Communicating with merchants

You can use the Messages page in the Partner Dashboard to manage all of your communications with merchants. To receive messages from merchants, you must have a published profile and have at least one service set up. Only a merchant can start a new conversation.

Each conversation contains messages and files sent between you and a merchant, and records of any proposals that you send them. A merchant might be a store owner, a store staff member, or a user who doesn't have a store yet.

A merchant’s initial message contains a general outline of the work that they need to have done. You can use this initial message to start a conversation about the merchant’s specific needs. From there, you can create a proposal to define the scope of work. After the merchant accepts your proposal, you can start work.

How merchants contact you

A merchant can contact you in the Experts Marketplace in the following ways.

Browsing services

Merchants can browse the available services in the Experts Marketplace and discover experts who offer the service. From this view, merchants can contact you directly. The merchant is prompted to create and send a message outlining the required service, the store that the work will be performed for, and a brief description of their requirements.

Getting matched

Merchants describe their job requirements, and a message is sent to to multiple partners who are selected by the matching algorithm.

Responding to merchants

When a merchant contacts you for the first time, you receive a new message on the Messages page of the Partner Dashboard. When responding to a merchant for the first time, be sure to use the details of their initial message to send a personalized response.

You can ask for more details about the merchant's business and the work that they need to have done until you have a good idea of how you can work together.

After you understand the merchant's needs, you can create a proposal.

You'll receive an email notification when a merchant contacts you for the first time. After that, you'll get an hourly digest of any unread messages that you received in the last hour.

Declining requests

If you don't have the capacity to assist the merchant with their request, or the merchant isn't a good match for your business, then you can reply to the merchant indicating that you're not able to accommodate their request. Matching and ranking algorithms aren't impacted by your reply. If there are no open jobs associated with the conversation, then no further action is needed. If there is an open job associated with the conversation, then you also need to decline the job.

Tagging conversations

You can tag conversations with custom tags, and then filter by those tags to stay organized and find messages easily. You might use tags to indicate the member of your Partner organization who is working with the merchant, or the status of a conversation, proposal, or job. Tags are shared by all members of your Partner organization.

Create a tag

You can create a tag in the Manage tags window.

Steps:

  1. In your Partner dashboard, under Messages, open a conversation.
  2. In the Details pane, beside Tag message, click Manage tags.
  3. In the Manage tags window, click Create new tag.
  4. Enter a name for the tag, and then click Save.

Rename a tag

You can rename a tag in the Manage tags window. When you rename a tag, the new name is reflected in all conversations that have the tag.

Steps:

  1. In your Partner dashboard, under Messages, open a conversation.
  2. In the Details pane, beside Tag message, click Manage tags.
  3. In the Manage tags window, click on the tag that you want to rename.
  4. Edit the name of the tag, and then click Save.

Delete a tag

You can delete a tag in the Manage tags window. When you delete a tag, the tag is removed from all conversations.

Steps:

  1. In your Partner dashboard, under Services > Messages, open a conversation.
  2. In the Details pane, beside Tag message, click Manage tags.
  3. In the Manage tags window, click the tag that you want to delete.
  4. Click Delete, and then click Delete to confirm.

Apply tags to a conversation

You can apply one or more tags to a conversation.

  1. In your Partner Dashboard, under Services > Messages, open the conversation that you want to tag.
  2. In the Details pane, under Tag message, start typing the name of the tag that you want to apply.
  3. Click the name of the tag to apply it to the conversation.

You can remove a tag from a conversation at any time by clicking the X on the tag.

Filtering and searching conversations

You can filter your conversations by tag, or you can filter for unread messages.

You can also search conversations by contact name, store name, or store URL.

Blocking a merchant

If you no longer want to communicate with a merchant, or a merchant is spamming you, then you can block them so they can’t send you messages. Blocking a merchant closes any proposals, jobs, and invoices you have with the merchant, and can’t be undone.

Steps:

  1. In your Partner dashboard, under Services > Messages, open your conversation with the merchant.
  2. In the Details pane, beside the merchant's name, click the More button.
  3. Click Block merchant.
  4. Click Block merchant to confirm.

Next steps

After you understand the merchant's needs, you can create a proposal.