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White glove services are becoming hot topics throughout the global supply chain. And rightfully so!
It is through white-glove services that customers really start to feel valued. By providing a stellar buying and delivery experience every single time, shippers can quite easily build a better reputation, earn long-term or repeat customers, and ultimately increase their bottom-line.
As the summer season approaches, many retail organizations are already budgeting for next year. And in that budget, we highly recommend that shipping companies consider adding some white glove services, at the very least.
Of course, not everyone knows what that entails or even exactly how to begin doing such a thing!
Don't worry if you are one of those people, though, you are in luck!
In this blog post, we aren't going to be focusing so much on the different ways you can implement this type of service (there are simply too many to cover in one article). Instead, we are going to focus on the technologies empower companies with the ability to offer them. We are going to look three of the most popular, and cost-efficient white glove technology solutions that you should be considering for that 2020 budget.
You've probably heard the phrase white glove delivery service in a board meeting or a marketing strategy session, at least once. But do you really know what it means?
The truth is, white glove delivery service do not have a simple black or white definition. It really all just depends on the type of business you operate, the commodities you're delivering, and the customers who order from your company.
Everything from the website or ordering experience you provide your customers, right down to the quality of packaging could all be considered as "white glove".
But when it comes down to a white glove delivery, we are talking about something that often gets confused with last-mile logistics. When you perform a white glove delivery, it is, in a nutshell, the process of making the end of the delivery (the moment you unload the goods for the customer) and unforgettable one. We are not saying you need to show up with wine and chocolates to woo your customer!
The term white glove originates with the idea of someone needing to use actual white gloves to handle goods in an effort to keep them as clean and presentable as possible. Ask anyone who has ever moved a piano or piece of furniture worth more than a few thousand dollars! They should understand the terminology all too well.
The key to offering a successful white glove service is ensuring that you have the technology to back it up.
Today's consumers expect quicker deliveries, cheaper shipping rates, and deliveries on their time schedule. All of these things are critical pieces that make up the whole of a white glove delivery process. To accomplish this goal, shippers turn to software solutions that better enable them to cater to their customers and provide a memorable white glove experience.
Here are a few of them...
You might be thinking to yourself, “Isn’t blockchain the stuff used to protect cryptocurrency transactions?”
And the logical answer is, yes.
What you may not know is that this type of technology is crucial for expediting communication throughout the supply chain, as well. Blockchain solutions are used in customer relationship management software (CRM) platforms on a daily basis. I might even venture to say that is is probably used in this way so much now that it might even rival its use as a cryptocurrency platform. After all, it did start out as a piece of digital ledger software. So, this new application sort of makes perfect sense.
Through the efficiency and security provided by the blockchain, communication between all parties remains fast and secure. Furthermore, it keeps everyone on the same page throughout the shipping process.
For those who operate smaller businesses, you understand that your job doesn't ever stop at 5:00 PM.
If you're responsible for sales, customer communication, managing shipments, and re-routing customer deliveries, a cloud-based CRM platform is your best friend.
Having access to your CRM from any location, at any hour, and on any device is crucial. You never know when a delay might come up or something needs to be rerouted. You may be in a different time zone than your carrier and customer. Making sure that they always have help available is critical in this industry. Even more critical is your ability to access the tools you need quickly to help them.
This is ultra-critical for white glove services.
Today's customer does not care that you're off the clock. Having the ability to update a shipping address change or delivery date from your mobile device once you receive the customer input, saves you time, money, and allows you to make these quick changes from any location in a matter of seconds.
Having the flexibility to optimize your delivery routes improves service, reduces expenses, and improves on-road performance exponentially.
Therefore, the big dogs such as FedEx and UPS have integrated route optimization solutions to their networks. As a matter of fact, they've been doing so for several years now. Luckily, you don't have to have a fleet of 50,000 trucks to benefit from route optimization software, though.
When delays due to bad weather or construction happen, it can severely impact your customer's white glove delivery experience. Rerouting trucks while the clock is ticking is no easy task. Fortunately, this is where a well-rounded route optimization platform comes into play.
Each of these white glove delivery services is available from most (we would hope all of them are utilizing them) professional 3rd party logistics companies. All of these solutions are scalable, easy to implement, and can be customized for any type of business. Best of all, they all benefit the white glove service in some way, shape or form.
Having said that, keep in mind that it isn't all about technology and fancy buttons. White glove services are about impressing the customer. Impress them with your attention to not only their needs but with their goods as well. Be attentive, be courteous, and most importantly, communicate with your customers. Do that, and you are well on your way to implementing one awesome white glove service option.
Reach out to the experts at Redwood Logistics to get started today!