I woke up to a notification that a new-to-me buyer had requested a revision. No big deal. Because of the nature of copywriting, it isn’t unusual that I need to tweak a few things for a buyer I’ve never worked with before.
But, when I read the feedback I was stunned. The client had called me a fraud. They insulted my work and my character. I was furious.
I have been a self-employed professional service provider for 15 years. I have one rule when it comes to dealing with angry, unreasonable clients–never respond when I’m also angry.
I closed the message and tried to calm down. I went back and read the message again. Two things became clear. One, the client had not looked carefully at my delivery. They had not read my delivery message and probably had not read past the first two lines of the copy I had written.
Two, they had specific feedback about the image I had provided. The feedback could have been worded nicer, but I understood their dissatisfaction.
I found a new image that I felt would be a better fit given the feedback. Then I clicked deliver modified work and wrote a short message.
I told the buyer I had never received a single complaint about my work like the ones he was making. I explained my process and my delivery. I told the client I stood behind my work. I also explained I was delivering a new image, but that since I had been given no specific feedback about the copy, I would not be modifying it.
Half an hour later the client left a kind five-star review and a tip. This client has since purchased from me again and we have a solid working relationship.
I turned this situation around by being calm, firm, and professional.
It is critical to never respond in anger, especially when the client is already upset. By being calm I was able to see something I could do to make the client happy. However, I was firm. I didn’t rush to cancel the order. I did not let the client push me around. I knew I had delivered quality work. I was also professional. I responded quickly. I explained the misunderstanding without blaming the client and without apologizing when I had done nothing wrong.
Not every rough customer service experience will have a happy ending. In this case the client was open to listening to my response. However, if you remain calm, firm, and professional you will have much more success on Fiverr and in any service based business.