Social media marketing campaigns can help SMBs stand out on the web by focusing on customer service.

A report from American Express found that Americans are increasingly unhappy with the online service they receive from companies, and small businesses can distinguish themselves by using social media marketing and other channels to appeal to their target audiences.

More than 32 percent of consumers believe businesses are paying less attention to customer service now compared to 2011. The perception appears to be that SMBs and others are doing just enough to get by instead of going the extra mile in terms of helping their customers.

According to the poll, this is most troubling for consumers looking to find one company to work with regularly. More than 43 percent of respondents said they believe SMBs are helpful, but they aren’t working to win repeat business. Additionally, 22 percent think companies take their customers for granted.Twenty-two percent of consumers think companies take their customers for granted.

Providing strong customer service, whether on or off the web, is among the best ways to foster a sense of loyalty. Sixty-six percent of respondent said they’ll spend more money with a company when they believe they receive quality service. Using social marketing to answer customer complaints, questions or other feedback can help an SMB drive loyalty and develop a strong web presence. Also, using the topics fans and followers mention most frequently to inform content marketing campaigns will show website visitors a company is serious about helping them.

Other studies have shown similar consumer frustration with customer service. ContentLEAD recently highlighted data from STELLAService that found more than half of Tweets soliciting advice or asking questions go unanswered by companies.