No matter how innovative your product may be, it's no longer enough to offer a high-quality product at a reasonable price; customers expect that attention to detail to carry over into delivery methods as well. White glove delivery may be the most visible result of that trend, but much like other aspects of logistics, it's growing and changing rapidly.
Why White Glove Delivery is Different
White glove delivery is notably not final mile delivery, in that white glove is typically a delivery method that is agreed-upon and used from the onset, not a leg in a relay race. Much like supply chain best practices, the fewer hands on a product, the better. White glove minimizes handoffs and thus reduces the chance of loss, theft, and damage, all of which are expensive for a manufacturer to address.
White glove provides better shepherding for your goods, giving them more involved and responsive oversight from dock to door and beyond. It means that experienced hands are unpacking the item, eliminating the chance that a hidden component is accidentally discarded or installed incorrectly. It often also incorporates an above-and-beyond aspect, such as installation or customer product training in the comfort of their own home.
White glove delivery also navigates the most "annoying" aspects of a customer delivery: the travel up and down stairs with a heavy or large package, the discarding of messy packaging materials, and so on. Rather than ordering an image of a finished product and experiencing disappointment when so much effort is required to bring it to fruition, customers instead get exactly what they pictured.
This drives customer satisfaction, and in turn, makes them more likely to order again and recommend your company.
But Why is White Glove Delivery So Popular Now?
White glove delivery has been a concept for some time now, so what is sparking the sudden popularity, and entry into logistics conversations? The answer is nuanced, but it can be primarily traced to two trends:
- The rise of 3PL services that handle the added complications of white glove management
- The public embrace of the "Amazon Effect," which lauds the convenience of home delivery for nearly everything.
The emergence of associated, tech-rich products like Amazon Key—a smart home lock that allows Amazon to open your front door and place a package inside the home—has only helped speed the acceptance of unique delivery solutions.
Should My Company Use White Glove Delivery?
Historically, the most common usage of white glove delivery has been in home appliances, electronics, and medical equipment—large, expensive items with small components or vulnerable areas that may be damaged through self-managed shippers like UPS and FedEx.
That's changing, however, as customers experience the benefits of home delivery and setup. Furniture, home appliances and more are joining the movement and embracing this above-and-beyond approach to customer service and product protection. If your company isn't considering white glove delivery yet, think about these questions:
- How much are we spending on delivery damages, returns, and customer service to educate end consumers in our product(s)?
- How much are we spending on coordinating delivery, chasing down tracking, or otherwise researching in-transit shipping?
- Are any of our competitors currently using white glove delivery?
- Would our customers understand and appreciate the benefits it offers?
While it doesn't make sense for every company, white glove's widespread adoption is making it a viable option for a wide range of industries.
If you want to wade into the waters of white glove but want to make sure it makes sense for your brand, your best bet is to reach out to a 3PL service provider to verify cost and placement options. A word of caution, however: when companies try to handle white glove delivery by themselves, they often run into issues like DOT regulations for delivery, or fail to secure bthe right insurance for home delivery by their own, company-employed agents. Like many intricate business growth moves, it's best to leave it to the professionals if you want to see it succeed.
To Sum It Up
Reach out to an established, stable 3PL service provider that can give you the guidance you need, the suggestions you want, and the success you deserve with white glove delivery. You don't want just any individual physically interacting with your customers, and working with a partner like this will ensure that your brand is well-represented from your warehouse to your customer's home or business.
At Kenco, we understand these needs, and we're eager to show you what we can do for you, your customers, and your business reputation. Check out our helpful, comprehensive guide How to Reduce Freight Costs and contact us today to get started.