Integrating social channels and customer service strategies

The majority of companies are now engaging in social media channels to communicate with their customers.

The majority of companies are now engaging in social media channels to communicate with their customers. A recent study by Sword Ciboodle and thinkJar surveyed businesses and found 60 percent had adopted Facebook and 59 percent adopted Twitter. Through these networks, companies can engage with customers, answer questions and handle complaints.

A company called Get Satisfaction recently developed a new service that makes it even easier for companies to integrate their social strategies with their websites. The platform embeds customers' discussions about products and services from social networking sites directly on the company's page so patrons don't have to leave to see them.

"What's important for every organization to realize is, while social channels are constantly evolving, they are not new anymore," said Mitch Lieberman, vice president of market strategy at Sword Ciboodle. "The most successful customer service program will happen for businesses who incorporate social into their overall customer engagement practices, and really keep pace with the way their customers are communicating with them in all areas."

For social networking strategies to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, it's important for companies to remain transparent and present both negative and positive customer reviews on their websites.