Customer relationship management on and offline

Brands may find that customer satisfaction and loyalty can be even more challenging now that customers want to communicate their complaints through new social channels in addition to traditional outlets.

Brands may find that customer satisfaction and loyalty can be even more challenging now that customers want to communicate their complaints through new social channels in addition to traditional outlets. This means companies have to manage their reputation online as well as in person.

The most important thing a company can do when responding to an angry customer is listen, said Jonathan Rick, a director at Levick Strategic Communications, as reported by The New York Times. Rick recommends finding common points of frustration to demonstrate a common understanding.

When a customer turns to social media outlets, such as Yelp or Facebook, companies need to contain the damage of negative word-of-mouth reviews, Rick said. Customer service representatives should respond on the same site, if possible. It's important to make the response visible, so other customers can see the business is doing everything it can to fix the problem.

"Social media is an effective customer service channel but the volume of negative chatter is not indicative of the client’s overall satisfaction with the brand," Terry Redding, CFI Group’s director of development and delivery, told Insurance Networking News. "Social media commentary is important and interesting but using it as the only measure of customer satisfaction can be misleading."

Before a business launches a social customer service strategy, they should make important decisions about how the company will engage, listen and respond to customers, according to econsultancy.