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Etiquettes for navigating ratings and reviews from buyers


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In light of our new ratings and review system, let’s discuss the dos and don'ts of soliciting reviews from your customers. Understanding the importance of positive reviews in achieving success on Fiverr, it's crucial to consistently provide an excellent experience for your buyers. This involves effective communication, upholding professionalism, and delivering top-notch work—all of which can lead to better reviews. 

Beyond these dedicated efforts in the order process, sometimes, a buyer won’t leave a review, and it may also be necessary to actively ask and encourage buyers to leave one to ensure you get the credit due. When asking for feedback, it’s important to adhere to our Terms of Service and avoid the following:

  • Feedback manipulation- This is defined as using manipulative language to influence favorable reviews. Tactics such as bribing, coaching, or guilt-tripping customers are not acceptable. Examples include:
    • “Please leave me a good review.” Or, “If you had a good experience, please leave a review".
    • “I won’t be able to feed my family if you leave me a bad review.”
    • “If you leave me a good review I will deliver something a little extra for you.”
  • Threats- Steer clear of any actions that imply negative repercussions for customers leaving unfavorable reviews. Examples include:
    • “I will ruin your website if you don’t leave me a good review.”
    • “I will report you if you don’t leave a good review.”

When in doubt, simply asking for an honest review could go a long way. Once submitted, unless it violates our Terms of Service, a review can only be changed or removed by Customer Support. If you disagree with or require further clarification on a review, you may politely inquire without being confrontational. For instance, you could say, "Hi, I noticed your recent review and would appreciate any feedback on how I could improve." In cases where a buyer unintentionally leaves a low rating, tactfully seeking clarification may prompt them to want to correct the review. 

If your buyer mentions the low rating was an accident, you can coach them through the process of revising the review by reaching out to Customer Support. Keep in mind that before changing the review, Support will examine the conversation to ensure no manipulation took place. Use phrases like, “if you’d like” or “no pressure” to ensure your messages are not interpreted as manipulation. 

Remember, maintaining an impartial tone when discussing feedback with customers is essential. Avoid placing undue pressure on them to rate you in a specific way. This approach not only ensures customer satisfaction but also safeguards you from warnings or potential bans, ultimately preserving your long-term success on the platform.

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  • Kesha featured this topic

Hi @Kesha,

Do auto-completed orders affect our gig success score and position of gig negatively?

If my competition is getting rated orders while my orders are marked completed automatically, it will impact my gig success score negatively?

Percentage of my rated orders has seriously decreased since the new rating system came, buyers are more reluctant to leave reviews than ever and I can see its impact on my position in search algorithm. What can we do to make sure buyers understand and leave feedback in this new system.

Looking forward to a clear answer from you. Thanks.

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you should also mention that is important to use that exact words every time because is going to be reviewed by an AI, so going out of the pre trained scope could cause the AI to go against the freelancer, always.

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I never liked this advice (even if it probably works very well.) I also think it's awesome to have some clear guidelines, @Kesha, so thank you for writing this! 

However, I'll share what I think personally (even if perhaps I won't be very popular with this point of view.) 

For me, asking for a review seems a bit strange after the buyer has decided not to leave one (especially if they are prompted by Fiverr as well.) I do however check-in with them two days or so after delivery to make sure all is good. 

That being said, what I'm not sure I can agree with the most (even if it seems fine as per the TOS) is tactfully asking buyers about a certain rating, especially if we think it was an accident. 

In my mind (and perhaps I'm just a weird one) it's the intent that matters. It's still manipulation, even if I'm being nice. I could say 'oh hey, I've noticed that perhaps my communication could have been better, was there anything I could improve on?' knowing fully well that the buyer likely made a mistake... My intention in that case won't be me wanting to improve, but wanting the review to be better. As subtle as it is, it can still influence the client.

I do understand that people make mistakes (especially when there is a new system that not every buyer seems to understand well yet) but I'm not sure I should be the one teaching them how it works (mostly due to the fear of pressuring them in case they actually were unhappy.)

That being said, I also don't like complaining if I don't like the food in a restaurant (or similar things) so perhaps I'm just worried about potential confrontation. I'm curious to see how other people think about this!

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Do you think that perhaps the fact that so many buyers are mistakingly leaving poor reviews is a sign that the new system is confusing and should be reworked? I'm a TRS Pro seller and every single day I get low reviews as an accident. Every time I reach out to see what could be improved, I'm told that everything was great and they made a mistake. For instance, just a few hours ago, a wonderful repeat client said I need to improve "professionalism, quality, etc" mistakingly because she thought she was clicking things that were great about the order. It's really demoralizing. 

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I agree with @katakatica - I think it's great that we have clear guidelines from Fiverr about asking or following up on reviews left by customers, but I wouldn't even mention reviews after making a delivery. I think even mentioning the review (or asking "How can I improve?") puts undue pressure on the buyer, especially if they gave you less than a perfect score.

I have one statement in my delivery message that lets buyers know that leaving honest reviews is appreciated because it lets other buyers know how it is to work with me. Other than that, I don't follow up after the delivery unless the buyer didn't even acknowledge the delivery (and at that point, I do reach out to let the buyer know that the order will auto-close, what it means, and how to request more review time/revisions if they need it).

 

5 hours ago, Kesha said:

Once submitted, unless it violates our Terms of Service, a review can only be changed or removed by Customer Support.

I noticed buyers can change their reviews if it wasn't the review that they wanted to leave (and CS seems okay with making the change). If buyers change their reviews, sellers should be able to change their responses to the review. Otherwise, sellers may come off as insensitive or rude because their responses are no longer relevant to the new review left by the buyer.

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1 minute ago, vickieito said:

I think even mentioning the review (or asking "How can I improve?") puts undue pressure on the buyer, especially if they gave you less than a perfect score.

 

2 hours ago, katakatica said:

It's still manipulation, even if I'm being nice. I could say 'oh hey, I've noticed that perhaps my communication could have been better, was there anything I could improve on?' knowing fully well that the buyer likely made a mistake... My intention in that case won't be me wanting to improve, but wanting the review to be better. As subtle as it is, it can still influence the client.

Totally concur with this. 💯

And let's be honest here - nobody really wants to improve, on basis of what buyer would tell.🥲 If angry posts in the last 2 weeks are anything to go by - most of us believe we are perfect in our own little worlds.🫠 So ASKING the buyer afterwards is just subtly guilt-tripping them into changing the review.

So that one can come back to the forum and scream in caps that, "I have x number of perfect 5-star ratings and buyers have written poems about me, then why my client satisfaction and success scores are LOW!!"😭

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Why should we force/encourage our buyers to leave a review? If they want to leave a review then they will do it on their own even Fiverr reminds them (buyers) two-three times after the completion of order. Don't they?

Sometimes, requesting buyers to leave a feedback on our work leads to a warning/account restriction because of FIverr's AI (no idea what it can do) so it is better to not ask for a review. Secondly, it should not be measured in success scores.

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2 minutes ago, priyank_mod said:

On the contrary - masses want ONLY public ratings to be considered for any and every calculation!! 🥲

Yeah right.. but if buyer is not leaving any review then it should not be considered in calculating success scores. Totally unfair it is.

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9 hours ago, Kesha said:

If you disagree with or require further clarification on a review, you may politely inquire without being confrontational. For instance, you could say, "Hi, I noticed your recent review and would appreciate any feedback on how I could improve." In cases where a buyer unintentionally leaves a low rating, tactfully seeking clarification may prompt them to want to correct the review. 

If your buyer mentions the low rating was an accident, you can coach them through the process of revising the review by reaching out to Customer Support. Keep in mind that before changing the review, Support will examine the conversation to ensure no manipulation took place. Use phrases like, “if you’d like” or “no pressure” to ensure your messages are not interpreted as manipulation. 

One seller asked "4.3 star why?" to a buyer and the buyer then said it was a miss-click and that he wanted to change it to 5. The seller then suggested he could contact CS to change it (since that was the only way it could be changed). The seller was then given an account warning (and has now lost his Fiverr account, maybe because of another rating warning too). Maybe that was a bit confrontational to ask that way but it still shows it's very risky.

Another seller got an account warning when the buyer went to CS and asked to change a review/rating but from what the seller said on the forum, the seller hadn't even suggested for them to change it/contact CS to change it (as far as I remember).

To me it seems still much too risky to ask buyers about a review/rating they gave and especially to suggest they contact CS to change it. Maybe if Fiverr wants people to do that (but other staff risk giving them an account warning if they do it (maybe depending on the exact messages), because it would depend on the specific staff member and how they interpret the rules), maybe it would be better if there was a specific option Fiverr created for it. eg. an option like "ask the buyer for more info on the review they gave" and it would give an automatic message to the buyer (eg. "[seller name] would like some clarification about the review you gave and suggestions for anything that they could do to improve") where they could leave a reply. When it gives them that automatic message with the option to reply it could also give an option for them to click something like "I made an error when entering the review or rating". That could then give a chance to correct it or direct them to CS to change it. That would stop the risk for sellers while also getting them more info on reviews that indicated that the seller could improve in some ways.

Also like I suggested elsewhere on the forum, Fiverr could be doing (quite simple) natural language processing on the reviews given, comparing it to the rating given by them (that is quite short code - as I gave a code example that AI helped create) and then asking for confirmation if they're very different (and it could allow them to correct it if necessary). That would help prevent incorrectly given ratings more automatically.

Edited by uk1000
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3 hours ago, uk1000 said:

One seller asked "4.3 star why?" to a buyer and the buyer then said it was a miss-click and that he wanted to change it to 5. The seller then suggested he could contact CS to change it (since that was the only way it could be changed). The seller was then given an account warning (and has now lost his Fiverr account, maybe because of another rating warning too). Maybe that was a bit confrontational to ask that way but it still shows it's very risky.

 

This is my other concern as well. Some sellers might just be blunt by nature (or just not speaking English that well.) They might think that they're doing the right thing... but they aren't, and that's definitely scary. 

3 hours ago, uk1000 said:

eg. "[seller name] would like some clarification about the review you gave and suggestions for anything that they could do to improve") where they could leave a reply. When it gives them that automatic message with the option to reply it could also give an option for them to click something like "I made an error when entering the review or rating". That could then give a chance to correct it or direct them to CS to change it. That would stop the risk for sellers while also getting them more info on reviews that indicated that the seller could improve in some ways.

I like this. Maybe encourage people to use it sparingly (because imagine spamming buyers...) but having a system could feel 'better'. 

 

 

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13 hours ago, Kesha said:
    •  “If you had a good experience, please leave a review".

So, we aren't supposed to say, "Please leave a review" and "Good experience" in a sentence when asking customers to review an order? This has left me guessing the correct wording to encourage customers to leave a review. Can you specify the permitted wording for asking for reviews that won't get our accounts flagged by the system so soliciting reviews?

For example, can we ask buyers something like, "Would you like to review the quality of my delivered work?" once the order is delivered to the client?

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12 hours ago, kingpirux said:

you should also mention that is important to use that exact words every time because is going to be reviewed by an AI, so going out of the pre trained scope could cause the AI to go against the freelancer, always.

Hey @kingpirux! I appreciate your concerns about this but please allow me to clarify. Feedback-related warnings are always manually given. Sometimes, certain words can trigger a flag alerting users that their message MAY violate ToS. From there, everything is manually reviewed by our dedicated staff on the Customer Support team before any official warnings are issued.

 

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13 hours ago, katakatica said:

 

I never liked this advice (even if it probably works very well.) I also think it's awesome to have some clear guidelines, @Kesha, so thank you for writing this! 

However, I'll share what I think personally (even if perhaps I won't be very popular with this point of view.) 

For me, asking for a review seems a bit strange after the buyer has decided not to leave one (especially if they are prompted by Fiverr as well.) I do however check-in with them two days or so after delivery to make sure all is good. 

That being said, what I'm not sure I can agree with the most (even if it seems fine as per the TOS) is tactfully asking buyers about a certain rating, especially if we think it was an accident. 

In my mind (and perhaps I'm just a weird one) it's the intent that matters. It's still manipulation, even if I'm being nice. I could say 'oh hey, I've noticed that perhaps my communication could have been better, was there anything I could improve on?' knowing fully well that the buyer likely made a mistake... My intention in that case won't be me wanting to improve, but wanting the review to be better. As subtle as it is, it can still influence the client.

I do understand that people make mistakes (especially when there is a new system that not every buyer seems to understand well yet) but I'm not sure I should be the one teaching them how it works (mostly due to the fear of pressuring them in case they actually were unhappy.)

That being said, I also don't like complaining if I don't like the food in a restaurant (or similar things) so perhaps I'm just worried about potential confrontation. I'm curious to see how other people think about this!

@katakatica! Thanks for sharing your perspectives. I agree with you, intent is what matters the most in cases like these. That is why before initiating any amendments to any feedback, our CS team evaluates things case by case. Another viewpoint I'd like to add is that though asking buyers to clarify a rating might influence them to change their initial rating this should never be the primary driving force for asking for clarification. Sellers who are looking to improve and succeed long-term should do this to genuinely get insight on how they can improve for future orders. 

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11 hours ago, vickieito said:

I agree with @katakatica - I think it's great that we have clear guidelines from Fiverr about asking or following up on reviews left by customers, but I wouldn't even mention reviews after making a delivery. I think even mentioning the review (or asking "How can I improve?") puts undue pressure on the buyer, especially if they gave you less than a perfect score.

I have one statement in my delivery message that lets buyers know that leaving honest reviews is appreciated because it lets other buyers know how it is to work with me. Other than that, I don't follow up after the delivery unless the buyer didn't even acknowledge the delivery (and at that point, I do reach out to let the buyer know that the order will auto-close, what it means, and how to request more review time/revisions if they need it).

 

I noticed buyers can change their reviews if it wasn't the review that they wanted to leave (and CS seems okay with making the change). If buyers change their reviews, sellers should be able to change their responses to the review. Otherwise, sellers may come off as insensitive or rude because their responses are no longer relevant to the new review left by the buyer.

Thanks @vickieito for sharing a few of your best practices! I think the delivery message and right before auto-completion can be great touch points for kindly nudging a buyer for a review. Concerning your suggestion to allow sellers to amend their reply, I think that's a fantastic point. I have shared it with the rest of the team for their consideration. 

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14 hours ago, kingpirux said:

you should also mention that is important to use that exact words every time because is going to be reviewed by an AI, so going out of the pre trained scope could cause the AI to go against the freelancer, always.

100%! My experience with the Fiverr chatbot has been terrible. It can barely give low-quality canned responses, so I have absolutely no faith in their AI system accurately interpreting messages with a buyer. 

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3 hours ago, rajamani255 said:

So, we aren't supposed to say, "Please leave a review" and "Good experience" in a sentence when asking customers to review an order? This has left me guessing the correct wording to encourage customers to leave a review. Can you specify the permitted wording for asking for reviews that won't get our accounts flagged by the system so soliciting reviews?

For example, can we ask buyers something like, "Would you like to review the quality of my delivered work?" once the order is delivered to the client?

Hi! I'd be happy to help clarify and provide an example of what you can say to buyers to leave a review. The issue with the statement, “If you had a good experience, please leave a review.", is that it can be interpreted by the buyer as meaning they should only leave a review if they had a good experience, but they should forego reviewing if they had a bad one. A better alternative would be something similar to what @vickieitosaid, "I'd appreciate it if you could leave me an honest review because it lets other buyers know how it is to work with me." I hope this helps @rajamani255!

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@Kesha

 

I use these sentences always.

"Please don't forget to accept the order and leave your honest review for the order"

A Fiverr Customer Team Member learned me to ask review in that way.

From next I asked in that way and never get any problem at all. But in New Review system, they are giving so many tips but giving low raring for value of money. That's really not right. Bcz if he is unhappy then why he is giving big tips also.

 

Another Question for you: Why there is no level ground for Ads system. Recently I saw Level 1, Level 2 and Top Rated all are getting Ads for their all gigs (rating and non rating ). In previous, there was needed 20 reviews to get promotion. 

 

Now if every member is getting promotion then how I can fight with them ! I think there is no level ground to contest now. You should make a standard to get Ada for certain gig. Like New gig for Level 1 or 2 should not get promotion. Or there should be minimum 10 reviews to get promotion on.

 

I am not sure we can still fight with new promotion. May be we can fight with New Level and rating system time to time.

 

Not sure what says the other top contributor in the community ----- @catwriter @smartdezigns@uk1000

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I politely ask for feedback when delivering, then once an order auto-completes I'll drop them a message to let them know that I'm still available if they need anything. If they come back after a good time away, which is often the case, I want that to be the first message they see.

Our poor fellow humans are generally overstimulated in their daily lives, so on a personal level I don't want to add to that. On a professional level, and trying to think from the perspective of a buyer, asking for feedback again is tactless and spammy. They more than likely saw the first request. 

I find it interesting that we're being encouraged to do it, as if maybe we're supposed to make up for flaws in the system when it will most likely result in a lower rating just for being a nuisance. 

Edited by mandyzines
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