When you hear “We deliver,” from a merchant, what are you expecting? Most people would say they expect the products they just purchased to be delivered to their home or office by an employee of that merchant. Most merchants don’t give the meaning of “We deliver” much thought until someone questions them about it.
If you have oversized or large products, you should be sure your communication about delivery is clear. Keeping the definition of “delivery” very broad may be the easy way to go, but in the long run, it is likely to give you more headaches. If you outline your policy in writing, you’ll not only set customer expectations, you’ll also hold yourself accountable for what you’ve promised the customer.
For example, at MASF, we know that many of our customers need or want their products delivered. After all, it is a little dicey to try to fit a gondola shelving unit into your SUV or a display case into the back of your minivan. We have a truck that is driven by our employees and we do deliver. Here’s where the detail makes the difference. There are two clearly defined levels of delivery, which we explain to each customer interested in product shipment.
- Curbside Shipping – We call it that for a reason. Products are delivered to the curb of your building. That means the driver or delivery person unloads the box or the fixture and leaves it in your capable hands to take it into the store. We are also clear to say that we will not deliver to the curb if there is any barrier to the curb or anything that may endanger the driver, damage the merchandise, or cause the lift gate to fail. We will reschedule the delivery until after any issues are addressed.
- White Glove Delivery – The key word here is “delivery.” White glove automatically tells you it’s brought into your store, handled very carefully and unwrapped. We also clearly state how far the driver will take the merchandise into the building – up to 50 feet from the location of the truck. You can choose any distance for your own upgraded delivery service, of course. Don’t expect the merchandise to automatically be put in its spot or installed. Shelves for showcases will be put in place, but any other installation needs must be addressed separate from the delivery.
Delivery can be simple, even if you have to provide a little more detail – both in communication and service.