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Table Of Contents  The Online Freelancing Guide
 >  An Analysis and Review of Popular Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites
      >  Criteria for Choosing Online Freelancing Marketplace Sites

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Feedback System
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Ethical Policies, Fairness and Integrity
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Customer Service and Support
(Page 2 of 2)

Response Time

Having lots of communication methods doesn’t matter much if the company doesn’t respond to support requests in a timely manner. For example, I’ve had experiences with companies who offered email support but would take over a week to respond to queries—not helpful. The aforementioned eternal hold times on the phone also fall into this category.

Responsiveness and Flexibility

By “responsiveness” I am referring to what the customer service person actually does when you get through; after all, responding quickly is important, but responding usefully is even more so. Companies differ greatly in terms of how good their service people are; this is a function of how well they are trained, and in turn, how much money the companies put into this part of their businesses.

Some of the considerations here:

  • Does the person you’re dealing with show that he/she is actually listening and under­standing your concerns?

  • For written communication, do you get personalized replies or just form letters?How well-informed is the support person about the site's operation and procedures?

  • How flexible is the support person? Will the service agent make a real effort to help resolve your problem, or just bureaucratically quote policy to you?

  • Are you able to ask for and receive access to a manager for more difficult issues?
Peer-to-Peer Support

Some freelancing sites implement forums where freelancers can communicate directly among themselves. These can in some cases be a good source of support, with experi­enced users answering common questions and even debating and working through tougher issues.

It’s important to remember, though, that a support forum is not a replacement for proper customer service. Unfortunately, some companies seem to forget this, and the result is that paying customers must rely on the kindness of other customers to help them through even basic problems. The only reason why a freelancing marketplace would set things up this way is to save money, and you know what that means: they don’t value service very much.

Suggestions and Feedback

Finally, everyone likes to know that their voices are being heard. Companies that genuinely care about quality service will provide mechanisms for customers to provide feedback and make suggestions for how to improve their site. Of course, equally important is how good a company's track record is for actually implementing requested changes: do they really listen, or do they just use their "suggestion box" as a place for unhappy customers to let off steam?


Previous Topic/Section
Feedback System
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Pages in Current Topic/Section
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2
Next Page
Ethical Policies, Fairness and Integrity
Next Topic/Section

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Last Site Update: October 21, 2011

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