Highest Rated Small-Business Retailers Show Web Savvy Sales with RatePoint

Needham, Massachusetts (PRESS RELEASE – December 4, 2009) — The holiday shopping season is in full swing and online shoppers are looking for great deals from trustworthy sites where they can find the perfect gift. RatePoint, Inc., a leading provider of customer feedback and online reputation management services, highlights five of the top businesses that use customer and product reviews to build trust and impact buying decisions.

Based on reviews provided by customers, the following businesses carry some of the highest overall ratings by RatePoint’s reputation management tools:

* Tea Guys (www.teaguys.com), an artisan whole leaf tea blender and distributor of gourmet loose tea
* Dreamland Jewelry (www.dreamlandjewelry.com), an online retailer of gold and silver necklaces, bracelets, earrings, body jewelry, and other jewelry accessories
* Superior Nut Store (www.superiornutstore.com), an award-winning, environmentally conscious food processing company
* Smart Momma (www.smartmomma.com), an online retail store to solve mom’s issues related to baby rearing
* Aubuchon Hardware, (www.hardwarestore.com), an operator of neighborhood hardware stores throughout New England

“While our customers have already made a great commitment to customer service by using RatePoint, these five sites represent the best of the best for customer satisfaction,” said RatePoint co-founder and CEO Neal Creighton. “Small-business retailers who use reviews to highlight satisfied customers will stand apart as consumers seek to spend their holiday budget with sites they can trust this season.”

SmartMomma, which is offering free shipping on orders over $50 and a special holiday gifts section this holiday season, has found reviews help the site to differentiate itself as it competes against larger sites for baby gifts.

“Our reviews give customers reassurance that other parents have been extremely satisfied shopping at our store, ” said Heather Burns, owner of SmartMomma. “It has definitely improved our conversion rate since we implemented a reviews program.”

Dreamland Jewelry, which is offering top quality, Italian-made, and pure sterling silver chains at low prices as holiday gifts, said securing positive reviews requires a genuine desire to please the customer.

“RatePoint allows us to show Web site visitors just how good our customer service is, even before they buy,” said David Darkhordari, owner of Dreamland Jewelry. “Just as importantly, it allows us as a company to hold ourselves accountable for good customer service by using RatePoint as a measuring stick. Lastly, it allows the customers to voice their opinions about us. And we’re definitely listening.”

Tea Guys is launching artisan seasonal teas and gourmet blends for the holiday season including Pumpkin Spice, a warming blend of rooibos and freshly cut cinnamon sticks and dried ginger slices with real pieces of sugar pumpkin and sweet potatoes.

“It is no secret that customers respond well to feedback from other customers. And when the feedback is positive, it has an even greater impact,” said Oliver Rich, owner of Tea Guys. “Every minute of every day, somewhere in the world, someone is enjoying our tea. RatePoint has provided us with the tools to receive the positive reinforcement from this knowledge.”

Superior Nut, whose holiday offers include nut gift baskets, has had reviews on its site for more than three years and has believed since its founding that customers should have a place to share feedback.

“Sometimes you get a negative review based on a misunderstanding of the product – when that happens, you turn them around and make them a believer of the product,” said Hicham Chraibi, e-commerce director, SuperiorNutStore.com. “RatePoint allows us to know about any problems, and make it up to the customer.”

Aubuchon Hardware, which offers gifts ideas for under $25 and over $25 on its site this season, has found reviews provide a way to verify consistent customer service standards and ensure that all locations are living up to the company’s brand promise.

While major retailers launch major marketing campaigns, small business retailers have found their secret sauce is reviews highlighting their outstanding customer service, which allows them to stay competitive. A recent RatePoint survey revealed among SMBs who indicated large, big-brand retailers were their competition during the holiday season, 49 percent say customer service is their No. 1 advantage.

Read the full interviews at: www.ratepoint.com/bestreviews

About RatePoint, Inc.

RatePoint, Inc., the leading provider of customer feedback and online reputation management services, helps businesses protect and build their online reputation, allowing businesses to harness the power of credible customer feedback and leverage it into a sales, marketing and customer service asset.

RatePoint’s easy-to-use, Web-based communication services include customer feedback tools to collect business reviews and product reviews as well as email marketing, survey and dispute resolution capabilities to provide small- and medium-sized businesses with the ability to collect, manage and promote customer feedback directly from their Web site. For more information, contact us at: 888-777-1636 or visit: www.ratepoint.com.

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