Using reviews as more than a customer service tool can allow your brand to collect crucial data to inform decisions and enable growth.

Like a solid marketing strategy and reliable analytics, customer feedback is a tool essential to the growth of your business. Simply having a wait-and-see approach to getting these insights is no longer good enough. Things like customer satisfaction surveys, proactive review collection, and simple follow-up can help to give a significant boost to the flow of the feedback you receive and get the information you need to help ensure you’re steering your business in the right direction.

Still not convinced? Here are four reasons you need to start seeking customer feedback now:

1. It makes it easier to solve your existing customer's problems

While reviews and other feedback methods are about more than creating a laundry list of customer concerns for your team to follow-up on, we would be remiss not to mention the most ubiquitous use for customer feedback.

Your unhappy customers are likely to be the most vocal, and with each interaction you have an opportunity to solve problems, build trust, retain or repair customer relationships and even convert brand detractors into brand ambassadors depending on how well you deliver on your customer service promise.

2. It enables you to make smart decisions with deeper insights

A business that doesn’t have a way to analyze their efforts, successes and failures alike, is going to have a hard time seeing any significant growth long term. A marketer wouldn’t continue to blindly throw money after television spots or Google Adwords if they didn’t have proof of ROI, would they? Customer feedback should be no different. Assuming that everything is fine just because you don’t hear otherwise opens you up to a host of missed opportunities.

Looking at reviews with a more critical eye can give you detailed insight into how you’re really doing from your customer’s POV, which is one voice you should never ignore. Make special note of things that are repeated across multiple customer reviews and make solving those concerns a top priority. Likewise, trends you notice in more positive feedback can help you find the best items to highlight in your marketing messaging.

3. Your brand will rank higher in organic search

Search engines love reviews. The more customers are talking about you online, the higher value search engines place on your brand and the higher you’ll show up in search results. However, simply having a handful of 5-star reviews isn’t enough. Search engines look for quantity as well as quality and diversity of content when deciding how valuable your brand is.

4. You’ll attract new customers

This is what it’s all about, right? Collecting customer feedback, especially through reviews or testimonials can give you the social proof you need to earn the trust of consumers and convert them into customers.

Don’t let the fear of negative sentiment stop you from collecting feedback, yes even public reviews. A brand can’t please all people at all times, and consumers understand that. In fact, seeking out feedback, especially the negative kind, can be an empowering process. The best way to help reduce negative experiences with or impressions of your brand is to listen to what dissatisfied people have to say and make adjustments to your processes to prevent others from experiencing the same issues in the future.