How to win more shippers through white glove delivery options
At the end of the day, shippers need to provide competitive shipping experiences to their customers. These experiences are about giving the end customer choices, and the most convenient service options that can range from fast, same, or next-day delivery (expedited shipping), to premium traditional white glove delivery of large items or those that need to be installed or constructed (think furniture, home appliances, medical and lab equipment, and more).
Shippers are looking for service providers who will make this process easier for them, as well as carriers that they can trust and rely on to deliver to their standards of speed, visibility, and overall customer experience.
Companies who can provide white glove delivery services together with advanced technological solutions are able to cut costs and remain efficient and competitive, putting them at an advantage today with shippers.
A white glove service provider must remember that white glove service is about giving premium service packages to the shipper and through them, to the end customer. People in these cases aren’t interested in visiting a drop off location to receive or return their product, they want the additional level of care when it comes to valuable or delicate items. And of course, they want convenience and ease of shipment.
TIP: Having a wide range of service packages, from basic to premium, that can be customized per business will differentiate your logistics services from other carriers and delivery providers.
Let’s take a look at some of the ways you can enrich and enhance your retail delivery services.
Show accurate, real-time delivery service options at checkout
Not only do customers want their deliveries to arrive quickly, they want to know exactly when the shipping carrier or delivery provider will be arriving at their door (or curbside, or other agreed upon destination).
When shippers can integrate with your system and let shoppers see delivery options at the time of purchase, it’s a major incentive in assuring customer satisfaction. Integration here is essential as it allows a checkout system to provide options based on real-time fleet and driver availability, inventory availability, and more, guaranteeing an accurate choice for customers.
Automated self-scheduling for consignees
Shippers with big ticket items (usually furniture and appliances) as well as important medical and lab equipment, require scheduling in advance in order to guarantee that the customer is home when the item arrives. In many cases a customer service representative gets in touch with the consignee to schedule, and in many cases the delivery window is hours long (think 6-8 or more). This leaves recipients frustrated, as they sit around waiting for delivery all day. White glove delivery service is also about making sure that delivery speed is reasonable, including the delivery process (aka not having to wait around all day).
One white glove delivery option that is highly attractive for shippers is the ability to offer automated self-scheduling. This option lets consignees decide when to have the shipment delivered, within a reasonable delivery window (a few hours as opposed to an entire day) and puts the customer in charge of the process. Delivery is typically scheduled through text message or a link sent by email, cutting out the middleman of the customer service representative.
This is the epitome of white glove shipping: giving shippers the full range of exclusive services to guarantee that they can provide the best white glove service possible.
Provide convenient delivery services and multiple service-level agreements (SLAs)
Not all shippers are created equal. Each company and brand has its own requirements and demands, putting an emphasis on different factors in delivery services, often depending on the items they sell, their inventory management requirements, etc. Providing convenient services and multiple types of SLAs allows delivery and 3pl logistics providers to adjust to the needs of each business when it comes to white glove shipping. A company with these services will have an advantage when it comes to new market opportunities.
Having a wide range of SLAs, including white glove delivery offers, makes delivery providers and carriers more attractive for shippers who are looking to give customers the ultimate delivery experience.
Contactless white glove delivery
Before COVID-19, no one could have imagined that contactless delivery would become an important topic that differentiated carriers. Today, contactless delivery sets shippers apart, no matter what type of item is being delivered. Shippers that don’t offer contactless white glove options may find themselves losing considerable market share.
Contactless delivery includes every step in the white glove delivery flow, from pickup at a warehouse, store or distribution center, to contactless (digital) proof of delivery. Consignees want to remain safe, while being assured that their delivery has actually arrived. This digital proof is often available through the shippers’ website or even through text message.
Curbside vs. over-the-threshold white glove: flexible delivery destination
Contactless delivery, self-scheduling, and multiple service plans are all ways to inject flexibility into your service options. Flexibility should extend to the delivery destination, as well. The full white glove delivery experience allows consignees to decide exactly where they will be receiving their shipment. This may depend on product specifications of course, as certain items aren’t reasonable to leave at the curb for example.
One new over-the-threshold option is garage delivery. This white glove delivery service gives a customer confidence that the shipment will be left in a secure area and not be subject to theft before the owner arrives home. Amazon launched this service in 2020, which was met with enthusiasm from those looking for secure and safe delivery services.
LSPs that can give shippers the option to provide curbside, over-the-threshold (including garage delivery) as well as threshold options (to the door), are at an advantage in their white glove delivery process.
Installation and white glove assembly services
When shippers think of white glove shipping services, installation and assembly typically come to mind. Physically large as well as expensive (and often fragile) items have additional transportation requirements as they must be handled with care, and people expect the top service when getting new furniture or appliances delivered to their homes.
These aren’t everyday purchases. Consignees want to feel like they are having a positive experience when it comes to delivery, from scheduling, to arrival, installation, assembly, and cleaning up packaging materials, etc. when done.
Offering installation and assembly services should include preparing consignees for the white glove service that they will receive. This includes letting the customer know in advance what needs to be available at the delivery location (including product specifications if necessary), or if anything needs to be cleared or covered from the area where the item will be delivered. Consignees should also be given an accurate estimate of how long the service is expected to take.
When a delivery company provides a business and their consignees with all of the information in advance, there should be no surprises, reducing the chances of a missed delivery or delay in shipping. This is what white glove delivery is all about: providing an extra level of care to deliveries.