"The customer is always right" may have been a perfectly good slogan for a world of linear, one-dimensional sales and support channels. But as customer service increasingly takes place over social media channels, an updated version may be "the customer and the customer's preferred time and channel of engagement are always right."

The new slogan is verbose, but the essential point remains. Companies must keep their customer service game strong if they hope to retain customers and drive growth.

To provide authentic, human service in a digital, mobile medium, with the efficiency of text—nothing beats social media. It's where your customers are being human, and it's where your brand can be human, too. After all, some 64% of consumers prefer to use texting over voice as a customer service channel when given the choice, according to One Reach Contact Center.

Major social networks today provide real-time messaging, which offers the efficiency and point-of-sale opportunities of chat with a much better user experience than traditional Web chat on mobile.

But social is also asynchronous, and persistent, allowing conversations to continue over time and to travel across devices. A conversation can start with a real-time chat within Facebook on a desktop then continue later on Facebook Messenger when the customer is just on his or her phone. And all this time, the customer's real identity is layered on top.

The Rise of the Social Customer

With all of this in play, it shouldn't be a surprise that Twitter reports that the number of service-requesting tweets directed at brands grew by almost 3X in the last two years. Other recent indicators show that customers are deferring to social channels to find resolution.

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image of Mike Schneider

Mike Schneider is vice-president of Growth at Conversocial, a social customer care solution.

LinkedIn: Michael Schneider