These days, it’s easier than ever for customers to get in touch with businesses. However, with so many outlets, ranging from phone and email to instant messaging and social media, it’s easy for companies to ignore customer requests.According to a recent study conducted by Sprout Social, approximately 80% of retailers failed to respond to consumer questions and requests on social media during the last year. With the holiday season descending upon us, you would expect to see an uptick in customer service, but last year that did not seem to be the case. The report indicated that during the fourth quarter of 2014, retailers addressed less than 16.5% of customer inquiries.“True engagement goes beyond satisfaction or loyalty – it is a deep, mutually beneficial relationship between a brand and a customer,” Nick Hahn, Managing Partner of Rosetta Consulting said in a similar report. “While many marketers have long intuited that the engaged customer is the ideal customer, we now have a better understanding of the elements that foster engagement and how engagement drives value and economic benefit.”The holiday wave is comingOrganizations, such as the National Retail Federation, predict online holiday sales to spike 7% this year to $105 billion. As more consumers take advantage of social media outlets – such as Facebook and Twitter – to research products, voice inquiries, and write reviews, it’s crucial to ensure your social media infrastructure is prepared to handle the influx.Social Media InfrastructureWelcome to the age of two-communication. In today’s interactive environment, we exchange more than business cards. We “bump” smartphones, swap Twitter handles (@pbj, FYI), “friend” on Facebook, and if we can’t find what we need – we Google it. Your customers are making connections in the same way. Not only are they buying products and services, they’re talking about them. And they’re not only telling family and friends, they’re telling the entire world. Today’s social media takes the word of mouth to an entirely new level.