Respond to a Complaint While Admitting Fault and Making an Adjustment • Letter Templates and Guide

How to write this letter:

1Acknowledge the complaint and express sympathy. Refer to the customer's problem, not to the complaint.
2Briefly explain how you have looked into the problem and what you are doing to correct it. If you prefer to discuss only how you will correct the problem, go directly to step 3.
3Explain what you have done or will do to resolve the customer's immediate problem.
4Close with an expression of good will. You want the customer to focus on the restitution you are making, not on the unpleasant experience they have been through.

Tips

Write this letter as soon as you have received and investigated the complaint. If a customer takes the time to complain, you can probably retain his or her business. It takes less effort to satisfy a current customer than to attract a new one.

Example Letter #1

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We received your letter of January 1 regarding the duplicate charge to your account. We apologize for the mistake and have corrected the billing. Your account has a zero balance. Thank you for calling this to our attention. You are a valued customer, and we look forward to serving your automotive needs in the future.

Example Letter #2

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I understand how upset you must have been when you discovered that our shipping office sent you the wrong order three days before your sale. Please accept my sincere apologies for that error.

After investigating what caused the mistake, I found that we have two H. Does in our customer files; hence, the shipping office mistakenly sent you the other Mr. H. Doe's order. To ensure that we do not repeat this error, we will always include full first names on all paperwork and double check the account numbers.

Again, I apologize for the inconvenience we caused you. We will give a 15% discount on your next order.

Example Letter #3

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I apologize for your wait in my office before your appointment. I read your letter and I agree: one hour is too long to sit in a waiting room before your dental exam. I have had difficulty with my staff overbooking my appointments. I can't handle the number of patients they schedule and the patients become cranky waiting for their harried dentist. I have corrected the scheduling problem as well as hired two new hygienists who will help with routine exams. We shall have no more long waits at my office.

I value your patronage and comments. Thank you for bringing your frustrations to my attention. Please report on our service in the future.

Example Letter #4

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I am sorry that you had to complain about my lack of service. I dropped the ball in this case and will do everything I can do in the future to prove the value of your business to me. To begin with, I will be at your office next Monday to enroll the new participants. To prevent future oversights, I have reworked my scheduling system so that I won't miss another appointment. Thank you for calling my attention to my error. My service in the future will be much better, I promise.

Write Your Letter Step-by-Step

1

Acknowledge the complaint and express sympathy. Refer to the customer's problem, not to the complaint.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases

2

Briefly explain how you have looked into the problem and what you are doing to correct it. If you prefer to discuss only how you will correct the problem, go directly to step 3.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases

3

Explain what you have done or will do to resolve the customer's immediate problem.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases

4

Close with an expression of good will. You want the customer to focus on the restitution you are making, not on the unpleasant experience they have been through.

Example Sentences

Example Phrases