What To Do When Your Client Doesn’t Like Your Work

We’ve all been through this before; a challenging client who took your first draft and gave it a scathingly bad review. Sure, you’ve worked hard on the project, but getting negative feedback can be challenging and many will even get the feeling of being drained and nervous.

Today, we’re going to look at a few tips on how you can deal with your client’s negative feedback, and turn it into a positive experience for all involved.

1. Take a deep breath & remind yourself of your value
If you’re getting feedback by email or voicemail, take a minute to compose yourself, take a deep breath, and remind yourself of some of the nice things past clients or colleagues have written or said. Be willing to learn and grow, but also practice a little self-love.

2. Listen and empathize
Messages, words, and language can be surprisingly emotional topics. Sometimes it is one simple phrase that triggered the emotional reaction. But remember that just because a client is sending you emotionally charged emails or using a love-hate tone or language to reply you doesn’t necessarily mean that the situation is dire. Sometimes the client just hasn’t gotten the gist of it; how did you interpret the ideas based on the provided brief? Sometimes, the client is just having a bad day.

This is where it’s really important to come into the call or meeting recognizing that it’s not about you. Feedback is complicated and messy and full of the emotions each individual attaches to not only words, but the values and experiences those words connect to in his or her own life.

This is where the listening part comes in.

Listen carefully to people’s concerns and let them know you hear and understand and that you are on their side. You are writing or designing or developing for them because you want their business to succeed. You both have the same end goal. It’s just a matter of how to get there.

3. Calmly explain your reasoning

Always make sure your clients have full information. Don’t argue. Don’t get upset. Remember that it isn’t about you. And say something like this:

“Great. We can definitely change that. The reason I used this design is because I felt it would resonate better with a wider audience. Do you want me to go ahead and change that or do you want to think about it further?”

If you have a content strategy, style guides and other documentation that you have previously shared across with the client, it’s time to remind your client about the aforementioned strategy and see if any of it needs to be updated.

The final decision is the client’s, but making sure they understand the nuances and reasoning behind your choices will often impact those final decisions.

4. Don’t be afraid to fire bad clients
It isn’t the best case scenario in many occasions, but sometimes, listening, respect, and a genuine concern for the client’s business success doesn’t solve the problem.

In case you are just starting out and feel like you have to take on anything and everything that comes your way, let us just tell you that it’s never okay for a client (or anyone) to verbally abuse you. If you feel uncomfortable with the way a client is dealing with you, you can always stop it. If you do end up in this situation, always be polite and firm as you end the client relationship. Do your best to respond in kindness. You never know what impact that mix of kindness and self-respect will have.

So there you have it. We hope that you’ll be able to find amazing clients and that you’ll be able to turn all your negatives into positives. Do you have any other tips for dealing with negative feedback from clients?


© 2019 Zeroo Sdn. Bhd. All Rights Reserved.


© 2019 Zeroo Sdn. Bhd. All Rights Reserved.