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How to manage negative or false reviews online

Imagine you knew that nine out of 10 customers would choose your company based solely on the reviews they read about your company—would this change the way you present your business online? Of course, it would; and a recent survey proves that this percentage is just the case.

According to this survey conducted in November 2019, 91% of participants said that “positive reviews” were more likely to entice them to stay on a website and make a purchase.

Now, for your merchant account, an online review about your business is therefore paramount since people are leaning more and more on reviews than ever before.

A massive 85% of people, according to another statistic, expressed their reasoning when deciding with which business they would transact; that is, they choose to trust online reviews as if they were “personal recommendations”.


With this in mind, it is necessary for online stores and merchants to consider taking their online presence and reviews more seriously.

However, there are many ways to go about managing an online review—remember, not all reviews are positive. For this reason, this article has chosen to ask respected leaders in the financial realm to help other businesses when it comes to negative or false reviews.

As a leader in the payments industry, iPayTotal has always been asked about how they manage their “feedback”. — What’s especially useful in iPayTotal’s points of view on this topic is that this industry is high risk, which opens the doors for negative or false comments, perhaps from merchants who were rejected, for example.

To see how a leading organisation, such as iPayTotal, manages its online reviews may be an essential guide in aiding other businesses flourish despite negative or false reviews online.

According to the premier payment solutions company, iPayTotal, there are really three ways to manage a negative or false review:

  1. Delete
  2. Ignore
  3. Retaliate/Respond.

In the first two instances, the negative comment or false report can be left without retaliation or action on the side of the business; however, what iPayTotal’s chief experience officer, Davina Mungroo, warns, is that by “ignoring the problem, it may only volumize the notion that what is written is correct. Moreover, ignoring comments,” Mungroo explains, “is not the best way to offer great customer service.”

When responding, as Mungroo believes is the best route to take because it “does both a service to the complainant as well as to the company”, it is best to be “respectful, understanding, courteous and to ask for any corroborating information that you could use to help resolve the matter”.

This shows that your company is ready and alert, assertive and, as Mungroo places great stress upon, “responsive”.

The seasoned relationship manager from iPayTotal goes on to offer some caution. Mungroo says, “There ought to be caution here, however, for which your company must take note. If a serious allegation is made, it may be dangerous, from a legal standpoint, to repeat the defamation or false claims in a press release or official statement.

There are two reasons to be prudent in this regard:

  1. It may extend the reach of defamation to a wider audience, which would be doing your company an injustice.
  2. Any damages that you may wish to claim against a person or organisation making such false claims against your company are always linked to the extent of the publication you release (your response). — This means that if you were to extend the “reach” it would be difficult to prove in a court setting whether the defamation was as widespread due to their false accusations or to your own publication itself.”

There is another angle, Mungroo suggests, for which your company could take, which might be to spin a negative comment into a positive campaign, bringing in humour or comedy to highlight issues and solutions. This all depends on the type of comment or claim made online in a review.

Finally, without a doubt, it is best to keep it professional and not to jump to any emotional writing. If you are the owner, express your anger to a writer within your company who has no real emotional attachment and then have it written professionally, evincing no sign of personal attack or defence.

Customers trust businesses who are not emotional, but who are indeed stable and reliable. Bear in mind that according to this study, 86% of people decide “against buying” from a business if there are negative reviews online. — Therefore, it is essential to pay attention to the reviews and have a dedicated customer support team and relationship management team ready to manage any bad or false reviews.

Contact iPayTotal today for total payment solutions for your high-risk merchant account – call on +44 800 776 5988 today.

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(Sat - Thursday)
(10am - 05 pm)
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(Sat - Thursday)
(10am - 05 pm)