Respond Positively to Negative Feedback • Letter Templates and Guides

How to write this letter:

1Acknowledge the negative feedback.
2Assure the reader that you will use his or her comments in a constructive way.
3Thank the reader for his or her comments.


This letter should express appreciation for the sender's initiative, interest, and constructive criticism. Avoid being defensive. Keeping the tone positive will encourage honest input in the future. If you disagree with the negative feedback, you can still keep the tone positive by not arguing in the letter, but not agreeing, either.

Example Letter #1


Thank you for taking the time to tell us about your unfortunate experience with the Springfield Fire Department. I am sorry to hear about your losses in the house fire, and I regret that you were not satisfied with the performance of our fire fighters. I have scheduled a meeting with the Fire Chief and the Battalion Chief from the main station to discuss your comments.

We are particularly concerned about the delay in response time, and we will be investigating the details of the fire in the coming weeks. We have a firm commitment to the citizens of Springfield to make this fire department more efficient at the job of saving lives and property. Thanks again for your helpful suggestions on ways to improve our record.

Example Letter #2


Jane Doe alerted me to your letter regarding the freshness of the vegetables we serve. We always appreciate comments from our customers so we can serve you better. I will personally look into what caused your concern last week. We make it a high priority to buy the freshest vegetables available and present them as fresh as possible on our customers' plates. If we disappoint someone, we want it to be the last time. Thank you for going to the trouble to write us.

Example Letter #3


I was saddened to learn of your negative reaction to my seminar. I strive to reach everyone who has an interest in personal productivity, but I understand that for some my method may be incompatible with their own. Your comments will certainly help me, as I am constantly revising and redesigning the seminar. It is my goal to provide something that can help everyone who is interested in personal productivity. Thank you for your comments.

Example Letter #4


Thank you for contacting me regarding your bad experience aboard my charter fishing boat, Sweet Jane. My crew, as you surely understand, cannot control the weather or the whereabouts of the fish. We can, however, control our language. I have gotten the assurance of the crew that they will refrain from using profanity when clients are aboard. I apologize for the distress this may have caused you. Thank you again for your comments. We hope to serve you again.


Assure the reader that you will use his or her comments in a constructive way.

Example Sentences for Step 2

Example Phrases for Step 2

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