Let me be clear again: I love fiverr. I want the best experience possible and the fewest contentions necessary.
I have defended the site many times and continue to do so even within the ranks of those opposed rightly to the ARS.
So, in an effort to do something (I’m not actually sure what) Fiverr has brought out a post allegedly written by a TRS.
Let me start by saying, I welcome this. I need to hear from the other side to sharpen my arguments. It’s also only by talking to would-be-supporters that I’ve been able to really test my positions. And so far, most of the people with whom I’ve spoken have come to see it my way.
Let’s see what we can do with our Pro Male Voice.
Of course what may do it even before my critique of his position, is his own experience. Much like @madmoo , this seller just got a review that said excellent service, but didn’t get an excellent rating.
Here’s the picture before the critique.
Let me be clear again: I love fiverr. I want the best experience possible and the fewest contentions necessary.
In the interest of fairness, Fiverr should feature an article by @anarchofighter to offer some form of respectful rebuttal.
Let’s start with J’s opening claim (though I won’t be addressing every error as some would be trivial and merely disagreeable rather than illuminating):
I wanted to write this post to those Fiverr sellers who offer a quality product and are concerned about Fiverr’s latest change to the advanced rating system.
Now it stands to reason that Mr. J has the same access to the forum we all have.
I welcome him to come here where we can interact.
We should NOT want sellers who do not know what they are doing, selling low quality Gigs, crowding up the marketplace and appearing before us in search results.
Is this even happening?
My sense is that this whole response is going to have more strawmen than a pyromaniac convention.
You're assuming the cream of the crop...and then assuming the cream of the "crap" gets ahead in the search.
Now let's say it is happening, isn't that a search algorithm problem and not a review one? We already have reviews. We already have ratings. We already have sellers with almost all the different possible percentages of rating.
But I think we all agree it would be unfair to have Fiverr choose who is “good enough” to appear on the marketplace. This is an open platform, giving us all an opportunity to offer skills, products and services. How neat is that?
Are you sure you've spent much time looking around here?
Fiverr already does this. And most of us agree with it.
They do it both in "Featured Gigs", as well as, in the honorary title of Top Rated Seller.
If we accept these two things, as well as, the TOS which make other such decisions, I'm not sure even "Fiverr" agrees with you much less "we all".
...the changes to the rating system: it’s designed to help showcase the quality sellers on the platform.
I guess you have not only special placement on the blog, but special, insider knowledge as well? I have NO idea how it was designed. Did you work on the programming? Did you see the "test results" which were done under ideal / covert conditions?
This seems to be a faith statement at best and at worse...some special privilege that betrays earlier claim that this is an open system with equal opportunity for all.
I truly hope that the rest of my fellow sellers see that their on-time and quality work will push their ratings higher as well.
So quality is the first half of the story.
Quality is one of those wonderful words
The search engine visibility people are keen on the idea that what you need is "quality content". The search engines as well are seeking to deliver "quality" results.
However, there's a problem in search visibility. Specifically, a search engine robot cannot (at this time) tell if a searcher who types "fork in the road" is interesting in a path that diverges or an eating utensil in the middle of a road.
That is to say, quality is utterly subjective.
So too the the ARS. Now, some will say the Thumbs system was "objective" and they're also wrong. It wasn't objective. It was still subjective...but it was less sensitive to the subjectivity. It didn't make the subjective problems the very FEATURE of the review system.
And, because of that, it made the "Review" the hero rather than a summary number or icon.
It was also more universal.
Is a 3-star review "bad" out of 5? ... Shrugs...I don't know.
Is a thumbs down? Yes. Without question.
So far, Mr. J and the ARS are tied 0 to 0 by the first half of the game...
The second half is customer service.
Look, there will ALWAYS be a raging troll out there who wants to grind you into the ground doing re-work after re-work for the $5 they paid you, just to rate you badly anyway. But in general, people respect each other for good work, and putting in the effort. That said, what do you do when the customer isn’t happy with your work? Or seems to be on the path to rating you less than 100% positively?
Customer Service. This is what that looks like:
Your fellow human beings want to rate you highly. They do. Very few people enjoy penalizing somebody they are working with. It is your job, as a seller, to cultivate a relationship with your customers.
Interestingly, Mr. J admits there are people who will abuse the system.
He even calls them trolls (almost as if to admit they're 'unlike" our fellow humans) and then seems to think you can "feed a troll" a faerie cake and make them "human" again.
So, I think what we have here is a clear admission that there are abusive buyers.
And to that I'm also willing to admit they're "fewish". But with the star rating system they've been given more power. In fact, smart trolls will start rating you 3-stars...because it seems to "reasonable" and not trollish at all.
Of course, when a troll did rate a seller 1 star (in fact, changed their rating for 5 to 1) and made sexist comments, Fiverr CS said they couldn't help the seller.
Now let's address Mr. J's "techniques"
Here are my own personal techniques:
A) Review your customer highly!
Fiverr offers feedback to BOTH sides of the sale. Too often I see sellers that do not rate their customers positively for their purchase. This is a mistake – while it doesn’t have an obvious effect on the current sale – it’s really the regular, returning customer that you should be going after. Try to leave everyone with a warm and happy feeling after you’ve worked together. All it takes is a quick ratings click, and a “Thank you for your business!”
While this is a wonderful cherry on the top and something worth doing at least from time-to-time, it's a POST COMPLETED ORDER OPTION ONLY (one the buyer controls)...it will have no bearing on the review I gig.
B) Ask them. Seriously.
Ask your customer to rate you highly, if they were happy working with you. Some people simply don’t realize how much ratings affect your placement in the marketplace. Take 2 seconds and teach them. We will all benefit.
I think you just ran afoul of the 35-second shot clock with this claim.
It does not take 2-seconds. And, this was true with the review system. As a strategy it has been hurt by the ARS.
Why, because someone may well think 4-stars is a "HIGH REVIEW" (while another buyer will think it's an admission of a deep flaw in the offer/service/seller)
Further, the ARS is overly complicated asking a buyer to be rated on 3 categories, many of which never apply.
We as sellers don't want to look desperate begging for 5-stars for communications when we didn't need any...or have any
C) In your profile – make it clear that you bend over backwards to please your customers. Then do it.
Because buyers who don't read gig descriptions are sure to read your profile :)
I have often gotten second orders from buyers who realized their initial request was unclear or confusing, or that they’d misread my gig page, where I clearly indicate what their responsibilities are when placing an order with me.
So, what we have here is a privileged seller.
Who doesn't seem to go to the forum. Because if he did, he would know about sellers hurt by buyers who refuse to cancel, order things not offered, expect mind reading, etc. He would would know about buyers who say, "I know you gig said X, but I really need Y so please do Y." LOL
I cannot help someone understand who simply is a aberration and outlier. Only he can fix this with empathy.
D) Offer a refund.
I’ve only had to actually refund a handful of people since I started on Fiverr but I do choose to offer the possibility a bit more often. This may feel scary. You’ve done the work, and now you’re considering not getting paid for it at all?? Here’s the thing: what you want to do is impress your customer with the knowledge that you are willing to give them all their money back, rather than get a negative rating. They will often understand the stakes and almost always, they’ll choose to work with you to get it right.
Absolutely, and this is another strategy that has been made WORSE by the ARS.
You see, it used to be clear when I had an unhappy customer.
But what about one that says "Great seller" and rates 3 stars?
What about one that says, as it said on your own sheet, "Excellent" and gives 4.5 stars.
We now have not 2 options, but we have as many as 9 conditions (assuming only half stars and full stars as possible) only 1 of which CLEARLY is positive.
So we've just increased the histogram for refunds by as much as 800%
I believe that Fiverr’s expert team of designers, engineers and analysts have our best interests at heart. Hurting the seller’s doesn’t serve anybody.
Exactly, and I do as well.
Which is why I think they just made a serious mistake. And what a forthright person does in this case is fixes the error and moves on, not gets a plant to write a positive review of their error.
Anarcho, you have a brilliant way of wording things. I enjoy all of your posts. Thanks for this. You raised some fair points, and I particularly liked your comment about insider knowledge. How did he find out information about ARS that the rest of us did not? That is not right.
alliemadison12 said: I particularly liked your comment about insider knowledge. How did he find out information about ARS that the rest of us did not? That is not right.
I suspect he doesn't have ANY special, insider knowledge.
Which is why I'm saying his claims are specious.
Mark, I’ve done one better. I sent Mr. J a private message.
Now remember, he is a VOICE OVER ACTOR who is thus very skilled at using his voice. Even so, I’ve invited him to a debate to take place on a streaming service and to be recorded.
I even asked him if he could do it as a rush, tomorrow, since that’s the general strike day.
I will let you know when he replies.
Reply to @anarchofighter: why don’t you personally invite Mr. J’s on this thread?
Ask him to discuss with us about ARS here on forum… we are welcoming him and we’re ready to an honest and free conversation…
I’d really like to ask him who begged him to write that wonderful post on blog…
…the suspense is killing me… getting popcorn hehe
Reply to @anarchofighter: I think he won’t accept… but if he does… well, enjoy with him!!
Don’t expect a response. I inquired with him 2 weeks ago about his voiceover service, and got no reply. So much for "great customer service!"
I really don’t understand why anyone would ignore a potential buyer, especially when response time is calculated.
Reply to @bachas85:
I totally get that. And you and I have expressed that we treat refunds differently in our respective businesses.
What bothers me is not the efficacy of the advice, BUT RATHER, that it’s advice that not only WAS TRUE …but was actually BETTER with the review system.
It’s like if you had an electric car and now someone offers you a “Diesel Engine” because diesel is cheaper than petrol/gas.
Uh, but but…I wasn’t paying for petrol/gas anyway…
In fact, I have yet to see an argument that says, 5-stars is BETTER than reviews because OF…(reason)
I have seen a few arguments that make claims (claims I’m not sure we can really know) about it helping or hurting certain kinds of sellers… But that’s just a ‘shift in a system bias’, it’s not clear that such a thing is actually better.
In the one case someone said this helps new sellers.
Hey, I’m all about helping new sellers.
But they were saying it helps new sellers and hurts old sellers.
Well, if that’s true, what is your plan? Be a new seller and QUIT?!
If not, aren’t you embracing a system that will only serve you in the short term?
Let’s have it, let’s have an actual argument FOR the ARS
Even the claim that the “cream will rise to the top” seems to presuppose it hasn’t already?! Or that this will do it better? And, since it’s “doing it” by adding more noise, it’s not really the cream it’s the LUCKY rising to the top.
Reply to @alliemadison12: Don’t take it bad Allie: he was already writing his post and couldn’t answer your inquiries =))
Reply to @alliemadison12: I sent him a piece of my mind shortly after the blog post he made. No reply as of yet!
Reply to @jtengle:
Oh wow thank you.
I have asked Nat if I could write for the blog before. I was told to put together a query and she would advance it.
Do I dare make this the topic
I do sincerely appreciate the vote of confidence.
My 24 hour no-selling strike just started 15 mins ago. the new day per fiverr.
Reply to @anarchofighter: I’d consider you the leader on this. I write in angry spurts, but you’ve taken the time to make your points clear and meaningful.
It isn’t July 1st here just yet, but I’m probably going to switch my profile over soon. I’ve already had several buyers ask me about the protest.
Reply to @mark74: and he was to busy taking head shoots looking like a superstar with a big smurf on his face that screams…I am an A…
Well, maybe the TRS, Mr. J, is participating in the STRIKE because he’s not replied to me yet