Writing an Apology Letter to a Customer (with Sample)

Mistakes happen in life and in the business world. It’s always better for any relationship for the person at fault to apologize for making a mistake.

It is especially important in the business world, because losing a client or customer can negatively affect profits. 

For any business, no matter how large or small, a business apology letter is a crucial part of good customer relations.

The most common reasons a business may need to send an apology letter are:

  1. Defective goods
  2. Improper shipping
  3. Poor service
  4. Delayed flights
  5. Billing issues
  6. Delayed shipping
  7. Missed deadlines

When a customer complains, it is to the company’s advantage to send an apology letter, even if the customer is partly at fault. 

Sending apology letters should be viewed by the business as an opportunity to solidify business relationships, rather than a necessity of admitting weakness. 

Clients often overlook mistakes made by companies, and apologizing is one way to make customers have confidence in the business.

It’s important for a business to send an apology letter as soon as possible after the mistake has been brought to the attention of customer service. 

If the letter is sent quickly, it will have a stronger impact on the receiver because they will feel that their complaint has been taken seriously. 

If the letter is sent several weeks or months later, the customer will most probably already have chosen another company with whom to work.

Take Responsibility For Any Mistake

In many cases, when a company takes responsibility for any mistake or perceived mistake, the customer will forgive it and continue to do business with it.

However, in most cases, words of apology are not enough. There needs to be some concrete restitution such as money back or a new product provided.

The letter should begin with an apology, so the receiver immediately knows the intent of the letter.

If applicable, the writer can acknowledge the reasons for the complaint, and explain the steps being taken so the mistake doesn’t happen again. There should be another apology at the end of the letter.

When writing an apology letter from a business, the person should consider the customer’s perspective and understand the inconvenience he or she experienced because of the business. Customers are assets and need to be treated with care.

They should never be made to feel the mistake was somehow their fault, or that they could have avoided it. The letter should have a tone that encourages the customer to forgive the mistake.

Some tips for writing a business apology letter:

  1. Take full responsibility for the mistake and don’t give excuses
  2. Explain how steps are being taken to make sure the mistake doesn’t happen again
  3. Make an offer of cash, refund or service that may help make up for the mistake
  4. Mention at the end that the business would like to continue working with the customer or client
 

An apology letter should be sincere. If it blames the customer in any way, it will not sound sincere.

Some things not to include in the letter are:

  1. Making excuses
  2. Vague promises of restitution
  3. Generalizing the problem – It should be specific

Here is a sample business apology letter. It should be written in formal business style on company letterhead, so the receiver knows the company is taking their complaint seriously.

It should be short and to the point, and not focus on the damage, but focus on what will be done to make it all right. In some cases, it’s recommended to follow up an apology letter with a phone call.

Sample 1 – Apology Letter To A Customer

BUSINESS LETTERHEAD

DATE

Receiver’s Name
Receiver’s Address
City, State, Zip Code

Dear Receiver’s Name:

This letter is a formal apology from Name of Business for the inconvenience you experienced as mentioned to our Customer Service department.

The crew that was sent to repair your air conditioner caused water and soil damage to your carpet and it is my intention to pay for professional cleaning of the carpet that was soiled. I would also like to offer a free check-up of your plumbing and heating systems.

I am very sorry for your inconvenience, and want you to know that the crew that serviced your unit has been sent for training to learn how to maintain the area being repaired.

Thank you for bring this matter to our attention, so we can ensure that this doesn’t happen again. We value you as a customer, and hope you will continue to use our plumbing and heating services.

I will contact you within the next week to arrange for the restoration of your carpet and schedule at time for your free checkup. If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at Phone Number or at Email Address.

Thank you for your continuing patronage.

Sincerely,

Signature of Sender
Printed Name of Sender
Head of Customer Service

Sample 2 – Apology Letter To A Customer

Dairy King
9089 Simpson Drive
Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311

[DATE]

Bob Shoemaker
26644 Newtons Perkins Way
Plainfield, Ohio 43312

Dear Mr. Shoemaker,

Thank you for taking the time to call our customer service line. It has been brought to my attention that you had a horrible experience when you visited our Bellefontaine restaurant on March 15th.

I want you to know that all of our customer service workers receive adequate training on how to treat customers. 

There is never an excuse to be talking on the cell phone and arguing with a boyfriend while trying to take a customer’s order. Our customers come first. 

I want you to know that I personally have handled this situation and there will be no further issues. 

Cell phones are banned from the sales counter and anyone caught in the future will not have a job. While I cannot change what happened that day to you and your wife, I can offer you a free meal for two when you come again. 

We have been servicing the Bellefontaine area for more than 30 years, and we have every intention on being there another 30. 

Customers like you are what help us to know what is going on and what areas need our immediate attention. I hope that you will see better service, and if there should be any problems, please don’t hesitate to call me directly.

Sincerely,

Donald G. Hammond
President of Dairy King

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