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In our COVID-19 world, customer service shouldn’t be an either-or proposition—onsite or virtual. Rather, given the circumstances, exceptional service requires blending physical capabilities with virtual resources for optimal outcomes in a hybrid model.

That’s the point made by chief executive Kim Houlne of Working Solutions in her Retail Touchpoints viewpoint, “Rethinking Retail Customer Service for Covid-19 and its Aftermath.”

Writes Houlne:

Going forward, retailers could merge their call center operations with remote customer care. Such in-parallel performance creates hybrid service that combines centralized and distributed workforces.

Houlne, who founded an on-demand contact center business 24 years ago, knows that service disruptions happen all the time. The pandemic just happens to be a horrific one that occurs every 100 years.

Given this, she notes: “Current events and anticipated aftershocks, however, are generating renewed interest for remote operations by companies caught off guard by the coronavirus.”

So, Houlne advises businesses to combine physical and virtual service operations to hedge their beats—and to better deal with this dire situation and for whatever crisis comes next.

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