Standard shipping and crating procedures are acceptable when you are ordering low-value items. But your normal process can become anxiety-inducing when ordering high-value or sensitive items. In such cases, it is better to opt for White Glove Delivery services.
In addition to pacifying customers’ worries, White Glove Delivery services can increase customer satisfaction and generate additional cash for your delivery business.
After all, the Global White Glove Service industry is expected to reach $4 Billion by the end of 2028. So, here is everything you need to know about what is White Glove Delivery service. And, no, White Glove Delivery is not about wearing ‘white gloves’ while making standard deliveries.
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What is White Glove Delivery Service?
White glove delivery service is a method of shipping or receiving products that need more attention than regular parcels. It is a premium delivery service provided to consumers. The service includes a top-notch level of care along with meticulous attention to detail. White glove service is often seen in the packaging and delivery of sensitive packages. However, delivery businesses and retailers also offer this service for everyday products to ensure a superior customer experience.
You should know that White Glove delivery is massively different from your regular parcel delivery. In the latter, the parcel is taken from one point and delivered to the customer’s doorstep. But, with White Glove delivery, your company is responsible for unpacking and uncrating the product when it reaches the customer. You are also responsible for any installation and setup of the product.
How does it work?
Depending on the product you are delivering, a few steps are involved in White Glove Delivery services.
1. Scrutiny – pre and post site inspections
Some products need to be delivered in a highly-regulated state. Therefore, it is essential to scrutinize the product before packaging it with the correct packing material (bubble wrap, packing peanuts, and more). In addition, the delivery person also needs to do a post-delivery inspection to ensure the product was delivered as intended. Again, this requires you to offer training to delivery drivers to do the needful. Or, you can simply send another individual along with the White Glove package to perform these duties.
2. Protective packaging
White Glove products are packaged with high-quality materials along with standard packaging materials. All these layers ensure that the product is completely secure and safe from any transportation damage. If the need arises, the package can be made resistant to moisture and temperature. As a result, the cost of packaging such products might be higher.
The employees in the hub are provided professional training on handling these top-priority packages with utmost care. This training is also imparted to delivery personnel to make sure the product is handled with the highest care possible. Of course, the packages are marked with specific labels to differentiate between White Glove and standard packages.
Some White Glove packages are required to be transported and stored in clean environments. Accordingly, special delivery trucks and warehouse rooms are created to store these packages. Similarly, some White Glove packages need to be stored in cold rooms. However, the need for these special provisions only arises when you are delivering sensitive products like medical and lab equipment.
5. Attentive Care
Most shipping companies offer quicker delivery timelines to customers opting for the White Glove delivery services. These deliveries are much safer compared to standard deliveries. The customer support of White Glove Delivery services is also immaculate. The customers can call and inquire about the packages as much as they want.
6. Product assembly
In some White Glove deliveries, trained professionals usually assist with the package. As some products require on-site installations and dismantling. For example, if you are sending a replacement product piece, white glove delivery experts will first dismantle the defective piece and replace it with the new one.
Who Needs White Glove Delivery Services?
Both individuals and organizations use White Glove Delivery services to deliver their goods. Here are some things for which customers generally use White Glove logistics services.
1. Luxury furniture manufacturers
Customers who invest money in top-end furniture also expect it to be delivered in pristine condition and are not interested in heavy lifting. Therefore, you must have a White Glove Delivery option if you are a fine furniture manufacturer. Moreover, you also have to hire a professional from the shipping company who disassembles and assembles the furniture on-site.
2. Artwork and antique dealers
Most artwork and antique products are highly valuable. If not, most antiques often have very high emotional fulfillment attached to them. Hence, any damage to such products during delivery taints their overall value. White Glove shipping protects such objects from environmental stressors like temperature and humidity.
3. Art gallery owners
As mentioned earlier, artworks are highly valuable and often sought after by art gallery owners. Any minor damage or scratch caused during the transit can affect the reputation of the art gallery. Handling high-end art pieces also show your commitment to offering the best services to your customers.
4. Property remodeling agency
Contractors and property flippers often use White Glove services to bring in expensive construction materials like book-matched Italian marbles and luxurious mantle pieces. These objects increase the value of the homes and help them make a profit.
5. Interior designers
Similarly, top interior designers also rely on White Glove services to import chic furniture and furnishings to decorate their customers’ homes. They work on tight deadlines, and delays due to damaged furnishings are the last thing they want.
Hospitals also regularly use White Glove services to bring in sensitive medical instruments like MRI and X-ray machines. A professional also comes in to install the machines and help technicians understand their features.
What Products Need White Glove Delivery Services?
There are specific products that require White Glove Delivery services. Some of them are listed here:
1. Medical equipment
Medical equipment is expensive and highly sensitive – X-ray machines, ultrasound machines, and more. Such expensive equipment requires delicate handling and any small misplacement can have life-threatening consequences. Therefore, hospitals use White Glove Delivery services for the safe delivery of such items. Additionally, this equipment is transported in contamination-free and highly secure containers.
Each shipment is accompanied by professionals who help unpack, scrutinize, and set up the entire thing at the hospitals. They also help the doctors and operators run a few test runs to check the instrument. They sign off on the delivery after everything is set in place.
2. Home furniture
Now, White Glove delivery is more prevalent with luxury furniture manufacturers. But that does not mean it cannot be applied to regular home furniture delivery. You can provide a toned-down version of White Glove delivery. Offering this perk for larger furniture that requires manual installation is a great way to attract customers.
Obviously, the customer will have to pay the additional costs. But they will be assured that an expert will set up the furniture with this in-home delivery feature. You can increase the price and add more features of White Glove delivery as the quality of furniture increases.
3. Automotive parts
Automotive parts are either huge and fragile or small and sensitive. Therefore, they need to be under constant care to prevent any damage during transit. Moreover, these parts are regularly transported internationally, so business owners prefer sending these via White Glove delivery service to keep them safe.
4. Electronic devices
Here electronic devices do not just refer to the ones you order through multiple e-commerce websites (refrigerators, washing machines, etc.). Electronic devices, like highly sensitive geological instruments, supercomputer parts, movie cameras, etc., are transported through White Glove delivery services. These devices are packed with extra gel packs to prevent humidity and moisture from ruining them.
Benefits of White Glove Shipping Service
There are numerous benefits to using White Glove Delivery service for you and your customers.
1. New revenue stream
White Glove Delivery service can be easily monetized to open a new cash flow stream for your business. For example, White Glove service should be considered as a premium customer service – a delivery option offered to people for higher than the standard shipping price.
Needless to say, if you are regularly selling high-value products, you can offer White Glove delivery as a free additional service to the customers. And if marketed correctly, it can give you an edge over your competitors.
2. Added reliability
Opting for the White Glove Delivery service offers unmatched peacefulness to the customers. After they select this delivery option, they do not have to think twice about the condition of their package during transit.
The White Glove treatment can be taken to the next level. Trained personnel are also equipped to unpack the product, inspect it and assemble it wherever the customer wants it. They even receive a free demonstration of the product. Finally, the customers are encouraged to offer feedback to help you improve the service.
3. Reduced damage risk
While the risk of damage can never be entirely eliminated, it can be reduced to minimal levels. Once a package is labeled for White Glove delivery, everyone in the shipping department takes great care of it. You should know, the White Glove does not end after pasting the ‘fragile’ and ‘handle with care.’
The package is checked at every stage of the delivery. The delivery drivers do a final check when it reaches the destination. As mentioned earlier, some logistics companies even offer to transport the goods in temperature-control technology trucks to reduce environmental damage.
4. Improved customer experience
Customer satisfaction is the foundation on which the White Glove Delivery was conceptualized. This delivery service offers an extraordinary and stress-free experience to customers. Customer loyalty and brand recognition increase with every successful White glove delivery. With Upper, you can also send ETA to your customers with live-tracking features.
Improve White Glove Delivery Service with Upper
Now, setting up a White Glove Delivery service can be an expensive affair. This is because you need to train your employees to handle your sensitive products. Then, they also have to learn about installing the product at the customer’s home. While these expenses are non-negotiable, Upper Route Planner helps you save money in the delivery process.
Here is how Upper Route Planner can help you start and grow your white glove delivery service plus increase your ROI:
1. Optimized routes for faster white glove deliveries
The route optimization technology of Upper helps you make multiple white glove deliveries in the shortest possible distance. Consequently, it boosts the efficiency of the shipping process, increases delivery speed, and reduces driver downtime. Over time, you will save over 40% in fuel costs alone.
2. Schedule routes in advance for your white glove deliveries
Upper’s route scheduling feature allows you to plan the routes and deliveries months in advance. As a result, you can save up to 10 hours every week due to the automated scheduling features. This time can be utilized to establish better personal relationships with the stakeholders.
3. Proof of delivery for your white glove deliveries
As we discussed, white-glove deliveries require you to be extra vigilant. And what is better than having proof of delivery once you hand over the parcel? Photographs of successful deliveries and e-signatures from customers serve as proof of delivery. Upper’s proof of delivery feature increase accountability, transparency, and efficiency.
Upper’s API integration feature also enables it to seamlessly work with pre-installed software in your third-party system.
You can opt for the 7-day free trial to see how Upper improves your business.
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Yes, it is definitely worth the money to opt for White Glove services if you are transporting high-value items. Not only white glove services add to customer satisfaction, but also helps you gain a competitive edge.
Depending on the nature of your business, your White Glove delivery processes will also be different as discussed in our how does white glove delivery work section. So, first, you need to analyze the existing delivery system before introducing the new one.
Yes, it is somewhat easier to set up white glove services if you have the resource and understand its intricacies. But given the high white glove delivery cost, it can be expensive if you are doing it from scratch.
As you can see, White Glove shipping can be a game changer for you and your customers.
However, know that by adopting white glove delivery, you just win half the battle. The other half involves the successful execution of white glove service.
Route planning and optimization software come in handy here. Software like Upper helps you conduct faster multi-stop deliveries by automating route planning and optimization. You can schedule routes months in advance, gather proof of successful white glove service, and more with Upper. Try Upper 7-day trial today.