As customers gain more confidence in modern online purchasing channels, there are additions to the kind of products they are willing to buy. Not just food, grocery and apparels, modern consumers are also buying expensive items like furniture, jewelery, large household appliances and more online making the way for white glove services or white glove delivery to thrive.
White Glove Services: Some Interesting Anecdotes
Historically ‘gloves’ have always been associated with tasks that are executed by people with very unique skillsets. Not just that, with regards to societal hierarchy, gloves represented status too.
Throughout the Middle Ages, that is from the 5th to 15th century, in Europe gloves was a very prominent symbol of class and status. The kind of gloves one wore embodied the social background she or he came from. For instance, peasants used to wear gloves made from a sheep's skin, the royals wore expensive white gloves and clergies higher up even went to the extent of wearing gloves adorned with pearls, silver and gold. Gloves were also symbols of valour and courtesy. Remember the phrase "throwing down the gauntlet?" When a knight threw his gloves to another man's feet, it meant the former is challenging the latter for a duet. In the ancient Egyptian Empire Pharaohs were buried with their gloves on. An expression of immense respect.
Talking about specialized tasks, gloves have always been worn by people with special skills like carpenters, physicians, police, detectives, surgeons and yes Michael Jackson. What we are trying to convey is that gloves are more than just a piece of clothing one wears to battle cold. It's a symbol of exclusivity and something that demands special attention.
Getting back to online buying and deliveries. So what is white glove service?
What is White Glove Delivery?
White glove delivery is a special service provided by businesses that cover more ground than our usual pickup and drop deliveries. In other words, expectations from white glove delivery services go beyond the standard ones we usually see in the case of online buying. White gloves delivery can be defined as a service that guarantees utmost care in handling materials especially when in transit. Logistics partners, carriers or shippers actually wear white gloves when it comes to handling and moving products. White glove services commence when a product begins its journey from a warehouse and continues all the way to the item being installed or placed inside a customer's home. In case of returns, the services extend to post-installation as well. A significant amount of investments goes into ensuring hygiene, precaution and delivering exactly what the customer wanted and how she wanted.
What is White Glove Service attitude?
More than anything else, white glove shipping is an attitude. An attitude that makes delivery operations highly dependable. Imagine a butler serving you lunch. It's that kind of an experience where customers feel the finesse, sophistication and care that's been generated while executing a white glove delivery.
White Glove Service: Key Processes Involved
Like other delivery options, white glove services too include a number of processes that needs to be executed seamlessly. At every step, a white-glove service provider needs to ensure that orders are being handled and moved delicately and with precision. Having said that, not all logistics partners and carriers have the experience and technical expertise to manage such a service, as things like delays, poor customer experience, damage to goods, lack of customer centricity and more are simply unacceptable in this case. Let’s understand the processes involved in providing seamless white glove service.
Customized and Protective Packaging
One needs to be extremely cautious when moving special, expensive and fragile items from one place to another. The packaging in this case needs to be impeccable and perfect. It needs to be customized based on the nature of a product or item, its size, how fragile the item is, how much heat exposure it can withstand and so on. These packages need to adhere to international shipping standards and the packaging material varies based on the product it protects. Packing peanuts, styrofoam, wooden crates, bubble wrap, corrugated containers, moisture-resistant crates, hardy cardboards among others are some materials used while packaging orders for white glove services.
Delivery stakeholders who are involved in executing white glove service are highly trained professionals. The following set protocols at every step to ensure that not even the slightest damage is inflicted on a package. This makes shipping orders a daunting task. With regards to white glove deliveries orders are transported using specialized vehicles like padded mini-trucks, temperature-controlled trucks, refrigerated semi-trailers, vans with the provision of CCTV surveillance, IoT powered vehicles that are capable of triggering alerts in case of any shipping inefficiencies and more.
With white glove delivery services, there is no room for delayed deliveries. The customer selects a time slot at which she wants the delivery to be done. Failing to deliver within that time-frame significantly impacts customer experience. Unlike some other delivery models, in the case of white glove delivery one cannot simply leave a package outside the door in absence of the customer. These items tend to be expensive, leaving them unattended can lead to theft and damage. Also, such delivery service may include installing furniture in a specific place within the customer’s home. This needs time and access to the home. Without the customer’s presence, it can never be done. Hence. A lot depends on the customer’s availability making on-time deliveries a must.
White Glove Delivery Tracking
Tracking freight in real-time is a critical aspect of white glove delivery service. It’s difficult if not impossible to achieve the efficiency levels required to provide a perfect white glove service in absence of robust tracking systems. Businesses need to deploy advanced tracking and tracing technologies that significantly improve the visibility of ground-level white glove delivery movement. This empowers delivery managers to eliminate delays and risks to achieve perfect order index-- a critical success metric of white glove deliveries. Modern tracking tools also help businesses provide customers with high-levels of delivery transparency, a non-negotiable aspect of white glove services. Businesses need to keep customers informed about how a delivery is-progressing and when will it reach them.
What kind of goods/products need White Glove Services?
Products that are fragile, extremely expensive and cannot be left unattended on a customer’s doorstep need to be delivered using white glove shipping services. These products can be items like furniture, large household appliances, expensive electronic goods, jewellery and more. Furniture can, especially those that are made up of glass parts, easily get damaged even with the slightest impact. Furniture also needs to be installed and placed in a specific location inside a customer’s home, so delivery in absence of customers' presence is not at all possible. These items cannot be left outside a customer’s door as shippers cannot risk any chance of theft or damage inflicted by sudden changes in weather. With regards to white glove shipping, a significant amount of investment goes into ensuring that a customer gets exactly what he ordered. Highly trained and experienced executives handle white glove delivery.
FarEye is helping shippers across the globe to ensure flawless white glove delivery services and thereby improve delivery experience, shrink turnaround-time, boost customer confidence and enhance material handling processes. To learn more, begin a conversation with one of our white glove services experts here.