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A Sample Business Apology Letter

This sample business apology letter is used by a major airline and sent out PRIOR to any complaints received by the company. (Thank you to Mary S. who received this perfect apology and sent it to us. If you've received a great apology like this one (or even a bad one) we want to hear about it. Please contact us.)

This pro-active approach not only helps to retain their customers but also builds on their existing loyalty program.  This is a great example of how to take a 'negative' situation in business and turn it into a 'positive'.
 

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Dear______,

I am writing in reference to X-Airlines flight XA123 of December 15th 2006, on which you were scheduled to travel from Point A to Point B.

As you know, due to a mechanical problem with the aircraft scheduled to operate flight XA123, the flight was cancelled. We understand that these irregularities can be very disturbing to our customers, but our first priority must always be to provide you with safe travel.

Please accept our most sincere apologies for any disruption which our cancellation may have caused your schedule. We hope that the arrangements we made in providing you a seat on the next available flight were satisfactory. 

As a member of our loyalty program, on-time performance is critical, and we truly regret that we were unable to provide you with the level of service we consistently strive to provide each and every one of our passengers. We would like to take this opportunity to provide your account with 4,000 complimentary points as a gesture of our concern for your inconvenience.

Our apologies, again, for your unfavorable experience.  We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you back onboard X-Airlines to replace the negative impression with a more positive one.

Sincerely,

 

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There are obviously hundreds of other situations where a business apology may be appropriate—don't avoid them, seek them out and USE them.  Learn from this sample business apology and create your own pro-active customer retention program tailored to your business and situation.

In business, we often pat ourselves on the back when mistakes happen and customers don't complain. The truth is, we may be making a bigger mistake by overlooking valuable opportunities to build our businesses, as illustrated in the sample business apology letter above.

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