Until he mentioned it, I didn't realize it but unconsciously we use references and draw on others experiences all the time. Even when going on a weekend getaway, the first thing we do is google for information on the place, ask around esp. friends on what to do and what not do, and they act on it. So, why can't business do that as well?
Wordpress has a plugin to display testimonals - http://wordpress.org/plugins/testimonials-widget/ but leaves the business angle to the actual business. That means it's upto the business managers to get testimonials, track them and follow up i.e a full lifecycle. Solving that part of the puzzle is Customer Rivet's idea.
Interesting idea for sure.