Apology Letter For Bad Service

Writing an apology letter for bad service should be standard procedure for any company. Poor or inadequate service can damage a company's reputation both off- and on-line, particularly through social media where the reach extends far beyond a customer's immediate circle.

envelope and letter

Whether it's your salesperson, receptionist, customer service representative or a senior member of the team, extending an apology to your customer for any bad experience is necessary for any successful business.

Every employee is a representative of your company and your brand, and a bad service experience of any kind will inevitably hurt the bottom line and lead to customer erosion.

The good news is that taking the time to craft a sincere customer apology letter for bad service can do more than just mend fences, it can also deliver a more loyal customer.

Keep in mind that perception is as important as reality when it comes to customer service, so even if you feel that your customer is unjustified in his or her complaint—APOLOGIZE!

Our sample letter below for poor service includes a set of 'Notes' to help you tailor your apology to your particular situation.

  Notes      Example: Apology Letter For Bad Service

Make sure to personalize the letter by addressing the recipient by name and not writing "Dear Customer"

Dear _______________,

Apologize and give a detailed account of the situation.

Please accept my sincere apology on behalf of our company. I am very sorry to learn that your experience with Jane, our Customer Service Representative, was less than adequate. She should have handled the situation differently and transferred your call to someone with more authority.

Acknowledge the hurt and damage done.

I understand your frustration at having made a simple request to speak with a supervisor—someone who had the authority to fix the problem at hand. We let you down in that regard and for that, I am also sorry.

Take full responsibility and make it very clear that you were at fault.

We take full responsibility for the situation and understand why Jane's offer to remedy the situation did not meet your expectations. Our Customer Service Representatives are given a set of guidelines for compensation that they are supposed to adhere to, however in this case, clearly those standards were insufficient.

Recognize your role in the situation with a detailed account of what happened without making excuses.

In this regard, we failed. We should have trained our staff so that they understood that under certain circumstances, they should immediately connect a customer with a supervisor who would can override the standard guidelines and procedures.

Promise that it won't happen again and why it's important that it doesn't.

Please be assured that this type of situation will never happen again. We have put new procedures in place as of today, that will ensure that any customer who wants to speak with someone more senior, for any reason, will be transferred immediately.

It's very important to us that our customers have access to anyone within the company, all the way up to senior management.

Include a statement of regret.

I regret that we provided you with bad service and a poor customer experience—it is the exact opposite of what we pride ourselves on. We value our customers and understand how important it is to offer exceptional service.

Provide some form of restitution and a way of easing the pain caused.

We have issued a full credit on your account and a coupon for 30% OFF of your next order as a gesture of our gratitude. We very much appreciate your business and hope that you will remain a valued customer.

End by thanking them and showing a willingness to do whatever is necessary to retain them as a customer.

I would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention. It will help us improve our operations and services.

If there are any other issues that need to be addressed, now or in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me personally by phone, email, or in person.



This sample letter is easily modified to any situation. Use the 'Notes' to guide you and replace the details with your own situation.

You can change the order of each of the elements but make sure to include them all because an apology letter for bad service MUST show the recipient that customer service, is in fact, the company's #1 priority.


Do you know of a problem but your customer hasn't complained yet? Take a look at this proactive sample apology letter.