Good Wednesday morning, my dear readers! My week’s been busy, and I hope yours was, too.
As you can probably tell from this post, it’s going to be a little personal. This past week, I got my first bad review.
I knew it had to come sooner or later; not all my clients are happy with my writing style or the finished product for one reason or another (though I’d like to stress that a vast majority have had nice things to say). That’s all right. Even the best have some projects that don’t work out ideally.
This happened to be one of those projects. On Fiverr, I have a certain rate when it comes to writing blog posts, e-books, and so forth. One of the good things about Fiverr (as discussed in this post) is you’re really limited to how much work you’re willing to do for those $5 micro-transactions; it forces you to spell out your rates, which is helpful for both the freelancer and the buyer.
With what this nameless client wanted to do, it would have required a $25 transaction. The client ordered $5.
Here’s a rundown of my thought process:
- Oh, great! A new order!
- Hmm, okay. Blog post about blah blah blah. I can do that.
- Ordered $5. All right.
- Maybe I should tell him my rates.
- No, he’s probably read the gig before he ordered it.
- He wants how many words? But he only ordered X.
- Maybe this is a writing style trial run and he plans to order the whole package if he likes my stuff.
- Come on, Adam. He had to have read the gig before he ordered.
Fast forward a few days, and I send the work off to the client. He sends me a message saying it seems short and that he could only see the title of the blog post. I told him I’d fix it and sent him a new copy, thinking there was a possible glitch on Fiverr, which happens on rare occasions – but it does happen.
A little while later, he sends me the following message:
I have attached both files you sent me. Both files have only _ words. I asked for [more]. A word count is provided for you in Microsoft Word, next time you receive a gig, try using it.
Thank you for your business.”
He then posted a review of my gig, rating me 2.3 stars out of 5 – my first bad review. With the review, he posted for buyers to beware.
I was angry. I was kind of hurt. I didn’t even really know how to respond or if I should at all. So I took my own advice and slept on it. Well, all right, I sent the customer a message clarifying my rates before I realized he posted a review, but other than that, I slept on it.
It stuck in the back of my mind, much as I hate to admit it. Could I have handled it better when he first placed the order? Of course; I’m at least partially at fault. I should have double-checked to make sure he understood what he was purchasing. But did I really need to do that? What was I going to do? This could affect my sales, and it never really needed to!
The next day, I checked my sites and my email, same as every morning. I made up my mind – I was going to write a responding review. Don’t worry; I was going to be civil and explain my case. I wasn’t looking forward to it.
I looked for the review. It was gone.
I can’t ever really know what happened, but I suspect he deleted the review after I explained my case.
I had nothing against the client even after he reviewed my work in such a way; I was ready to chalk it up to a misunderstanding and call it a day. But no. It seems I was delivered.
So what do I take away from the experience to pass on to you?
- Make absolutely certain your customer knows what they’re buying.
- Along the same lines, encourage customers contact you before ordering
- If you have a case to make about a bad review, don’t be afraid to present it – but be civil and be sure to sleep on it first.
What do you do when you get a bad review?
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Happy freelancing and we’ll talk again next week!