10/02/2014 04:16 pm ET Updated Dec 02, 2014

Social Media & the Revolution of Customer Service

Why social media platforms are frontrunners for a customer service 'Employee' of the Month award

Wells Fargo's got your number, literally. You tweet a complaint about a problem with your account, and their customer service team, which monitors the Twitter accounts of the company, will reach out to you via direct message or phone call.

Delayed flight? Tweet @JetBlue; they can look up information on your flight and tell you when it's scheduled for takeoff.

In an ever-changing, increasingly connected world, customer service teams that only work 9-5 aren't quite cutting it. People want to know that the goods and services they're spending their hard-earned money on come with the promise of good customer service. Enter: social media.

We've all seen our friends rant and rave about what happens when a they are so incredibly displeased by a person's/company's behavior that they are moved to publish statements detailing their mistakes. If someone goes to Starbucks and the barista gets their order wrong and charges them for a size they didn't order or forgets to put in your three sugars, that barista's actions will likely become the source of their next Facebook status.

By providing a combination of direct customer service with 24/7 functionality, social media brings a promising future to a notorious aspect of businesses: customer care. Even Comcast, consistently one of the most frustrating companies in America for customer service, is beginning to use social media platforms to connect with people and attempt to solve technical problems remotely.

The key for businesses is learning how to use these tools effectively. For b2c companies, a response to a customer's tweet with suggestions on how to fix a problem can go a long way toward assuring that customer of the company's competence. Remember: a satisfied customer tells 3 people about his/her experience; a dissatisfied customer tells 9.

Don't underestimate Twitter. It's here to stay, and today's businesses would be well advised to monitor their accounts and see what customers really think of them.