By Alan Wolf, YSN
That is the question for many BrandSource members who are debating whether to send their delivery crews into to customers’ homes or leave bulky boxed appliances on their driveways.
The question came up often during last week’s second round of Region Call-Ins between BrandSource President Tom Bennett and his team and member dealers around the country. And some are second-guessing their decisions.
As one Rocky Mountain member noted, “We’re going into homes but I’m not sure it’s the right decision” given safety concerns for both customers and crew. “But a washer delivered to a lady’s garage does her no good,” the dealer said.
Then again, he added, “We’ve been dealt cards that classify us as ‘essential’ and I feel we should use it.”
Bennett agreed that members should leverage their ability to better service customers at a time when Best Buy is providing curbside delivery only and The Home Depot is experiencing product shortages due to its vendor-managed inventory model.
A Great Plains member concurred. “With Best Buy closed my sales and traffic flow are up,” he said, “although we have a Menards nearby that can offer what we do with inventory and installation.”
Indeed, some big-box competitors and third-party fulfillment companies are still providing in-home deliveries, which compelled a Tri-State BrandSource member to do likewise. “We’re resuming home deliveries, we had no choice,” he said on a call. He also expressed concern for elderly customers who are unable to carry a large appliance into their homes, let alone hook it up.
Instead, the member is equipping his delivery teams with masks and gloves and is asking customers to stay out of the kitchen or laundry room during installations.
Among other suggestions, another Tri-State member said he is outsourcing his in-home deliveries to a local contractor, while yet another dealer from the region is asking customers to sign a one-paragraph delivery waiver that protects his business from any coronavirus-related liability.