How to Handle Unsatisfied Clients in Freelancing


It is vital to keep the customer satisfied with the quality of work and service. It not only helps build a good reputation but also ensures that the customer will return.

Freelancers should be proactive about managing their clients since they never know when something will go wrong. When something does go wrong,  you could end up with a very unhappy client.

Here are some ways freelancers can deal with unsatisfied clients:

Communicate with your client as soon as you realize there is an issue.

In the world of freelancing, it is crucial to be proactive when communicating with clients. If you are having a problem with their job description or expectations or not respecting the budget, do not wait to reach out to them. Contacting them as soon as possible helps them better understand your concerns and be more willing to work with you to fix the problem.

Treat your clients like how you would want to be treated if you were in their situation.

Treat your clients well, and they will come back. Whether it’s a happy customer or an upset one, it’s essential to treat them with care. It would be best never to be rude to clients or make them feel rushed during conversations. It is also necessary to be polite and professional at all times.

Find out what the client wants or needs and try your best to provide it for them.

When it comes to freelancing, there are many different goals. Right from the get-go, find out what the client wants or needs. Decide whether you can or cannot do it. If you can, set the right expectation in terms of output and timeline. It’s also prudent to tell the client how you understood the instruction, as this will be a perfect opportunity to be corrected if the client thinks you and them are not on the same page.

Offer your client refunds, discounts, or other incentives where applicable.

Despite how the client feels, it’s possible to turn the situation around by offering refunds, discounts, or other incentives to your unsatisfied client. As a result, they may come back to you again and again; this is especially true if you have an excellent customer service relationship with them. When you give your customers something in return for their purchase, it leaves them feeling like they are getting a good deal, making them more likely to buy from you in the future.

If everything else has failed, refer them to another freelancer.

If you cannot complete the project, or if you have done everything you can but the client is still unhappy, you should refer them to another freelancer in your network. If they have hired a freelancer but still need help, be sure to offer your advice or services for free; this is the quintessential customer service philosophy.

What are the Characteristics of a Satisfied Client?

Clients are satisfied when they feel that freelancers meet their requirement; this is best done by listening to them and building a solid connection. Clients need to feel like they have someone to talk to when they have something to say and that someone will listen and make the necessary adjustment to meet the expected output. It is essential for clients to feel like they are a priority and that the freelancer will take care of everything.

A satisfied client has been listened to by the seller/freelancer. They want more than just a quick fix – instead, they want contractors who take more time and care with their service to get it right the first time around.

How to Handle an Unhappy Client

If you work in a freelance position or have ever had to deal with a difficult client, you know how hard it can be to handle someone unhappy.

How you handle an unhappy client can make or break your business. The first tip I will provide is that it is best to acknowledge their feelings and listen without interrupting them. If they feel unheard, they will not be satisfied with your service and may even share this feeling on the rating section of your profile, or they can even dedicate an entire post complaining about you. Your first step should be to let them speak without interruption. You can then listen and empathize with their feelings before offering a solution.

I recommend that you do a brief check-in with your client to ensure that they are clear on all aspects of the project. Clients often have a general idea of what they want and the type of content they would like but sometimes lack clarity on what the project entails; this leads to confusion and ultimately delays.

Money is always tricky to discuss, especially if you are new to freelancing. Frequently, this is a cause for concern for many freelancers when their client is shortchanging them, change their mind about the rate, etc. I STRONGLY recommend that you discuss any concerns or complaints about price before moving forward on a project to avoid future issues and come away satisfied from the collaboration.

Client Complaints& Negotiation Strategies for Freelancers

With the rise of freelancing, more and more clients are asking freelancers to do work for them. Therefore, freelancers need to be aware of having a client and handling the different types of client complaints.

The first thing freelancers should do when they have a new client is read the work description carefully and understand all the requirements; this will help them set realistic expectations.

Freelancers should also be proactive in communicating with their clients. They should ask questions if they don’t understand something or think the job description or expectation is unclear (or impossible), or if the rate is unreasonably low, and try to negotiate when appropriate (e.g., asking for higher rates).

Negotiation can sometimes be complex because many clients assume that freelancers are desperate and will work for anything, but this is not always the case. For example, some clients erroneously believe that negotiation is unnecessary and do not make any effort to negotiate terms. Proceed with the project if both you and the client agree on the price.

3 Ways to Guarantee Satisfaction on Your Freelance Project

Creating an excellent project is challenging. But it doesn’t have to be a headache. I’ve compiled three ways to guarantee satisfaction on your project so that you can focus on your clients and not on your stress.

1) Have clear expectations with your client from the beginning of the project

If you want to be successful as a freelancer, you need to set clear expectations with your clients from the beginning. For example, do they want a finished product, or is it ok if it’s a draft? Do they have deadlines? What are the payment terms?

2) Have a feedback loop in place

Having a feedback loop in place is the best way to ensure that you are on track with your milestones. The feedback loop updates the client with your progress, and at the same time, they can give you input if you are on the right track or not. The presence of a feedback loop guarantees less repetition in work and a high satisfaction rating.

3) Fill out post-project questionnaires.

Post-project questionnaires are a great way to get feedback from your client. These questionnaires help gather all the information you need to make your upcoming projects more successful.

Conclusion: How to Be a Successful Freelancer and Deliver Exceptional Customer Service

The freelancing business is expanding and offers several benefits to both the freelancer and the customer. The consumer receives high-quality service at a low cost, and the freelancer works on their schedule. To ensure the success of this link, the freelancers must provide excellent customer service, which includes learning how to deal with dissatisfied customers—providing excellent customer service results in repeat customers and a high satisfaction rating, which translates to an increase in clientele.

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