RatePoint Survey Reveals New Customers Form Their First Impression From Online Reviews Before Visiting Local Businesses

More than three-quarters of respondents read online reviews prior to trying a local business they've never used before

Aug 04, 2011, 10:30 ET from RatePoint

NEEDHAM, Mass., Aug. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- RatePoint, the simplest way for small and local businesses to track and improve their online reputation, reports new research showing that 76 percent of consumers read online reviews prior to doing business with a company they've never used before. For services businesses that conduct work in-home, the stakes are even higher. Eighty-one percent of those surveyed indicated a likelihood of looking for an online review of a local business that comes to their house.

The RatePoint study also revealed consumers now use online reviews (68 percent) nearly as much as recommendations from friends (77 percent) before trying a new business. RatePoint surveyed 185 consumers in May 2011, about their perceptions of online reviews to understand the value a consumer associates with reviews.

"Our data clearly shows online reviews are the new way consumers validate a local business before they will set foot inside," said Keith Cooper, CEO of RatePoint.  "Local businesses need to proactively collect and showcase feedback from their satisfied customers. Those who do will be in a much stronger position to gain new business and future revenue directly from online reviews."

To help local businesses grow sales by understanding the review landscape for their business, RatePoint today announces the beta launch of RatePoint Review Report. Local businesses can get a free report assessing their business and comparing their online reputation of one other local business by going to www.ratepoint.com.

"RatePoint Review Report will help small and local businesses to simplify the review landscape," Cooper said.  "Businesses who fail to interact will be at the mercy of how consumers are branding their business for them."

RatePoint Review Report automatically gathers information from the top sites for reviews and ratings and provides a single, comprehensive evaluation and Reputation Score to assess the business's reputation compared to local competitors.

About RatePoint Inc.

RatePoint Inc., the simplest way for small and local businesses to track and improve their online reputation, allows business owners 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 services include a comprehensive Review Report to assess the business's current online reputation, monitoring to track what's being said online and improvement tools to help collect customer reviews and publish them to the local business's website, social networks and local search sites. For more information, contact us at: 888-777-1636 or visit: www.ratepoint.com.

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Yvonne Gaudette
RatePoint Inc.
(781) 465-2052

Megan Soule
Airfoil Public Relations
(248) 304-1428

SOURCE RatePoint