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How I Turned an Angry Client Into a Repeat Buyer Who Leaves 5-Star Reviews and Tips

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.

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That’s nice but that’s a rare thing to turn one around the way you did. I agree that you should never meet anger with anger. Of course you respond in a professional manner and be courteous in the face of rudeness.

But usually these types who lash out in anger for no good reason have an agenda to get you to be as angry as they are so they can indulge in their most base instincts with a willing target.

Be aware of this agenda and do not play along with it by becoming angry yourself.
Most of the time they never let up with the drama, as that is their main purpose.

Your calm explanation to this person worked, this time. It’s a model for how we all should respond to these unreasonable people.

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Not always the easiest route to take, but definitely agree that it’s best to remove yourself from the situation for a while to calm down instead of lashing back in anger which I imagine would have left you with a completely different end result! :sweat_smile:

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Good business sense / strategy.

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I had a similar experience, I was getting angry with a client, getting personal, but then I stopped and simply asked him for examples of what he wanted. Then I made a revision and got 5 stars.

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I’d like to hear what you say to a client when you are really angry out of curiosity. Do you call them names?

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I’ll give you an example of how I talk:

Buyer writes: “Please send me new ones, this is to easy. Or give my mny back. I’m not statisfied at all.”

This is what I wrote in my cancellation message:

“It wasn’t easy, I spent a lot of time doing trademark searches, Google searches, etc. I don’t think you appreciate my efforts, so revising will be a waste of time . Next time don’t make a $70 order. It’s a huge hassle. Go order from somebody that offers satisfaction guaranteed, I don’t.”

Here’s another example from a buyer that argued a lot after I delivered.

“The seller has no intention of revising the order.” (his cancellation reason)

My response:

“Very well, you go ahead and write your own Facebook ad. Next time, don’t hire people if you’re not going to compensate them for their work. I am not a charity, and I don’t like working for nothing.”

I guess I’m an angry seller when things go south.

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I channel it into thinking up how to respond in a very professional way that accomplishes what I want, which is for them to go away and leave me alone in peace.

Do you send them a brief message whenever someone orders explaining very professionally all that you said you do to accomplish an order?

Here is a brief outline of the amount of work I will do on your order.

  1. I spend at least half an hour on trademark searches to make sure that every name I send you is not already trademarked. This is difficult to do since this requires searches in various places using intensive research methods.

  2. I do extensive search engine searches on all major search engines for every name I send you.

  3. I do extensive domain name searches to make sure that each name I send you is available should you want to use it for your website.

I do this thorough research for every name I send you. While no one can assure you that you will love every name, due to the fact that most names are already taken, this is an extremely time consuming process.
I’m sure you will agree that I cannot offer refunds due to the amount of time and work that goes into each name I choose for you.

If for some reason none of the names are ones you love, you may place another order so that I can again devote the large block of my time to finding new ones for you.

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Not bad, although I don’t like to mention time. I like everything else you wrote, I could take it and edit it to my needs.

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I mention the time it takes a lot so they can see that you are indeed putting in TIME and therefore need to be paid even if they don’t like the names. Otherwise they think you just think them up in two minutes without anything else being done. They can’t expect you to put in time and not be paid.

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I actually think you handled the situation professionally.

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Coming up with names is tricky. Often, clients don’t understand how much time and effort goes into finding names. Many also don’t understand the role SEO, domain availability, and trademak have in the process. I just activated my own naming gig after having paused it for months because of the same issues you had. I raised the price on it. I have found with my other services that when I charge more I generally attract better clients who are easier to please. Of course, I also make sure the quality of my work is worth the prices I charge.

I’m curious to see what happens.

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That was a good read. Personally, I never get angry with a client. I have a calm detachment with everything related to Fiverr. So I have a very good record when it comes to customer service and it’s rare for me to get into an argument with a client. There have been one or two I had problems with, but I never got angry with them. Just treated them with quiet contempt. [To be fair most of my clients are nice people, 99% of them, so I have been lucky.]

(If anyone wants to make me angry, they only have to say something negative about PM Modi or India LOL)

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I never get angry with my clients. Sadly I received my 1st 1 star last week. Just one revision request and delivered modified work with 5 minutes. He came after 2 days of delivery. Because of that order marked as late. I just wanted to avoid it(late delivery) because that is not my fault at all. How ever he got angry and decline my request then left a negative review.

I was so upset. I sent a feedback modification request to him but he never responded!!:cry:

Some buyers are not easy to handle…

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Google searches are the worst. Imagine you find a great brand name and then discover someone else is using it. The trademark might be available, the person using it might be a fan page or someone who’s not a direct competitor. That’s why I hate google and charge extra for google searches. It makes my work harder.

Personally, I’m a bigger believer in domains and trademarks. I don’t do social searches because you can always add a letter or a word to find your Facebook company name, etc. They also take a lot of time.

Higher prices are a double edge sword, sometimes you find clients that appreciate the work more because they paid more, other times you have clients that expect a lot more. My goal is making money, that can only happen if I get orders. That’s why most of my gigs start at $10. I enjoy doing multiples of $10, so it’s $10, $20, $30, then nickel and dime them a bit more with gig extras and charge quite a bit for one day delivery. That’s how you turn a $30 into a $70.

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You have a gig where you write 10 articles for $50. You wouldn’t be angry if your client hates all of them and demands a revision without telling you why?

I’d be furious if I was in your shoes. Of course, I wouldn’t insult the client or do anything that can result in an account warning, but I can’t be detached about that.

To me there’s nothing more horrible than working for free. I once volunteered at a soup kitchen and while I felt good for helping others, I never did it again. Feeling good wasn’t enough payment, I need money. I’d rather help others by giving them money, I can make more money in the future but the time spent is gone forever.

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You have a gig where you write 10 articles for $50. You wouldn’t be angry if your client hates all of them and demands a revision without telling you why?

It has only happened to me once so far on Fiverr, out of over 3500 orders. So I have been lucky in that respect, generally never get a request for revision. Once a client didn’t like 1 article out of 10 and wanted another, I said no and showed them excerpts from the Fiverr TOS. Was very calm and respectful. That’s the last negative review I have received…a year back I think.

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Interesting, so you never make revisions? Have you ever had to refund a job because you refused to revise, or because the buyer complained to CS?

I guess you’ve been lucky or maybe you’re better communicating with other people.

Sometimes I get a revision request because the buyer didn’t realize it was a two page document. That’s so obvious, but I never humiliate my buyer for a tiny mistake like that.

Very, very rare for me. I have had only one CS complaint from a client related to a $5 order, and it was resolved amicably with the buyer even telling the CS that I was a great/honest/talented seller. I don’t remember the last time I gave a refund on a completed order or on work I had done, maybe 2 years back. I have given only 2 or 3 refunds on completed work in 4 years - I think $5 once, $10 once and $40 once. That’s it. Is that unusual? It helps that most of my buyers are repeat buyers. [Remember I said refund on “completed work or work done” - that’s different from cancellations/mutual cancellations.]

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For me, refunds were SOP. A client demands a revision, he gets a refund. A client is unhappy, he gets a refund. I’m too lazy to make a revision, client didn’t like my revision, you know the rest.

Then Fiverr changed the rules and now I’m doing my utmost to avoid refunds.

I fear the book I wrote about Fiverr is now outdated. I should probably revise it.

By the way, 40% of my orders are unrated. Would it be a good idea to message those sellers? I think sometimes it’s better to let sleeping dogs lie. What if I ask for a review and I get a negative review?

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