From outperforming your competition in organic search to having happier employees, review collection is a powerhouse tool for brands.

Most brands understand being engaged with customers online is an important factor in maintaining a happy, satisfied customer base and staying on top of reputation management. But many companies are still just “taking it as it comes,” using review websites as an add-on customer service channel for complaints and not participating in proactive review collection to enable a steady stream of customers engaging in conversations about their brand online.

Reviews can do more to serve the bottom line than simply being a channel for customers to get their issues resolved. Here are 6 ways collecting reviews can boost your business.

Having reviews for your brand makes Google (and Bing and Yahoo!) happy. The more reviews you have, the more value a search engine adds to your brand, and the further up your results show in organic search. It’s all about social proof. To the search engines, it’s simple: people are talking about your brand, that must mean your brand is worth talking about, let’s let other users in on that conversation. Google factors in items like frequency and recency of the reviews posted about your brand as well as the overall sentiment of the content, so it’s less about getting one large chunk of reviews and being done with it and more about enabling a system that gets you a steady stream of reviews that will continue to tell the story of your brand.

2. Make informed decisions

Reviews can be a powerful source for data on what’s working in your organization and what isn’t. Taking the time to analyze reviews for frequently mentioned issues and making slight tweaks to practices or larger-scale organizational adjustments based on what you find will lead to happier customers and a more successful business. Listening to your customers is always the key to unlocking growth, and review collection can be a great way to centralize that resource.

3. Boost employee morale

Celebrating wins with employees is a great way to boost morale, which can increase productivity among teams and individuals. Take a look at your reviews, is one department or team member called out for going the extra mile to solve a customer’s problem? Send a company-wide email to give them their well deserved kudos!

4. Manage or repair existing relationships

This is the most common way reviews are utilized today, but it bears repeating. Monitoring what’s being said about your brand online and taking the time to engage with your existing customers can be the difference between building a brand ambassador for life or losing a customer forever.

5. Let your customers do the work for you

Review collection allows you to centralize what’s being said about your brand online. By doing this, you gather a collection of stories about your brand and make it easy for consumers who are researching a purchase to find exactly what they’re looking for. Encouraging existing customers to paint a real picture of the experience they’ve had with your brand or product builds a knowledge base about your brand online, all written by the people consumers trust the most — your real customers.

6. Build trust and gain new customers

A report by Invesp shows that 90% of consumers read online reviews and that 72% of consumers will take action with a brand only after reading a positive review. Having a large number and good variety of customer stories about your brand online will help you build a trusted reputation with consumers and generate new leads and customers for your product. According to a survey conducted by BrightLocal, 88% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations and that same report found 40% of buyers form an opinion of a business after reading just 1–3 reviews. You have limited time to make an impression, make it count.