How Freelancers Can Handle Negative Client Feedback the Right Way
There are so many perks to freelancing, from working anywhere with no boss to choosing your own work schedule. Of course there are a few negatives, too. Receiving criticism and complaints from clients can be a difficult and stressful part of the job. However, it's important to remember that criticism and complaints are an inevitable part of any business, and how you handle them can make a big difference in your reputation and the success of your freelance career.
You can be prepared with strategies for handling negative client feedback with professionalism and tact, which go a long way towards smoothing things over. File these away so you’ll be ready—just in case.
First, realize it’s not a personal attack. It's important to remain composed when dealing with criticism and complaints. This means avoiding getting defensive or argumentative, and instead, taking a calm and professional approach. Listen to your clients and try to understand their perspective. Show them you care about their concerns and that you’re willing to work with them to find a solution.
Next, it's important to take responsibility for any mistakes or issues that may have occurred. As a freelancer, you are responsible for the work you produce and if something went wrong, it's your responsibility to fix it. It's important to apologize and take ownership of the situation, and to come up with a plan to rectify it.
Be upfront and honest with your client about what went wrong and what steps you’re taking to make things right. Keep them informed throughout the process and make sure they are aware of any changes or updates. This will help to build trust and respect with your clients and prevent similar issues from happening in the future.
Situations like these can be an opportunity for growth and improvement. Use the feedback you receive to make changes and improve the quality of your work. This will not only help to prevent similar issues from happening in the future, but it will also help to establish your credibility as a professional and dedicated freelancer.
If all else fails and the client remains unhappy, at minimum you can learn from the situation and sharpen your customer service skills in a potentially stressful and tense situation. But by staying calm, taking action, and being proactive, chances are you’ll turn a negative situation into a win-win.