How Freelancers can Show Empathy to Their Struggling Customers

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Build long-lasting relationships with your customers by showing empathy, especially during these trying times.

Because empathy is about understanding the feelings of another person, it plays a crucial role in your freelancing career.

The more meaningful relationships you build through empathy, the more repeat orders you get.

What’s more, empathy is one of the most human things you can do, considering the hardships that people are facing during this time of crisis.

To show empathy to your struggling customers, consider these tips.

1. Surprise Them with Freebies.

Blow your customers’ minds with freebies on top of completing their orders excellently.

Your customers won’t expect freebies since they’re also expecting you (just like everyone else) to be hurting due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

By unexpectedly giving away free stuff, you go against the grain by showing concern and generosity despite the economic downturn.

Surprise your customers with freebies by doing these:

  • In addition to writing an article, add three social media posts to accompany your write-up.
  • Instead of doing a photo retouch only, send 2 – 3 other versions of the photo with different backgrounds.
  • If they order logo designs, offer a couple more variations than what you originally agreed upon so they get more options without having to pay more.
  • Instead of just writing their articles, add a free meta description and focus keyword so it’s easier for them to optimize their content for the search engines.
  • Etc.


By offering freebies and verbalizing your concern, you show that you are one of a kind; that you have the audacity and the heart to give and think about the welfare of others when most people can’t see past their needs.

2. Use Statements that Convey Empathy

Feeling genuine concern for your customers isn’t enough.
Tell them how you feel and take action so your words and actions are congruent.

The “taking action” bit will be conveyed if you follow step one.

As for telling them, use statements that convey empathy.

Consider these examples:

  • “I care about your welfare.”
  • “I understand how you feel.”
  • “I see you’re in a tough spot.”
  • Etc.

Remember that your customers aren’t just your income source, they are people with true feelings, families, bills to pay, and they aren’t exempt from the devastating effects of the pandemic.

By putting into words that you care for them, there is no confusion or misunderstanding — you’re spelling out the message after all.

If you work hard and produce excellent results, your customers could be happy and think that you’re a hard-working person that values excellence. However, they won’t necessarily feel that you are concerned about their welfare — unless you tell them plainly.

3. Offer Free Revisions

Some sellers limit the number of revisions they do for their customers. There is wisdom to that, of course, since it protects you and your buyers from needless friction.

As a gesture of concern, however, consider offering free and unlimited revisions — at least, during this time of crisis.

Saying that you are willing to do the revisions until they’re satisfied (and without additional charges) shows that you are concerned about their welfare.

It shows that you are serious about helping them achieve their goals, even to the point of making sacrifices.

Be sure to articulate your reason for offering free revisions. That you aren’t offering it only as means to generate more business. Otherwise, your customers might only view your move as a marketing ploy.

Build stronger relationships through empathy

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”

Don’t settle for transactional relationships.

Go the extra mile by showing them how much you care.

Pursue meaningful connections with your customers that are based on trust, concern, and loyalty.

Show empathy, and you’ll take your relationship with your customers to the next level. To learn more about how to succeed as a freelancer, check out Fiverr’s community for tried and tested freelancing tips and strategies.

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Fiverr Team
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