Respond Positively to Negative Feedback • Example Letters, Guides and Samples
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.
How to write this response letter:
- Acknowledge the negative feedback.
- Assure the reader that you will use his or her comments in a constructive way.
- Thank the reader for his or her comments.
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.
Write Your Letter Step-by-Step
1 Acknowledge the negative feedback.
Sample Sentences for Step 1
- Thank you for your feedback about the training session.
- Thank you for taking the time to bring your concern to my attention.
- Thanks for sharing your customer's comments with us.
- I received your letter questioning the effectiveness of our last ad campaign.
- Thank you for your feedback on this year's Run for Revenue.
- Thank you for completing the feedback form. Even though you were dissatisfied with the service you received, your comments are helpful.
- I am sorry that your experience with our Springfield agent was unpleasant.
Sample Phrases for Step 1
- am sorry you were
- appreciate your letting us know
- bringing this to our attention
- felt that you had wasted your
- for letting us know about
- for taking the time to
- for the feedback about
- for your honest feedback
- for your helpful comments
- inconvenienced you
- passing on your customer's
- questioning the effectiveness of
- received your note about
- regret that you were
- sharing your comments
- thank you for
- was not as useful as you had hoped
- were not pleased with
- were disappointed in
- were dissatisfied with
- your unpleasant experience with
2 Assure the reader that you will use his or her comments in a constructive way.
Sample Sentences for Step 2
- Although your comments were not positive regarding the sale of our books to local librarians, I appreciate your suggestion that we reinforce the bindings for greater durability.
- After discussing your comments with John Doe, we agree that we need to revise the new curriculum for beginning students. I spoke with the director and have scheduled a meeting this Friday to discuss these matters with her.
- I am sorry you found the recent training session too theoretical to be useful. I am confident that your suggestions will make this course more useful in the future.
- Your observations will prove very useful as we plan next year's event.
- Since the current promotion has not boosted sales as we had hoped, we are attempting to identify and remedy weaknesses associated with the ad. I will be sure to incorporate your suggestions in our next meeting.
- Admittedly there were shortcomings this year with our annual Run for Revenue. Your suggestion to post signs directing participants to the start, to increase the number of water stations, and to post finishing times will certainly benefit next year's participants.
- We will do everything in our power to ensure that this sort of inconvenience does not happen again.
Sample Phrases for Step 2
- after discussing your comments with
- agree that there is a need to
- always room for improvement
- am confident that
- appreciate the suggestion
- are eager to improve our
- are attempting to resolve
- have spoken with
- have forwarded your letter to
- have scheduled a meeting about
- plan to revise the
- plan to follow up on
- prove very useful
- will do all we can to
- will incorporate your suggestions into
- will use your suggestions
- will certainly benefit
- will do everything in our power to
- would like to invite you to
- your suggestions will
3 Thank the reader for his or her comments.
Sample Sentences for Step 3
- Thank you for caring enough to bring this matter to my attention.
- We thank you for taking the time and initiative to write.
- We appreciate your perspective on this important matter.
- I appreciate your interest in this matter.
- We appreciate your comments.
- Thanks again for your insights.
- Thank you for your timely suggestions.
Sample Phrases for Step 3
- always appreciate hearing from
- any other suggestions
- any other concerns
- appreciate your interest
- appreciate your perspective
- are always grateful for
- be sure to use your suggestions
- for your suggestions
- for taking the time to
- for bringing this to my attention
- for your insights
- opportunities to improve
- please feel free to
- thank you for
- thanks again for
- value your opinions
- will take into consideration
- will let you know
- will help us to improve
- will get back to you