Will Flexible Work be a Permanent Part of the Retail Landscape?

Designed for retail leaders and lovers alike, Retail Refined explores the in-store technology of the future, challenges the industry’s preconceived notions, and brings together retail’s biggest names to understand the brand strategies that will define the next decade in retail.


Flexible work schedules and work-life balance were a thing before the pandemic, but COVID-19 accelerated the work-from-home model. It also pushed it firmly into the public’s psyche that finding balance in the workplace should be a priority, particularly for women.

On this episode of Retail Refined, Host Melissa Gonzalez talked with Greg Hanover, CEO of Liveops, a leader and pioneer in the virtual contact center space. They have pushed the ideas of flexible workforces and crowdsourcing serving enterprise organizations in customer care and sales.

As the economy opens back up, companies are diligently looking for workers to meet the demand of a shopping boom. In anticipation of the boom, retailers added 16,000 jobs in March, but that’s only for physical stores. Retailers are also hiring for customer service roles, which allow more work-from-home and flexible opportunities. But, the role of the customer service agent has changed over the past 18 months.

“The role of the agent has really changed, especially in the retail space,” Hanover said. “You think about the growth in eCommerce and what’s happening in terms of offline vs. online shopping. Just the change in the customer experience that’s happening, where customers who may have traditionally gone into a brick-and-mortar store are now an eCommerce shopper.”

The challenge for retailers is recreating the in-person experience in an online model from a customer service perspective. Customer service agents also have to be sales agents because the experience they’re providing to a brick-and-mortar shopper has shifted.

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