging for fragile or large items, transporting the order up/downstairs, or installing the product after delivery.
Why White Glove Services Have Become So Prominent
In today’s consumer-driven world, a “one-size-fits-all” approach to last-mile delivery is not possible. Shippers can now add white glove services to their last-mile logistics management, providing the transparency and accountability that consumers expect.
These services do more than just add a layer of distinction to the delivery service offered by shippers. These services help to propel the logistics industry forward.
Setting realistic expectations
Unrealistic expectations are one of the biggest problems in building white glove services into logistics. Clear communication is key throughout the entire process, from the shippers to the drivers to the consumers.
These steps will help shippers and companies decide how to best implement white-glove service.
Give detailed information about the delivery location: More information is better. Is it commercial or residential? Do they need to be climbed? Is there a freight elevator if it isn’t on the ground floor? Is there an accessible loading area? Is there parking that allows you to unload your vehicle? (Whether it’s curbside or in a driveway or a parking lot.
Contact Customer Details: No matter how carefully planned delivery is, there’s always the possibility of an unexpected delay. In case of a delay or any other reason, ensure that the service provider has the necessary contact information (phone, email, and address) to notify the receiver.
Describe exactly what is required: This step is crucial to avoid any misunderstandings. It is important to highlight any requirements, such as inside delivery, upstairs delivery, setup or installation, debris removal, and the need for a liftgate. This will prevent the carrier from adding additional charges later on for services that were not anticipated.
Why White Glove Service Is Not the Right Choice
When it comes to offering white-glove service, there is a delicate balance to be made. Additional services can come with higher costs. You need to make sure you are getting the best value for your money before you take any further steps.
When considering supply chain services, some shippers might only consider the price of transactional delivery. This approach can lead to damaged shipments, angry customers, and expensive returns.
There are other options available, as one manufacturer of computer equipment discovered. They could use a standard LTL carrier at both ends to pack and unpack.
What’s Right For You
It is important to choose the right services and the right people for your customer’s interaction during delivery. No matter what your specific white-glove service requirements may be, it is important to think about the needs of your customers first.
The “customer experience factor” will not be lost in this age of online retailing.
Do you want to make your customer’s delivery experience a white glove and improve the final mile? We are a company that can help you improve your customer service experience.
Delivery Limited provides luxury, white-glove relocation, delivery and storage services of unrivaled quality to clients who expect the best.