It appears that the buyer has made up their mind by the fact they tell you not to try again. They have also been insulting with their comment. Clearly something has gone wrong here and their “sorry” and “Thanks” are pretty lame to have at either end of an insult and cut-off. There is a part of me that sees this as an attempt to get a refund by giving you negative feedback before a review in the hope that you will cancel it and they get their money back and potentially use your X. I am against giving refunds after work has been done as it encourages this type of behavior.
However, if you think this isn’t the case then firstly, I would say something like “I am sorry you are not happy with X…” - this is not an apology but an acknowledgment that they are unhappy and that you would prefer if they were happy!
From there, there are three approaches I might take with this buyer:
- As they have said not to try again and been insulting I might just say the acknowledgement above and leave it at that, depending on whether I thought the work was good or if I saw their point.
I may ask them for more information, if there was something more specific they had in mind, a point they wanted the X to make etc. Depending on their response, I might offer a revision but if they come back with the generic “it had no spark” or “I wanted something catchy” then I would probably not offer a revision.
Alternatively, I would offer to come up with something completely different.
The thing with subjective gigs is that buyers often find it difficult to see the value or time spent. This perception is very important as if a buyer thinks you did it very quickly/without thought, then they will do the same and possibly reject it just because “it didn’t pop”.
I don’t offer things like taglines but one regular buyer asked me to do so, to come up with 5 taglines. Because I was familiar with them, I came up with one within 1 minute and I felt it was the best I could do. As they had paid for 5, I struggled for a further hour to come up with 4 others. They chose the first one of course and were absolutely delighted with it, even though it had only taken a minute to come up with.
With the delivery, I explained in detail why I picked each tagline and what it meant. This showed them that I had spent at least an hour on the order and they could see the value. Even if they hadn’t liked what I had said, they would have seen the value of my time. If I had delivered 5 sentences then they would have thought I spent 5 minutes on it. Their attitude to the delivery would have been very different and they may not have liked the tagline, even though it was absolutely perfect for the company. Had they not seen the time I spent, they may have just skipped over it.
I did a post about communicating value recently, this is it: Communicating the Value of Your Gig to Buyers - UPYOUR
It is quite long and to follow the advice will take a little time initially and then a couple of minutes for each order but after 10-20 orders, you will have enough templates to make it a 30 second addition to each order which adds huge value for your buyers and should hopefully help you avoid getting that kind of message from buyers in future.