Twenty years ago, if you had a bad experience at a restaurant or with a certain product, you told your friends and family members. That particular company may have lost a few potential customers in the process but they were blissfully ignorant of that fact. Unless you also sent them a scathing letter, they probably didn't even know the incident occurred.
Today, everyone tweets. If your company messes up, someone will undoubtedly tweet about it. They may even provide video. In a few minutes, that piece of information gets retweeted and passed on to anyone with access to the Internet.
This is happening, everyday. Of course, you can choose to stay blissfully ignorant or you can find out what people are saying or you can use this information to make things right. If you want to understand social media and how it can help you help your customers, Customer Service is a good resource. This book not only shows you where you should be looking for your customer's comments but also what you should be looking for. Not all complaints should be treated equally. Each require a different level of attention and some even require a bit of finesse.