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Every company that has been in business will inevitably find itself apologizing to a customer or more than one customer at some point. Mistakes happen regardless of how efficiently companies work, and it becomes crucial to deliver a sincere apology. However, many companies need to do it more effectively.

Mastering the art of apologizing can mean the difference between regaining a customer's trust or losing a business for good. Poor apologies will hamper future business and tarnish the company's reputation in the long run.

So how important are apologies, and how to write one with proper content? This article takes a deeper dive.

What is an apology letter?

An apology letter is a means to atone for a mistake, harm, or offense caused by the action of a business to its customer. A well-written apology letter to customer not only acknowledges the mistake by the company but also validates the customer's feelings and experience.

It is the first step in starting to work on fixing the damage and restoring trust and relationship with the customer by affirming the changes the business will make to repair the damage and not repeat the same in the future.

It is essential to understand that an apology letter is not meant to justify your actions but to address your mistake and the customer's feelings.

Why should businesses bother to send apology letters?

Although an apology is one of the hardest things to say, it is the most crucial first step to making it up to your customers. Customers who are unhappy with your service, mistake, or blunder demand their frustration be recognized and the right action to fix things.

When issues go unresolved, most unhappy customers wouldn't want to buy from you again.

While it may appear as common sense, the numbers are even more surprising- 91% of customers will not buy from a company they've had a bad experience with. Now that's losing almost all customers who are unhappy with your business; in a competitive market where every new customer's business counts, you cannot lose any.

That's not all; consider that negative news and reviews are picked up faster than positive reviews. 13% of unhappy customers would share their bad experience with 20 people or more, while a happy customer is only likely to share with about 3 people.

Therefore a mistake followed by a poor response/apology will not only cost you the customer but will continue to erode your reputation and steer potential customers away.

Sample apology letters to customers

Here are 10 sample apology letters to customers that incorporate all the elements of an effective apology letter.

1. Personal apology letter to dissatisfied customer:

Dissatisfied customers are a great source of learning and change when something isn't right in the business process. Here's how to apologize to a customer who isn't happy with your product/service:

Subject Line: We're sorry that you're not happy with your recent purchase

Hi [Customer Name]

Thank you for sending us your feedback. We are very sorry that you are unhappy with the recent purchase of [Mention product]. We intended to satisfy you, as striving for a delightful customer experience is our top priority.

Please take a few moments to elaborate further on your poor experience and how we can improve going forward. We will work our hardest to get it right the next time based on your feedback.

Looking forward to your feedback


[Your Name and Role]

2. Mass apology letter

Mass apology letters are sent when mistakes or errors affect a segment of customers, such as software errors, data breaches, outages, etc. In such an instance, the apology letter is signed by a senior manager or even the CEO. Here's an example:

Subject Line: A formal apology from [Name of the Business]

Dear [Customer Name]

I sincerely apologize on behalf of the [Company name] for the [Problem and period that it occurred]. [Mention the origin of the incident]. We understand it is unacceptable and has caused [explain how customers were affected]. It saddens us that you depended on us for [express customer goal], and we failed to live up to the expectations you had for us.

This incident is being investigated seriously. Once we determine the cause, every precaution will be taken to ensure it won't repeat. [Give an example of the measure or the plan you have at work].

I appreciate your patience at this hour as we investigate the Problem further. I'm confident you won't experience this again, and all the precautions will be taken in the future.

In the meantime, if you wish to discuss any loss or damage it may have caused, I urge you to contact

Our customer support teams are there for you. Please reach out and let us know how we can help you.


[Manager Name]

3. Apology for cancelled service

Cancelled services can be a major disappointment for customers and even a deal-breaker. Here's an apology letter for a cancelled service:

Dear [Customer Name]

I am sorry to inform you that our service appointment for [Mention Date and Time] has been cancelled due to a major emergency with one of our members on leave. Since we are a small team, we can only meet some of our appointments with a critical technical team member on an extended absence period.

I am sorry about the inconvenience this has caused and would like to reschedule the appointment if possible. We will do our best to ensure you get our best services at the earliest available slot. Please feel free to contact me directly about when we can reschedule.

Looking forward to hearing from you


[Your Name and Title]

4. Apology letter for defective product

When products don't meet expectations, it can become a major let-down. Situations like this can arise when the product has to be recalled when the customer realizes it doesn't work as intended.

Here's an apology letter for such a situation:

Dear [Customer Name]

Thank you for contacting us regarding the defective product you have received. We are deeply sorry that it did not work as intended and apologize for any inconvenience it might have caused.

Our products undergo a thorough quality control check before being packaged and shipped. Regrettably, this one has passed the checks and ended up with you.

To compensate for the inconvenience, we have already shipped a functional product which should arrive on [Date]. There's also a pre-labeled box for you to send us back the defective product once you receive the replacement. Additionally, to compensate for your troubles, we include a coupon you can redeem on your next purchase.

We're looking forward to delighting you with better products in the future. Please get in touch for any queries or feedback.


[Name, Title]

5. Apology letter for bad service

Sometimes, one of your employees has a bad day and decides to snap at a customer. While the customer may also have triggered the outburst unwillingly, you must apologize to the customer.

Subject Line: We're sorry for losing our cool

Dear [Customer Name]

We are very sorry about the negative incident at the store today with one of our customer service agents. Kindly accept our sincere apology for the frustration and stress the incident caused you.

We need to know that our customer service agents are regularly trained in customer interaction. This incident clarifies that gaps must be covered and the program needs to be updated. We would avoid incidents like this, update the program, and send the customer service team a refresher.

We want to offer [enter the offer] to make it up to you. We hope you forgive us and our relationship can return to how it was.

Please get in touch if you have feedback or recommendations.


[Your Name @ Company]

6. Apology letter for delay

This sample apology letter applies to a delay in the delivery of a product. The email should be sent when you realize the cargo won't arrive on time.

Subject Line: We are so sorry for the delay

Dear [Customer Name]

We're very sorry you won't get your shipment on time. A mix-up at the dispatch warehouse has sent your package on a longer route than what was intended. We are totally at fault for the incident and regret letting you down on this occasion. We want to reassure you that this incident won't happen again, and we're putting control measures [mention measures] to prevent future incidents of a similar nature.

Please expect the delivery at [Revised delivery date] as your package is safe and on its proper route.

We hope to gain your trust. Please accept this voucher that you can use on your next purchase with us.


[Yours and Company Name]

7. Apology letter for error in Billing

Financial mistakes, especially when you withdraw more than the intended amount or withdraw more than once, can cause a lot of frustration and stress for your customers. These complaints need to be addressed swiftly to avoid losing customers. Here's an example:

Subject Line: Apology for Billing Issues

Dear [Customer Name]

Thank you for bringing your recent billing issue to our attention. We are so sorry that you were charged twice for the purchase made. Our investigation uncovered a computer glitch which caused your troubles. Our tech team is investigating the matter, and we will have the portal up and running after fixing the bug.

In the meantime, the errant charge has been credited and should be back in your account within three days. We apologize for the inconvenience it may have caused you and look forward to serving you in earnest.

Please do not hesitate to contact me directly if you have any queries.


[Your Name]

8. Personal apology letter to customer

Misunderstandings when working one-to-one with customers can lead to unintended consequences and frustration. It can be especially damaging as you only have to deal with one person at a time and mess up a simple task.

Subject Line: Follow up and Apology for the Inconvenience

Dear [Customer Name]

I am very sorry about the invalid solution I gave you regarding the software glitch on your system. I deeply regret the mistake and take full responsibility for the trouble it has caused. While your descriptions were clear, I needed to understand certain aspects of the phone calls, which led to an incorrect diagnosis of the Problem.

This error has prompted me to change my approach to dealing with complicated errors requiring multiple customer interactions. I have [mention changes made] so the next time the same situation arises, this mistake won't happen again.

I hope you forgive my folly and we can continue working together.

Please reach out for any feedback, queries, or comments.


[Your Name]

9. Apology letter to customer for missing an appointment

While businesses complaining about appointment no-shows by prospects or customers are forgivable, the opposite can significantly impact the business's reputation. It can leave customers feeling undervalued and significantly increase the likelihood of churn.

Subject Line: My sincerest apologies for missing the appointment

Dear [Customer Name]

I'm sorry for missing our appointment on [Date and Time]. I hope you received the text message I sent regarding the same.

I got caught up in [Mention strong reason] and realized I couldn't make it to our appointment. Please accept my heartfelt apologies for the inconvenience it caused.

We value every customer, and your time is precious to us. Only some appointments reflect well on our business, and we are open to making it up to you by rescheduling on any time slot that is convenient for you. [Add link]

I look forward to our next appointment.


[Your Name]

10. Apology letter follow–up

Following up is a crucial aspect of a sincere apology, especially when the mistake committed has bigger repercussions. Following up on all apologies is good practice to give the incident closure.

Subject: Follow up on [Issue]

Dear [Customer Name]

We recently discussed the [Issue] and wanted to follow up to see how things are going. If you have any more concerns or questions or issues you wish to bring up, please take up the survey [Link] and answer all the questions.

Looking forward to hearing from you


[Your Name]

Tips for writing an apology letter

You can write effective apology letters when you realize that apologizing to a customer is no different from apologizing to a partner, friend, or other person. The key is empathy and humanization. Here are 5 tips to help you do it better:

1. Admit mistake

An effective apology starts with admitting the mistake. Put your pride aside and accept you're at fault for what happened. Take complete ownership of the error and acknowledge that it was your fault that the order failed to arrive on time, the delivery got mixed up, or the product was not up to the mark- whatever the mistake that happened might have been.

Avoid giving excuses or saying things like "Sorry if you felt.. "or "Sorry, but.. "and so on. Your lines must clarify that you are the offender and they are offended.

2. Explain the events without giving excuses

A quick explanation of how it happened should trail your admission of the mistake. It's a chance to show that it wasn't caused by negligence or intentional. The explanation needs to get into the details but not as an excuse.

3. Give clear next steps to work

Once you're past explaining the events, you must quickly move to conclusions and the measures in place to deal with the incident within policy.

At this point, you can offer compensation, discount, reimbursement, gift, or any other repartition to signal them that you are sorry and are willing to work on fixing the strained relationship.

4. Ask for feedback

The feedback should follow every apology so you know how your apology was received. There are other benefits as well. Feedback is how you solidify the apology and work on fixing things.

It also ensures the customer's dissatisfaction is directed into the internal feedback channels instead of social media, where it can damage your reputation.

5. Follow up personally

Depending on the gravity of the incident, you can also follow up later by email to ensure the customer is satisfied with your apology and willing to move forward. You can also address the changes that were made to fix the issue.


When done correctly, apologies can go a long way in saving business ties and customer relationships. It is often the case with apology letters that the people concerned do not take the right approach and end up saying things that might escalate further.

By following the procedures outlined above, you will be able to craft outstanding apology letters when the need arises.

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