Whether you allow customers to leave reviews on your website or not, the popularity of online review sites like CitySearch and Angie’s List allow customers to easily review your business, products or services and share their opinion with the world.

As a business, it’s very important that you pay attention to these reviews. Doing so can help you learn exactly how your customers feel about your business, products and services, and you can use this information to keep creating greatness or to make necessary changes that your customers will find useful.

Some companies think that trying to monitor review sites on their own would be impossible, and if these companies tried to give an employee the responsibility to visit every review site on a daily basis and take note of what is being said, then yes, monitoring online reviews would be impossible.

Luckily, though, there’s a way to way to monitor reviews across the web without having to physically visit every review website, and it’s known as a review aggregator. A review aggregator is basically an electronic system that locates and collects reviews on certain businesses, products or services and then stores the reviews. These aggregators then use this information to sell it to third parties who are interested to learn more about consumer behavior, create their own review website, or provide the information to the business.

What makes aggregators great for both your business and your consumers is that individuals can easily compare the reviews for specific products or services. This way, you and your consumers can get an all around feel for what is being said, allowing you to see both the good and the bad in one place.

Some review aggregators will also provide a rating system for the reviews, usually with numbers or with stars. This rating will be a calculation of the average of all the reviews, and it will show your business exactly how it, your products and your services rank among your consumers.

How does a review aggregator benefit my business?

There are two main ways that review aggregators can positively impact your business. First, they provide you with all of your company’s reviews, whether they be on your company itself or your products or services. This can give you an overall feel of what is being said about your business to let you know how your consumers feel about you.  This can save you and your employees from having to hunt this information down on your own. Plus, since  you can easily compare reviews, you’ll be able to get the best overall picture.

Second, review aggregators benefit your business because they can impact your consumers’ buying decisions. Today’s customers are no longer making impulse buys the same way they did years ago. Instead, they’re spending time reviewing their options, checking out different retailers and companies and searching for the best price. If the reviews they find about your company, your products or your services are positive, they’ll be more inclined to make a purchase. Plus, if your company has stock, the overall rating of a review aggregator can have a major impact on whether or not the stock for your company rises or falls.

You obviously want your business to succeed, and the best way to do this is to stay on top of what your customers are saying about you. To do this, a review aggregator will be your company’s best friend.

Caleb Grant is a customer engagement manager and reviews tracker.  He constantly monitors comments, questions and reviews that customers make.  Caleb often blogs about review management and customer interaction tips.