This month is chaos for me as far as buyers and orders are concerned. I have never had such a run of (insert expletive of choice here) buyers.
I’m also noticing that all of my buyers have three things in common.
- They are setting up a business for the first time.
- They have no idea how to judge the quality of deliveries.
- It is impossible to please people even when over-delivering.
As a case in point, I recently had a buyer message to ask if I provide illustrations and animated gifs with articles. I said no. They then ordered a $15 article anyway.
I delivered a 600-word article perfectly optimized for SEO and readability.
As I had time to spare, I also provided images and a few custom gifs as a free extra. I explained that these were free and included so that the buyer could see what kind of quality illustrations I can include in orders when appropriate extras are ordered.
In short, the buyer didn’t like the gifs. They told me so in a very abrupt way and asked that I "try again." This was a tiny bit cheeky. In this case, I reiterated that the gifs were never included in their original order. They had been provided as a courtesy. If they didn’t like them, this was fine, but in this case, they could just not use them and not order that extra in the future.
Needless to say, my buyer didn’t like this and left a 4-star review. - Not too shabby, but not great, and not really reflective of the fact that I had gone to lengths to quite generously over-deliver their order.
My second problem buyer had a sustainable sunglasses business. However, they also had appalling English and appalling communication skills. All that said, their order was quite an interesting one to work on.
Did you know that all sunglasses in the world (cheap and pricey brands alike) come from a single Italian manufacturer? - I didn’t until now. However, in discovering this, it was easy to create a killer about page that boasted all my buyers’ cool eco-credentials.
The result? A 1-star review full of lies about how the copy I provided was unusable and littered with spelling mistakes.
To say this upset me is an understatement.
As a result of these experiences, I’m now turning away 90%+ of people who are messaging me. All messages are following the same pattern. Just getting people to say what they want is like squeezing the last dregs out of a toothpaste tube. If these people order, they are never going to be happy.
Sadly, I can’t stop people from ordering directly. I’ve also had 2 buyers over the past few days who I just know can’t be appeased. One is a new tour company that wants to take on Expedia but thinks Ireland is part of Great Britain. The other is a bizarre order where the buyer ordered an ad copy for a secret shopper job opportunity but is now asking me to amend this to a review of anti-acne face wash.
In both cases, I can’t be done with the insult of people who have no idea what they are doing, pulling my writing to shreds. In this case, with every buyer who gives me the impression they are a bit lost upstairs, I’m trying to make it impossible for them to leave anything less than a 5-star review.
To do this, I’m delivering my work with a Grammarly report showing that all text scores at least 97% for spelling and grammar. I’m also including proof of Flesch–Kincaid readability scores, proof that work is plagiarism-free, and a brief explanation of why all of the aforementioned matters.
So far, this seems to shock buyers into ghosting me. It’s almost like I can sense them somewhere on the other side of the world wanting to say they don’t like something, but not knowing how to say it anymore.
They can’t come back and say "I don’t like it" or "try again." - Technically, they can. However, me putting reports in from of them saying that my spelling, grammar, vocabulary, and article readability is perfect, means that they need to find something specific to complain about. - Usually, that’s beyond their ability.
Touch wood, this strategy seems to be working. However, it does involve a bit more extra work than I would like. In this case, if anyone as any better suggestions, I’d love to hear them.