Hardware Retailing

JAN 2019

Hardware Retailing magazine is the pre-eminent how-to management magazine for small business owners and managers in the home improvement retailing industry.

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HARDWARE RETAILING | January 2019 72 72 HARDWARE RETAILING | January 2019 Positively Managing Negative Online Reviews By Todd Taber, ttaber@nrha.org Balancing Act S ticks and stones may break your bones, but negative online reviews can sink your business's reputation. For many independent retailers, online reviews from customers on social media and review sites like Yelp are becoming an increasingly important piece of their online identity—one they may have little control over. According to data from search marketing company BrightLocal, 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business, and 84 percent of people trust online reviews as much as recommendations from friends or family. As businesses develop social media foundations, paying attention to positive and negative online chatter is crucial, says Jessica Bettencourt, president of Klem's Hardware in Spencer, Massachusetts. She shares her strategy of balancing negative reviews with positive content and direct customer outreach to manage reviews professionally.

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