Inbox ≠ Chat - What can we do?


#1

I am continuously encountering clients who use the inbox messaging system as a chat.

This can drive a person crazy sometime, I am sure some of you can relate :wink:

I find that in any way I try to put into words and let a client know it is not a chatting system, it simple sounds rude on my side.

Any suggestions on how to handle these situations ?

Perhaps fiverr should have a little pop-up once many messages are sent in a row saying something like: ‘woops, keep in mind, this is not a chat.’


#2

I have clients who send a dozen messages a day, every day for weeks and months. I tell them they can send 3 messages a day only if they start to be annoying. Otherwise I just answer usually.


#3

Sure, but how can you say such a thing without sounding rude ?
Any advice on a sentence build ?


#4

Since I stay very busy my time is limited somewhat so I need to limit clients to 3 messages a day.


#5

We all struggle with that as our volume grows, but here’s the approach I take:

First steps:
I don’t respond as quickly if someone is simply chatting after a few messages, and it’s more apparent they just want to talk and there isn’t a personal connection. Half the time the slower responses cut the message flow.

After things stretch out a little, and it took me hours to respond, I say something like this:

I don’t mean to be rude, but when I’m recording/working, I don’t respond very quickly unless someone has a question directly related to an existing order. I have a rule that existing clients, and order(s) in process take priority over potential clients. At first that may appear rude and less responsive.

My focus is existing customers first. When you have an active order you will appreciate that because the focus will be on your gig. IF it takes me a while to respond, you’ll know I’m working on an order for someone else. Occasionally I lose a potential client, but the ones I have appreciate my focus on their work, and they keep returning because they get great service.

I love my existing clients, and someday soon I hope you’re in that group and my focus is on your project.


If they keep sending while I’m working on their project, I just say “Sorry, while I’m working on gigs I have to stay focused, so my response time isn’t as quick. If you have something time sensitive, please be sure you state that in your message.”

As it stretches out, few keep sending me additional messages.

I don’t say that word for word, but that’s my policy, so it works for me. YMMV.


#6

Beauty! That really helps, thanks :slight_smile:


#7

Awesome advice @lisabaarns! I’ve recently been having this problem too, but I’ve also never said anything due to my fear of sounding rude. Love this idea. :slight_smile:


#8

Hay @stcylace !

I can understand your situation. Same here with me, sometimes many sellers just send messages for sake of work. Let me share a recent incident with me. A lady from Turkey message me with a request.I think withing 2 minutes I replied her that I am extremely busy in already running projects please you can see other options or other sellers. She just reply me " Hay why you divert the users you should remove the gig ". I was so pump up like i should kill her :smiley: but I replied him professional that I did not waste your time I just reply in 2 minutes . Then she said " How rude you are " after her message I said m not ! . So long story short sometimes some people just came at inbox for making other hyper :smiley:


#9

I’ve never come across this. I do get several messages that could have been put into one from time to time so it looks like there are 12 messages but this could drive you crazy!


#10

I am not REALLY sure how to interpret this thread topic, but I will go with my first interpretation and give feedback.

Keep in mind that I am a buyer only.

  1. Clarification: If a buyer is trying to clarify something, they aren’t using it as a "chat’ - they are using it for clarification, to ensure the final product is correct. Not everyone thinks of everything to tell the seller in whole paragraphs - and purchasing a gig can be a quick, unplanned decision because the gig looks great, resulting in not a lot of forethought about what needs to be explained to seller. (Many of my purchases are exactly that - I probably come across as being unorganized to a seller I have not worked with before). IF you refuse to engage in a clarification conversation, or get irritated with the buyer and show it via your comments, you may be causing a problem for yourself.

  2. Chat: If a client is trying to hold a conversation with you - off topic of the order - that is a chat. A chat can only be one message, or one message a day. If it has nothing to do with the order, they are “chatting”. (My definition of course - for worksites like 5r!) :slight_smile:

  3. Returning Customers: Several suggestions on this thread, if said to me, would have really turned me off from the seller. I would have completed the order, but would have never ordered anything from them again. If all of your gigs are one time orders for most, or you don’t care about repeat business from the customer, you can allow your irritation to seep through to your messages. I don’t advise that. (Remember there is such a thing as “friends and family” referrals. :slight_smile:

Lisabaarns’ suggestion of don’t answer as quickly for Chats is the best way to handle it. As a matter of fact, there is no reason to answer a “chat” at all (see #2 definition of chat). Clarification messages are important to answer, but only answer them when you are able. It is always best of course to get the gig clarified with the buyer before you start to work on it, so keep that in mind when pacing your responses. In your responses, whether delayed or not, always be friendly.

Hope this was helpful from a buyer’s perspective. :slight_smile:


#11

They can, and do, send a dozen messages in a row. For days weeks and months. They know I always answer and take advantage of that. I become a life coach.


#12

I´d change this to ‘friendly, or polite, depending’ (because sometimes friendly is not a good idea, not going into this any further) but I agree with anything else.

Thanks for taking the time to write from your perspective on this and other threads, always appreciated, as we get a lot more sellers’ POVs obviously on all topics, due to the nature of the thing.


#13

Thoughts/Recommendations:

  1. By answering, you are giving them permission to keep asking. If you only answer questions about the order - clarifying the gig, people will stop asking and talking about other things. :slight_smile: Many buyers allow the seller to set the “pace” for communications. What you “model” for them will be what they expect in subsequent gig orders. :slight_smile:

  2. You are offering your services (your time) in your gigs and getting paid for it. The more unnecessary responses you take the time to write results in you giving your time away for free, which devalues your services. In your gig, you are saying your services are worth something, stick to that by only writing clarification responses.

  3. For ongoing buyers/repeat customers who already expect these answers(free services) from you, if you want to change to “not answering” without offending them - answer only one of their messages and say something like, " Hope you understand, I get busier and busier, and don’t have as much time to reply to messages. I will have your order done by the deadline. Thanks! :)"

  4. Drawing these boundary lines (gently) means you keep customers, but actually have time to complete more paying gigs. :slight_smile: (You can DO this!)


#14

You are right of course. Friendly can be interpreted many ways. I agree with polite. I wonder if there is a word that means something in the middle?

Polite to me is a bit cold. You say the right things, but there is no warmth.

Friendly to me is “polite” plus a bit of “warmth”. :slight_smile: But “friend” and “friendly” are overused and misinterpreted these days, so I can see how others may not view it the same.

I don’t have the right word with a “global” definition that works… :neutral_face:


#15

Yes, I get what you mean, and I usually prefer friendly myself and thankfully most customers who communicate at all do too, but sometimes polite or ‘polite with no warmth’ is needed unfortunately.

Usually I´d suggest ‘friendly’ too as the default lol (not in the ‘Hello friend/dear, here is your offer’ way :wink: ) but well, friendly (until it becomes clear that polite is the better choice in those cases).


#16

At times, my buyers love if I respond to them in real time, especially if it is some urgent work that they want fixed immediately.

When I am busy, I ask my buyers to wait and most do.

I have also come across a few who deliberately send messages at times I am not working in order to bring down my Response Rate :slight_smile:

I see no harm in using Inbox for chatting when seller’s time permits and as long as productive discussion or work happens.

Here is the feature that Fiverr needs to implement in this regards:

A “Do not Disturb” (DnD) setting, which, when enabled, doesn’t send any messages, message alerts and beeps.

This helps the seller focus on the work at hand. It helps the buyer not to wake up in the middle of the night when seller sends a message.

DnD setting need to have an auto-off timer of x hours, which can be set at the time of enabling it.

Response Rate feature calculations have to be adjusted to accommodate this feature.

-K


#17

I got a marriage proposal a while ago - a wee bit too friendly! :grinning:


#18

How would they know what time of the day you work to be able to do that?


#20

There must be some devious so-and-sos around!


#21

It is very easy.

Earlier, I used to mention my availability hours in description and used to work here during that time.

Even checking my online status or sending me multiple messages would help figure that out.

Figuring my timezone is another way.