Freelancing Guide: How to Handle Irate Customers

I am pretty sure that you have already encountered the old adage that says, ‘you cannot please everyone’.

You may have also heard of another one that says, ‘please everyone and you will end up not pleasing anyone’. 

Well, these two sayings are actually true in many aspects, even in the aspect of doing freelance jobs.

No matter how you try to do your best and please your customers, there will always come a time that you will encounter one or two who are displeased of your work and have become irate as a result.


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What causes their being irate?

Unless they are just trying to talk their way out of having to pay for your work, there must be a good reason why your customer is irate.

Some of the reasons would be:
1. You did not meet the deadline.


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If they really need the output immediately or on the agreed date and you fail, they would have the reason to become angry at you. Being a professional, freelancers have to be committed to their deadlines.

2.Your output does not reflect the intended result.

If at the start of your negotiation you have given them a picture of how the outcome would be and you don’t meet this in the output, the customer will really be irate.

Don’t promise something that you cannot deliver.

3. You are demanding a higher payment than what has already been agreed upon.


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Again, you are a professional even if you are holding freelance projects. That is why you cannot just suddenly demand for a higher payment without any prior notice to your customer.

What to do with irate customers:

If the customer is irate, regardless of the reason, it is your job to handle them properly and let them cool down.

1. Listen to their problem.


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Don’t talk while they are talking and don’t interrupt them. You have to be patient, hear them out and then understand what they are talking about.

In the same manner, let them also feel that you are willing to resolve whatever problem they are encountering.

2. Answer each of their questions and explain your side clearly.

No single thing cannot be resolved if you deal with each one properly. Explain what happened in the most civil and gentle manner in order not to aggravate the situation.

Let the customer know that you are doing the best you could in order that their case may be resolved.

3. Provide a solution.


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Come up with a compromise. Remember that the customer is almost always right. And if you see even the smallest streak that they are right, provide a compromise so that you will not lose them totally.

Offer them something. If you can give them a discount, then do so.

Or if you realize that the failure was entirely your fault, then give them some freebies or free services the next time.

Customer service is important even to freelance work. In fact, having it is a great weapon to receiving more freelance opportunities. 

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