Business Apology Letter: Example & Analysis

This example of a business apology letter shows how the ingredients to any perfect apology always remain the same, however in business, fully understanding the implications and consequences of what occurred is paramount to retaining business relationships.

envelope and paper

In order to fully appreciate the subtleties of crafting the perfect business apology, it's important to always keep in mind your customer's or partner's point of view.

Many businesses never take the time to think through the implications of their error on a customer's business and simply apologize for the mistake.

By not acknowledging the repercussions their initial error likely caused, they commit error No. 2, making it more difficult to mend the relationship.

The table below shows you exactly why and how the elements of a perfect apology were woven into this well crafted business letter.

  Analysis      Business Apology Letter Example
Salutation

Dear "Company A",

Give a detailed account of the situation with specifics.

We are very sorry that the shipment of goods (Purchase Order No.) that you received on (Specific Date) was defective.

Acknowledge the hurt, damage done and implications on their business.

We understand your disappointment and appreciate the inconvenience this must have caused your organization and the logistics problems that ensued.

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

There is no question that the product we shipped did not meet the very high standards our customers have come to expect and should continue to demand.

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

In our effort to improve the overall quality of our products, we used a new composite material for your order. We have since returned to the original recipe and can assure you that we are in the process of completing more thorough testing and development.

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

I can promise you that the highest quality standards will be met in the future because protecting our reputation for delivering the best product on the market is a key priority for us.

Include a statement of regret.

Again, I apologize for our mistake and regret any inconvenience caused as a result.

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

We have already brought in additional staff to expedite the production of a replacement order and guarantee its delivery by the end of this week. We have also asked our shippers to pick up the defective product prior to delivery of the new shipment, in order to free up your warehouse space.

Add a statement that lets the injured party know that you are hoping to continue the relationship.

We look forward to continuing the mutually beneficial relationship that our two companies have shared over the last two years.

Finally, this example of a business apology letter suggests the writer's willingness to do whatever is necessary to correct the situation.

If there is anything else that we can do to minimize your inconvenience in regard to this matter, please don't hesitate to contact us.

Close

Sincerely,


By breaking down this example of a business apology letter paragraph by paragraph, one can see how easily it can modified to any situation.

Use the 'Analysis' column to guide you while composing your letter and simply replace the specifics with your own. The order in which you include the elements is not important however having them all there will go a long way in mending your business relationships when mistakes occur.

For a high level overview on why we feel this letter is effective and why it was chosen visit our sample business apology page.