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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Talking "white glove" services with WT100

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to talk about Pilot's white glove delivery services with a writer from WT100 magazine (formerly World Trade). The article came out in the October issue and talks about why white glove services are thriving, even in the down economy. As the article points out, e-commerce is one of the major drivers behind white glove services, as more and more consumers are purchasing large appliances, flat screen televisions and other large items online.

For Pilot, Special Services (which includes white glove services) has been a major growth area, with revenue rising more than 29 percent in the third quarter. We credit that growth to a couple of factors. First of all, we have an extremely advanced online scheduling tool called COMPASS, which allows customers to go online and choose not only the day, but even the time of their delivery. No more waiting around from 8am to 5pm for a delivery person to show up.

We've also seen from experience that the faster a delivery is made to a consumer, the lower the chance of that product being returned. Which, of course, is a big selling point for our customers. In the end, the key for us is listening to our customers and customizing our Special Services options to best fit them and their customers.

While this article focuses largely on home deliveries to consumers, it's important to note that white glove services go far beyond that narrow focus. In the commercial sector, white glove includes delivering medical equipment to hospitals and clinics, and really large screen televisions to board rooms and stadiums.

Check out the full article, Work Glove or White Glove?, for more of my thoughts, as well as insight from others in the industry.