Hello fellow sitters! What do you think about the new performance scores?

asked 2016-07-12 22:03:01 -0600

I just noticed the new performance scores today....what do you all think about them?

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Sorry that I am a bit slow, where do I find these scores? thanks!

Mandy W.'s profile image Mandy W.  ( 2016-07-15 15:59:42 -0600 ) edit

They've just disappeared.

Carmen C.'s profile image Carmen C.  ( 2016-07-17 08:09:33 -0600 ) edit

Mandy: They were on your dashboard when you clicked on it...you could then click again and get the details of your score. Rover is probably working on the scoring app/reporting, so I'm sure we'll see it again soon.

Mary C.'s profile image Mary C.  ( 2016-07-17 18:42:28 -0600 ) edit

I really dislike the way the performance scores effect how you show up in the search. At least every other person to contact me either changes plans or contacts me without reading my whole bio (that i have a cat). It is effecting my ability to get clients when im not the one canceling these bookings

Liz V.'s profile image Liz V.  ( 2017-12-11 12:37:28 -0600 ) edit

9 Answers

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answered 2016-07-13 22:44:42 -0600

1. I'd like to see the information presented as a graph showing my trend over the past n months. Maybe overlayed with a bar representing the average for my area, and the Rover average.

I think context like that would make it more interesting.

2. For things like "booking rate," I'd like to see how I compare with sitters who have the same preferences as I.

For example, my "one household at a time" policy is 90% of why I decline requests. (People request stays even though my calendar shows unavailable.). It would be interesting to see how others with the same profile preference compare.

3. When presented as a number, I'd like to see a green up-arrow (or red down-arrow) next to the number reflecting which way I'm going ("at a glance").

4. I'd like a breakdown of how stays I declined are "excused" from my score.

For example, I had 45% declined stays. All but 5% were for the reason described above. It would be nice if Rover said "Booking rate: 55% (45% were declined. 90% of your declines did not count against your score.)."

It would be nice to have at least a sense of whether Rover's view of my activity matches what I think I'm doing. Without knowing how many declined stays are "excused," I don't know if my response time is causing my score to be high(?), or if it's because I'm declining requests legitimately(?). They wouldn't have to go into great detail. Just knowing the weight given to declined stays would help.

I guess they do this by saying "your 55% Booking rate is high." But, if they're going to allude to it like that, why not be more specific? How much better can I do? I have no way of knowing right now. It's not specific enough.

5. Should the higher standard ("scores") be applied to dog owners too?

I see a lot of incomplete profiles. I just saw one that was a year old and contains inaccurate info (and omits a lot of important things about fearfulness which one of the dogs suffers from).

I see things like that and I feel like I should decline the stay because it doesn't exhibit enthusiasm? Stepping up to the plate with the sitter? I don't know what it is, but I'm contemplating being unavailable for those requests. I get a bad feeling about something. I hate to be judgmental. But, we're motivated to go the extra mile. I think that should be a two-way street. (I'd like to see some energy from the owner, that they want the best for their dog, using the available tools to present their dog as fully as they can, etc.).

If I start declining those, Rover won't "excuse" them from my Booking score. I don't think that's just. Maybe there should be an "Archive reason" like, "Owner ... (more)

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Carmen C.'s profile image Carmen C.  ( 2016-07-13 23:49:25 -0600 ) edit

Me too, Carmen C. I wish I could up-vote your Comment along with Mark F.'s very thorough assessment of the scoring.

Jill G.'s profile image Jill G.  ( 2016-07-17 15:13:50 -0600 ) edit

I agree with the above- especially #1 - when the scores were in beta there was a graph that went from red to green, a pointer on the avg (or maybe median) sitter's score, and another pointer with my score. I felt it was a good way to see how you compare to other sitters.

Dawn B.'s profile image Dawn B.  ( 2016-08-04 12:02:58 -0600 ) edit

#5 would be helpful. not to black list a dog, but somethings I would like to know from another sitter, like basic behavior, b/c owners aren't always honest, especially if their dog isn't as good as the owners think they are- also, sometimes dogs act differently in new situations/ homes/ dynamics.

Dawn B.'s profile image Dawn B.  ( 2016-08-04 12:05:11 -0600 ) edit
answered 2016-07-28 08:58:15 -0600

As a monitoring and evaluation specialist, I immediately noticed that their performance indicators are not even close to industry best practice or standard. It is very disappointing, and there was no link to a larger results framework model, that I could see. If Rover is trying to instill "results-based management" performance measurements, they are doing it incorrectly. If results-based management is not the goal, I'd like to know what is. In fact, an email to sitters would've been nice, detailing the indicator choices and measurements (including weights). -Overall, not impressed with this non-transparent process. The scores literally just showed up one day on my dashboard! - Time to hire new M&E specialists, and possibly rethink your communication policies, Rover.

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answered 2016-07-12 22:45:36 -0600

It's good that Rover is making an effort to help us understand our search standings. I'm glad they pointed out that when we reject requests for service that do not fit our profile requirements (too big, not spayed/neutered, not available, etc) it does not count against us.

Though it's hard to accept anything less than 100%, because I work very hard to provide excellent customer service I decided to not put too much stock in the ratings and just keep doing my best.

The new ratings system is probably more helpful to people who are in the yellow or red categories.

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Aaaaand...... they've disappeared.

Carmen C.'s profile image Carmen C.  ( 2016-07-17 08:08:12 -0600 ) edit

I agree completely. Like many others, we have a dog and want to ensure compatibility for everyone's sake. I sometimes have to decline if their dog is to aggressive, or if there seems like there's any risk of a fight. To me, that's responsible and a positive thing, but apparently that hurts my score.

Brian C.'s profile image Brian C.  ( 2017-03-16 13:32:44 -0600 ) edit
answered 2016-07-17 07:53:02 -0600

I saw my rankings a couple days ago and didn't have time to digest the info. I just sat down this morning to take a closer look and they seem to have disappeared. Did Rover think better of their methodology and go back to the drawing board??

I agree with all of the commenters above. There needs to be more detail AND a way to put the numbers into context i.e., "how do I compare nationwide to similar sitters?" or "where does my score land me in comparison to my local competition?"

For instance: Why on earth am I "punished" for turning down a booking request that would have put me over capacity? While waiting for someone to actually book after a M&G, if another request for those dates comes in I give the person who requested those dates first the courtesy of a little time to actually book. Most times I even contact the person who's already had the M&G and let them know I have another Owner requesting their dates and kindly ask if they are going to book to let me know so that I can tell the other requester to move on to finding another sitter.

That 3-prong communication can take time but it's the only fair thing to do and then I end up losing ranking points because I had to turn someone down AND because Rover measures that as a slow response time. It ain't right I tell ya'!!

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So I agree with everyone here! I'm glad I'm not alone! Great answers, everyone!

Mary C.'s profile image Mary C.  ( 2016-07-17 18:38:08 -0600 ) edit

I, too, have not seen my scores in a few days. I'm hoping they've done away with them or are at least re-configuring the algorithm.

Shane W.'s profile image Shane W.  ( 2016-07-18 10:11:21 -0600 ) edit
answered 2016-07-24 13:59:04 -0600

I totally agree! I think this should purely be just for sitters to review for ourselves and it should be affecting the search of owners. Also, I have very good scores right now, but two of them, review rate and repeat scores are showing 0 or N/A at the moment. Which is not correct. So I fear I am losing bookings. A week or two ago, I got one sometimes two requests a day. I got 2 this week. IT is a significant fall in the requests!!!

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answered 2016-07-13 09:31:10 -0600

I don't care for the new rating systems.

While I agree with Carmen that it helps me understand the search standing system that Rover uses, I'm not convinced that it's a useful metric. For instance, many clients do not read my profile before sending a request. (Ex: "I'm looking for a sitter with no dogs, since I have a new puppy"...when my profile clearly indicates I have two dogs and do not accept puppies under 6 mon.) I'm forced to archive these types of bookings which brings down my scores. With the new scores, I feel a bit of pressure to accept bookings that I'm not 100% comfortable with, simply to maintain my scores.

Most of my clients are regulars who have left great 5-star reviews in the past. They often don't rate the following bookings, thinking that one great review is enough (and I totally think it is!). But then I end up with a bunch of unreviewed recent reviews, which drops my numbers in the algorithm.

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The "review rate" says "first time bookings reviewed." The description says the number is "only for new clients." So, it doesn't sound like the situation you describe (followup bookings) applies.

Mark F.'s profile image Mark F.  ( 2016-07-13 10:57:54 -0600 ) edit

Regarding declined requests: my "booking rate" is 55% (people send requests when I'm not available). The description says "that's high!" So, either they lowered the bar for what is a "high" booking rate, or they recognize why I declined those 45%. IMO, that could be made clearer in the description.

Mark F.'s profile image Mark F.  ( 2016-07-13 11:03:23 -0600 ) edit

BTW: I agree, if my 55% (booking rate) is "high" due to the 45% declined requests being for a good reason, that would be useful detail. I'd like to know what percent of the 45% were "excused" by Rover. Technically, 55% isn't good. The goodness lay with the 45%. Something's missing there.

Mark F.'s profile image Mark F.  ( 2016-07-13 11:29:41 -0600 ) edit
answered 2016-07-18 13:30:16 -0600

I agree with other sitters above. I appreciate Rover trying to make sitters more aware on what they are actually being rated on (ex: the number you are listed as when searching for sitters). However, I do feel when I was able to review the rates I felt they were inaccurate. Many times I will get clients who do not follow my requirements before booking, or will send me a book request and never respond back once I book them and send them a message so I end up having to archive it. I also give a card to all of my clients after their dog's stay or check in and kindly ask if they could leave me a review. Many times they will never leave one at all, or will message me saying they will leave one but don't still. I also get other requests to watch a dog that goes over my capacity even when I list that I am not available to watch dogs on my calendar. This really hurts my scores and overall does not help me with knowing how to improve. I feel the ratings should be based on more specifics. If it's possible, I would like Rover to set up a way where sitters cannot request a booking with you unless they meet the requirements. I also had a low rate for my repeat clients, even though I have not received any requests for a repeat client because they do not need a sitter at this time. I feel personally this should not negatively affect my scores when owners are the ones who are in charge of repeats. Overall, I believe that Rover needs to improve their rating scores for sitters.

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answered 2016-07-29 12:54:07 -0600

I sent an email to Rover about my concerns about the new scores. So much of the booking and review scores are out of our control. I've had many clients do a M&G and then not book me for a variet y of reasons. Yet these negatively affect my booking score. And the same with reviews. I just mention it to the client when they pick up their dog, and Rover sends them a reminder after a few days. I cannot make them give me a review. And for a short stay I don't see that one is necessary.

They told me basically that the scores are a comparison between me and other sitters in my area. I do this part time, and I only take one dog, or one family, at a time. So I am being judged against people who do this full time (i.e. more bookings because more time devoted to sitting), who take in multiple dogs, and who may charge less than I do? We all know clients price shop.

Here's their message: "Your booking score: We understand that it doesn't always work out with a potential client, and we know much of that is beyond your control. This happens to every sitter and dog walker on Rover. Since your scores are a comparison to other sitters and dog walkers, your score shouldn't be dramatically affected if you don't end up booking a request.

Your reviews: To improve your booking score, you need more 5-star reviews from your new clients than other sitters and dog walkers. We send out requests to dog owners after each stay and walk, asking them to leave a review. A lot of the time, dog owners choose not to leave a review. This affects sitters and dog walkers across the board, so it shouldn't affect your score too much.

As a side note: requests that you turn down when your calendar and preferences are up to date don't affect your scores at all."

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answered 2016-07-31 17:53:06 -0600

I'm in agreement with everyone else.

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