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  You are Here: Home :: Business Apologies :: Customer Apology Letter  


How to Write the Perfect Customer Apology Letter

The perfect customer apology letter can do more than just mend fences, it can also deliver a more loyal customer. Apologizing in business in the right way and at the right time can turn a negative into a positive for your business.

Think about it—you can be better off AFTER a mistake than you were before the error was committed.

For example, "Company A" has an issue with a billing error to a customer. The customer notifies the company of the problem. The problem is investigated and the company is found to be at fault. The apology could be delivered over the phone, in person, or by an apology business letter.

Learn about the best approach for delivering a business apology for your situation.

Assuming that the right approach, in this case, is to write a customer apology letter, how should "Company A" handle this particular situation?

Sidebar: A great idea for business owners is to save and categorize all of their business apology letters and modify them as necessary for each new incident. This way, you never need to spend time composing an apology letter from scratch and can ensure a quick response to your customers each and every time.

First, this issue is dealt with in a TIMELY manner. Not responding quickly and decisively can end up requiring two apologies, one for the issue itself and the other for the time it took to respond—the timing issue compounds the 'negative' of the situation and can have more severe implications on your business than the original issue itself. It is critical to understand the importance of timing an apology correctly.

Below is an example of the customer apology letter we would recommend for this situation.

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Dear Ms. X

We are very sorry to have charged you twice for the same product. It was clearly a mistake at our end and we can certainly appreciate your shock when seeing double the amount expected on your credit card statement. (NOTE: if the $ amount was significant then it would be appropriate to include a statement regarding the implications on available credit. The sentence would then read as follows "We can appreciate the shock you must have felt at seeing double the amount you expected charged to your credit card, and the possible implications of our error on your remaining available credit with your financial institution.")

I understand from my staff that the error was due to a computer glitch in our automated billing system. As a result of this issue, and in order to prevent this from happening to you and other customers in the future, new procedures are being put in place. In the meantime, we have credited your account for the appropriate amount (include specific dollar value and add a percentage to cover possible interest charges).  We hope that this will be sufficient to correct the error and address any inconvenience this may have caused you.

We would like to thank you for helping us to improve our operation and services, and very much hope that you will remain a valued customer.

Sincerely,

John Doe
President
 

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What's the end result? How does the recipient feel after receiving this type of customer apology letter?

The customer is happy to resolve the issue and will likely appreciate the fact that the company took responsibility, acknowledged their error, made no excuses, and understood the hurt it caused.

The customer is 'flattered' by the attention of a senior executive taking the time to apologize PERSONALLY while thanking them for bringing it to their attention.

How does the customer view the company now? How has this customer apology letter built-on an existing relationship and effectively increased customer loyalty?

The customer's faith in the company is restored, and he/she now understands that companies make mistakes and that should a problem arise in the future it will be quickly resolved.

The customer feels IMPORTANT and realizes that the company wants to hear from them as a VALUABLE source of information for improving their services.

This type of customer apology letter will not only help you retain your customer but may even improve the relationship that you have with them and potentially increase the loyalty they feel towards your company.


Or, return from...
A Customer Apology Letter to the Business Apology Home Page


Or, learn about Delivering a Business Apology

 


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