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JSS

Active Member
Jemiscoe C Member Since: Nov 10, 2019
2871 of 2,989

Hi Lucinda,

 

     I'm dealing with almost the same exact thing, except mine dropped to 93%. I have nothing but 5-star ratings or open contracts. Someone else said that it could be that a past client has left us a negative private review. I'm not sure what else could be the cause of a drop in our JSS score. It shouldn't be your client who hasn't paid or responded because I think they have 14-days to do so, and I think that it wouldn't reflect your score unless it's been two months, so...I don't know. I wish I could offer you more than commiserating with you.

 

Best,

 

Jem~

Community Guru
Richard W Member Since: Jun 22, 2017
2872 of 2,989

Jemiscoe C wrote:

Hi Lucinda,

 

     I'm dealing with almost the same exact thing, except mine dropped to 93%. I have nothing but 5-star ratings or open contracts. Someone else said that it could be that a past client has left us a negative private review.


It needn't have been negative. I believe (but I'm not certain) that an 8 out of 10 private rating could explain your 93% JSS.

 

Anyway, I'm afraid there's nothing you can do about it. Just continue doing the excellent work that you've been doing so far (judging by your feedback), and pray to the god Upwork-Algorithm, whose ways are mysterious and to whom we all bow.

 

 

 

Active Member
Lucinda J Member Since: Aug 19, 2019
2873 of 2,989

Thanks so much Richard!

Active Member
Lucinda J Member Since: Aug 19, 2019
2874 of 2,989

Well right after I posted this I went back and looked at my stats & my percentage of "clients that would recommend me" dropped to 91%. So it was negative feedback from a client that dropped my JSS. Not really sure what it was I did but I'm moving foward and working on getting my score back to 100%. A few things/tips I've learned through this process. 

I don't feel that our Job Success Scores are random or arbitrary. Upwork uses a specific algorithm to calculate every freelancer’s score. I know that doesn’t mean you can just “flip a switch” and improve your score overnight, but if I follow the right steps, I'm sure I can always improve my JSS fairly quickly— 

Also, as I was skimming through Upworks Freelancers I saw many of them with a 100% score who were barely scraping by. On the flipside, there were plenty of freelancers in the 70%, or even 60% range who are doing fine. Not that I want to have those percentages, just making a point. Futhermore, when clients are reviewing freelancers, they aren’t looking solely at Job Success Scores. Proposals, profile overview, and hourly rate are taken into account too. Even a score of 100% is only one small piece of information that makes up a much bigger picture. Upwork doesn’t make any functional distinction between freelancers with a Job Success Score of 90% to 100%. If you have a 90% or above, clients are considered to be “consistently HAPPY” with your work — and that’s enough to get you some pretty awesome perks, place you in Upwork’s pool of Top Rated freelancers, and get your profile seen by every client looking for a freelancer in your field. When clients search for freelancers, Upwork offers 3 options when filtering for Job Success Score: Any job success, 80% & up, and 90% & up. There’s no “95% & up” or “100% only” option, so as long as you’re at 90% or above, you will show up in every relevant search.

Community Guru
Kelly B Member Since: Jan 1, 2016
2875 of 2,989

Lucinda J wrote:

Well right after I posted this I went back and looked at my stats & my percentage of "clients that would recommend me" dropped to 91%. So it was negative feedback from a client that dropped my JSS. Not really sure what it was I did but I'm moving foward and working on getting my score back to 100%. A few things/tips I've learned through this process. 

 


I feel like I'm in the minority but this continues to bug me. The private feedback, which can be as simple as two people just not having the same personality traits, has SUCH an impact. And I honestly don't even think clients have the slightest idea that what they think is a simple piece of feedback can have such an effect on our scores. Her score went from 100% to 91% because of one bad private feedback? And she doesn't know what she did wrong? Seems like a pretty weird way to do business.

 

At B&M job, that would be like if an employee suddenly got a decrease in their salary, because the boss was unhappy about something, but then didn't say what. So you have employees you're not happy with, but you can't expect them to get any better, because they don't know what they did wrong. Or even worse, they DIDN'T do anything wrong; the boss was actually just being unreasonable.

Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
2876 of 2,989

Kelly B wrote:

Lucinda J wrote:

Well right after I posted this I went back and looked at my stats & my percentage of "clients that would recommend me" dropped to 91%. So it was negative feedback from a client that dropped my JSS. Not really sure what it was I did but I'm moving foward and working on getting my score back to 100%. A few things/tips I've learned through this process. 

 


I feel like I'm in the minority but this continues to bug me. The private feedback, which can be as simple as two people just not having the same personality traits, has SUCH an impact. And I honestly don't even think clients have the slightest idea that what they think is a simple piece of feedback can have such an effect on our scores. Her score went from 100% to 91% because of one bad private feedback? And she doesn't know what she did wrong? Seems like a pretty weird way to do business.

 

At B&M job, that would be like if an employee suddenly got a decrease in their salary, because the boss was unhappy about something, but then didn't say what. So you have employees you're not happy with, but you can't expect them to get any better, because they don't know what they did wrong. Or even worse, they DIDN'T do anything wrong; the boss was actually just being unreasonable.


Her "would recommend" score is 91%. That means not every client would 100% recommend her. Her JSS is 95%. Each job has a significant impact because she has only completed 13. Public-facing businesses of any kind including freelance businesses must accept that they will receive feedback and they can't control what that feedback will be. We are fortunate that at least on Upwork the feedback comes only from clients we have actually worked with. Brick and mortar businesses get fake reviews from people who were never even their customers.

Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
2877 of 2,989

Kelly B wrote:

Lucinda J wrote:

Well right after I posted this I went back and looked at my stats & my percentage of "clients that would recommend me" dropped to 91%. So it was negative feedback from a client that dropped my JSS. Not really sure what it was I did but I'm moving foward and working on getting my score back to 100%. A few things/tips I've learned through this process. 

 


I feel like I'm in the minority but this continues to bug me. The private feedback, which can be as simple as two people just not having the same personality traits, has SUCH an impact. And I honestly don't even think clients have the slightest idea that what they think is a simple piece of feedback can have such an effect on our scores. Her score went from 100% to 91% because of one bad private feedback? And she doesn't know what she did wrong? Seems like a pretty weird way to do business.

 

At B&M job, that would be like if an employee suddenly got a decrease in their salary, because the boss was unhappy about something, but then didn't say what. So you have employees you're not happy with, but you can't expect them to get any better, because they don't know what they did wrong. Or even worse, they DIDN'T do anything wrong; the boss was actually just being unreasonable.


Freelancers are not employees. Clients are not bosses. If you want to draw an analogy with the B&M world, then sub-par private feedback from a client is kind of like if one of the company's clients/customers decides to take their business elsewhere and chooses not to tell their account rep why. If it comes as a total surprise to the account rep and she/he has no clue why it might have happened, then they are not as on-the-ball as they need to be when it comes to client management. Alternatively, it's a bit like if a restaurant diner leaves a good tip and is cordial to their server, but tells their friend the next day that their experience fell short in some specific way. 

 

It's not a client's responsibility to help FLs improve their performance. And it's especially futile to expect that degree of investment from clients contracting one-off projects. That's just the way it is.

 

Active Member
Lucinda J Member Since: Aug 19, 2019
2878 of 2,989

To better understand how Upwork’s Job Success Score is calculated, you first need to understand something called a “Net Promoter Score”.

NET PROMOTER SCORE (NPS) is a popular metric used by companies to measure customer satisfaction.

The way it works is simple:

  • Companies ask a single question, “On a scale of 1 to 10, How likely are you to recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?”
  • All the answers are put into a basic formula, and the result is your Net Promoter Score.

How this ties into job success score?

UPWORK FROM THE CLIENT’S PERSPECTIVE…

  • When a project is marked complete, in addition to awarding stars and writing a public review, Upwork also asks clients to privately rate the freelancer. Other than the “Reason for ending contract” dropdown, they’re asked just one question:

How likely are you to recommend this freelancer to a friend or colleague?

  • Yup, it’s the question for Net Promoter Score. Behind the scenes, Upwork tallies these private ratings and incorporates them into your Job Success Score.
  • Luckily, even though the formula for Job Success Score is a secret, the formula for Net Promoter Score is public knowledge. Here’s how it works:

Depending on what number people choose, they’re put into a different category:

  • Anyone who chooses a 9 or 10 is considered a “Promoter”
  • Anyone who chooses a 7 or 8 is considered a “Passive”
  • And anyone who chooses something from 1 to 6 is considered a “Detractor”

Then, the number of people in each of these 3 categories are plugged into the following formula:

(Promoter Ratings – Detractor Ratings) / (Total Ratings) * 100

  • So if you survey 10 people and all 10 are Promoters, you get a perfect score of “100”. If all 10 are Detractors, you get the worst possible score of -100. Simple enough, right?

The counterintuitive part comes when you factor in Passives, which can actually hurt your score.

Here’s a freelancing example: 

  • Let’s say you’ve completed ten jobs and all your clients rated you either a 9 or a 10. That would give you the best possible Net Promoter Score of “100”. But on your eleventh job, you get your first 8. Now your score drops to a 91. Here’s the math:

(10 Promoters – 0 Detractors) / (11 Total Jobs) * 100 = 10 / 11 * 100 = 91

  • Clients don’t know how Job Success Score is calculated, so you may get a good review from a client who privately rates you “only” an 8/10. Depending on your history, that 8 could lower your Net Promoter Score just enough that it also hurts your Job Success Score a bit.
  • When freelancers complain about losing a few percentage points of Job Success seemingly out of nowhere, it could really be a case of clients giving an 8 or below rating in private feedback. Your Job Success probably won’t drop from just a single 7 or 8 rating, but if you want to improve an already low score, you need to convert as many Passives to Promoters as you can.

But all this actually goes deeper than just private client feedback.

In Upwork’s official help center, they give a rough formula for how they look at Job Success Scores:

 

(successful contract outcomes-negative contract outcomes)  / total outcomes

 

Look familiar? That’s right, it’s Net Promoter Score again!

  • Luckily, Job Success Scores are a lot more lenient than Net Promoter Scores. Having a few “Passive” contract outcomes (like clients not leaving you a review) won’t immediately drop your score down. But if you get enough of these results (maybe none of your recent clients left you a review), then penalties will start to kick in.
  • While it’s technically called a Job Success Score, you may want to think of it as a Job Amazingness Score. lol. Don’t get complacent with decent work and average results — being an “ok” freelancer isn’t enough to get a 100% Job Success Score. If you really want to succeed, you need to provide clients with OUTSTANDING service.

WHICH BRINGS ME TO MY GOALS TO IMPROVE MY SCORE.

Taken directly from my work journal.

 

Find opportunities to over-deliver at every stage of the project

Going above and beyond for your clients doesn’t mean you need to bend over backwards. There are many easy ways to go the extra mile.

 

A FEW WAYS TO IMPRESS YOUR CLIENTS:

  • Offer multiple options when possible. Clients love when you show that you put a bit of extra thought into their project. You could offer a couple of options for headlines / subject lines, logo sketches, website templates — this only takes a few minutes but shows the client that you care (and you can bet that not all freelancers are doing this)
  • Be enthusiastic- Friendliness is just as important as professionalism in online freelancing. Show your clients that you enjoy working with them and are eager for their business to succeed. Keep your messages upbeat and helpful — your clients will appreciate your engagement and look forward to seeing your finished product.
  • Respond promptly- Clients want to feel like they are the center of your universe. One way to show them they are (even if they’re not) is by quickly replying to their emails and messages. It usually doesn’t take very long, and it’s something you need to do anyway, so why not do it right away? With the Upwork app, you can get message notifications straight to your phone, making it super easy to leave a response wherever you are. Sometimes I’ll respond with something as brief as: “Just saw this, I’ll get back to you ASAP” which is enough to put their mind at ease and leave a great impression.

THIS DOESN’T MEAN THAT YOU NEED TO BE AVAILABLE 24/7 (you don’t have to monitor your email at 4am on a Saturday), but I’ve heard too many Old Pros spread the terrible advice that you should play “hard to get” and wait at least a day before responding to anything. Clients appreciate when you go above and beyond for them so give proactive updates.

I read a blog post where one SSFU student took on a project that had a 2-week deadline. But it never occurred to him to send the client a short status update every few days (which would have taken about 3 minutes to do). Although he delivered great work at the end, the client said that they wished they’d heard from the freelancer at least once during those 2 weeks.

 

Also, DON’T RUSH INTO NEW CONTRACTS TOO QUICKLY

One of the best ways to ensure your project is successful is to get all of your ducks in a row right from the start. As tempting as it can be to accept a contract the second you get an offer, you’ll want to discuss the major details with the client before making things official.

  • Deliverables, deadlines, and billing should be agreed upon in writing before kicking things off to make sure that you and your client are on the same page.
  • If for some reason things fall through or the client becomes unresponsive before confirming the details, it’s way better if it happens before you start the contract. Waiting for a client to confirm details before officially accepting a job will protect you from having to close a contract without payment.
  • If you already have a contract open but your client has gone AWOL, your first instinct might be to leave the job open and hope they come back.

But according to Upwork, that could hurt you in the long run. As a general rule of thumb, if a client is unresponsive (say, no contact for over 2 weeks) and no payment has been exchanged, you should go ahead and close the contract.

Closing an inactive contract with no payments made will still hurt your Job Success Score a bit, but it’ll be better for you than leaving it open for months with no activity. (There’s a lot more leeway if a payment has already been made, and this rule doesn’t apply to those situations.)

Now, keep in mind that most high-quality clients are very busy. Just because they don’t respond to you in a day or two — even a week or two — doesn’t mean they’ve ditched your contract.

On another blog post, a lady once had a client go nearly two months without providing her feedback. But instead of closing the job, she kept it open for 2 reasons:

1) She had already received the first milestone payment, and

2) Since she put effort into building a relationship over the course of the project, she knew the client was probably busy with her five kids while they were off from school.

This is an extreme example, and there aren’t many cases where a six-week absence will still turn out alright. The point is to use your judgement. One closed contract with no review won’t hurt your Job Success Score as much as it would if you left it open and inactive for months.

Active Member
Mimoza Y Member Since: Nov 13, 2019
2879 of 2,989

Hello,

My JSS dropped from 100% to 97% after the latest update. It is not a big deal for now but I really wanna know what causes JSS to drop.

 

  • 5 star public feedbacks for each project that I completed
  • "Would recommend" percentage is 100%
  • There is only one job that has been open for couple weeks but it was paid.

So how does this algorithm work?

Community Guru
Petra R Member Since: Aug 3, 2011
2880 of 2,989

Mimoza Y wrote:

Hello,

My JSS dropped from 100% to 97% after the latest update. It is not a big deal for now but I really wanna know what causes JSS to drop.

 

  • 5 star public feedbacks for each project that I completed
  • "Would recommend" percentage is 100%
  • There is only one job that has been open for couple weeks but it was paid.

So how does this algorithm work?


There are (for all usual intents and purposes) only 4 things that can make your JSS drop

 

  1. Poor private feedback
  2. Contracts that close without any money having ever been paid, are cancelled without any money having ever been paid, or which have been fully refunded.
  3. Contracts that are open without any money having ever been paid for 2+ months
  4. The calculation window changing or good outcomes falling out of the calculation window, hence making the not-so-great outcomes in the calculation window weigh more heavily.

The fact that your "Clients who would recommend" percentage is 100% doesn't mean much because that only updates every X (exact number unknown, someone said 5) contracts so whatever caused it might not be reflected yet.

 

If 2., 3., and 4. don't apply, one of  the contracts that closed between the last two updates came with not so great private feedback. If only one contract ended between the last two updates, it was the private feedback on that.

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