Fiverr Community Forum

Customers ask everyday about progress

I often make custom orders that take more than a few hours of work.
Since I usually have more than a few projects in the same time I have to offer longer delivery deadlines (it can be anywhere between 3-28 days).

When order gets started I check if I have everything I need and if it works.
After that I tell the buyer that I will contact him once I finish the first part of the project.

About one out of every five buyers asks me almost every day (some even a few times a day) about the progress or just wants to chat about something that has only remote connection to the project (e.g. Have you seen this XYZ… I think it is great.).

What is the best way to be polite and considering, but yet again not to loose too much time in unnecessary communication?

It is my opinion that a delivery should be made within a week for anything.
I don’t blame them for contacting you to ask how it’s going. I would too.

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For every seller, it’s a matter of time, professionalism, and the much of “know-how” about the service you provide, in order to drive the conversation with the client and decrease his/her uncertainty about the final product, and as you are a Level 2 seller so surely you have been asked by many clients if you can do some tasks that needs more efforts from you more than the things you have already mastered, and all experienced Fiverr sellers must have gone through this.

You can ask the customer in the gig requirement(s) to add all resources and the information as mandatory to ensure a faster and best quality of the final delivery.

Regards

In case a specific service kind requires that time to be delivered, so the seller has to face the consequences of offering the same service for a much less delivery time, only to gain a competitive advantage from among other sellers around. So by the time, a seller should realize the average delivery time and be adjusted on that basis,

Well maybe in your profession everything can be done in a week, but some gigs just need more time.
Regarding:

I don’t blame them for contacting you to ask how it’s going. I would too.

I don’t blame them, but some of them are just restless and expect too much attention.
Asking once in a while is OK.

Since on Fiverr I try to offer services at lowest possible rate without decreasing the quality, spending too much time in explaining what is being done, over and over can consume too much time which leads to significant increase of overall time spent on the project.

I promise you that your clients don’t contact you nearly as much as mine do.
I just chat with them. It’s part of the job.

That depends on the type of service. I can’t deliver 20-33 articles within a week, when I have 20 to 30 such orders.

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It is normal for people to ask about progress on an order. Remember that a lot of buyers will not have bought here before or not that often. Many buyers think that I am sitting waiting for an order and that when they order I immediately begin on their order.

Like you, I too often have orders that go on for a long time - up to 30 days - and it can be a real time drain if each one is constantly asking for updates. To save myself this time, and to ensure they are also comfortable with the order, I do the following:

  • If it is a long delivery time because I have a lot of orders, then the first time they ask, I will tell them that I expect to begin working on their order on XX date.
  • If it is an order with a lot of parts that will take a long period, I say that I will contact them with an update on XX date.
    This usually means they will leave me alone until then. Of course, if you do not give them an update then you will have given them a reason to worry so make sure you note the date you give them and send an update before they ask for it.
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Just like @eoinfinnegan stated, I do the same!

Some tips:

  1. I offer a time and date as to when I will be starting the project and when I will be sending them a draft.
  2. I always add “If you have any further questions feel free to send me a message” which intensely decreases messages as they are comfortable with the fact that they can leave a message at any given time. Apposed to someone who doesn’t send a message and the buyer is wondering what is up.
  3. I use Fiverr’s app which greatly reduces my time at my desktop - and which enables me to answer messages faster. With that said, it also allows me to respond to clients messages or new inquires.

:bulb: Joe

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For communications that aren’t really project related:

Try to respond without inviting a long discussion.

Respond with an acknowledgement and something positive. If you have seen it, say so, and make a short statement about it.

This hypothetical person only said it’s great, so match the length (one to a few words). If you haven’t, say something about checking it out/looking at it later (and thank them for the info).

If you feel the conversation is getting too detailed and time consuming, slowly scale back your responses to simpler and shorter replies, while still being pleasant and professional. This will help to slow down an unmanageable conversation.

The key is to respond without starting a discussion, unless you would like to have one. Your hypothetical person there is unlikely to want an in depth conversation anyway. That sounds to me like someone who just wants to feel involved in their project. They want to feel useful, and once they do, they may contact you a little less.

Responding will always require some attention, but you can be polite and positive without necessarily taking up a large amount of time. If you have multiple Buyers at the same time that communicate a lot, try to choose a time when you can stop and respond to each of their messages at the same time each day.

If you are worried about too much time being spent on even short personalized replies, you might consider keeping a few notes on mildly interesting topics (related to your work) that you can cover with a minimum of writing, and have it ready to choose from in case your Buyer really wants a conversation.

Also remember that these are your Buyers. You can respond nicely and professionally without treating each one as if they’re a long-lost friend. But if all else fails, make sure to reply with something pleasant, rather than nothing at all.

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My average delivery time is 2-3 weeks so:

  1. I send them a short roadmap with checkpoints on it. For example, first draft ready by X date, revision by Y date etc.
  2. I also create a task list in Excel and upload it to Google Drive or OneDrive. When I complete a task I will add a date and a comment next to it. They can check it at any time and see the tasks that I’ve completed or tasks they need to complete.

I say to my clients that all the dates are listed in the order details and specific tasks with ETA are in a spreadsheet. If anything changes then I will notify them.

I agree with @artlifeoriginal, if they make additional requests then send a short answer confirming that their input has been considered. For example, if they make a request or share an idea then I simply say that I will include it in the task list and will review it on X date. I won’t dive into details while I’m still working on their previous tasks.

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Gosh, I have outside of Fiverr a customer who asks all of the time when things will be finished. Even orders he not even made or where he still needs to receive an offer from me. His communication skills are so bad that comparing him with them, it would be an insult to all other people with bad communication skills.
In the meantime I lost all my respect for him.
The best thing was just two days ago when I told him that I am so busy that I will not be able to make any offers for any clients before the weekend. His reply to that was ‘How late can I receive the delivery today’. There wasn’t even an order or offer made. So there was nothing to deliver. I believe he lives in a bubble and just ignores everything people say to him.
There was also the situation last week when he sent money to my private bank account instead of the one of my business. I don’t check my private account for business transactions and I only start working on orders after I received the payment.
Gosh, this guy is wasting so much time because of his ignorance.

I was asking myself the same question in the mentioned case and I came to the conclusion that some people are just not worth it. The extra time they cost has to be paid and sometimes it’s better to get rid of them altogether, because money isn’t everything.

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Fiverr punishing gigs with longer delivery time (as if the seller is delaying) is something that it has to improve.

As @thecreativeguys mentioned, clearly specify the milestones in gig description or gig faq so that your buyers understand what to expect when from you. The impatient ones would anyway bother you, irrespective of what you write there!

I sometimes encounter buyers who place a non-express order and enquire me of the status on the same day. Patiently answering all their sensible queries and gently informing them that they don’t need to send so many messages and your process involves updating them at each milestone might help.

-kumar

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