Apology Letter To Customer

How to respond to a complaint with an apology letter?

Step 1: Apologize for the pain, not the mistake

The key point in dealing with customer inconvenience is to show them that you understand and appreciate the pain that resulted from the mistake or the error that happened.
Sure the client wants compensation or a solution to the problem, but what they want the most is for you to understand the trouble that resulted from the error.
To show compassion and sympathy with them, you need to dig deeper to the problem and comprehend the resulting pain.
For example, consider the flight delay situation. People will be upset not because of the delay itself, but because of the events that they might miss due to the delay. It could be a business meeting, a family vacation, a wedding, or an important conference.
Instead of just telling them that you are sorry for the delay, apologize for the fact that they may have missed something important.


"We are really sorry for the delay in today's flight and we apologize if that might have caused you to be late or to miss an important event. We totally understand how inconvenient it is not to be able to reach on time and to have your arrangements messed up."

By relating to the pain, the customer will view you as someone who passed through a similar experience and felt this pain before. This sets the mood for a more tolerant and understanding client.

Step 2: Expression of regret and apology

Be prepared to say sorry. It is not the time to explain matters or to point fingers just yet, you will have plenty of time and space to do that later.
The important thing is that you express your regret about what happened regardless of whose fault it is, even if it is the client's fault.
Remember that compassion and sympathy are key components in resolving the customer's complaint.
You don't have to go overboard with this, stick to the usual.

Examples of sorry phrases:

# "I am terribly sorry for the mistake...."

# "I regret the fact that you found our products to be ...."

# "Allow me to apologize for the wrong delivery

We provide plenty of concrete examples and samples at the end so don't worry too much about how to phrase your sentences.

Step 3: Acknowledgement of the mistake, taking responsibility

More often than not, the error or poor service falls upon you, not the customer. Even in situations where the customer bears some responsibility, they can always argue that it all happened due to miscommunication or misinterpretation. Explain to the client that mistakes are not common in your business and what happened is a rare anomaly.
Be prepared to take responsibility for the incident even if the customer is to be partly blamed. Don't point fingers at them but gracefully explain their part of the error.
For example, if the client provided an ambiguous or wrong delivery address, it is really not your fault, but even in such situations, you should claim some responsibility. You could say: "We are sorry for the delayed delivery, which was due to the wrong delivery address in your order. Our shipping team should have called you before the delivery and verified the address."
Notice how in the above paragraph we clearly pointed out that it is because of their mistake that the delivery was delayed, but still made yourself accountable somehow. By doing so, you will end up with a happier customer in any situation.
If the poor service is mainly on your part, then you have no choice but to take full responsibility for it.

Step 4: Provide an explanation

If there is a specific reason to why the error happened, then explain it to the customer.
Not all mistakes can be justified, but some can.
For example, a delayed flight can be accounted to a mechanical fault in the aircraft. No one wants to board a faulty plane and people will definitely understand the reasons that led to the delay. People might not only appreciate reasons like that but might even be grateful for you not taking risks.
On the other hand, delivery of the wrong product cannot be justified easily. There is really no comprehensible reason for such an error, at least not from the customer's point of view. You may know the true cause of the error, which is most probably be a mishap from one of your staff, but such explanations will get you no sympathy from the customer, so there is no benefit in mentioning them.

Step 5: Resolution

This the most important step in the whole apology process. The client wants to know how you are going to fix the error or provide compensation.
Not all mistakes can be fixed. For example, there is nothing that you can do to reverse the emotional effects of having the customer's call being answered by a rude customer service operator. The damage has occurred and the bad experience is not easily forgettable.
If this is the kind of situation you are dealing with, then the apology itself coupled with safeguards and a precaution plan is your best bet. More about safeguards and customer retention in the next section.
For all other situations, choose the most appropriate way to compensate the client. We compiled a list of possible complaint resolutions for you to consider depending on the situation.

How to compensate a customer?

  • Fixing or repairing the problem: Was there an interruption in service? Did the product malfunction? Addressing the problem at hand is the first thing you do when dealing with complaints.

  • Refunds or Reimbursement: Was your service unsatisfactory? Had the customer not get the expected results from your product or service? A refund is a good way to make the customer satisfied.

  • Replacement: Did you deliver the wrong item or a faulty product? Offer them a replacement, but do it fast.

  • Extended service: Did the client complaint about hidden or unexpected charges? Was the client happy about your the quality of service but was upset about the billing part? Offer them extended service or subscription at no additional cost. They will be thrilled.

  • Gift vouchers: This tactic works very well when you have an established set of products that people want to have.

  • Discount: One of the best ways to retain a customer and make sure they come back again to you. Offer them a big discount on their next purchase as an apology token.

  • Early Completion or Delivery: Sometimes you can compensate a client by offering them an earlier delivery of a product or a faster completion of a project.

Step 6: Customer Retention: Safeguards and Precautions

You apologized to the client and provided restoration. That is all good but how are going to retain them as your client and how are you going to avoid bad publicity and bad influence?
The power of return business cannot be underestimated. Return business comprises anywhere between 20% to 80% for most industries. That is a lot of money.
What is even more important than retaining customers is avoiding bad publicity. The last you want is for them to talk trash about your business to their friends, family members, or colleagues. The effects of bad feedback can be devastating with businesses continuously attributing their number one source of business to referrals.
In order to protect yourself against both threats, you need to tell the customer about what you are planning to do to make sure that such incidents do not happen again in the future.
You have to provide a sincere promise and give assurance for it. Tell the client that you are going to find out the root cause of the incident and that you will take the necessary actions to prevent any mistake in the future.
Your promise has to be true, achievable, appealing, and you need to be able to live up to it.

Mass apologies: when you want to apologize to all of your customers

When a large chunk of your customers are affected by the same issue, then it is better to send a mass message to all of them at once. In your apology speech, you address them as a group, not as individuals.

When you apologize to your customers as a group, they will realize that they are not the only ones who received the poor service. People are generally more tolerant if they feel that others have suffered as much as they did.

Apart from that, all the elements that we discussed earlier apply exactly the same way.

Apology For Bad Product or Service Letter

Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for contacting us for the enclosed matter below. First we would like to express our deepest regret for the inconvenience caused by this unintentional and rare mistake. We are sorry that you were not satisfied by [our products or services] and we assure you that your complaint will be handled in a strict and serious way. We take full responsibility for the error and we guarantee that such incidents will not occur in the future.
[Write here a few sentences about the solution to the problem: replace the item, issue a refund etc…].
We value your business and we would like to retain you as a customer. Please accept our apologies. Thank you for your understanding in this unfortunate matter.

Sample apology letter to client for poor service

Dear Valued Customer,
This letter is regarding the [complaint/claim/letter] you [sent/submitted] on [some date]. Before even attempting to explain the reasons leading to this unintended mistake, I would like to sincerely apologize to you for any inconvenience this may have caused.
At [company name], customer satisfaction is something that we take very seriously and would never compromise under any circumstances. Unfortunately, sometimes unavoidable mistakes happen. In such rare cases, a satisfactory solution is always in place and preventable measures are introduced.
After a thorough review of your case, I have managed to pinpoint the reasons leading to this error. [Explain in two or three sentences why the error happened. Don’t make it long. The client is not really interested in the reasons, only in the resolution. But you should explain for the sake of completeness]. This is clearly a mistake from our side and we take full responsibility for it.
In our attempt to serve you better and retain you as one of our valuable customers, we are going to [state your resolution to the mistake: refund your money, give another item for free, provide you with one year subscription, etc…]. I hope you find these actions satisfactory and up to your expectations. This is the least that we can do to address the unintentional inconveniences that we caused.
As an extra measure to our unconditional commitment to customer satisfaction, we decided to [state measures and precautions that your company will take to prevent such errors in the future]. These precautions will ensure that such errors will not happen again in the future. This would not have been possible without you drawing our attention to your case. We take this opportunity to thank you for your feedback which allows us to serve you and other customers better.
We value your business and hope to retain you as a customer for many years to come.
Please always share your feedback with us; this is how we keep learning and improving. I am very confident that the next [letter / email] we receive from you will be that of appreciation.
Best Regards

Apology letter to unsatisfied customer for mistake and the inconvenience

Dear Valued Customer,
We would like to offer our deepest apologies for the trouble you had to experience with [company name]. This situation is not ordinary and these incidents are not typical of us. We are very serious when it comes to our client’s satisfaction and have a zero tolerance policy in this respect. We appreciate that you understand that mistakes sometimes happen despite the numerous checks and measures. We are very sorry that this happened to you but rest assured it won’t happen again.
After studying the matter, we found out that this error was the result of [explain the root cause of the error]. This is clearly a mistake at our end and we take responsibility for it.
Due to this unintentional error and as a token of appreciation to you as our client, we are going to [state your resolution to the mistake: refund your money, give another item for free, provide you with one year subscription, etc…]. This is the least that we can do to compensate for the inconvenience caused. We do hope this resolution fulfills your expectations and helps clear any deformed image you might have had about our products, services or customer service.
To make things even better, we have taken a number of measures to ensure that this error and similar mistakes do not happen again in the future. It is due to you that we have realized this and we thank you for sharing your experience with us. We prefer to learn and improve under better conditions but sometimes this is just not possible.
One more time we apologize for this error and we hope to keep you as part of our valued customer base for a very long time.
Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts and feedback with us at any time. We are here for you.
Best Regards

Apology letter to client for delay in service

Dear Valued Customer,
It is with great regret that I received your complaint regarding the delay in connecting your service and it surprises me that such an unfortunate incident has happened to one of our valued customers. I can’t describe to you how sorry and shocked I am to know about this. [Company name] owes you its deepest apologies. We take pride in our customer satisfaction and these mistakes are not in line with our philosophy.
A lot of time has been invested to determine the root cause of this error and my team and I reached the conclusion that this was mainly the result of [state the cause of the error without going into many details.] Of course, none of this is your fault and we take full responsibility for this error. As a result and as a token of our acceptance to this mistake, we will [refund your money, give you one year of free subscription, give you 50% on your next purchase, etc…] We hope this is sufficient to solve the issue and clear any remaining inconvenience.
Also as part of our continuous strive for perfection, we are implementing a number of checks and measures to ensure mistakes like these do not occur again. You deserve the best and we will make sure that you will get it with us.
Thank you for raising this matter and giving us an opportunity to perform even better.
If you have any questions or doubts, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.
Best Regards

Refund letter to customer

Dear Valued Customer,
On behalf of everyone at [company name], I would like to apologize for the trouble you had experienced with us recently. This comes as a shock to me given the attention we devote to every client and every transaction. This is not at all usual and this incident will not pass un-scrutinized.
We have taken many steps to narrow down the causes of this mistake and found out that [state the cause of the error without going into many details.] This is clearly our mistake and we take full responsibility for it. To fix this situation and regain your confidence in us, we will refund your money in full as a token of our sincere regret. I hope this adjustment fulfils your expectations and demonstrates how important you and every single customer is for us.
Your feedback was essential to realize this flow in our system and we are taking all the necessary precautions to eliminate this and similar issues from happening again.
Thank you for sharing your feedback which we deeply appreciate. We value your opinion and see it as an opportunity to learn and improve.
Best Regards

Apology letter for wrong or late delivery

Dear Valued Customer,
First of all, let me express my sincere apologies for the unintentional mistake and the inconvenience caused thereafter. These incidents are not typical of us and we are disturbed about this as much as you are.
I have run a quick investigation to find out the reasons that led to this error and I came to the conclusion that it's due to [state the reasons here. Make it short]. This is clearly a mistake at our end and we take responsibility for it.
In our best efforts to keep our customers happy and satisfied, we are going to [give you a new item, refund your money, etc…]. This is the least that we can do in the light of this unfortunate event. We strive for your satisfaction and we want to ensure a gratifying experience for all of our customers.
I would also like to inform you that we will take extra measures to make sure that such errors don't happen again in the future.
I apologize again for the inconvenience.

Professional customer service apology statement

Dear Valued Customer,
I have received your complaint letter and I'm both shocked and disturbed. I'm really not used to writing apology letters to our customers; usually it's only "I'm glad you're happy" letters. But mistakes happen sometimes despite all the safeguards in place. In the event of such rare and unfortunate situations, we can only apologize and try to offer a suitable resolution. As a result, we've decided to [refund your money, give you a replacement, etc…]. I really hope this solution meets your expectations and corrects any deformed image of us.
To prevent such errors in the future, we are going to implement further safeguards and introduce additional checks. It's our ultimate goal that all of our customers go through an exceptionally gratifying experience. We will do whatever it takes to achieve that.
I want to thank you personally for sending your letter and enlighten us about flaws in our system. I would like to apologize once more and hope to have you as customer for many years to come.

Apology letter for technical issues

Dear Valued Customer,
I am really sorry that you weren't satisfied with our service. It's really unusual to receive complaint letters from our customers with all the care and attention that we give to each and every one. I'm really disturbed and totally understand your frustration. I want you to rest assured that we will handle your case in a strict manner and provide and satisfactory solution that will exceed your expectations.
Also, an investigation will be carried out to determine the root cause of the technical problems and implement the necessary safeguards to prevent them from happening again. Expect a call from me within [2 days].
We have a reputation of keeping our customers happy and we want to make sure it is kept upheld. Please accept my sincere apologies.

Product replacement letter to customer

Dear Valued Customer,
I have received your complaint letter and I'm really sorry that we couldn't meet your expectations. This comes to me as a surprise due to the special attention that we give to each and every customer. It is not typical of us to write apology letters, so this situation is certainly unusual. Please accept my apologies for this mistake.
As a token of our regret, we are going to replace your product free of charge and will bear all costs related to shipping, collection, and delivery. I hope this solution is satisfactory and meets your expectations. We will do our best to ensure that such incidents won't repeat. Thank you very much for your business.

Sorry mail to client

Dear Valued Customer,
I have received your complaint letter with great shock! I'm really sorry about your disappointment. There has to be a logical explanation for what happened as these incidents don't happen every day.
I'm going to investigate the matter and find out the true cause of this confusion. Your case will be dealt with in a strict and urgent fashion. Whatever the reasons are, a satisfactory solution will be provided. We don't compromise our customers' satisfaction under any circumstances and we will make sure that you'll walk away from this experience with a big smiling face. This is a really rare and unusual situation. Rest assured that it won't happen again. I value your business and regret losing it.
Please allow for [2 days] while we carry out the necessary investigation and understand the situation. I will get back to you shortly and inform you about our findings and the steps that we will plan to take.

Apology letter to customer for defective product

Dear Valued Customer,
On behalf of everyone at [Company X], I want to apologize for the defective product that you received from us last week. This situation is certainly unusual and we are really sorry for the inconvenience that may have caused. At [Company X] we strive for our client’s satisfaction and prioritize their needs.
As a result, we are going to [refund your money, extend your subscription, etc…]. We owe you this and if there is anything more that we can do in this regards, please do inform us.
It’s also worth knowing that we‘ll make sure that the people responsible for this are well aware of their mistake and its consequences. There is no compromise when it comes to the satisfaction of our clients.

Apology letter to hotel guest for inconvenience or bad service

Dear Valued Guest,
On behalf of the management and everyone who works at [Hotel Name], I would like to apologize to you for the inconvenience and bad service that you received during your stay at our hotel. We totally agree with you that what happened was unacceptable and I can assure you that this is not the way we wish our guests to be treated.
We do our best to provide the best possible level of service, but sometimes unpredictable pitfalls pop up out of nowhere and cause such incidents. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.
As a result of that, we took the necessary precautions to make sure that such incidents do not happen again. As a token of our regret, you and your family are invited to enjoy a complimentary night stay, free of charge, at a date and time of your choice. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation. We value your business and wish to retain you as a customer for years to come.

Restaurant apology letter for bad food or service

Dear Valued Customer,
Thank you for sharing your feedback with us. As I understood from you, our service was not on par with the level you’ve always been accustomed to. We deeply apologize for that and we are sorry that you were disappointed this time. We have set the standards way too high that even we sometimes fail to meet them.
This incident has been dually noted and the necessary precautions have been put in place as preventive measures. We are always keen to act proactively and plan ahead. We will make everything in our power to make sure this won’t happen again.
As a token of our regret, we invite you to have a complimentary meal with your friends at a date and time of your choice. We value your business and wish to have you back.

Apology letter to client for employee misconduct

Dear Valued Customer,
Please accept my apologies for the poor service that you received from one of our staff on [some date]. I agree with you that it was totally not acceptable; however, let me assure you that this is a singular incident. We don't endorse such behaviour. The inappropriate thoughts that were expressed are not in line with our mission and views. We train our staff very well but sometimes bad things happen.
In response to this unfortunate incident, we are going to [refund your money, extend your subscription, etc…]. Also, the necessary disciplinary actions have been taken.
We will make sure to implement additional precautions to improve our services. If there is anything that I can do for you, please inform me.
Thank you for your understanding. Looking forward to doing business with you again.

Reply to a complaint letter for bad customer service

Dear Valued Customer,
I would like to express my deepest regrets for the intentional mistake that you recently encountered. It’s not our habit to make such errors, but nothing is perfect after all. We acknowledge that the error is from our side and kindly ask you accept our apology.
As per our policies, you are entitled for a [refund, replacement, etc…]. I hope this resolution will compensate for the lost time and effort. We are doing everything we can to avoid such unfortunate situations. We are continuously learning from our mistakes to provide the best level of service to our clients.
If there is anything else that I can do for you in this matter, please inform me. We are always interested in listening to our clients and knowing their opinions. I am confident that your next feedback will a positive one. We value your business and wish to have you in our long list of satisfied clients. Thank you very much.

Apology letter to customer for miscommunication

Dear Valued Customer,

Please allow me to express my deepest regrets for the lack of proper communication with regards to your request. As I understood from you, no one from our team called you back to follow up with you.

I am really sorry to hear that and apologize for the fact that you couldn't get your request fulfilled earlier.

In response to this, I have alerted the concerned staff and gave clear instructions to address your request by tomorrow. I will be calling you tomorrow afternoon to make sure that you got what you wanted as you wanted.

Please inform me if there is anything else I can do for you.

Best Regards

How to apologize to customer for inconvenience

1) Express your shock for what happened. Explain to the client that this kind of incidents rarely happens.

2) Say that you are sorry and apologize for the inconvenience caused.

3) Offer the client a satisfactory solution (refund, replacement, etc...)

4) Promise the client that you will take the necessary precautions to prevent this from happening ever again.

Apology Letter To Customer