As business leaders grapple with the short- and long-term impacts of COVID-19, the potential risk to employees and customers from face-to-face interactions remains a vexing issue. Companies need to explore new approaches to serving customers in the era of face masks and social distancing, particularly for consumer goods.
In Asia, where masks have been a feature of daily life for decades, businesses have been early adopters of ways to limit personal contact while enhancing customer service — because that’s what some customers want. Indeed, they have a name for it. The term untact — a South Korean portmanteau meaning no contact — describes services rendered without in-person interactions between employees and customers: Think of ATMs, self-checkout registers at grocery stores, and online banking and retail.
Accordingly, the authors of a new study, written before the COVID-19 outbreak, reviewed recent research and case studies from the Asian market to examine