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Apology letter for company
August 20, 2019 Wedding Anniversary Wishes 5 comments

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Business Apology Letters:
Samples, Templates & Tips

What's better for your business? Writing a letter, sending a quick note, or shooting off an email? What kind of business apology letter should you write and when are you better off apologizing over the phone or in person?


The right call will always depend on your particular situation and the relationship between the parties involved. However, in most cases, a well-crafted business apology letter is more often than not the safest approach especially when the relationship is not 'personal'.

That's why our template letters below, which cover the most common business issues are a useful part of any customer support strategy

TIP: Never assume the relationship is personal and friendly unless you're absolutely sure. A business apology based on the wrong assumption can be potentially harmful and counter-productive.

Key Benefits to Writing Letters of Apology

The #1 benefit to writing out your mea culpa is that a letter of apology, sent via regular mail or email gives you the time to choose the right words and allows you to make sure that all the 'elements' that you need to include are in place.

In business, it simply costs much more to acquire a new customer, partner, or vendor than to retain an existing one so it's important that you get it right the first time.

Finally, an added benefit with written apologies is that they can be archived and stored for future use.

That means that over time you'll end up with a set of sample apology letters tailored to your business that will allow you to quickly respond to similar situations in the future.

Dos & Dont's of Business Apologies

Apologizing to customers, vendors and business partners is all about acknowledging your side was at fault and taking the necessary steps to remedy the situation while minimizing any further inconvenience for the injured party.

1 Provide a detailed account of the situation.

Do be specific about what happened. In the case of an error or some form of delay, state clearly when you can, why it occurred. For defective or damaged goods, let them know why it happened and how it's not the norm. Don't be vague or leave things unresolved.

2 Acknowledge the damage done.

Do acknowledge the hurt caused from the customer's point of view and that you appreciate and care about the inconveniences caused to them. Think through the implications for them, and validate their position and feelings. Don't wash over the inconvenience or implications caused by the issue and don't play down their feelings.

3 Take responsibility, Apologize

Make no excuses. Plainly state that your side was in the wrong, say you're sorry and apologize. Again, clarity is key so don't give any form of non-apology.

4 Include a statement of regret

The injured party needs to know that you regret that this happened, that it happened to them, and that the whole issue is contrary to your (and the company's) standards.

5 Ask for forgiveness, promise it won't happen again

Do let the injured party know how important they are to your business and that you don't take them for granted and value their patronage. Let them know the steps that are being taken to ensure that a similar situation won't happen again. Don't promise it won't happen again without backing up the promise.

6 Provide a form of restitution.

For defective goods, billing errors, and other objective mishaps, do offer an immediate refund. Poor service on the other hand can be more subjective so you need to evaluate the importance of the relationship to gauge any compensation you may offer. But, always remember that it costs much more to acquire a new customer than retain an old one.

Now let's see how the breakdown works in practice with our template letters below.

Sample Letters of Apology for Business

TIP: If you're looking for more apology letters that you can work with right away, we like these guys. They have great sample letters reviewed by lawyers in Microsoft Word (and other formats) available for download.

Delivering A Business Apology Letter

A letter of apology in business can be sent three different ways each conveying a slightly distinct (but meaningful) measure of seriousness and respect.

A letter sent by courier or priority post, for example, conveys more importance than regular mail, and regular mail more than an email, even today. So although the letter's content may be identical and all three approaches provide the injured party with a tangible piece of evidence that acknowledges the business mistakes made, and the inconvenience suffered, some situations require additional signals.

As an example, sending a letter by courier when both parties know that it could've been done through email sends a strong message that you understand the seriousness of the situation and speaks volumes to the recipient beyond the written words.

On the other hand, if the parties involved have more than a strictly business relationship then the manner in which the apology is delivered needs to be looked at more closely.

Verbal Apologies in Business

If a customer or vendor frequents the business premises on a regular basis, or is spoken to often over the phone, and a sense of familiarity has grown as a result, then a verbal apology by phone or in person may be more appropriate. This is also true when apologizing to your boss or superior. In fact, if a more formal approach is used it may signal to them that their assumptions about the nature of the relationship are wrong.

TIP: Make sure to jot down some notes on paper prior to apologizing so that you're prepared and know exactly what needs to be said for your apology to be effective.

Choosing whether to apologize by telephone or in person is largely dependant upon timing and geography. Assuming the apology's recipient is within reasonable geographic proximity the decision should be made based on when you will next see the person. In some cases, depending on the nature of the error, taking the time to make a longer trip in person may be the right thing to do.

If the delay is reasonable and the cause for the apology is not too severe then waiting until the next time you see one another is acceptable. However, if one or neither of these conditions is true then picking up the phone or meeting them face-to-face (as soon as possible) and extending the apology is recommended.

Two-Tiered Business Apologies: Written & Verbal

If a similar situation occurs, but the injured party in this case is not a customer but instead a partner, vendor, or boss, then a verbal apology is still appropriate and should be followed up with a business apology letter to acknowledge that you understand that although there is familiarity this is still a business relationship.

This two-tiered approach helps to re-establish the business relationship after the incident. It shows the injured party that you understand the rules and boundaries of business, and that the business relationship that you share is separate from any personal one that you may have.

When it comes to business, apologizing for mistakes made is critical.

People understand that things go wrong sometimes and will accept an occasional mistake. What they won't forgive however is how things were handled once those mistakes were made.

So remember to always tailor the manner in which you deliver your mea culpa with the same care that you take in preparing for a verbal apology or writing out an apology letter.

Think about the situation, the mistakes made, the parties involved, and consider the best way to make amends so that your business relationship will survive and thrive well into the future.


Learn about timing an apology or find out what exactly needs to be included in an effective business apology letter.



Use a sample apology letter for the format and your dedication and support for our business.

Sample Business Apology Letters

apology letter for company

Dear {Customer Name}

Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience {the issue} has caused you.

We strive to deliver the best that our customers like you deserve with a strong suite of products, high-quality customer service and unfailing quality assurance. Unfortunately, the issue that you experienced went unnoticed through our process due to {recent key staff changes, recent internal system update, office relocation, etc…}.

At {Company Name}, we are always innovating, and we have taken steps to prevent issues such as yours from happening again by {creating company wide training sessions, installing new back-up systems, creating an internal auditing team, etc…}.

{If additional action is necessary:}
Because we value our relationship with you, we are going to provide you with {3 months worth of service, a free upgrade, etc…}.

If you have any further questions or comments regarding this matter, please feel free to discuss it with us at {email, phone#, website, etc…}.

Yours in service,
{Company Representative}

Download this apology letter template — free!

Formatted and ready to use with Microsoft Word, Google Docs, or any other word processor that can open the .DOC file format.

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FREE Sample Apology Letters

apology letter for company

Trust and transparency are the key elements of any business. A single offense related to these two key elements can turn into relationship end up. Businesses use business apology letter as an effective tool to save business relationships. Writing Business Apology letter in a professional way is to apologize for an offense or term violation. Below is a list of Formal Apology Letter samples. Download the documents to learn formal business apology letter writing for different purposes.

Formal Business Apology Letter

Formal Business Apology letter document contains a formal, simple, and effective business apology letter example. Use this MS-word template for writing apology letters to customers, business/firm, and other community. The template is print-friendly and allows 100% customization.

Business Client Apology Letter

Business Client Apology letter MS-word document is a print-ready template for writing custom apology letters to clients/customers. The template contains a formal apology letter example. Either take an idea and write a fresh letter or customize the letter doing a little modification.

Business Email Apology Letter

Email apology letters are used for both internal and external business purposes. If you are writing a business email apology letter then read Business Email Apology Letter examples for reference. The document also throws light on what to include and what not in a business email apology letter. Write an effective email apology letter using professional formatting and copywriting.

Delayed Order Business Apology Letter

Businesses write delayed order apology letters to save business-customer relations and brand reputation. Delayed order business apology letter PDF contains keynotes and sample examples. Read the document and plot a custom apology letter.

Business Apology Letter for a Defective Magazine

Business Apology Letter to Customer

Business Apology Letter to Employee

Business Apology Letter Sample

Purpose of Business Apology Letters

When we hurt a person, we say him/her sorry, send sorry greetings, and write sorry letters. The basic aim behind saying “sorry” is to save the relationship. Similarly, businesses face many instances that need to tackle carefully to save the business relationship, customer relationship, brand reputation, and customer’s trust.

In the professional world, a written communication works 100 times better than an oral communication. So, businesses use business apology letters for an apology. Businesses use apology letter as an effective tool to get rid of all risk factors. A business apology letter is a professional way to express sorry using formal language.

Usage of Business Apology Letters

  • An employee can write an apology letter to his/her boss to apologize for an incident/misconduct.
  • Business apology letters are used in B2B relationships to apologize for an offense.
  • Businesses can use apology letters in B2C relationships to save brand reputation and customer’s trust.
  • Professionals use business apology letters in both internal and external affairs.
  • Students can take a reference to complete apology letter-writing assignments.
  • Students can take a reference to complete apology letter-writing assignments.
  • Students can learn a formal way to apologize on their guilty.

Target Audience

An offense, misconduct, and term violation etc. takes place in all business organizations and communities. Almost all organizations, communities, and businesses use business apology letter writing to apologize. So, sample business apology letter can be accessed by HR, Directors, employees, business owner etc., professionals. Our apology sample letter templates can be used in any sector including IT, Media, Corporate, B2B, BSC, e-commerce, accounts, finance, marketing, management etc.

Our sincere Apology Letter Samples are easy to print and download. Customize the template via digital software and write apology letters without difficulty. We are dedicated to our website visitors and customers. Please leave a comment on our apology letter samples and start communication. It will help us in meeting your needs and delivering excellent user-experience.

If you have any DMCA issues on this post, please Contact us!

First of all, it is important to analyze that what kind of apology letter it is. Whether it is a business apology letter or a normal simple formal apology letter. The letter.

Apology Letter

apology letter for company

Eventually it will happen. Something will go wrong, mistakes will be made and customers will be upset.

When it happens, the right thing to do is own the mistake and apologize to anyone affected. In fact, a genuine apology is more effective in service recovery than compensation alone. The Carey School of Business found that only 37% of upset customers were satisfied when offered something in return for the issue. However, if the business said sorry on top of the credit, satisfaction increased to 74%.

Saying sorry is the most effective, cheapest way to turn around a bad customer experience. Because it’s so effective, knowing how to apologize correctly is a key skill for customer service professionals.

The best apologies are all similar in format. Research proves it – a 2016 study on effective apologies found that the best apologies were empathetic, specific and offered an explanation. The more thorough a apology is, the better! In this post, we break down how to develop the most effective customer service apology.

At the end of this post, we’ve included an annotated apology letter sample that you can use to write your own! (Although we hope you don’t have to use it very often…)ADD_THIS_TEXT


The first step of a good customer service apology is to know what you’re apologizing for. Everyone on the receiving end of an apology wants, first and foremost, to be understood.

“I’m sorry you’re upset” is not a good example of understanding the problem.

Put yourself in the customer’s shoes and determine how the issue affected them. Was it time consuming? Did they lose money? Have they lost trust in your product? Being specific about the problem will let your customer know you understand the full implications of the issue.

The real issue might not always appear on the surface. For example, say a reporting system broke down. Your customer might write in irate about not receiving their weekly reports. But the real reason for their anger isn’t the actual missing report – it’s because they had to go to their weekly board meeting empty handed. Their boss depends on them, like they depend on you, and you’ve broken the chain of trust. Because your product broke down, your customer suffers professionally.

Thinking through the context for your customer’s anger will help you write a more genuine and thorough apology. You might not include all of your reasoning in the follow up email, but understanding the real reason your customer is upset is the first part of a great customer service apology.

Key phrases:

  • I understand how important this is to your workflow
  • I can definitely see how frustrating this bug would be
  • I would be so annoyed in the same situation

Say Sorry

Now that you understand how your actions affected the customer, it’s time to say the all important word: Sorry. You actually have to say it, don’t just imply it.

Make your sorry personal. “We apologize for the inconvenience” is one of the most overused phrases in customer service. I’d recommend avoiding it when creating your own customer service apology.

There’s no secret here. Just say “I’m sorry” and follow it with the reason for your apology.


  • I’m sorry there’s been a delay in our response
  • I’m sorry my dog ate your tulips
  • I apologize for not calculating the monthly cost correctly
  • I’m really sorry I made your coffee decaf

Offer an Explanation

Some customers really want to understand what went wrong in the first place. It helps ease the concerns that it might happen again.

This isn’t a place to list excuses. If they are upset about a longer reply time, the explanation isn’t “we were really busy”. The full explanation is “we didn’t accurately predict our staffing needs.” Take ownership and admit where mistakes were made.

To find the root cause of the issue, turn to the 5 Whys. Here’s an example:

We didn’t respond quickly enough to their email. Why?

  • Because we were really busy on Monday. Why?
  • Because we didn’t have enough people on staff. Why?
  • Because we’ve had an increase in volume. Why?
  • Because we’ve launched a new promotion this month. Aha!

Don’t belabour the issue. Offer a brief explanation of the cause, and then move on.

Fix the Problem

An apology is only effective if you resolve the original problem. Like all emotional phrases, it loses it’s meaning the more times it’s said. That goes double for any customer service apology.

If there’s an outage every week, it doesn’t matter how perfect your customer service apology is. Customers don’t want to deal with frequent downtime!

After expressing empathy, apologizing and explaining what went wrong, state the specific steps you’re taking to resolve the issue. If you need to follow up later, let customers know when you’ll have a more complete resolution, and when you’ll contact them again.

If you make any promises about following up or resolutions, don’t break them! Fixing the problem is what makes an apology genuine.

Offer compensation (maybe)

Sometimes customers deserve a refund or service credit. If they weren’t able to use your service for an extended amount of time, or if you have SLAs or a guarantee built into your terms of service, proactively offer a credit.

It’s a small token of your appreciation for their patience. Offering it proactively creates even more good will.

Learn from your mistakes

If you feel like you have to apologize to customer for a negative experience in every second reply, there might be a bigger problem. Your support team shouldn’t be a shield for ongoing issues.

Keep a record of customers who needed an apology and the reason for it. At the end of the month, if you’re seeing an ongoing trend, it’s worth bringing up to the rest of the company.

Wrap it up

At the end of the conversation, it’s worth repeating a genuine statement of apology to wrap up.

“Again, I’m really sorry this happened. It’s not our usual standard. If there’s anything else I can help address, please do let me know.”

Keep the conversation open. If your customer has further unresolved concerns, they will feel welcome to bring them up.

Our fool-proof sample apology

Hi Gretl,

First of all, I want to apologize for the experience you’ve had getting your account set up. It’s not our usual standard and I understand how frustrating this delay must be. I’m sorry you’ve had to spend so much time on this.

Over the last week we’ve been implementing a new onboarding system to help make account set up easier. Due to an unexpected increase in signups, we’ve seen some unfortunate side-effects, such as the ones you’ve experienced. I’ve gone through your account and ensured that there’s no further issues remaining.

I’ve also waived the first month’s subscription fee, so you’re all ready to get started!

Again, I’m sorry it took us so long to get this point! I look forward to providing a much better experience in the months to come.

If you have any further questions or concerns, please let me know. I’m here to help!



Customer Advocate

In the business world, there are times when things will go wrong and you will need to apologize and make amends. Whether you are it's with respect to a.

apology letter for company
Written by Gorn
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