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nikkigaskins
Member

Bummed, but should I be?

I recently completed a project for a client who gave me an AWESOME review, much longer than what most clients leave...but he left less than a 5-star rating.

 

I'm trypically used to getting 5 stars and found myself a bit bummed by the score. He said he'd like to work with me in the future, but I'm scared to because I don't want him to give me anything lower than a 5. 

 

Am I I wrong for feeling that way? Also, will anything lower than a 5 lower my JSS?

 

Prior to JSS, I would have just brushed it off and moved on to the next project.

 

But I find myself analyzing over what I could have done wrong. Darn you, JSS! LOL.

 

Thanks,

Nikki

29 REPLIES 29
yfalsada
Member

Hey, I'm unsure as to what effect it will has on yours JSS (Though I assume it shouldn't have any?) but I'd suggest you contact the client and ask him/her to give you feedback on your score (If it really matters to you!). If they gave you anything less than five, there has to be a reason for that. Rather than concerning yourself too much with the score, try to find the reason and it shouldn't happen again ๐Ÿ™‚

lol no, don't contact the client. You look like a desperate insecure whiner.

 

Some people never give perfect scores. Move on.

I agree, Jennifer.

 

It was a 4.8, but I'm just moving on. Unfortunately, despite his rave review and because of the nature of Upwork ever since JSS, I will likely avoid future work with him.

 

Clients don't realize how crucial ratings are to our livlihood on this platform.

 

As for Yousif's comment, "If they gave you anything less than five, there has to be a reason for that.."

 

Nah...I don't think so. LOL. 

 

I've actually had some clients say they don't give 5 stars...makes no sense to me. Oh, well...a 4.8 every once in a while is to be expected I suppose.

The problem with clients is they can poop all over you and you have to find a way to deal with it. However you deal with it. It's something harder to deal with when you're used to corporate where all they want to do is "foster your success." Clients don't care you or your success or if you're growing or any of the other stuff corporate tries to blow up your skirt. 

 

I got an invite yesterday from a chick who gives 1-3 stars to all of her freelancers. Definitely wasn't going to bid on her gig.


@Nikki G wrote:

I agree, Jennifer.

 

 

 

I've actually had some clients say they don't give 5 stars...makes no sense to me. Oh, well...a 4.8 every once in a while is to be expected I suppose.


 It always surprises me how often clients (including other platforms, since I'm new here) DO give a perfect rating.  To me, the best person you've ever worked with on a given type of project is a 5. Anyone else who does a great job but doesn't parallel that experience is something a little bit less.  And, it would be surprising if many people were actually a perfect 5 in each of the categories listed--usually when I work with a contractor he or she has strengths and weaknesses, rather than being equally good at timeliness, communication, quality of work, etc.

jessicasimko
Member


@Nikki G wrote:

I recently completed a project for a client who gave me an AWESOME review, much longer than what most clients leave...but he left less than a 5-star rating.

 

I'm trypically used to getting 5 stars and found myself a bit bummed by the score. He said he'd like to work with me in the future, but I'm scared to because I don't want him to give me anything lower than a 5. 

 

Am I I wrong for feeling that way? Also, will anything lower than a 5 lower my JSS?

 

Prior to JSS, I would have just brushed it off and moved on to the next project.

 

But I find myself analyzing over what I could have done wrong. Darn you, JSS! LOL.

 

Thanks,

Nikki


I could have written this exact post, word for word, down to your exact concerns about the JSS.  I got my first less than 5 this past week at a 4.85, with good comments and it stressed me out because of the JSS. ๐Ÿ˜ž 

Jessica...

 

Have you noticed if your JSS was impacted...or is it too soon to tell?

Ok, so now 4.8 or 4.85 is a bad score. Are you guys serious? ๐Ÿ™‚

-----------
"Where darkness shines like dazzling light"   โ€”William Ashbless


@Rene K wrote:

Ok, so now 4.8 or 4.85 is a bad score. Are you guys serious? ๐Ÿ™‚


Not really but yes because of the JSS impact which will always be unknown.  


@Nikki G wrote:

Jessica...

 

Have you noticed if your JSS was impacted...or is it soon to tell?


 

Just happened this past week. Will find out next Sunday. I worry more about the private feedback on that one because if public feedback wasn't a 5 then private feedback isn't likely a 10. But, I also had a client switch credit cards on me - so he closed a contract and asked for a refund before opening a different one. And I closed like 4-5 others too. So...per usual... whatever happens will remain a mystery because I have no idea what affects what despite what people try to guess is true. The non-transparency of it all is what kills me.  

 

Maybe we can share experiences next week... ๐Ÿ™‚ 

kat303
Member

Did you enjoy working with this client? Did they pay you quickly? Was the work interesting? Were there any communication issues (such as no replies from him.). Was this client easy to work with?

 

When you answer those questions, then you'll know whether to work with him again or not. Personally, stars don't pay my bills, money does.


@Kathy T wrote:

Did you enjoy working with this client? Did they pay you quickly? Was the work interesting? Were there any communication issues (such as no replies from him.). Was this client easy to work with?

 

When you answer those questions, then you'll know whether to work with him again or not. Personally, stars don't pay my bills, money does.


 

I wouldn't likely work with the client again even if all answers were yes. Since the impact to the JSS is unknown. I can't afford to have a low JSS because a low JSS won't bring the work that pays the bills.  

Exactly!

Focus on money, not stars. I had a client recently try to bait and switch me. Yeah, good luck buddy. I'm sure I was rated a 1. Don't currrr. Want my money.


@Jennifer M wrote:

Focus on money, not stars. I had a client recently try to bait and switch me. Yeah, good luck buddy. I'm sure I was rated a 1. Don't currrr. Want my money.


That's exactly what I am doing. One client, who didn't give 5 stars isn't the issue, necessarily although who knows how that impacts your JSS but it's the unknown private feedback that concerns me. If they give less than 5 stars in public feedback, then they weren't 100% satisfied so private feedback could be low and they were just being "nice" in public feedback. I'll never know though but it's a risk I'm not willing to take.  If I want to make money, unfortunately I have to concentrate on my JSS - that's (sadly) how this site works. A 4.85 wouldn't bother me much otherwise. One repeat client, like this, isn't worth the many, many other jobs I could potentially not get if this one client drives my score down because I keep doing jobs for her.

 

What you are saying applies to the real world, not Upworks all mysterious JSS world.  

If you are confident in what you do, you will average out the crap reviews. I expect my JSS to drop but at the same time, I have others who have rated me well.

 

The killer for me is long term contracts where the customer keeps adding milestones. It's great for money, but inevitably I will do something wrong. Longterm contracts look good but then that 1 mistake kills you. For instance, I have this one customer who has been with me for 3-4 weeks. He throws me about $100/day in work, which is great. We've been doing swimmingly but ran into a roadblock this week where he's not crazy about what I've done. So, this 1 bad experience might kill my review when he's finally done even though he's been happy up until now. 

 

So, longterm contracts are great for money, but sometimes they can sting you. But for the most part, if you focus on money and doing a good job, the JSS will follow.

 

I'm trying to get into the Writer's Pro group and I guess they want a 90% JSS. So now I really care about it. I'm not confident in my next JSS update though.

 

It really does suck on some levels. I don't think 1 review should kill your score. I think the only way to combat it is to have a good history of good scores.

I applied to the writers pro group a few days ago. I've yet to hear back anything. ๐Ÿ˜ข

I get mainly 5 stars, but the occasional 4.8, 4.6... However, these clients invariably also give a glowing written review. So I'm happy with that, and allow the client their prerogative not to give a perfect 5 score. The alternative is to call for a system where there is only either a Perfect 5 stars or a bad anything less than 5 stars. And this is the exact reason why they say they introduced the JSS in the first place, because of the ever-increasing assumption that only a perfect 5 counts.

 

So I usually take my 4.8s and 4.6s on the chin, and if I like the client may well work with them again. However, if they're small jobs, ungrateful or uncommunicative clients, etc, then I can suddenly become very busy.


@Stephen B wrote:

I get mainly 5 stars, but the occasional 4.8, 4.6... However, these clients invariably also give a glowing written review. So I'm happy with that, and allow the client their prerogative not to give a perfect 5 score. The alternative is to call for a system where there is only either a Perfect 5 stars or a bad anything less than 5 stars. 


 This "perfect 5 is what you should get and anything less is bad" is exactly what Upwork created with the JSS scores.

 

 

Dang! We think exactly alike. Lol

 

In a way stars and JSS CAN impact your ability to make money on this platform despite whether the client was easy to work with or not. Clients don't realize the huge impact they have on our ability to make money on here.

I don't want to disillusion anyone unnecessarily but when it comes to JSS, all assumptions are suspect. It's generally understood among freelancers who have pondered JSS & the relative importance of private feedback (clients who would recommend you) and public feedback (star rating) that a low private feedback (meaning anything less than 9) in combination with a 5 star public feedback can damage JSS, and that some clients do indeed give 5 stars publicly but a low public feedback, perhaps in order to avoid the stigma of being perceived as a client who gives low feedback. That being the case, I think a feedback score such as 4.85 probably reflects a decent private feedback score, because clients who give 5 stars publicly and baskstab freelancers privately are probably not devious enough to give 4.85 public feedback.

 

If anyone thinks this is far-fetched, then consider why it is that there are many freelancers who bemoan the fact that they have high star ratings and rather low JSS -- a likely explanation is that their clients frequently gave low private feedback while giving much higher public feedback; either that, or they traded higher public feedback for refunds, a tactic that's known to backfire on the JSS.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce


@John K wrote:

I don't want to disillusion anyone unnecessarily but when it comes to JSS, all assumptions are suspect. It's generally understood among freelancers who have pondered JSS & the relative importance of private feedback (clients who would recommend you) and public feedback (star rating) that a low private feedback (meaning anything less than 9) in combination with a 5 star public feedback can damage JSS, and that some clients do indeed give 5 stars publicly but a low public feedback, perhaps in order to avoid the stigma of being perceived as a client who gives low feedback. That being the case, I think a feedback score such as 4.85 probably reflects a decent private feedback score, because clients who give 5 stars publicly and baskstab freelancers privately are probably not devious enough to give 4.85 public feedback.

 

If anyone thinks this is far-fetched, then consider why it is that there are many freelancers who bemoan the fact that they have high star ratings and rather low JSS -- a likely explanation is that their clients frequently gave low private feedback while giving much higher public feedback; either that, or they traded higher public feedback for refunds, a tactic that's known to backfire on the JSS.


 Then how does this model work when freelancers have NO idea why their scores are low? How do they improve? It's like a passive aggressive underhanded business model. 

david_gregory
Member

I understand exactly what you are going through. I just had two contracts close where I got less than five. One client just gave me fours all the way down and then the other gave me fours in most of the categories. They left decent comments and stated that they would like to work with me again but I would probably be hesitant to do so. I know ratings don't pay the bills, but ratings do have an effect on my ability to get more work. I wouldn't knowingly take a job where I think I will get a lower rating.

 

I think the hardest part is not understanding why you get a lower rating. I never argue about people rating me for quality or skill because that's subjective but I hate it when clients rate me lower for things like deadlines, availability, communication or cooperation. I have never missed a deadline, always respond to emails within 24 hours and do my best to meet the client's needs.

 

I think the one client marked me lower in four categories because I negotiated a higher rate of pay and a longer deadline since I couldn't meet her original deadline (all done before being hired). I met all the new terms and even beat the deadline, but she still marked me lower on deadlines and availability. If you agree to my terms, you shouldn't mark me lower because I negotiated something different from the initial terms. If the client doesn't like my terms, just hire someone else. I've actually been hit with lower scores for deadlines a number of times now even though I meet the deadline--it's just a new deadline that I negotiated with the client before being hired.

 

Anyway, I never contact the client and ask why I was rated the way I was or ask the client to change it. I try to shrug it off but I hate having those two jobs at the top of my list (particularly after having mainly fives all the way down). We'll see if I remain top rated after the score is updated.

 

 

 

katrinabeaver
Member

I have a lot of five star reviews but some less than that.  You can't please everyone.  You are a freelanceer, don't let it get you down.  Every smart client knows a perfect 5 star feedback is B.S.  and that is the clients you want to work with because they are serious business people that know you can't please everyone.

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"

I said "The alternative is to call for a system where there is only either a Perfect 5 stars or a bad anything less than 5 stars. And this is the exact reason why they say they introduced the JSS in the first place, because of the ever-increasing assumption that only a perfect 5 counts".

 

Jessica said "This perfect 5 is what you should get and anything less is bad" is exactly what Upwork created with the JSS scores"

 

So they've launched us into a circular spiral of doom...

Jessica asked, "Then how does this model work when freelancers have NO idea why their scores are low? How do they improve? It's like a passive aggressive underhanded business model. "

 

Precisely, and I've done my share of critiquing JSS in Upwork Community. So, paraphrasing the AA prayer, I think freelancers should focus on things they can control and accept things they cannot, such as JSS. For me, that means doing the best work I'm capable of doing, pretty much. I'm lucky enough to have had a decent JSS from the outset, but I NEVER take it for granted, and I commend anyone who challenges it and proposes improvements, even though I fear such efforts will prove futile.

__________________________________________________
"No good deed goes unpunished." -- Clare Boothe Luce
iaabraham
Member

It's easy to say โ€œforget about stars and JSS", but with some clients, these factors mean the difference between a rejection and a hire.

 

I always feel unecessarily hurt when I get less than 5 stars, even though - if I'm being honest about it - I know that I can never truly do a perfect job.

 

The criteria of Quality and Skills are always subjective, but I have gone back to clients who have unfairly marked me low on points such as Deadlines and Availability, because some things do deserve 5 stars. And if they don't have a good explanation for the score, I don't work with them again.

 

Anyway, to address your concern, no - I don't think less than 5 stars will impact your score. Last month, 2 or 3 contracts of mine ended with less than 5 stars and since then, my JSS has gone up / stayed the same.

 

Nikki, your work history is great and I think potential clients will take notice of the long lovely review he wrote rather than the rating.

 

*Edited to add: one of my best and longest written reviews on Upwork came from a client who left me 4.55 stars on the same contract. But to be fair, I didn't always meet his deadlines Smiley Sad

@Isabelle....your post makes me feel a little better. ๐Ÿ˜Š We will see what happens when the JSS updates shortly.