Aside from the annoyance of losing an order, a cancellation request made by a buyer who placed an order by mistake is also injurious to you as a seller through no fault of your own. Why is it a particular problem, and what can be done about it?
Let's start with the reasons cancellations are a problem. Have a look at the caveats Fiverr mentions if you start down the cancellation road with a client. Here's what appears below a cancellation request before you finalize it:
As indicated, a cancellation will result in a loss of revenue, can hurt your business by lowering your "completion rate," and most significant of all, it can result in injuring you in the search results. And not being found is the kiss of death. Having said that, I'll mention that I do have to routinely cancel orders, and I'm still showing up in search. But I believe Fiverr when they make these claims, and it may be that I'd be doing even better in search if I never cancelled an order. In my own case, other factors may also be weighing in my favor due to my volume of business, so I do advise you to avoid cancellations when you can.
Whatcha Gonna Do?
When the buyer does an "oops" and places an order, and then realizes they shouldn't have for some reason, a cancellation request is the typical result. It wasn't your fault on any level, but if the order is cancelled, those poison pills just mentioned will all be ingested. It just ain't fair!! What did you do to deserve this? And whatcha gonna do about it?
Here's one solution. Ask the buyer to leave the order active for a future project, so they can use it later. Let me give you a real life example from today! A buyer who has purchased from me before placed a new order, then immediately cancelled it because he had made a mistake. He hadn't even filled out the requirements in this case, so the order hadn't gotten underway. Below is my communication with him, and how we resolved it:
(I see that I should have said "stay" rather than "say," but he got the point)
More often than not, when I explain to the buyer that it hurts both them and me to do the cancellation, they are willing to just hold the order open for a future project rather than cancelling, thus saving the situation. As I mentioned, in this case, the order hadn't been finalized, so it was in stasis anyway if not cancelled. But if the order requirements have actually been filled out, what you can do is make the same request and explain that you'll hit Deliver on the order, and they can immediately then request revision, which puts the order on permanent hold.
There are other situations where orders may face the threat of cancellation, and a number of good solutions, that we can talk about in future blog posts.
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