The “customer is always right” concept always rings true. It’s a good philosophy to live by, especially when you consider that the natural human instinct is to be all defensive in the face of an error.

As a professional, you need to take responsibility when a customer complains about an inconvenience. While it may be tempting to simply say that you’re sorry, its best practice to get the wording down to a tee. Being empathetic to their situation helps to show that you truly care and are committed to their cause.

Since doing all this without coming off as way too emotional can be tricky, it’s safe to always have a reference template. Having one in close proximity is a brilliant tactic since it ensures that you’re able to respond to customers’ needs in a timely manner. Given just how prevalent social media use is these days, it’s easy to fall into a public relations nightmare when a situation escalates.

Here are some tips to guide you in formulating an apology letter to customers.

Tips for sending apology letters to customers

1. Say You’re Sorry

It sounds obvious but, it’s a necessary first step towards problem resolution. Using the actual wording “I’m sorry” helps you focus on taking the necessary remedial actions to help out your clientele. It also shields you from being accused of taking a defensive approach.

Importantly, there should be no ifs, buts, or maybes right after you admit wrongdoing. When a customer feels that you’re committed to helping them out, there’s a high chance they’ll stick around. Salvaging the customer relationship should take the first precedence to ensure continued success.

2. Admit to a wrongdoing

Your ego is the only thing that’ going to be affected by this. Irrespective of how blameless you feel, you need to acknowledge that it was your actions that led to the impasse.

It’s very possible that you made an error in judgment by either not clearly elaborating an idea, or comprehending what the client required. It’s also very easy to find yourself responding with witty remarks that may come off as offensive.

Whatever the case, just make sure you take full ownership for the mistakes made in your apology letter to customers. It really doesn’t matter whether you perceive the mistake as large or small. Taking responsibility for your actions shows that you’re a normal human being. This alone can go a long way in enhancing your brand image to your clientele.

3. Explain what went down

When a customer takes issues with your actions or your service, the best thing to do is listen first. By lending them an ear, you’ll be able to get where they’re coming from. Once you’re fully cognizant of their woes, you’re better prepared at handling them.

You can showcase your empathetic nature by restating their problems in their own words. When this usually happens, clients tend to respond with a nod or two. This gives you’re the go-ahead to carefully explain what happened in your apology letter to customers.

You’ll find it easier landing on a common ground using this approach because it stops you from being defensive. This thought-based method works wonderfully since it showcases that you invested some time in them. It also helps you frame appropriate responses to queries raised.

4. Give the next course of action

Moving forward, you need to offer a plan of action. This is recommended since it helps with customer retention. Demonstrating the actions you’re willing to take to avoid such a future occurrence is a brilliant idea.

Formulating a comprehensive action guide shows that you’ve taken the initiative to enhance customer relations. Clients will find it easy to identify that you actually care and will most likely wipe clean the slate.

5. Ask for forgiveness

Asking for forgiveness doesn’t make you look weak. Not at all. Instead, it has a powerful effect on your profile.

It’s a unique human trait that lets customers know that they aren’t conversing with a robot head. Forgiveness showcases that you have authentic concerns and may build your rapport.

That said, it’s essential that you remain on topic and don’t be overly dramatic in your appeal. All you simply need to say is “I hope you forgive me”, and the message will be loud and clear. In your apology letter to customers, strive to ensure that you never leave them feeling uncomfortable.

6. Don’t take it personally

Customer complaints don’t necessarily mean it’s the end of the world. Even the best companies are not immune to customer dissatisfaction. Instead of taking it personally when a complaint is filed, you need to remind yourself that everyone slips up every once in a while.

The key thing is to invest time and energy into drafting up a sincere apology letter to customers. Having a chip on your shoulder after you press send will not do you much good. Instead, think of the whole experience as an opportunity to start new memorable conversations with your clients.

Example apology letters to customers

Having shared a couple of tips to use when drafting an apology letter to customers, we’re certain you’ll have an easy time resolving arising issues. To further guide you along, here’s a couple of examples to get some inspiration from.

Apology for Poor Services Rendered

Dear <Customer Name>,

I’d like to start off by apologizing to you for the experience you had while trying to configure your account. Given this is not our usual standard, I perfectly understand how frustrating the delay may have been. I’m sorry you had to spend so much of your precious time trying to access the service.

In the last two weeks, we’ve been trying to install a new onboarding system that makes light work of the account configuration process. Unfortunately, we’ve experienced some hitches because of an unexpected number of sign-ups. Having reviewed your account, I’m confident that we’ll be able to resolve your situation because there are no other pending problems.

To help you get started with the onboarding process, I’ve decided to waive the first month’s subscription fee.

Again, I’d like to state that I’m truly sorry you had to go through all this. I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to cater to your needs in the days to come.

If you’d love to have a chit chat or ask further questions, feel free to let me know. I’m here to help!


<Your Name>

Refund Apology Letter to Customer

Dear <Customer Name>,

On behalf of everyone at XYZ Company, I’d like to apologize for the trouble you went through with us recently. We usually take special precautions to ensure that every one of our clientele is availed the best of services as they undertake their transactions. I’d like to assure you that the incident will not pass unnoticed and we’ve refocused our attention to resolving your matter.

We’ve already identified a likely hitch which caused the entire mistake. We take full responsibility since it was a systems error. In a bid to remedy the situation, we’re prepared to refund your money in full as a token of our deepest regrets. I hope that this change will put a smile back on your face and showcase just how invaluable you are to us.

We appreciate you sharing feedback on the matter and we’ve taken the necessary steps to avert the reoccurrence of the flaw.

Your opinion is highly valued here and we see it as an opportunity for us to enhance and optimize our systems. If you’d love to inquire about anything else, be sure to reach out and I’ll be in touch.

Best regards,

<Your Name>


Having spent 18 years either running his own agency or an agency for others, Jason has strong expertise in both B2B and retail marketing, and has been working with large clients on how to bring campaigns to market.

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