No, this isn't about viruses or scams. It's about a little known aspect of Fiverr that can trip you up and damage your statistics on the site. If not watched carefully, it could result in your failing to be promoted to the next level, and in a worst case scenario, even demoted a level! Read on...
The issue involves "response rate" and "response time," two metrics Fiverr monitors with all its sellers, In order to help assure happy buyers who want to continue to use the Fiverr service, Response Time refers to how long it takes for us to reply to new messages we receive from buyers. You may have seen one manifestation of that in a statistic that is shown in your gig profile, indicating your recent response time as being an hour, or six hours, or whatever the case may be. Response Rate is a conglomerate look at the reliability of your responses, It is indicated as a percentage of messages actually answered. It's that latter metric that can play havoc, as I'll explain.
This image shows Response Rate from the Analytics page of your Fiverr account. Right now, this one shows at 97%, meaning 97% of the time, messages were answered by the seller. Your response rate may actually be better than that, but due to a weakness in Fiverr right now, let's call it a "snare," it is shown misleadingly lower.
Fiverr sellers will sometimes scratch their heads about why, despite their best efforts to quickly answer all messages, their response rate figure continues to ratchet downwards into dangerous territory. I can't tell you that your situation is identical to this one, but here is a real world scenario that would really help to explain it.
First, understand that, in order to track a seller's responsiveness, Fiverr has automatic measures in place. If a buyer contacts us, we respond in a timely way, and the conversation goes back and forth in quick succession, it's all considered part of the same conversation. Even if the buyer is the last person to say something, failing to answer isn't counted against you. However, and this is the interesting part, if the seller later sends another comment, say, the next day, even if it is simply to say "thank you," Fiverr may consider it to be a new message/new conversation, At that point Fiverr is watching to see when and if you answer it. What we've learned recently is that the length of time between your last post and their new one doesn't have to be very long at all sometimes.
Here's What to Look for!
Let me say thank you very much to Anthony Sweaton for permission to share a recent screen grab which illustrates a situation that has probably happened to pretty much all of us at one time or another, without our noticing or realizing it. First, here's a screen grab that accompanied the post:
What we're seeing is that, as the conversation was going on, a lag occurred. Not a long lag at all. Afterwards, the buyer responded with one additional message, just a courteous followup comment. But notice the green line that divides their new comment from the rest of the conversation, and is beneath a "New Messages" designation.. Despite the relatively brief lapse of time, Fiverr's computer algorithm deemed it the start of a new conversation. That's the snare, When Fiverr considers that a new message/conversation has begun, it then watches to see if there is a reply. If there is not, it counts against the seller in their response rate.
So a situation could easily arise where you have concluded your conversation with the seller, they have accepted your offer, and your attention has been redirected to the order itself. Afterwards, the buyer posts another message to you inbox with something as innocent as a thank you. Fiverr marks it as a "New Message," and if you don't catch it, you get zinged in your response rate. If that happens enough times, your percentage could drop low enough to threaten your current level, or keep you from advancing to the next.
What Can We do About it?
First off, let me say this is just a weakness in Fiverr's current setup, and it's unlikely to be intended to cause mischief. Hopefully at some point, it'll be addressed. But in the meanwhile, the thing to do is to keep a vigilant eye on your inbox conversations with buyers, and watch for any "New Messages" designation and the green line that accompanies it and always answer anything that appears beneath it. Ideally, the answer should be something that provides closure, so the seller doesn't answer yet again a day later and set another "snare" (I don't know whether that would occur, but that would be my fear).
Becoming aware of the "little things" like these can make a big accumulative difference in your success on Fiverr. Be sure to subscribe to The Fit Gig blog, and I'll keep you updated on every new thing I learn!
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