Ford Motor Co. is expanding the reach of its customer service agents, who will now be accessible on such social media sites as Facebook, Twitter, auto forums and message boards, according to a March 30 press release. Engaging with potential customers in real time, they will be available to answer questions, address concerns as well as monitor comments.

With eight customer service agents, the social media team uses a customized search engine tool that allows them to quickly find and respond to customer queries, comments or concerns.

“Being online lets you cater to an audience that is used to instant gratification,” said Mont Wright, Ford customer satisfaction manager in the Business Assistance Center. “Many of these questions and comments may never come to the phone — or even to email. In some situations, we can change a negative to a positive.”