Fiverr Forum

Reigning in Emotions when Dealing with Difficult Clients


Freelancing isn’t all butterflies and flowers. I have been a freelancer on a variety of freelancing websites for 4 years. Fiverr has been a new experience for me since I joined only 4 months ago. Regardless of the freelancing website, however, there has always been one constant factor: difficult clients. Although rare, difficult clients have a way of breaking my stride and causing me to respond negatively.

I define difficult clients as those who are rude, who want to barter to get your price down to much less than what the job is worth, or who are highly unreasonable. Since working on Fiverr, I have had a client who was a combination of all 3 attributes. That was one of the most stressful experiences for me. Reminiscing on the situation, however, I know that I allowed my emotions to get in the way of my interaction with him. The same has been true for all experiences I have had with difficult clients.

Using Fiverr has shown me that I need to reign in my emotions so that I can provide a top-notch service for all of my clients. Difficult clients shouldn’t ruffle my feathers. So, I’ve been using some new strategies to help me better deal with difficult clients.

  1. Take a few minutes to respond when upset. I have a tendency to respond instantly. This has been especially good for the clients I have no problems with. However, when I am upset and I respond to difficult clients, all hell breaks loose. So, I have learnt to take a deep breath, count to 10, and think about the most politically correct response to the client.
  2. Focus on the product instead of the client’s personality. I’ve learnt to look beyond the words and zoom into what the client really wants. When I identify this, I can produce the result and allow the client to feel satisfied. Providing quality service is my number one priority, despite the client.
  3. Make the client happy. It is difficult to make some people happy. However, as freelancers it is our duty to make our clients love our service so much that they will always want to come back for more. A difficult client can become one of your best clients if you treat him or her right.


Just call them Buttface, or Queen Elizardbreath the Second.


Lol! That may make it even worse.


this is a big issue when some one irritates you and other thing is you are the most fastest responsive and that time stay calm and cool is the best choice
and you mention really good techniques


Some buyers join fiverr with the “free work” concept in their minds.


I suspect people are often unaware of how abrasive their email communications make them appear. Some folks are simply too abrupt or terse. Some are having a bad day. Others are simply assholes. Try to always be the adult in the conversation. Avoid putting anything in writing you don’t want to have to defend before the Gods.


LOL true story


Yeah that’ll get you a 5 star review lmao


" A difficult client can become one of your best clients if you treat him or her right."

I agree to this point. I had to do some designs for repeat customer and we agreed on a price, then I worked for 24 hours continuously(while 1 hour breaks watched some movies:)) to finish things up.

So i was constantly in touch with the client, Yesterday i delivered everything and she got back to me saying she doesn’t like any of the things I’ve done. Directly, I asked her to cancel the order and keep everything for herself. She did indeed cancel and today I got a message, “can we do this again? and forget about yesterday” I had no orders except some small $5 works. So i sent her custom offer with the same amount. Today I’ve done everything from the scratch except retouching part. Guess what? I got the money and 25$ tip. So, it is ambiguous sometimes whether to carry on or give up. It is all up to you and your feelings.

It was a lesson, a very big one tho.


Of course, I don’t really recommend this. The best way to deal with a difficult customer is to be incredibly professional, no matter how you feel. I might come on the forum and Buttface away, but the reality is that I am communicating in a neutral, professional way while installing roadblocks everywhere I can. The ultimate goal is not to please the customer–they are a BF, after all–but to build a case for Customer Support should you need to.

If you can demonstrate to Customer Support that you have acted professionally throughout, leaving options for even the nastiest of people, you’re going to win 99% of the time.

Ultimately though, it’s going to be stressful so just focus on your strategy and vent steam anywhere but at the person who deserves it. If you have a rich fantasy life like I do, invent horrible scenarios and play them out before responding. If you do get angry–WAIT. Sleep on it. Your response the next day will be much clearer and won’t have emotional baggage attached to it.

Luckily, most people don’t approach this problem with such military precision, so even if you apply just one of these tips you’re ahead of the crowd–and annoying Buttface in the process. That’s a win-win if you can keep your wits about you.

Of course, your difficult client may just be having a bad week (maybe they’re having a shitty breakup, they have financial issues, their mother just died, a medical issue has flared up etc) and in happier times, they’re actually pretty awesome. That’s a unicorn though. Difficult clients usually remain difficult, no matter how much you try to shepherd them into the “not awful” enclosure. Professionalism is often misused as a concept by both sellers and buyers as being some kind of robotic machine that does no wrong and never speaks out of turn.

No. It’s about being neutral and dealing with the cards you get given with a poker face. The customer is NOT always right, and your job as a professional is to navigate those tricky waters to the best of your ability and to your best interest.



Leopards don’t change their spots.


That is true, but at the end we are here to make some money. We need to adjust sometimes.


I make a little game of upping the professionalism to equal the level of difficultness. It’s fun. I never get emotional.


HA HA! :’) you’re too funny emmaki!


There’s a fine line between acting professional and actually having some pride and respect for yourself, I don’t take crap from ANYONE, could care less if you’re a celeb, a politician or a saint, if you don’t respect me and my services on here then expect the same for yourself! I won’t be bullied into submission for $5 or worse, for free, I take pride in what I do and consider myself a professional and will conduct myself in that matter until a buyer decides to cross that line, you reap what you sow, always remember that! :slight_smile:


Immediate responses are never positive responses. I find it is best to just ignore their comments for a few hours so I can get the frustration out of my system. Then I’ll either give them a one sentence response or cancel the order if it looks like it will be a continuous headache. The only time I’ll really put up with their abuse is if it’s an order worth a lot of money. But if it’s just a $5 order then it’s not worth stressing yourself out over.


Reminds me of when I was new and I was dealing with new customers on a daily basis and those who tried to take advantage of me. The usual “Oh, if you do this 5,000-word document for $5 I’ll totally bring you more work!” sorts, or the sort who pick you up for a project, and then ask you to completely re-write the whole thing or they’ll leave a negative review.

Currently, I’m dealing with a client who I had the misfortune of dealing with back during January. The client asked for some Proofreading and Editing to be done. I finished the project with the information he sent me. Fixed it up as best I could, and sent it in. No response, so it automatically went through. Thought nothing of it.

March rolled around and he left me a nasty comment saying I stole from him, and he was going to get me banned because my work was shoddy. Fair enough, he wasn’t happy. I offered to take a second look at what he had written, free of charge as I had free time that weekend and I remembered his project only took several hours to complete.

No dice. He said he’s not going to give up until I’m banned from Fiverr.

Now he sends me a message at least once a month and I just tag it as spam, All of this anger over $10 worth of work.


This is why you never take any work from someone who mentions a previous bad experience. It could be an unfortunate misunderstanding or actual shoddy work, but more often than not, it’s a horrid client who will treat you like dirt. Better to simply say no immediately (but less bluntly than that–sometimes I’m honest, but that’s only if I want the fireworks to go off)


You can have pride and self respect while staying calm and polite. I have a standard of behavior and self control I maintain. I’m not here to fight or battle with people.


I’ve had a few clowns like this, they obviously have psychological problems, I had one fool who made 3 separate accounts just to try and get “revenge” on me because I refused to do a gig they wanted, mainly because it just wasn’t viable they way they wanted it, even though I specifically explained the reasons why? I just kept getting their account banned every time, admittedly I was making jokes everytime, as they’d tried to make it look like it was a new buyer by starting off their messages all nice and legit and then they’d (it was amusing to see it every time) go Enter crazy to try and hide the rest of the message and say something like, I’m back/surprise, thing is, when you open a message in the inbox, it opens the entire thing, LOL.
Was amusing to say the least :slight_smile: