6 Tips to Help Freelancers Deal with Unsatisfied Clients
The freelance business is just like any other business in existence in our economy. Clients will be needed to continue your freelance operations and earn more money in the process, just like how corporations seek customers to sell their products and services. Speaking of clients, there will come a time when you’ll have to handle a client who’s unsatisfied with your freelance services. According to an analysis by Dimensional Research, 39% of clients or customers will avoid businesses for two years if they experienced terrible services from their personnel. That said, you could lose clientele in your freelance business if you don’t make amends to your unsatisfied clients. Now, making amends for your suboptimal service to unsatisfied clients is difficult, but very possible. You can still turn things around by applying the six tips to deal with unsatisfied clients, all of which we will discuss here.
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6 Tips to Help Freelancers Deal with Unsatisfied Clients
Remain Calm and Composed
Remaining calm and composed is among the most important traits you need as a freelancer. Outraged clients should not put you out of your game. Dealing with such clients is a situation where you have to put out your A-game as a professional. If you can’t maintain your composure, your clients will notice it, and they might deem you as an incompetent freelance service provider. Just remember to stand your ground and see your clients’ complaints as an opportunity to grow and improve.
Show Your Sympathy
Think about it; if you experienced horrible customer service in your stay at a five-star hotel, would you think the charges you’ll pay for their services are worth it? Would you give them positive feedback online on a hotel review website? Of course not. So if your clients are complaining because you didn’t meet their expectations, try to understand their perspective. You might have shown them your excellent portfolio, and they thought very highly of you; thus, they might’ve expected perfect results in return. Show to your clients that you care for their concerns. It’s a matter of putting yourself in their shoes. Think of yourself as the client and try to imagine what you’ll feel if you didn’t get your money’s worth.
Listen Well to Their Complaints
You have to listen well to your unsatisfied clients if you’re to come up with ways to give them compensation. You need to fully exercise your listening skills to comprehend your clients’ concerns. In doing so, you can effectively assess the root cause of their dissatisfaction. Additionally, make sure to write down notes as you listen to the complaints of your clients. Create a checklist of things you need to do to compensate for your shortcomings.
Make a Reasonable Explanation
Unsatisfied clients will surely want an explanation of why the results of their projects are subpar. So as much as possible, provide them with a reasonable and sound explanation so that they can better understand your perspective. They might even accept your explanation and give you a second chance to correct and improve some aspects of their projects. In freelancing, communicating with your clients and letting them express their concerns and your concerns is a significant factor in producing an output with high-quality.
Presenting a proposal of solutions is the most effective and direct approach to handle the dissatisfaction of your clients. That said, you should try to plan multiple solutions that will compensate for your clients’ complaints. Strategizing as many solutions as you can is one of the freelancer benefits that you must take advantage of for matters like this. The following entries below are the most basic course of action that you can suggest to your unsatisfied clients.
Offer a Redo
A redo means you have to start making the project from scratch again. In other words, you have to overhaul everything. Some clients might not like the idea of a redo, but it’s the best solution if a project is unfixable in its current state or progress. If you’re going to suggest a redo, it would be best to give your clients a timetable of when you can complete the project. Once that’s done, see to it that you can finish it on time. Don’t charge your clients additional fees for the redo.
Offer a Revision
A revision means you need to change certain components of the project without overhauling it or removing/replacing its significant foundations. In a revision, minor tweaks and adjustments are the only actions you must do. Offering a revision as a solution is only suitable for projects with minimal concerns. And also, you can charge small additional fees for revisions.
Offer a Refund and Refer Them to Others
Offering a full refund is not exactly an ideal solution, but a solution nonetheless. It’s more of a last resort in case there’s nothing you can do to fix the complaints of your unsatisfied clients. You don’t need a budget to give your clients a full refund; you’re just basically returning the money they paid you in advance. After given them a refund, don’t just leave them alone. You can refer them to sites for freelance work where they can find other freelancers. If you know some freelancing peers, you can direct them to your unsatisfied clients.
Recover From Your Mistakes
When doing a redo or revision, make sure to recover from the mistakes you’ve made the first time and improve from them. Unsatisfied clients who accept your redo and revision solutions are giving you a second chance to prove your competency as a freelancer. So don’t waste it; capitalize on it instead. And lastly, make sure not to commit similar mistakes to the projects of your next batch of clients.
Whether you freelance at home, at a coffee shop, at a cafe, at a restaurant, or any place you’re comfortable, you’ll encounter stressful situations. That’s the nature of work in general. Freelancing may be an independent kind of work setting, but it’s work nonetheless. The main cause of your stress as a freelancer, for sure, will be having to deal with unsatisfied clients. But, you have what it takes to handle them like a pro by executing the six listed tips in this article.