In logistics, not all shipments are equal. There are tiers for rates, mode, and freight class, but there’s another layer of logistics. Some loads are so sensitive they require an added level of finesse. Imagine moving furniture, appliances or a large, high-value item ensuring it’s safely delivered in pristine condition. That’s the overview of white glove services evolution and it’s another piece of the transportation terminology puzzle.
White glove service is all about creating the most tailored and specific deliveries possible. In today’s age, everything is based around technology. Smart appliances, smart systems, home theaters and more are changing the customer experience. And carriers must adapt, offering tailored delivery, installation and setup and even debris haul-away. That’s where white glove means going the extra mile in the final mile. It’s important to know how white glove services and transportation management go together.
What Exactly Are White Glove Services and Who Provides Them
White glove services are the services offered in transportation management that go beyond the standard expectations for delivery. While a consumer may be pleased with seeing a package sitting on the front doorstep when returning home, it is at an added risk. The package could be stolen, or the package’s contents could perish. They must go beyond the standard delivery in transportation management, and consumers are pushing this trend forward.
This is where the term, white glove services, comes into play. By definition, it refers to the handling of care used when moving products in which the movers or shippers literally wear white gloves to protect the product. In shipping, this translates to taking every precaution necessary and delivering exactly to a consumer’s specifications.
White glove shipping may include these particular services and solutions:
- Home delivery that involves assembly, installation and setup.
- Retail fulfillment for businesses that lack a dock or other traditional means of accepting shipments.
- Inventory replenishment for businesses that need delivery in combination with restocking or setup of new fixtures for such inventory.
As far as figuring out what carriers offer, that’s the real trick of modern shipping. Shippers need to know that when booking a shipment, it will get the proper level of service. That may amount to hiring added delivery drivers or movers for bulky appliances. It may require hiring IT professionals and trained technicians to install electrical components or setup a home automation system. It’s all about figuring out what carriers can offer and who will be needed in the process. Fortunately, working with a managed transportation service provider like GlobalTranz puts it all on the table to create turnkey service for all shipping—including white glove—needs.
What Products Require White Glove Services
Products that require white glove service are those that cannot be easily dropped off at the doorstep. Refrigerators, large household appliances, furniture, and expensive electronics are examples. If not handled with the utmost care and attention during delivery, these products could be damaged or not used properly by customers.
Furniture can easily snag and tear on the slightest hook in a doorway, and shippers need to consider using white glove logistics to deliver on the promise of providing exactly what a consumer wants. However, there are other implications to consider, like what will the rates for a shipment that requires white glove care be, as further posed by Supply & Demand Chain Executive:
White glove services in last mile logistics can be challenging to get right because it involves meeting elevated consumer expectations and requires the ability to interact with drivers and consumers throughout a shipment’s journey. Shippers should follow a few tips to streamlining white glove services:
- Define the key handling characteristics. This includes things like automated scanning, notifications, or alerts. It should also include touchpoints with consumers.
- Use metrics to track performance. Performance measurement is key to ensuring white glove services are being used and living up to their potential and value.
- Prepare for exceptions management . While most shipments go according to plan, there are some that require further handling and management when exceptions arise, like weather, transportation delays, labor shortages, in-home or limited access challenges and more. This allows shippers to plan for every possibility and keep customers happy.
- Define liability. Although it may seem irrelevant, defining liability is key to ensuring carriers and shippers understand the terms and services set forth when using white glove services in transportation management.
What About Liability and Damage Guarantees
Since last mile delivery of products that require white glove services tends to reflect high-price point items, shippers should reduce their risks associated with delivering such products. Thoroughly vetting all final mile service providers used and only working with those that have been properly trained and equipped is critical.
This translates into lower premiums and fewer claims for the shipper. Your customer complaints and better customer service lead to growth and profitability for your business.
Delivery Service and Reverse Logistics Are Part of White Glove Service Too
White glove service also lends itself better, more effective reverse logistics operations. Since fewer returns come in, shippers can identify malfunctioning products and other problems faster, saving time in both the factory and warehouse simultaneously. White glove services also drive the costs of managing returns and reverse logistics down. For some products, there is an opportunity to make a bigger impact by ensuring proper refurbishing, recycling, or reclamation of older items hauled away at the time of delivery.
It’s Service Before, During, and After Delivery
Understanding white glove service is simple. It is service before, during and after delivery. White glove logistics also build on traditional last mile services, like delivery notification or even the age-old cash-on-delivery options. Since white glove services seek to fulfill customer experiences, including touching base with consumers after delivery to ensure their expectations are met, shippers can better position themselves as superior companies when compared to their competitors.
Choose GlobalTranz White Glove Services to Build Better Customer Experiences in Your Final Mile
White glove capabilities and final mile delivery are not simply two isolated aspects of transportation management. In today’s world, customers expect much more than a simple, just-leave-on-porch (JLOP) approach to delivery. They expect installation, delivery inside their homes by using smart locks to authorize access while away, and much more.
White Glove Services are an opportunity for you to provide an added level of service to your customers in the final mile, reduce claims and returns, increase your customer service levels and create competitive advantage for your business.
Are you still struggling to figure out if your business needs white glove services? If so, get a refresher on all things last mile and how it impacts the actual customer experience by downloading the final mile delivery white paper today. And don’t forget to request a GlobalTranz consultation to see how your team can improve efficiency in the final mile with managed transportation, including white-glove services, today.