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Social media looks set to play a more prominent role in customer service responses to online shoppers, according to research by home delivery firm Hermes.

The parcels firm conducted a survey amongst its key retail clients, and found that while telephone and email were still the preferred routes to customer service, new communication channels are expected to drive improvements in the future.

In particular, two-in-five respondents believe web chat will become more important, with 21% opting for Twitter and 15% for Facebook.

In terms of home delivery improvements in recent years, 35% said parcel tracking was key, with proof of delivery important for 20%.

However, SMS alerts have yet to make a significant impact, with only 13% selecting them as a benefit.

Dawn Redman, head of customer service, Hermes says: “Enabling greater access to customer service in the most effective way will enhance the home delivery process, achieve high levels of consumer satisfaction and ultimately creates brand value.”