Relationships are hard at best. Whether professional or personal, there are oftentimes that things cannot go as planned. There are times we, or our staff, say or do things that we shouldn’t have. Whether we were in a bad mood, at wit’s end or just feeling the stress of a specific situation, sometimes we must say we are sorry.
Saying sorry to an offended customer may mean repeat business. However, leaving the situation go may cause bad mouthing the company name.
This can cause negative impact on revenues, as word of mouth is the best or worst advertising. Regardless of whether the matter is one of personal or business nature, sometimes we must bite the bullet and apologize for any wrongdoing that has occurred.
Gathering Thoughts Before Writing
Before beginning a letter of this nature, contemplate what needs to be said and what subjects should be best left unsaid. Collect thoughts and try to form some sort of mental draft that will come across as a sincerely apology. In general, these letters are not formal unless being written from a business to a customer.
Usually, the people we hurt are the ones who are closest to us. However, if it is a letter to a customer, it will need to have a bit more thought and be put together with a professional flair. Is the company going to offer the offended customer more than just an apology letter?
Sometimes a coupon for a free meal or service is often an even better way to say sorry. The goal of this letter from a company is customer retention.
The starting paragraph should always begin with stating the offense and asking forgiveness. Why state the offense first? Well, if a person is really mad, they might not read a bunch of chatter at the beginning. Some people only want to hear how sorry someone is and could care less about the other stuff.
Make sure to get the point of the letter out right away, it could make a difference in whether it is read or not. Because everyone is different and personalities and temperaments are also diverse, be careful to work the opening paragraph appropriately. The worst thing that someone would want to do is further damage the situation.
This letter is intended for someone who wants to make amends, not someone who wants to argue more about the matter. Be authoritative and make sure the apology is firm and sincere.
This can be an extension of the admission of guilt, or it can be giving an assurance to the other party. Be careful and try not to ramble on and over explain the incident.
Remember, this letter is to make amends with the other person, no one is on trial and has to grovel their way to freedom. If the incident was completely summed up in the first paragraph, then the second should be some sort of affirmation that this event won’t happen in the future.
If this is a business letter, then giving some guarantee that the poor service won’t be repeated may ensure another visit from the offended party. For instance, if someone got horrible service by a waitress at a restaurant and took the time to write in or call a hotline, they should have some sort of affirmation the situation was handled.
The last thing a manager would want to happen is that same person to go in and get similar service. The customer may be leery of coming back, for fear of the same type of treatment. There needs to be an assurance that the situation has been dealt with.
This should be the last paragraph, and it should sum up the letter. Thank the customer for their patronage. If it’s personal, tell the person how much they are loved. End the letter on a happy note and ensure that the situation was handled. Make sure there are no spelling or grammar issues and sign it for the personal touch.
Apology Letter for Poor Customer Service
9089 Simpson Drive
Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311
January 20, 2014
26644 Newtons Perkins Way
Zanesfield, 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 January 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.
Donald G. Hammond
President of Dairy King