The growth of the eCommerce industry redefined the whole meaning of customer satisfaction, including the provision of white glove services.
A product’s quality and price no longer define how much value a good has. The tremendous shift of the seller-consumer dynamics now puts convenience, speed, and outstanding logistics supervision on the consumer’s list for a complete buying experience.
For an eCommerce customer, buyer satisfaction comes with the peace of mind from the unmatched care the goods receive while in transit up to installation. It’s almost inevitable to completely avoid the risk of damage during the delivery stage, giving a level of guarantee of the product’s safety gives your customers downright satisfaction.
Think about it, a customer who already paid for a good expects it to arrive fast, damage-free, and in its best condition. If you’re selling a fragile, difficult to install, and expensive product, top-of-the-line shipping service is a must-have.
An excellent customer service, which includes logistics, will help retain customers, and best of all will attract even more.
This is where white glove services and all value-added services come in.
In this post, we’ll explain:
- What a white glove service is
- What white glove services offer
- It’s benefits
- What types of products need white glove services
- Questions you can ask white glove service providers
- How much white glove services cost
- And if you’re a business owner, how you can streamline white-glove services
If you’re ready to provide your customers an unmatched buying experience by taking advantage of white glove customer service, this post is for you.
Let’s get right to it.
What Is A White Glove Service?
A white glove service refers to the special attentive care given to fragile and expensive goods like electronic equipment, wedding cakes, artwork, rare antiques, and unassembled furniture when moving it from the seller to the consumer.
In other instances, clients hire white glove services when transferring from one place to another, delivering the goods according to their specifications.
Whatever the case, white glove services is a kind of premium delivery service ensuring goods are dealt with special attention during transportation and installation.
The term “white glove” came from the literal white gloves worn by a classic English butler or a luxury store staff providing deferential attention and utmost care to the goods or services given to a client. It ensures the product remains impeccable.
In the logistics world, it was commonplace to leave delivered packages on the front doorstep.
If you’ve experienced ordering something online before and had it delivered when you weren’t home or weren’t attentive to your phone, you know how risky it was for a delivered package to be left unattended outside your house.
Either of two things can happen: the package’s content can perish or it could get stolen by passersby.
Or if you have a piece of unassembled electronic equipment or furniture delivered, you’d want someone to put it together, ready for use. As said earlier, convenience contributes to buyer satisfaction.
By then you’ll know how important extra attention is when having goods delivered and installed, the reason why many consumers opt for sellers taking advantage of white-glove services. Especially those with a website they can easily and securely transact with.
If your white glove services don’t have an online representation yet, the first thing you need to do is get web hosting and a website builder.
White-Glove Service Offers
Logistics companies that offer white glove services facilitate at least four things:
Pre And Post Site Inspection
Before delivering the goods, white-glove services will inspect the shipment delivery location especially if installation is needed or the item to be shipped is bulky and heavy like appliances to determine needed configurations.
Containers and vehicles used to transfer are inspected and cleaned accordingly to limit contaminants. When the need arises, specific or special containers are used to protect the goods while in transit.
Most shipments, if not all, that need white glove services are fragile goods. White glove companies provide basic safety packaging techniques to ensure the goods arrive damage-free.
Product Assembly And Dismantling
Unassembled shipment is put together according to the manufacturer’s guidelines. If hired by a client to transfer goods from one place to another, they also offer to dismantle and pack them.
9 Benefits Of White Glove Services
1. Special Packaging
White glove services make delicate shipments easier and safer to transport. They offer customized packaging considering the fragility of the item, value, and size. They have custom boxes, special design crates, and corrugated containers that meet international shipping standards.
Packages are carefully placed on these containers and transported in purpose-built vehicles like climate-controlled trucks and padded vans with CCTV monitoring.
2. Well-Trained Delivery Experts
The goods are handled by well-trained delivery experts who follow a set of standard protocols for handling shipments from packing to delivery, to installation. They pack goods safely with extra attention to detail and ship them securely, avoiding even minor damages.
3. Real-Time Updates
In most cases, white-glove services some with tracking technology to optimize transparency. You’ll know where your product currently is and when it’ll arrive.
They also have business intelligence apps and equipment to track packages that send out notifications of deviation alerts from pick-up to end-point.
This will help you, the receiver, to not worry about delayed, lost, or missing packages. Especially so if needed for a special occasion in a few weeks, like a sexy outfit for a bridal shower costume party.
4. Time Precision
White glove services deliver products with extra care so you can get the satisfaction you deserve from buying it. The satisfaction includes not just receiving it in the shortest delivery time, but also getting it delivered to you at your most suitable time.
They’ll get in touch with you to confirm specific delivery needs and arrange for them to be delivered at a time slot convenient for you. This eliminates the usual situation where packages are left unattended on your doorstep.
If you’re ought to deliver bulk orders, for special events like Black Friday, white-glove services will help ensure you can meet demands by delivering promptly.
5. Convenient Set-Up
Unlike drop-off delivery services, white-glove services carry your goods in the exact place where you want them inside your home. Their services include smoothly unpacking the goods and securely installing or assembling them when needed.
You also don’t have to worry about disposing of the packaging material because they’ll take care of it for you.
6. Premium Customer Service
Any shipping company can promise quality service, but only white glove logistics take the job to the next level. After all, this unmatched delivery service is what they’re hired for.
To make sure the satisfaction goes beyond the delivery phase, white-glove services have dedicated customer service personnel to ensure all specifications and special instructions are taken note of for tailor-made deliveries.
They’re trained well to interact with clients, with some even taking business English courses, to communicate effectively, keeping a clear understanding of the client’s concerns, and assuring them appropriately.
7. Better Customer Satisfaction
With premium service comes better customer satisfaction. You don’t only get the peace of mind once you see your package arrive in good condition, your peace of mind starts from when you know it’s up for delivery, confident that experts are handling your goods securely.
Customer satisfaction also comes if communicating with the white-glove service is easy, choose one that has a website with clear contact forms you can go to in case you need to relay important information.
8. Minimize Product Returns
This benefit is mainly for the seller but still is beneficial for the buyer.
Sellers are assured the product will arrive in good condition and on time, leaving no room for complaints of damage and delays.
Also, getting the goods installed or assembled by the white glove services is not just for convenience. Most buyers are not familiar with the installation process of what they buy, making it highly likely to break.
When the white glove services cover the installation, damages during setup are minimized.
9. Offer Reverse Logistics
Most white glove services also offer reverse logistics. They reuse replaced items and packaging material by recycling, refurbishing, or reclaiming raw material.
Because of fewer returns, it’s easier for them to identify malfunctioning items. They cover the cost of returns, saving resources for the seller.
Types Of Products Need White Glove Services
Certain types of goods need white glove services because of their fragility, they need extra care, or else they break or get damaged in some way.
These types of goods can’t just be dropped off your doorstep, again they could get damaged or equally worse, get stolen.
Couches, beds, shelves, or tables, whatever they are, they’d need white glove services. Either you’ll need assistance assembling them, or they’re too heavy to be carried on your own.
Appliances And Electronic Gadgets
These are the types of goods that easily get people’s attention and get stolen. Laptops, cameras, tablets, and phones are small enough to get carried off by the wrong hands. Ovens, washing machines, refrigerators need more than one person to carry them in.
Thus include pricey watches, jewelry, and even fancy dogs like a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. They’d easily get stolen, and for pets, they can die during transport without proper care. Even if you get pet insurance for them, failure to get appropriate and secure transportation services will put you at the losing end.
Lab And Medical Equipment
Lab and medical equipment usually have complex and sensitive electronic parts that need more than the usual car. Microscopes and medical-grade glassware can get broken. Ultra machines and x-ray machines need installation assistance.
When shipping any of these goods, make sure to provide the listed information below:
- Delivery Location Details – The more details the better, including landmarks. Mention if there are stairs to be navigated, if there’s a loading dock, in what level (if it’s in a building) it has to be delivered, and if there’s a parking spot to unload the package.
- Explain What’s Needed And Preferences – It’s important to be on the same page. Explain if there will be a need for upstairs delivery, assembly or installation, a liftgate, and debris removal. This will prevent additional charges for unanticipated services.
- Provide More Than One Contact Information – No matter how descriptive you are with the delivery details, people can still get lost. To make sure they’d be able to contact you right away, provide more than one contact information, including another family member’s phone number or close neighbor’s. So that in case you’re too busy to pick up, someone can provide them immediate details preventing further delays.
Questions To Ask White Glove Service Providers
To make sure it’s the right fit and that they can work with your preferences, before signing an agreement with white-glove service, here are some questions you should ask them.
Whether you’re a seller or a client needing help transferring, these questions will be helpful for you.
- Do you have shipment tracking services?
- Can my package get delivered at my preferred time of the day?
- Is there an additional cost if I wanted my shipment delivered on evenings or weekends?
- Can you wait if I had an emergency I had to run to when you deliver the goods?
- Do you do product assembly?
- Will there be an extra charge for after-installation cleanup?
- Does your website have Managed Security Service Providers to secure luxury shipments?
Many white glove services offer these services by default, but asking these questions beforehand will ensure you’re not just assuming things. Plus, if you’re torn between two white glove services, asking these questions will reveal who’d fit your preferences and your customer’s preferences better.
How Much Does White Glove Service Cost?
There’s no exact price list for this, the cost varies depending on several factors:
- Nature Of Product – fragility, weight, price, size, and perishability will dictate the container needed which can affect the cost.
- Delivery Speed – if a package is perishable or there’s a special request to have it delivered on a certain date, there’s a need for the shipment to be expedited and thus mean a higher cost than standard delivery rates.
- Distance – distance also dictates the cost, especially if the shipment crosses international borders.
- Special Transport Needs – for furniture, appliances, lab, and medical equipment, there might be a need for specialized containers and shipping vehicles. These need to get in crates or have temperature-controlled transport.
For Business Owner: How To Streamline White Glove Services
There are 4 things you can do:
- Have key performance indicators ready. Tracking performance will ensure the white-glove service provider is living up to your needs and use a report maker to professionally communicate the recognition of good practices and areas needing improvement
- Define service characteristics. This includes real-time tracking notifications, alerts, automated scanning, CCTV availability
- Define liability. Set terms and conditions so that when something goes wrong, it’s easier to identify who’s accountable.
- Prepare for the unexpected. Even with plans spelled out, unexpected things can happen. There can be labor shortage, calamities, transportation delays you need to bear in mind. Make sure to have plans B and C in case this happens.
White glove services complete the buyer experience. The personalized experience coupled with unmatched care and attention is a growing necessity for customer satisfaction.
If you’re a business owner, the peace of mind of a secure and safe shipment can help you keep customers coming back for more.
If you’re a logistics company owner, white-glove services can be your stand-out differentiator in a sea of competitors offering the same services.
If you’re a client needing transfer assistance when moving to a new place, white-glove services give you inner calm knowing your belongings are in good hands.
With white glove services, you’ll strengthen your brand and pave the way for deeper customer relationships.
Christian Cabaluna is a finance blogger at awesomex™ with 5+ years of first-hand experience. When he is not writing at his favorite coffee shop, Christian spends most of his time reading (mainly about money-related topics), cooking, watching sitcoms, visiting beaches, and catching beautiful sunsets.