Writing an Apology Letter (with Samples) Use these sample apology letters as templates for your formal apology letter. Last updated on January 18th, 2019
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.
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.
Starting Paragraph 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.
Sample 1 - Apology Letter Dairy King 9089 Simpson Drive Bellefontaine, Ohio 43311
Bob Shoemaker 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 [DATE]. 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.
(sign your name here) Donald G. Hammond President of Dairy King
Sample 2 - Apology Letter Sarah Wells ABC Marketing Manager 123 North Ridge Road Chandler, AR 76920
John Smith Business Solutions, Inc. 777 West Road Chandler, AR 76920
RE: Reason for Missed Business Appointment
Dear Mr. John Smith,
First of all, I want to express my sincerest apology to you sir for missing our scheduled appointment last Tuesday. I have no doubt that you were waiting and wondering about my whereabouts and why I didn't show up for our appointment.
Unfortunately, I received an emergency phone call from my daughter's school due to an accident she was involved in. Thankfully, she is now fine. However, at the time, this important matter required immediate attention from me as her mother as you can surely understand.
Please forgive me for not calling you on the same day as my daughter's accident, as everything was so chaotic and even somewhat of a blur. However, I would like to move forward with our plans and reschedule another appointment. Also, I hope this incident has not changed our professional working relationship in any way.
Again, I am truly sorry for the inconvenience and hope to hear from you soon.
(sign your name here) Sarah Wells ABC Marketing Manager
Sample 3 - Apology Letter BUSINESS LETTERHEAD
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.
(Signature of Sender) Printed Name of Sender Head of Customer Service