White Glove Delivery – What It Is and Why You Should Use It

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What if you could boost your business’s revenue just by offering a top-tier version of the services you already offer?

This is the idea behind white glove services. Say you own an electronics store, and you’re already sending two-person teams to deliver heavy items, such as TVs. Some consumers will surely pay more to also have you unbox their new TV, install it, and clean up afterward. And since you already have teams in place, the added cost to you would be minimal.

Smart business owners in a vast array of industries are capitalizing on the rising demand for customized products and services delivered with the utmost care, and you can, too.

Topics covered in this article:

What Is White Glove Service?

White glove service is a popular term for top-tier, ultra-personalized services. A quick Google search traces the origins of “white glove” back to English footmen who donned iconic white gloves while serving the wealthy elite. Today, “white glove service” doesn’t necessarily mean that a service is provided by gentlemen in waistcoats and pristine white gloves; rather, it is synonymous with “full service.”

Businesses in many industries offer white glove services to customers looking for faster, more convenient, or more hands-on services. White glove moving services, for instance, usually include not only transporting the contents of a building or home from one place to another but also safely wrapping and packing those items, unpacking them, and cleaning up packaging materials when the job is complete. Some white glove service providers even offer the option of debris removal, which can be a lifesaver for customers if they’re in the process of remodeling and have debris strewn all over their floors.

What Is White Glove Delivery?

White glove delivery takes the same concept of elite customer care and applies it to last-mile delivery or courier services. Instead of just dropping packages off outside a delivery address (as is normal for standard final mile delivery), white glove delivery teams will typically bring items all the way to the purchaser’s room of choice within a home, office, or another building.

White glove delivery may include additional services such as bringing items up or down flights of stairs or providing special care for fragile items where standard deliveries wouldn’t. White glove couriers often unbox items upon delivery and clean up packing materials. White glove appliance or electronics deliveries may also include installation of the item being delivered.

This “special attention” can make all the difference for customers, who are willing to pay an additional cost for the added convenience and peace of mind.

How Is White Glove Delivery Different from Inside Delivery?

Inside delivery is a lower-tier service than white glove delivery and, despite its name, doesn’t usually mean that an item will be brought inside. Instead, inside delivery is a service where items are delivered to the door of a business or residence.

Inside delivery is helpful for businesses that don’t want valuable items left at a loading dock, or for consumers who don’t want a home delivery left on the curb. Many couriers offer both inside delivery and white glove delivery services.

Why White Glove Services Are Good for Your Bottom Line

White glove services present a huge opportunity to increase your business’s bottom line. The reason for this is twofold: you can charge more money and reduce your overall costs.

1. Customers will pay more

Surveys conducted by Capgemini revealed that most consumers (more than 80%) will pay more for a superior customer experience, such as those characterized by white glove services. How much more consumers will pay varies depending on the specific industry and specific high value services being offered, but here are a few examples:

White glove furniture delivery: Macy’s furniture customers will pay more than 30% more for white glove delivery compared with drop-off inside the home’s entrance. (Prices based on current delivery pricing for this couch — $250 for white glove delivery versus $190 for inside home-entrance drop-off)

White glove movers: According to Thumbtack, customers may pay 50% to 100% more for full-service moving services compared with standard services. (Prices based on moving a three-bedroom house.)

Ride hailing: To take an Uber Lux ride from Los Angeles International Airpot to the Getty Center, you can expect to pay at least 250% more than the standard UberX rate. (Prices based on Uber’s price calculator results.)

Image generated using the Uber price calculator to calculate fares from Los Angeles International Airport to the Getty Center.

Regardless of your industry, one thing is certain — if you offer premium service, you can charge premium prices. And research has also shown that speed, convenience, and human touch (defining characteristics of white glove services) have the power to boost repeat sales because customer needs are being met. So white glove services are a valuable tool for increasing your customers’ lifetime value, too.

2. Reduce your business’s overall costs

Consulting firm McKinsey & Company reported, “White-glove services offer a high return on investment. In fact, they present an opportunity for significant cost savings because they accelerate the resolution of contact center issues (or prevent issues altogether) and deepen customer trust and loyalty. . . .”

At OptimoRoute, we have witnessed firsthand how white-glove service offerings mitigate customer service complaints and help high-touch operations run more cost-effectively. Real-time customer notifications, for instance, have reduced the number of incoming customer service calls for OptimoRoute users as much as 70%. You’re less likely to have consumers calling in and asking about their packages when your routing software automatically sends customers a link to track their package in real-time.

Realtime Order Tracking - Powered by OptimoRoute
Realtime Order Tracking – Powered by OptimoRoute

As an added benefit, real-time notifications also reduce the number of failed delivery attempts businesses encounter because consumers are more likely to be home to accept a package when they know the exact delivery time.

Offering white glove delivery services is a great way to set your business apart from the competition and increase your profits. By providing a better customer experience and reducing your costs, you can make your bottom line shine.

Simplify White Glove Operations With OptimoRoute

At OptimoRoute, we’ve helped hundreds of businesses, from flower shops and HVAC companies to online retailers and shippers, streamline their white glove operations. Clarke Customer Care, a top tier kitchen appliance installation and maintenance company based in New England, uses OptimoRoute to assign technicians with specific skill sets to individual service requests. OptimoRoute has helped Clarke Customer Care achieve a first-time fix rate of 80% and enabled their dispatchers to factor in vehicle cargo capacity when scheduling service appointments.

Here are just a few things you can do with OptimoRoute:

Schedule and route service appointments or deliveries up to five weeks in advance.

So your customers have plenty of notice, and your team is operating at maximum efficiency. Need to make adjustments or modify schedules after your technicians are in the field? No problem. Dynamic replanning enables you to send new routes and schedules directly to your field teams’ phones.

Increase efficiency of field operations.

A key factor in white glove services is showing up on time, especially when your customers are paying extra. OptimoRoute automatically calculates the most efficient routes for thousands of deliveries or service appointments — in a matter of seconds— which means your planning and execution time is minimized.

OptimoRoute Software - Route Planning Process

Increase visibility and agility of field operations.

Respond quickly and effectively when changes need to be made using live tracking and automatic route-planning capabilities so operations remain on track no matter what challenges pop up along the way. Using OptimoRoute, Hardie’s Fresh Foods raised their on-time delivery rate 1.5% month-over-month to a rate of 94%.

Ensure a personal touch for your customers by empowering your employees with all the information they need.

OptimoRoute is designed with easily accessible customer notes, so your field team gets all the information they need to handle every job at an elite level. Dispatchers, couriers, and technicians can note everything from which door to knock on to the specifics of a job, and even how to pronounce a client’s name. Little things like this go a long way toward making your client feel important, which will keep them coming back.

Provide customers with real-time updates.

As we mentioned earlier, real-time customer notifications have reduced incoming customer service calls for businesses using OptimoRoute by as much as 70%. And real-time tracking has been shown to drive repeat sales. One survey found that 85% of ecommerce consumers will buy from a retailer again if that business provides real-time tracking “throughout the delivery process.”

Once you’ve delivered elite service, make sure you follow up with your customers. Use software such as Formspree and Zendesk to send customer feedback forms, and be sure to ask your clients to leave positive reviews.

Pro Tip: You can easily integrate OptimoRoute with your tech stack using our web service API.

What Types of Businesses Offer White Glove Service?

Because white glove service is, at its core, any service delivered with the highest level of care and attention, any type of business can offer white glove services.

Even businesses at opposing ends of the cost spectrum within the same industry offer white glove services. For instance, both luxury and economy car dealerships offer white glove shopping and delivery options. Select Mercedes-Benz dealerships provide white glove delivery of newly purchased vehicles. And some Toyota dealerships offer a white glove buying experience that enables customers to shop for and buy their vehicle from the comfort of their own homes before having their new car delivered.

A variety of field service providers offer white glove services, too. Clarke Customer Care is one such company. For Clarke Customer Care, white glove service means showing up on time, getting the job done efficiently, and leaving customers’ homes just as clean as they were when the service providers arrived.

White glove services are sometimes referred to by different names. Amazon’s Prime service, for example, could be considered a white glove service because membership grants consumers access to faster, more convenient, and sometimes even more affordable buying and shipping services. Even medical offices have embraced white glove services, offering concierge medicine and direct primary care medical services for a fixed monthly fee.

At OptimoRoute, You Get White Glove Treatment, Too

At OptimoRoute, we believe you deserve white glove service, too. We pride ourselves on offering top-tier support to all of our customers, so you can provide the same level of service for your own clients. Whether you’ve been with us for a year, or you’re still in your 30-day free trial period, we’re here to answer questions, walk you through features, and help you reach your revenue goals.

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