Don't underestimate the power of online customer services: they can prove to be very effective tools for engaging customers not only during their normal activities, but while they are making use of your particular service or product and are in a prime position to tell you how they feel about it. Likewise, your response team can easily earn their respect and loyalty by giving quick, specific tips and information, just as if they were in the same room.
A recent article written by CEO Alan Silberberg for the Huffington Post's blog discussed a trip he took with his family on American Airlines. While in transit, a delay prompted a concerned Silberberg to communicate with American's customer service via Twitter. His first comment wasn't even a question, just a compliment on the way the staff was handling the situation on the plane.
Shortly after, the two parties began a conversation in which the airline thanked Silberberg for his patronage and informed him of which gate he could catch his connecting flight. What makes this even more remarkable was that some of the exchange occurred while Silberberg was using his plane's WiFi and was 35,000 feet above ground.
This kind of above-and-beyond performance doesn't have to depend solely on social media strategies: it can also stem from text messaging services or other mobile initiatives that encourage quick exchanges and efficient solutions. Each company will find its own way of making these different forms of communication work best for them, but in any case it can be helpful to have trained and adaptable professional service teams at work.