Social media can make or break customer satisfaction

Companies and brands have learned that social media efforts can be key to customer satisfaction and loyalty.

Companies and brands have learned that social media efforts can be key to customer satisfaction and loyalty. Customer service teams can use social networking sites to communicate with consumers in a public forum and resolve problems, wrote Kimberly Nasief for Retail Customer Experience. When customer support responds directly to complaints in a timely and positive manner, they not only solve that person's problem, but can also benefit from word-of-mouth marketing.

Companies can use social media to build and strengthen bonds with customers, but too much could start to seem like abuse and turn clients away, according to a new study by Revelation Research.

"It's that very thin line between courting and annoying," said Nan Martin, managing director at Relevation Research. "Right now some brands are effectively drawing people in, but then undermining their equity by what happens next with their social media activity."

The study found that many customers disengaged with brands - both through social media channels and actual shopping - when they felt the company was coming on too strong with excessive tweets and posts. Respondents said they also broke ties with a company that didn't follow through on deal offers.