Client is very crucial for freelancer, as freelancer you will meet different kind of client. It’s unavoidable that you’ll come across a difficult-to-work-for client now and again. There are many situations could test the client-freelancer relationship, whether you’re having communication issues, aren’t getting paid on time, or other impediments stand in the way of finishing the project. Now, the question is how to handle difficult clients?
As a freelancer you can’t always anticipate how the client will react to a particular situation. You might want to check the client’s background or doing some research, but of course this process is difficult. If you are currently having bad times with difficult clients, you can check below tips about how to handle difficult clients and get survive and get paid. You can also make these tips as preparations to handle next clients.
1. Manage client’s expectations from the beginning
One of the main tips of how to handle difficult clients is by managing their expectations about your role and skill. Some freelancers specialize in a single component of a project, while others work on multiple parts. This is especially true for Web designers and developers, but it also applies to freelancers who create content, edit copy, or enter data into a website.
If you’ve agreed to specialize in one part of a project, make sure that’s stated up front. Some clients just think you’ll be involved in all aspects of the project. Trying to explain to them midway through the project that you won’t be able to assist them with other elements will create additional stress.
2. Adjust Communication Style
You should be able to tell what style of communication a client prefers after exchanging a few emails and a few phrases on Skype. You should also be able to identify right away if there are any linguistic difficulties to overcome. To make the project as successful as possible, change your communication approach early on based on how the client communicates.
If you discover that the customer writes long-winded, stream-of-consciousness emails that perplex you, make some immediate changes to your approach. For example, if you don’t get answers to your questions, present them in a well-organized format perhaps as a numbered or bulleted list and ask the customer if they can respond to each one individually in their response.
Trying to go with the flow when the communication style isn’t functioning can lead to an explosive situation. If you inform a client halfway through a project that you don’t understand the directions and that communication is too sporadic, the customer will likely question why you didn’t say something sooner and will respond unfavourably or defensively.
3. Keep all discussions and instructions online
When you start working on a project, you never know if you’ll run into issues later on. The vast majority of conflicts originate from discrepancies between what you’ve done and what you’re “supposed” to do. That is why you should keep all of your conversations and responsibilities organized so that no one can accuse you of not accomplishing whatever you were meant to do.
Clients who outsource projects typically have a lot on their plates, and you’re probably not the only person working for them right now. As a result, they may forget what you said or make mistakes.
Prepare yourself by taking thorough notes on everything that was stated and promised. Keep track of what you agreed to do, how much you promised to pay for it, and when you agreed to have it completed.
Also, make sure you have records of the customer checking off on everything so there are no issues arising from your word versus theirs.
4. Provide data to support your decisions
Many clients will have no idea what kind of job you provide for them (which is why they hired you in the first place). However, some clients will have strong feelings about your job. They’ll quiz you about your thinking for decisions you’ve made.
Many freelancers are irritated by this, and your initial reaction may be to claim the client you have no knowledge of the situation. Shouldn’t they just let you do what you know you’re good at?
A defensive response, on the other hand, will only exacerbate the problem. It won’t help if you insist on knowing your craft better than your client. Instead, gather material that you may use to demonstrate your point of view. Give examples of similar work that works well, and try to explain the rhyme and reason for using a specific word or color.
It will be more difficult for the client to discard your work with a simple “I don’t like it” if you can provide enough facts to justify your work and the reasons behind it.
5. Stay Cool
This is most difficult things to do when you have to stay cool when dealing with difficult clients, especially if you facing annoying clients. What you must to do is avoid reacting immediately and take time to think and answer.
If you receive an aggressive or forceful email from a customer, or if the customer says anything in a way that irritates you, don’t respond right away. To avoid responding on impulse, it’s usually a good idea to take a step back from the issue. Instead of aggravating the problem, try to neutralize it.
That’s all the tips of how to handle difficult clients for freelancers. We hope that those tips will help you in develop a good business relation with the clients. You must remember managing client’s expectations is the main key of those tips. While stay cool whatever the problem is will leads you to the problem solving that you need.
Source : Brazen
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