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Letter of apology to a customer for poor customer service

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Letter of apology to a customer for poor customer service
October 29, 2018 Anniversary Wishes 1 comment

In our last post, we offered up 10 tips for handling angry customer calls this Here are five of the most common customer complaints your customer service Once again, [First name], I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. Here's an example of a way to respond to an angry customer who had a bad.

POOR SERVICES APOLOGY LETTER

Poor services apology letter is written in order to apologize from the customer for bad services. Poor or bad services may be due to a quality problem, late receipt, improper balance check, inconvenience, and many other reasons. An apology letter should describe what you are sorry for the poor services. It should assure the customer that such a mistake won’t be repeated.

There may be times when your expectations are not met when delivering a product or service. To enhance goodwill, it is better to issue an apology letter for inadequate or poor service. The letter will help to express your regret and will give assurance for better services to the client in the future.

DON’T’S AND DOS FOR POOR SERVICES APOLOGY LETTER

  • An apology letter should not be disclosed in front of anyone
  • An apology letter should be straightforward and easy to understand. It should be written in easy language
  • It should be crisp and short
  • An apology letter should be written in an authentic way
  • A clear reason should be written in an apology letter which should explain the poor services of the company
  • The letter is not an official letter so there is no need of subject line
  • An apology letter should be handed over personally as it has a good impact than a letter sent by the third person or by mail or post
  • The name and address of the reader should not be written on an apology letter if it is handed over personally.

 

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Apologizing for Poor Customer Treatment

Dear ‘Name of Customer’,

Please address this letter as an official apology for the poor treatment provided to you. Due to our staff members’ unacceptable behavior, you experienced bad service.

We would like to sincerely apologize to you and assure you that are staff members shall be reprimanded for their misconduct. It will be our pleasure to continue to provide you with our services.

Sincerely,

Apologizing for a Damaged or Defective Product or Service

Dear ‘Customer Name’,

We received your complaint regarding the defective product that was sent to you by our company. After checking in with our shipment team, the reason for the defective product was recognized as an accident which occurred during the shipment process.

Therefore, we would like to apologize for our shipment services. You will find the new product that is reshipped. Thank you for doing business with us and hopefully, you will continue to purchase our services in the future.

Sincerely,

Apologizing for Delayed or Improper Shipping

Dear ‘Name of Customer’,

Please accept this letter of apology for the delayed shipment of the products you purchased from ‘Company Name’. Due to mismanagement, the shipment was not sent out at the right time.

In order to make up for our mistake, a discount at the ‘Rate’ has been on the product you purchased. Please find the new bill generated attached to this letter. Thank you for purchasing our products. We wish you will continue to accept our services.

Sincerely,

Apologizing for Billing Issues

Dear ‘Customer’,

We received your complaint about the issues in the bill generated and sent to you. We have confirmed that due to workload, the concerned department responsible for the bill generation accidentally mixed up your bill with another client. For this mistake, we sincerely apologize. You will find a gift card of our company attached to this letter. Hopefully, you will continue to purchase our services in the future.

Thank you.

Sincerely,

Apologizing for a Product Recall

Dear ‘Name of Client’,

We would like to apologize for the product recall that was made due to the shipment of a damaged product to you. In order to compensate you for the mistake made by our shipment team, you will find a gift card attached to this letter. We hope that you will look over our mistake and continue doing business with us.

Thank you and once again apologies for the product recall.

Sincerely,

Apologizing for Canceling a Service or Event

Dear ‘Name of concerned person’,

We would like to apologize for the cancellation of your services at the last minute. Due to an unforeseeable turn of events, our function had to be postponed until further notice.

We would like to pay the bill and some compensation for the hassle you and your business were put through. When we can finally hold the function in the future, we would like to purchase the services again. Hopefully, you will accept our booking.

You will find the payment attached to this letter. Thank you for your services.

More often than not, the error or poor service falls upon you, not the customer. Even in situations . Sample apology letter to client for poor service. Dear Valued .

The Art of Saying Sorry – How to Apologize in Customer Service

letter of apology to a customer for poor customer service

Miss that chance to apologise well and the company will lose business; embrace it and the business will have a customer for life.

Try following these six steps to crafting that all-important contact centre apology, with extra tips for saying sorry over the phone or via live chat and email.

1. Understand What You’re Apologising for

An apology through gritted teeth is worse than none at all.

It is impossible for an advisor to give a genuine apology until they have fully understood what’s happened. So it’s important to acknowledge the customer first, thank them for their contact and listen carefully.

Don’t dive in with a throwaway apology just because “the customer is always right”. An apology through gritted teeth is worse than none at all.

Additional Advice for Live Chat and Email

An upset customer often starts their email with the straw that broke the camel’s back. But that might not be the main issue, so the advisor will need to read between the lines to figure it out.

Handling a customer interaction on live chat means asking the right questions: “When did this problem start?” And let the customer know that they are being listened to by using quick phrases, such as: “I can see that”, “I understand” and “Yes, of course.”

Additional Advice for the Phone

Active listening is the key here. This is a technique where an advisor conveys to the customer that they are concentrating fully, making reference to what the customer is saying, to emphasise to them that they have the advisor’s full attention.

A key part of this is to use “verbal nods” when the customer is talking.  These reassure the customer that there is someone on the other end of the phone, doing their best to understand the issue.

Examples of these verbal nods simply include saying “yeah” or “uh-huh” when the customer comes to the end of their sentence.

For more on this topic, read our article: Ten Tips to Improve Listening Skills on the Telephone

2. Say Sorry Sincerely

Saying sorry is the most effective way to make up for a poor customer experience. Hopefully, the team are fully aware of how to get that right before advisors launch in with a quick fix.

Once the advisor knows exactly what they are sorry for, it is important to be sincere about it, to say something like: “I’m sorry our call handler was rude and unhelpful.”

Don’t take a ‘one size fits all’ approach with: “Please accept my sincere apologies for your recent experience.” Make the apology personal, as otherwise it will lack authenticity.

Advisors should avoid a “non-apology” at all costs. Don’t put the problem back on the customer and tell them “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

Also, advisors should avoid a “non-apology” at all costs. Don’t put the problem back on the customer and tell them “I’m sorry you feel that way.”

Don’t doubt the customer’s experience by saying something along the lines of “I’m sorry if our call handler was rude.” And never put things down to bad luck with “Unfortunately…”. This goes for any channel, whether it’s live chat, email or the phone.

3. Show Empathy and Reflect Back

The customer has suffered poor service and they have gone to the trouble of making a complaint. They are feeling disappointed, frustrated and/or upset, so it’s important to validate those feelings.

It may seem clichéd, but it’s important for the advisor to put themselves in the customer’s shoes, to say something like: “I appreciate you bringing this distressing situation to my attention. Let me see what I can do to help.”

In addition, it can be helpful to reflect back any specific details that they have mentioned to show an understanding. For example: “…especially as we’d assured you it would arrive in time for Christmas.”

Advisors should also be warned against undermining that empathy by countering it with an excuse, by saying something such as “While I appreciate this delay is frustrating, we’re currently processing a high volume of orders.”

For a list of phrases that are useful for advisors when showing empathy, read our article: 18 Empathy Statements That Help Improve Customer-Agent Rapport

4. Give the Solution

Now the customer is ready to hear the advisor’s solution. However, simply dishing out a refund will only win over 37% of disgruntled customers, as highlighted in a Nottingham School of Economics study.

Remind advisors to put emphasis on the solution, rather than reverting to the problem, to try and keep the interaction upbeat.

But after the advisor has said sorry and shown that they care, the chances of earning the customer’s forgiveness have already increased massively.

Make the solution hassle-free and do the legwork for the customer, telling them that: “I’ve sent out a replacement to you, free of charge.”

Don’t put them to more trouble and say something like: “Please reorder your item and call our billing team to refund the charge.” Remind advisors to put emphasis on the solution, rather than reverting to the problem, to try and keep the interaction upbeat.

To go one better, the contact centre could allow advisors to make a heartfelt goodwill gesture. For example, allow the advisor to say: “I’m also taking £25 off your next bill to show we’re sorry for the stress we’ve caused.”

Offering “£25 off your next bill in line with our customer promise” isn’t so meaningful, yet it’ll cost the company the same.

5. Take Responsibility

Whether the mistake was intentional or not, the outcome is the same for the customer. They deserve an explanation of exactly what’s gone wrong, and why. This is a chance to rebuild trust, so advisors must be encouraged to be transparent.

This encouragement involves asking advisors to hold their hands up and take ownership of the error, even if it wasn’t made by them. An advisor can do this by saying something along the lines of: “I should have made this clearer to you when you placed your order.”

Using active language is helpful when taking responsibility, saying something such as: “I made a mistake when I debited your account.” And it’s important to be specific, to say: “I debited £143.00 instead of £14.30”.

Another tip would be to avoid jargon, as illustrated in the following phrase: “It would appear… an error was made… we placed a negative marker on your file.”

The passive construction and alien jargon included in the statement above create barriers to understanding, which can often make an advisor sound underhand.

6. Offer Reassurance – but Don’t Make Promises That You Can’t Keep

By this point, the advisor is well on their way to turning your customer’s negative experience into a positive one. But before the call ends, it is important to restore your customer’s faith in the business. Give them a reason to come back.

Advisors should avoid making boastful claims such as: “We’re proud to offer our customers a first-class service.” That completely contradicts the customer’s experience.

Reflect company values by using phrases like: “We’re committed to offering exceptional service to all our customers.”

Also, it may be useful to explain any improvements that the company is making to its service, by saying something like: “We don’t want this to happen again, so we’ve upgraded our delivery service.”

But advisors should avoid make boastful claims such as: “We’re proud to offer our customers a first-class service.” That completely contradicts the customer’s experience.

In addition, advisors should be warned against making promises that the company can’t keep. This could include common contact centre phrases like: “We’ve taken steps to ensure this will never happen again.”

Wrapping up by thanking the customer again, and signing off with their name, is great practice for a contact centre advisor. Doing this shows accountability and a personal commitment to putting things right.

And if things have really gone right, the customer will drop a line or make a statement to personally thank the advisor for their help.

For a full run-down of how to close a call, read our article: The Best Call-Closing Statements

Do you agree with this six-step process?

Let us know by sharing your thoughts in an email to Call Centre Helper.

Thanks to Tamara Carlier, Trainer & Coach at The First Word, for helping to put this article together.

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Business Apologies: What You Should (and Shouldn’t) Do

letter of apology to a customer for poor customer service

In our last post, we offered up 10 tips for handling angry customer calls this holiday season. Hard as it may be to calm and satisfy an angry customer over the phone, it’s much harder to do so by email.

Without the benefit of real-time give and take, agents who respond to angry emails are at a disadvantage. They can’t get a feel for the customer, use tone of voice to bring the temperature down, or steer the conversation.

If an email isn’t worded quite right, it can easily be misconstrued as cold, indifferent, or rude—and deal a fatal blow to the customer relationship.

When responding to angry emails, your agents will need to walk a very fine line.

  • They’ll need to respond quickly, but in a way that projects warmth, concern, and a take-charge attitude.
  • They’ll need to be succinct, while conveying their commitment to righting the wrong and explaining how the problem will be solved.

Here are five of the most common customer complaints your customer service agents will receive during the holiday season, along with some sample email responses to customer complaints that reflect the best practices of leading brands. All of these email templates can be copied and edited to help your team on how to respond to customer complaints.

1. The Order Didn’t Arrive on Time

Customers who put their faith in promised delivery dates assume brands are prepared for the holiday rush. If an order isn’t fulfilled in a timely way, it can spark a very angry response.

The agent’s first order of business: track the customer’s package. If it’s marked as delivered, ask the customer to confirm the address. If the package is still in transit, try something like this.

“Dear [First name],

I’m so sorry your order hasn’t arrived. I know how frustrating this must be. We certainly didn’t intend to add to your holiday stress.

I’ve tracked the package via [carrier], and it’s currently listed as “[status].” If you’d like to check on its progress, here’s the link you can use: [link]

Please contact me directly if your order hasn’t arrived within [time frame]. In the meantime, I will do everything I can to locate your package.

Once again, [First name], I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Sincerely,

[Agent first name]

[Email/direct phone]

2. The Customer Received the Wrong Item(s)

Opening an eagerly awaited package and finding the wrong item inside is irritating, to say the least. It also creates more work for the customer. A great email response to these customer complaints addresses both pain points.

“Dear [First name],

I’m so sorry we mixed up your order. I know a mistake like this can be very upsetting, especially at this time of year.

I’ve double checked your original order, and the correct items should arrive tomorrow via [carrier] (tracking number [#]). If you’d like to track the package, here’s the link you can use: [link].

I’ll follow up with you tomorrow to make sure you received the correct items. If you have any questions in the meantime, feel free to contact me directly.

We do have one small favor to ask. Could you please return the unwanted items within the next [#] days? There should be an adhesive prepaid return label inside the box. If not, just click this link, print the form, and attach it to the box. You can drop the box off at any [carrier] location (click here to find the one nearest you).

Once again, [First name], I sincerely apologize for the inconvenience.

Sincerely,

[Agent first name]

[Email/direct phone]

3. The Customer Had a Bad Experience in Store

A rude or unhelpful associate, merchandise in complete disarray, endless checkout lines—a lot can go wrong in store at this time of year. If a customer emails a complaint, the agent’s response should include specific remedies, both at a high level and for the aggrieved customer. Here’s an example of a way to respond to an angry customer who had a bad experience.

“Dear [First name],

I’m sorry you had such an unpleasant encounter with one of our associates earlier today. We try to make our customers’ shopping experience easy and enjoyable, and we hold our stores to a very high standard. In this case, we clearly fell short.

I’ve forwarded your complaint to the [location] store management team as well as our corporate customer experience team. We will do everything we can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.

We’d also like to make it up to you by offering a [#]% discount on your next purchase in store or online. Here’s a link to the coupon code, which you can print for in-store use: [link].

Once again, [First name], I apologize for our failure to serve you well. Thanks so much for letting us know. Your feedback is valuable to us.

Sincerely,

[Agent first name]

[Email/direct phone]

4. The Customer Is Getting Conflicting Answers

The website, store staff, and/or support reps aren’t on the same page, so the customer feels confused, frustrated—even misled. The agent’s job is to provide concrete information about policies, pricing, and/or product availability straight from the source and make clear the issue is being taken seriously. Here is a customer service email response sample for a customer who is getting conflicting answers.

“Dear [First name],

I’m so sorry for the confusion and frustration this has caused. As much as we rely on technology and training to provide customers with consistent, up-to-date information, we deeply regret when breakdowns like this occur.

Here is the section of our return policy that addresses your original question about electronic product returns.

[Screen capture]

You can find our complete return policy here: [link]. Please feel free to reply to this email or call my direct line with any additional questions you might have.

Also, I’ve made our corporate customer experience team aware of this issue so they can address any underlying problems and ensure our customers always have the right information.

Once again, [First name], I apologize for our failure to serve you well. Thanks so much for letting us know. Your feedback is valuable to us.

Sincerely,

[Agent first name]

[Email/direct phone]

5. There Was No Response to the Customer’s Previous Email

Heavy email volumes can wreak havoc on response times. But that doesn’t mean much to customers who need help or answers fast. What would have been a fairly simple resolution is now a customer service failure. Empathy is so important here, as is a shared sense of urgency. Here is a sample response to customer complaints when there was no response to the previous email.

“Dear [First name],

I’m so sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I understand your frustration. Your email needed and deserved a timely response.

As you requested, I’ve updated your payment settings and alerted our website team to the problem you’re having with your account management page. Please contact me directly if you experience any further problems on the site.

For inconveniencing you not once, but twice, we’d like to offer you a [#]% discount on your next purchase in store or online. Here’s a link to the coupon code, which you can print for in-store use: [link].

Once again, [First name], I apologize for the inconvenience. We will continue to do everything we can to speed up and improve our customer service delivery.

Sincerely,

[Agent first name]

[Email/direct phone]

Key to a Well-Received Email Response: Make It All About the Customer

No matter what your customers are angry about, your agents can bring positive closure if they observe some basic rules in their email responses.

  • Take responsibility – Make sure the customer knows you understand the issue and where the brand failed.
  • Acknowledge the customer’s feelings – Showing empathy helps to establish a connection and humanize the brand.
  • Be the brand hero – Tell the customer in positive, specific terms what you’ve already done or what you intend to do. Answer questions directly and include helpful resources. Let the customer know you’re there for them if needed. When appropriate, offer the customer something of value.
  • Close thoughtfully – Remind customers they are valued by the brand.

How formal or informal should your email responses be? That depends on your brand’s personality and customer base as well as the nature and tone of the complaint. Just keep in mind that attempts to be clever could seem flippant to an angry customer. In most cases, you’ll want to play it straight.

Truly great customer service transcends any one channel. It’s an organizational mindset that guides every employee from the C-suite executive to the contact center agent. In our next post, we share some inspiring examples of companies going above and beyond to delight their dissatisfied customers.

Want to see how Stella Connect helps CX leaders monitor happy and angry customer feedback? Try a sample survey.

➀ Accept responsibility for a bad customer experience even if it was not your fault . . founder or CEO of the company, apologize for the negative customer service experience. Here's an example of this approach in action.

5 Email Templates to Respond to Customer Complaints

letter of apology to a customer for poor customer service

Dear Ms. Blake

I understand that on June 3 2014 when you were a guest at our restaurant in the Four Hills Plaza you experienced an unfortunate mishap that resulted in a beverage being spilled on your coat. Please accept my sincere apology.

As we all know accidents happen but it’s how the establishment responds that either rectifies the situation or makes it worse. Unfortunately the staff on duty at the time did not reflect our customer service policy. I have investigated the incident talked to those involved and have scheduled remedial customer relations training for them. In addition please send the dry cleaning bill for your coat directly to me at the address on the letterhead above and we will reimburse you for the cost.

We’d like to have you back as a customer so I’m enclosing a coupon for two free entrees for you and a guest that can be used at any of our five locations in London. Again my apologies for the incident. I hope you give us the opportunity to make this right. We value your patronage.

Sincerely

Barbara Smith

WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: How to give great customer service: The L.A.S.T. method

Sample letters to apologize for poor or inadequate service. We want customers to enjoy shopping at Doe's, so your report of a disturbing experience with one.

letter of apology to a customer for poor customer service
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