Ultimate Guide On Writing Effective Apology Emails To Customers

No matter how precisely you are doing business, there will be a situation when you end up making mistakes. Sometimes it can be genuine or sometimes you overlook something. 

Imagine receiving an email from a customer who is fuming about receiving the wrong product. The worst is, they need it within a few days. 

Here either you can let the issue slide because it’s one customer or send an apology letter, promising to correct mistakes and doing it. 

Well, you need to understand what an apology email would do and how you can write one, and for that here is an ultimate guide. 

Why Do You Even Need To Apologize To Your Customer? 

The mentioned situation above, if you are choosing the former and letting the situation slide along with losing customers. 

Not just you are letting a customer go, but there is a high chance that that customer will tell the world about your actions. 

  • Customers are vocal about their opinions and experiences, they share them via social media-like mediums where the rest of the audience can see it too. 
  • Research says, 70% of customers advise their colleagues and friends against doing purchase from a brand where they had a bad experience. 
  • Some companies have strict rules against saying sorry to customers as they fear legal consequences since they are admitting fault. 
  • Not this kind of attitude infuriates customers but also affects the relationship and trust as you are not taking ownership of your mistakes. 

The article published in the New York Times, it looked at the rate of legal action which was taken against the medical doctor because of angry patients and relatives. 

Studies found out that the reason for reducing the legal action was encouraging doctors to admit their mistakes candidly to the patients. 

There is a separate study that found that costumes tend to forgive twice to companies who apologize instead of offering discounts and cash. 

There is no doubt that acknowledging a fault is indeed a powerful act. Also with this, the customers get the idea of being right, and the company is undergoing their side of perspective. 

And it’s better as compared to the going defend and deny approach. 

How To Apologize To The Angry And Upset Customer? 

When you are writing an apology email, since it’s an email, it gives more time for modifying and considering the response. 

But the same concept is needed to understand what you would do when you apologize in person or on the phone. 

Here are five aspects which is important when you are an apology to customers : 

Be Genuinely Sorry 

If you are not genuinely feeling sorry, the email won’t work.  However not every time it’s your fault, and even in such a situation, you at least feel some part of the issue. 

If you are not feeling it, it’s best not to apologize, instead of asking questions and listening to the audience one more time, this helps you in understanding the situation. 

Upset customers tend to be extreme and sometimes they are aggressive. Also, they feel like you are not listening to them properly and when you say sorry, they feel more annoyed.

So before you respond,  you need to give yourself some time to understand what you are feeling. 

Validate Whats Customer Is Feeling 

You don’t have to agree with whatever your customer is saying, but they need to know that you are listening to them and including their feelings. 

Here are a few of the phrases that you can use in the response in order to make the customer feel like validating their feelings.  It includes : 

  • Say that you know it has been frustrating for them to be held up, especially when they just want to get their work done.
  • Add that you understand how it’s impacting their workflow, and you would be upset too.
  • Agree with saying that they are right.

Explain The Situations To Them 

When you are writing an email to them, you can write an explanation of what happens as you understand. 

Make sure you are addressing all the points to the customers. You can also provide information about  the situation from your side/ 

But make sure you are validating the feelings of your customer and give them an explanation of what happened your apology has a chance to be genuine

Also, make sure that you are not making excuses, and not trying to cut some slack. Don’t be defensive, make sure to be transparent by explaining the situation. 

A lot of time customers feel more upset as they don’t even know what happened and what’s going on. 

Admit Where Things Go Wrong 

Whether the mistake is done from your side, or from the company, product, or service, it’s best to admit it. 

When you are writing the email, be specific with it and mention what you are apologizing for. You can use the same phrases as well as words that customers wrote in their mail. 

Also, make it genuine and specific to the admission.

  • Add senses like they are right about it as you should have clarified this with your process much earlier.
  • Use sentences like you can see now that you didn’t read the mail property and admit that it’s your fault. 

It’s important that you are owning the mistake and acknowledge it, this will ensure that you are not thinking of blaming it on them. 

Explain What You Will Do Different 

Explain what you are going to do next in order to avoid the situation occurring again.

Also, this is a chance that you can show the commitment to improve and start rebuilding customer confidence. 

With that, you are giving yourself a chance to prevent such experiences of the customers again. 

Well, you can explain by using all these sentences such as  : 

  • Say you already added the monitoring tool, which will alert the team immediately as it won’t happen again, and if it happens, you will take action fast.
  • You totally understand if this is going to be a deal-breaker, but you would be happy to explain anything in detail or hear more about issues. 

How To Not Apologize To Your Customers? 

When you are writing an email to say sorry, there are a few things you should be aware of.

Well here are some of the points you need to be aware of when you are apology, it includes : 

  • Don’t make promises which are hard to keep; for example, saying things like it will never happen again since you have no control over it.
  • Don’t realize or ignore the feelings of the customer, such as saying your other customers are not complaining like them. 
  • Also, don’t go defend yourself, especially by putting the blame on someone else and minimizing the problem. For example, don’t throw the vendor or third party under the bus.
  • Don’t over apologize by saying too much sorry; this will end up using the meaning when you keep saying it over and over again. 

What Are The Key Ingredients Of Writing A Good Customer Apology Email? 

It’s tricky to convert an apology especially when you are doing it via email. 

But sometimes, your support reps are required to write the email because it’s considered one of the most preferred customer support channels. 

So how are you going to write a good apology email? Well, before you do that, you need to be aware of important key ingredients in mind. 

Empathy Is The Important Key 

What is worse than not apologizing is saying sorry when you don’t even mean it. 

The sallow apology will make things worse, even more than by not saying it. 

People are not stupid, they can see right through it, and they know if you are genuinely sorry or just trying to save future sales for the company. 

It damages the image of your brand and you as a seller.  

So the first ingredient you need to be sure your email has is empathy.  

Here are some points for knowing more about it : 

  • Start with the first step, which is figuring out why your customer is feeling frustrated or experiencing something bad.
  • The reason could be something like service downtime, technical issues, long wait times, product malfunction, poor packing, etc. 
  • The focus should be on knowing about their pain and understanding.
  • Show that you empathize with the customer and what they are going through. 
  • For this, you need to be in the place and imagine how you would feel. 
  • Customers come with some expectations, and when you are not meeting them, it continues that they feel frustrated. 

The Word ‘ Sorry;

The power of the word ‘ Sorry’ is magical, but it only works when you are doing it in the right manner and with the right context. 

While it cannot undo what happened, it can help in easing the pain and even help in repairing the relationship. 

It can ease things between people and help in starting fresh.

  • The same goes for customer service; when you can empathize with the customer and apologize, it shows that you are willing to accept that you are the one at fault.
  • There is no need to overthink it if you are going to apologize to the customer and just say it. Not just that, but very low effort.

Owning Up And Explaining With Honesty 

When you are doing business, there are many things you end up overlooking. 

And even customers are well aware of it. Not just that, a lot of times,  they are more willing to forgive, however the best is, to be honest with what happened instead of covering it up. 

One of the best aspects of writing a good apology email is not to play the blame game. 

Don’t shift the blame to others like your sales, marketing, or R&D teams.

Instead of this, take ownership of what you did, and understand that explaining is better than hiding. 

Tell your customer about what went wrong, along with pointing fingers. Customers will appreciate you clarifying the situation with an apology. 

Come Up With A Solution 

One thing considered even more important than apologizing is to offer a solution and resolution. 

Apologies in customer services are considered futile if you are not offering the solutions. 

So you need to fix the problem, let the customer know about it, and tell them what you are going to do. 

If the solution is easy to get done and customers can do it, then you can explain them with the right steps and screenshots. 

In many cases, when you have a  poor service experience, it can help in going one step further and offering compensation along with it. 

There is a great way to mend the relationship with customers and making up for to stress you have been caused,

Compensation could take have a lot of various forms, such as : 

  • Discount code or reimbursement coupon
  • Free goodies and services
  • Monetary compensation such as refunds.  

Regular Document And Reviewing Issues 

While it has nothing to do with the apology mail, but with this, you can help in reducing the chances of apologizing. 

Ultimately, you want to make fewer mistakes, fewer, and you also need to make fewer unhappy customers. 

That’s why you tend to constantly review the bead services experiences, analyze what went wrong, and find long-term solutions for such problems. 

If most of the complaints are related to outages of products, then it’s better to coordinate with your R & D team in order to fix the problem. 

If the complaints are related to the speed of service, you might need to look at what improves employee efficiency or recruit the support staff. 

Tips To Write An Effective Apology Email To Customer 

Mistakes are bound to happen; however, instead of losing the customers and getting the end of your relationship, you can even use this opportunity to make things better. 

Maybe you sent the wrong information or promotional code; in other cases, apologizing is the best way. Well, here are some of the tips that can help you in improving the situation.


Put Apology Right  In Your Subject Line

The subject line in your email is going to be the first thing that the recipient will see. 

So you should start from here; this can help in clarifying immediately what purpose your email have and also minimize the risk of emails getting ignored. 

With this, you can make this more immediate, effective, and explicit. 

Here are some of the ideas that you can consider : 

  • Oops, something went wrong
  • Did you get confused with the last email? Here are some explanations
  • Sorry for causing the mishap
  • We made a mistake; here is what we did.
  • Please accept our most sincere apologies
  • Sorry for trouble 

follow golden rule for writing subject line

Explain the Reason Behind Your Mistakes 

Do your best in order to explain what happened and what caused the mistakes. 

Let the audience understand the dynamics which cause the issues. 

Remaining vague, even worse hiding will cause mistakes and it can even compromise the transparency. 

Therefore, you need to earn the trust without not telling about the reasons that make your apology go to waste. 

But also make sure that your explanation is coming after your apology,  don’t use the details to overshadow the orientation of apologizing. 

be specific with the motives, and don’t exaggerate too much. 

Defuse The Tension And Use Humor 

It is important that you put a good end to the whole thing.  And you can add a bit of humor if you are feeling it can be a situation. 

But you can show a little bit of self-irony and cheer them up by going through the database, you can also add what they like. 

Make sure you are listening to them and analyzing the sentiment before you use the approach. 

In fact, you need to consider if the strategy is going to be a good fit for the situation. 

With this, you can turn the situation into an opportunity to boost engagement and it will help you in improving the relationship.

Introduce Yourself But Make It Personal 

It’s important that your user recognize whose email address is this, that’s why you should introduce yourself but make it direct and also keep it personal. 

Start with who you are and what you do, this approach can help you in communicating better and also keeping it transparent along with authenticity. 

Also, this will give the idea that you are willing to take responsibility for what mistakes you did. 

Showing the name and corporate roles also help in making it more like human, also it allows the users to understand that there is some flesh and bones behind the mistakes. 

Make The Apologize Explicitly And Fast 

Don’t wait until the end of your email to admit the mistakes. This is why you should disclose the target right away. Make it explicitly and immediately. 

Not just that, you just make your apology should be short, straightforward, and concise. 

Place it as the first thing and element above the flood line, so it will don’t have to scroll them down in order to read the apology for you. 

So make sure you get straight down to the point

Be Direct, Empathy And Personal With Your Message 

Well start with thanking the recipient of the patience, also make it clear that you are taking their side but also make it an empathic tone. However, when you are doing this, it’s best not to do it too much. 

The message should be honest, spontaneous, and authentic along with accountable. 

Along with your apology email, make sure you are using dynamic fields such as the user name to customize the message. 

Be Proactive And Explain How To Correct 

List the actions that you are taking or will take to prevent a similar situation from happening in the future. 

Also, this is helpful in regaining the trust of your user and highlighting how much care you are putting into fulfilling expectations. 

Be Available For The Support  And Details 

After you apologize and describe what caused the error, you can add the corrective actions taken to manage the situation. 

It’s time to turn off the support along with availability for telling them an explanation. 

Provide the address or alternate the contact method. 

Compensate For The Trouble 

Regain the trust that you might damage due to the whole thing, and fix the mistakes and you need to add the discount codes or promotional designs specific for the specific situation. 

The strategy allows you to turn the tough time into something profitable for you. 

This facilitates that they can trust you but you can also boost the conversion. 

Ask Them To Give The Feedback 

It’s important that you are letting the recipient know that their opinion matters. 

Invite them to offer their feedback and it can help you in improving the station. 

You are also able to know if apologies also affected the custom or not. 

With this, you can help in improving the crisis management strategy. 

The customers can also share their thoughts and what you can do in order to avoid such situations. 

Examples Of Writing Apology Email For Your Customers 

It takes a great customer experience to make up for the bad one. When something goes bad, sending a professional and polished apology email is the first step to making things right. 

Whether it was a bug in the project, scheduling mishap, something like communication problems, 

You need to write an email that can help you in building stronger relationships.  Crafting a message that strikes the right tone of apology and it’s an art. 

Well here are some of the examples that you can consider for writing apology emails to customers. 

When You Are Sending Apology As Reply 

Well, the different situation where you need to send the apology email as a reply. There are some basic situations, and here are some examples of them.

The first situation is when you are wrong and you explain what happened. 

You can write : 

Hi ( Add your client’s name)

Thank you for being patient while our team is shorting out. After doing a deep discussion,  we realized that it was our responsibility for this issue. Given the progress we made so far, our relationship is important and we don’t want that error to set you off track. 

We are committed to making this right, so we are moving forward with our plan  ( add your plan)

Thank you for being patience  and understanding the situation, ( add their name)

Why To Do It :  

Your client will see this as you are being trustworthy and credible. Also if you are giving them the details about what happened and why this can help in giving the knowledge and feel more included. 

Also if it was something that was your fault, make sure you are not using the language which blurs the line and shaving the blame. 

When Initiating The Apology 

In some situations, you have to come forward and make an apology to the customer. 

This can be due to different reasons, maybe it’s a security breach, outage or maybe the app was going down for a certain time.

For example, you can write an email apologizing in case of app downtime. 

Dear ( Add their name)

You may have noticed, we are experiencing downtime of the indexing API today. 

It was about ( add the time period), starting at ( add the day), some write the operations were refused by the API  with ( add the error code).  ( add feature) was not impacted that much, however ( features) ran like usual. 

It’s the first time that we faced an outage since our company launched the service. 

We are deeply sorry for causing you inconvenience, and we published a full explanation regarding the issue along with a resolution to our blog. ( Add the link of your blog)

Should you want to have any details, feel free to be in touch with us whenever you want. 

Sincerely ( Add your name)

Why To Do It : 

This message helps in giving the customer exactly what they want to know without getting too much into error. 

Also with this, they acknowledge exactly what was impacted, a list of what was affected along with a link in order to give more details in case of exploring more about it. 

When Customer Is Facing Negative Experience 

The situations where the customer might face a negative experience while purchasing the product or service. 

Well in such a case, you need to write an apology letter to them. It can start with : 

Dear ( Add their name)

Thank you for letting us know about the defective ( add the product name) you received. I am sorry that we let you down with our services. 

We completely understand that you are feeling disappointed, and please accept our sincere apologies. 

We shipped the replacement of ( add the product ) to you. Also, we are adding a $20 discount coupon which you can use for your next purchase. 

( Add their name) thank you for bringing the problem to our notice.

( Add your name)

( Add your signature )

Why Do It

With this email, you are showing them the problem that you acknowledge. 

Also, you are showing what you are doing to solve the problem. Along with that, you are adding a discount to provide the extra bonus to improve the relationship. 

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