Apologize For Poor or Inadequate Service - Letters

Example Letter #1

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We hope you will accept our sincere apologies for the inconvenience your party experienced when you held an anniversary celebration in our ballroom. I know it was important for you to begin at 6:00 p.m., and the failure of our other guests to leave the room on time was a frustration to us all. Thank you for your patience while we enlisted the help of several additional persons to help with your setup.

To avoid such problems in the future, we are allowing more time between scheduled events, and are imposing a surcharge on any group that does not leave the ballroom by the scheduled time.

We have enjoyed working with your social committee, and we look forward to serving you more efficiently in the future. Again, our sincere apologies.

Example Letter #2

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Your comments regarding the service you received at our store are very important to us. We want customers to enjoy shopping at Doe's, so your report of a disturbing experience with one of our sales persons is a serious concern for us. First, let us express our deepest apologies. You deserve only the best service, especially when you visit Doe's. Second, we are questioning our staff and will take appropriate action. Finally, the next time you visit our store, please ask for me. I will personally give you a special discount on your purchase and provide you with the service you should expect at Doe's. Thank you for reporting this incident.

Example Letter #3

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Please accept my apology for the manner in which we handled your complaint this morning. Our salesperson has worked here only two weeks and was unaware of our policy on returned goods. We know the incident must have been very unpleasant for you. The salesperson in question will receive special training during the next two weeks so he will be better prepared to serve all our customers. We look forward to serving you in the coming months.

Example Letter #4

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I am sorry that you received inferior service when you brought an important out-of-town client to dine at our restaurant last Saturday evening. I know how frustrating it is to have plans for an elegant evening unexpectedly go awry.

I appreciate your making me aware of the situation. To solve the problem, I am placing a few of our best servers on call during peak evening hours. Please accept the $50.00 gift certificate I have enclosed as a token of my appreciation for your patronage and a gesture of my desire to make amends.

Letter-Writing Tips

Write this letter as soon as possible after the incident. Don't apologize unless you plan to take full responsibility. A sincere, well-worded apology can be very effective in winning back disgruntled customers and business associates.

Step-by-Step Guide

1 Begin with a straightforward apology that refers to the offense.

Sentences
  • We apologize that the water fountains we installed in your office were not the model you ordered.
  • We apologize that we lost a tightening screw when we replaced the air filter on your truck last week.
  • We are sorry that you were not satisfied with the service you received at the Doe Family Restaurant.
  • We apologize that our technician did not stay longer to answer your questions about the humidifier she installed.
  • Jane, I apologize that the project team did not get the Doe report to you yesterday.
  • We apologize for the way our representative treated you in our showroom.
  • I was distressed to learn that the service we provided was inadequate. I apologize.
  • We apologize that our sales representative did not give you an instruction manual for the network we installed in your office.
  • We apologize that we did not respond promptly to your service call.
Phrases
  • apologize that the project team did not
  • apologize for the canceled
  • did not respond promptly to
  • did not give you
  • distressed to learn that
  • mechanical problems arise
  • problems come up that
  • salesperson did not give
  • service we provided was inadequate
  • that your first experience with us
  • the way our order department handled
  • the way you were treated in our showroom
  • unable to meet your expectations
  • was not the model you had ordered
  • were not satisfied with the service

2 Acknowledge their frustration and thank them for their concern.

Sentences
  • Jane, thank you for pointing this matter out to us. Once again your keen insight is valuable to both our firms.
  • We are proud of our customer service and seek to train our employees to meet our standards. We are particularly concerned when customers feel they have been poorly treated. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
  • I understand that such inconveniences can be very frustrating. Thank you for your patience.
  • I know it was an important report and you needed it to start work on your end of the project.
  • We too are upset when things like this happen. Let me assure you that we will respond quickly to remedy the situation.
  • We understand your frustration. Thank you for bringing this matter to our attention.
  • On behalf of Doe Associates, I thank you for your patience.
Phrases
  • appreciate your patience
  • calling my attention to the frustration you
  • causes inconvenience and delay
  • dependable service one expects
  • does not adequately meet your needs
  • frustration you have experienced
  • get an immediate answer
  • give our customers the courtesy and friendliness that
  • haven't done our job in training new personnel
  • hope you will continue to
  • in appreciation of your support for
  • make every effort to see that
  • needed it to start work on
  • particularly concerned when
  • put the safety of our passengers first
  • regret this unfortunate situation
  • regret any inconvenience
  • sorry this happened to you
  • such inconveniences can be very frustrating
  • thank you for writing
  • thank you for giving us the opportunity to resolve the problem
  • understand your frustration
  • upset when things like this happen
  • was an important report
  • when customers feel we have treated them poorly
  • will act quickly to remedy the situation

3 Mention any specific steps taken to correct the problem. End with a positive statement.

Sentences
  • By the time you receive this letter, our service personnel should have already installed your new water fountains. We hope you will contact us at 555-5555 if you have further questions or concerns. Thank you for your patience.
  • Our technician will be in Springfield Tuesday through Thursday. She plans to stop by your office to give a detailed presentation explaining the functions of your humidifier. Please call Jane at 555-5555 to arrange an appointment. Again, we are sorry that she did not do this the last time she was in town.
  • I discussed your phone call with the employee involved. She understands your concern and knows that her behavior was unacceptable. I assure you we will be attentive in preventing a repeat of Wednesday's incident. Please accept this gift certificate for the next time you visit the Doe Family Restaurant.
  • The recent snow storms have made it difficult to serve our customers quickly, but we will do our best to get to you as soon as possible.
  • I have instructed Jane, our service coordinator, to stop by your factory in Springfield. She will bring the equipment necessary to replace the parts on your water fountains.
  • The manuals are out of print. A new printing will be ready at the beginning of next month, but since you cannot wait that long to begin using your network, please call Jane, our network specialist, and she will answer your questions.
  • I assure you this won't happen again.
  • We value our relationship with your firm and are committed to providing top quality service.
  • We at Doe Service make customer satisfaction top priority. We hope you enjoy your new cooler. If you have questions please call John at 555-5555.
  • With this note I have enclosed the completed version of the Doe report. I look forward to finishing this project. Your contribution has been invaluable.
Phrases
  • a new printing will be ready on
  • appreciate your concern because it helps
  • beginning more rigorous training
  • bring with her the equipment necessary to
  • bring this letter to our membership office
  • come up with a plan that
  • discussed your phone call with the employee
  • ensure that those errors will not be repeated
  • explaining the functions of your
  • channel all requests through
  • get to you as soon as possible
  • give a detailed presentation explaining
  • give better service when
  • have instructed our service coordinator to
  • have enclosed the completed version of the report
  • our technician will be in
  • plans to stop by your office to give
  • plans to improve support services to
  • please accept this gift certificate for a free
  • replace the parts on your
  • service personnel should have already
  • will uncover the root of the problem
  • will make every effort to see that
  • will do our best to get to

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