There are some who hide behind their website identities worrying that customer reviews may damage them – they don’t, as we’ve seen over and over again, they create even more loyal customers by the ability to display responses to problems.
But there are some who go the other way, and, not offering direct contactability, force customers to complain via social media in order to get a response. By that stage anger and frustration towards the brand have usually escalated to a point at which Twitter and Facebook (and LinkedIn) are bombarded with complaints and messages. If the person complaining has lots of followers, then lots, possibly thousands of others will see the exchange and note the poor customer service ethics of a particular brand.
I had this experience recently with a major brand, and anyone following me on Twitter would have been able to view my increasing annoyance, particularly as the problem lasted for days. Is that what you would really want?
With reviews, as with social media, everything is out there and obvious. With reviews the brand can usually respond, visibly and everyone can see. With social media everything is moving so fast that frequently only the complaint is seen, not the resolution. Brands who care about customer service, no matter how large, should offer direct contactability. Period.
Customer service help desks should not be relying on Twitter or Facebook. Or any other type of social media. They should deal with a problem long before the customer starts venting publically online and becomes a brand enemy rather than a brand advocate.