Many small-business owners are planning to ramp up customer service this holiday season to cope with an anticipated downturn in sales, according to

Out of 100 retail and service outlets surveyed, 89 percent said customer service will be crucial to securing repeat customers this year, the Needham, Mass.-based online reputation management firm reported. Another 88 percent said their business's reputation is equally important for bringing in new customers.

The strategies cited include traditional customer support initiatives and online review programs.

"When you seek out customer feedback and resolve any potential issues, you're offering customers support and building consumer trust," Neal Creighton, RatePoint's co-founder and CEO, said in a statement.