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Amazon’s AI assistant helps courier firm Hermes deliver an improved customer services

Updates to Alexa Skill, providing Hermes customers with more control and vision of parcels they've sent or waiting to be delivered using voice

Hermes, the consumer delivery specialist, has launched a new range of features for its Alexa Skill, which is designed to provide customers with even more control and convenience when sending or receiving parcels. 

The move forms part of Hermes’ wider commitment to innovation and using smart technology to further improve the customer experience it provides on behalf of the UK’s leading retailers.

Last year, Hermes became the first parcel company in the UK to fully integrate its end-to-end tracking solution with Amazon’s line of Echo smart speakers, powered by digital assistant Alexa. The business has now built on its initial success by developing a number of additional industry-first features for Alexa users.

Updates for Alexa include a ParcelShop finder, which determines the location of the nearest Hermes ParcelShop; the ability to set a designated safe place or choose to have your parcel delivered to a neighbour when not at home and an enhanced returns process. Consumers asking Hermes to return their order via the Alexa Skill will be emailed a QR code and PIN that allows them to print a returns label at the nearest ParcelShop. Updates for the Amazon Echo Spot and Echo Show also include the ability to view a SafePlace photo or signature when a parcel has been delivered.

The new functionality has been developed and tested at the company’s Innovation Lab in the centre of Leeds, where a team are dedicated to creating a range of cutting-edge solutions designed to revolutionise the delivery landscape.

Chris Ashworth, CIO at Hermes UK, said: “Off the back of becoming the first UK parcel company to integrate our tracking solution with Alexa, we have set another technology milestone by introducing new functionality that boosts the consumer experience and will drive repeat sales for retailers.”