I am not a professional photographer. I am a partner in a three man law firm. However, as a small business owner we share some things in common. Our reputation is very important and it is for the most part defined by our customers. Therefore, it is always important to recognize when your customer is dissatisfied. I know that it is trite to say that the customer is always right, but there is an element of truth to this old motto. Years ago, those living in large communities were able to sooth their own ego and dismiss customer complaints without as many repercussions. However, we now live in a day and age when any person with a computer is able to post comments, criticisms and praise about our business and, thanks to Google, all these comments are at the finger tips of your customer base.
As a person who has run a small business for over 25 years, I would suggest that you reach out to your clients and set up a time when they can meet with you to discuss any concerns that they may have. Tell them your goal is to have a satisfied customer and that you sense that they are not completely satisfied. You need them to feel free to express their concerns to you rather than have them not want to hurt your feelings and then later plaster negative complaints about your work all over the internet. If you enter into this conversation with an open mind and they are not totally unreasonable, you will likely reach an agreeable compromise. At a minimum, you may learn the real basis for their request and in the best case you will be able to satisfy their needs without a great degree of extra effort.
As a member of a profession known to have inflated egos, I have seen it get the better of many of my brethren. I consider professional photographers to be artists and some artists suffer the same ego issues as my lawyer friends in that they pretend to seek out the opinions of others on their work while in reality they are really searching more for affirmation. Don’t let your ego get in the way of serving the needs of your customer. Always remember who you are working for.
It is interesting the degree to which many of the professional photographers posting in this thread want to keep their RAW files from their clients. As a non-professional photographer, I had never thought of this as an issue. I must admit that when I create a final document I would prefer not to show my client all the drafts that led up to the final document. However, to me what differentiates photographers is not just their eye in taking the underlying photograph, the RAW file, but their abilities in post to take this raw material and turn it into a wonderful finished product. I think a great photographer should be proud of both steps in this process and have no issue in producing the RAW files. Nevertheless, I must imagine that professionals, who have gone down this road before, have good reasons to withhold the RAW files.
I wish the originator of this thread all the best in resolving this issue.