Words can lift someone's confidence and self-worth, or snap a roundhouse kick straight at their ego. That's particularly true of reviews left for buyers and sellers in the Fiverr community.
Taking the time to learn how to write a thoughtful, informative review is an important skill for all Fiverr buyers, especially when you understand that they make significant, long-lasting impressions – on both the sellers and their other potential buyers.
Your doer worked hard on your project, and leaving a review is a way to share your time for the benefit of the Fiverr community. So think carefully before skipping the review after your gig is completed. Like feeling lost for words on a first date, some people have trouble deciding exactly what kind of review to leave. Leaving positive reviews is easy for most people. But don't just click a five-star rating and move on. Be specific about how and why this doer excelled for you. What did they do that you liked so much? Was the high rating due to things that went well at the very beginning, or a last-minute change that fixed a problem?
Knowing why you gave a high rating will reinforce a doer's best practices. If you aren't specific, they may not know what element of the project impressed you the most. Or they may not understand how something they did really impressed you in a way that they can repeat for others.
"88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations" - Myles Anderson, Search Engine Land
Some people don't feel comfortable leaving a less-than-perfect review (the old “if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all" etiquette). If a project has been particularly difficult, you might feel compelled to leave excessively negative response, but you don't want to poison the well. In that case, it's okay to take some time and let your reaction breathe so that you can be more objective with your review.
One common pitfall is to worry too much about influencing future purchasers and leave only middle-of-the-road, three-star reviews. The problem with three-star reviews is that people often don't see them as truly being middle-of-the-road or average. They see them as hidden, false negatives. In other words, they suspect that you would have rated them even lower but are trying to be polite. (It's like finishing a long first date but still not having a good idea whether the other person actually likes you or not. Very frustrating.)
Leaving negative reviews is fine – honesty is important. But be careful not to insult the doer and also try not to be judgmental about their intentions. State what specifically about the process made you unhappy so that the doer can learn an important lesson from this review and improve for their next job.
Reviews aren't just valuable for a doer's reputation. There's value for buyers in writing a review as well. It's your chance to really reflect on the process of working with the doer as well as on the final result.
Writing out the review will help you express the highs and lows of the experience, and internalize what you've learned for future commissions. And because doers are able to leave reviews about you as well, your review helps the doer understand how to evaluate the overall experience of working with you as a buyer.
Just like first impressions don't tell the entire story about a person, reviews aren't everything. But they are still extremely helpful to the rest of the community. Profiles and gig descriptions are written by the doers themselves, but reviews can only be written by verified customers. Reviews come only from first-hand experience with that freelancer's process and services.
Future clients who read reviews should understand that a review often tells only one side of a story, and not everyone has the time or skill to write an exhaustive review. Do your part whenever possible by choosing clear, concise, and precise language to say exactly what you mean about the doer's skills and professionalism. Ask yourself: What do you wish you knew about this doer before you started working with them?
How often do you read reviews on Fiverr? Have you ever given or received a review that changed the way you do business on Fiverr? Tell us about it in the comments below.