Due to the unfixable mess that is orders coming in but not appearing in my dashboard, I have had to rush to outsource some parts of some jobs over the past 24-hours. The good news? - The two people I chose to order work from on Fiverr really pulled through for me. (Thanks).
This was the first time in a long time that I have ordered work on Fiverr and I’m a bit flabbergasted.
Firstly, there is this:
This pops up after every message I receive from someone whom am working with (or thinking about ordering from). - And it grates me.
Since I decided to take out the trash and just send polite automated responses to the majority of people who message me, my gig search placements have… Well, they’re just not there anymore.
Thankfully, I don’t really care about this as my freelance earnings overall have more than doubled during the same period because I’m actually working without distraction.
What bugs me, though, is the fact that this gives people I have no obligation to work with, the power to rate me in secret. What, is more, we still have the secret feedback area:
How can the seller improve their service? I was appalled by this question and the choice selection. Aside from ‘other’ there simply isn’t a choice which makes it sound like the seller is doing a stella job already. (Which the sellers I worked with both were).
Of course, I know how this goes. Now is where people jump in and say, “well I always give the best service possible to even people I don’t work with blah blah.” Customer service, though, has nothing to do with this.
If I need to send out carefully crafted, gushing responses to everyone who ever messages me, in order to maintain my position in the search, this is a job in itself which needs to be costed into my gig pricing. In, fact, logically, this should double my gig prices.
In my old career, I was expert at costing things and staff wages don’t pay for themselves. This being the case, if in my old work context I worked for a company which required me to not just spend 20 minutes preparing a meal, but also 20 minutes talking to a guest about what they were about to eat, I would need to double my costs and prices accordingly.
Then we have the ‘danger money’ side of things.
If I’m priced at $10 on Fiverr and 50% of people who message me are going to rate me low for customer service because I need to say “no sorry, I cant re-write the Bible for $10,” I need to think about what I am seeing now (absolutely no presence in the Fiverr search) and say to myself, 'hey, I can’t have this. - This is detrimental to my future earnings. I either need to quadruple prices so these people don’t message me or double my prices so I get paid for the extra administration time.
But… Then we come to Catch 22. Namely, If I double or quadruple prices on what I am delivering already, I’m going to take a hit for being too expensive in the secret feedback box.
Of course, all this sounds so far like just another rant. The thing is, this year around August, my sales volume on Fiverr plummeted by 2 thirds, despite me not doing anything different. Finally, I, therefore, started paying for the equivalent of featured gig listings on another site and that saved my skin.
I didn’t want to do this. I, (like pretty much everyone) hate paying and/or bidding to get work.
The thing is, looking at the current Fiverr rating system and the presumed effect of not jumping through all these needless customer service hoops, paying for a featured listing elsewhere now makes more sense than operating the same gig here on Fiverr, from what is basically a cost perspective.
Priced at $10, 99% of buyers on what used to be my best selling gig have/had a fantastic buying experience. Despite this, though, that gig can dispear from the search due to people not being happy when I refuse to work with them at the pre-order stage. In this case, I can either invest considerably more time in just virtually cuddling people on Fiverr, or I can pay for a premium spot in the search on another site and just get on with business as usual.
Now, I really think that Fiverr needs to rethink how they are rating sellers in accordance with message responses and secret feedback. The kind of customer service Fiverr seems to want sellers to deliver doesn’t pay for itself.
Yes, if you are a new seller, you might love sending every buyer who ever messages you a long comprehensive response and having a half hour chat about what you do. In reality, though, full-time freelancers like myself whom target their services at budget to mid-range buyers, simply can’t afford to do this.
Scrap it all. Hell, if you want, add a new feature instesd, where (established) sellers can pay for premium search placement. Just please get rid of all these needless checks and balances. I mean, what have they actually accomplished? There are still as many scammers as there ever were. Really Fiverr, you are just making things difficult when all I and other sellers want to do is work.