“Where is my parcel? It’s already been a week since I paid for it!” email interrupted Kevin’s relaxed work on Friday. Unfortunately, he forgot to notify the client about the delay. So now, he has to say sorry for the inconvenience. And it should sound convincing.
This is a typical situation that a customer support team has to deal with on an everyday basis. It always proves that everyone should be able to answer the question ‘How do I apologize for the inconvenience?”. That’s no easy task.
A successful apology can turn a negative experience into a positive one, an upset customer into a loyal one, and a bad reputation into a great one.
In this ‘sorry for inconvenience’ guide, we have described the most common situations when customer service reps need to send formal apologies to clients and samples of such emails for your inspiration.
But first, let’s check if we’re on the same page about the definition.
An apology email is a letter written to apologize for one’s mistake or any sort of discomfort or harm caused. Companies often send apology letters to customers to retain them and mend up broken relationships. The text of such a message may include explanations for delays/mistakes/cancellations and offer incredibly attractive bonuses for clients to compensate for the inconvenience.
Thanks! Now check your inbox.
A positive word of mouth can do wonders for your business, but you should know how to formulate emails not to repel customers. A cut-and-dried ‘I’m sorry for the inconvenience’ won’t make things better — people should see you’re really trying to alleviate their concerns! You have to put the customer at the center of your business. An apology letter should be under 300 words long. Use a free character counter to make sure your letter is not too short or too long.
How to show customers that you’re geared up to help? Avoid certain formulations. Here’s an example of apology notes that are doomed to fail:
I am sorry for the accident. This was a one-off situation, and it will not repeat.
Your package had actually arrived at the post office. Unfortunately, postal workers failed to scan the QR-code on the box and update the shipping status. Shortly after, they sent the parcel back to us. Our company will do its best to investigate the case and take measures to prevent such mistakes in the future.
Once again, I am very sorry for your inconvenience. Please, contact our customer support to have your parcel dispatched again or receive the full compensation. We are always glad to help.
Does this make this process easier on Mark’s nerves? Absolutely not because:
The explanations mentioned above do not solve Mark’s problem in any way. Instead, he’s left alone with the issue and has to waste much more time than expected.
Just like our next customer in case — Alice. She purchased tickets to her favorite band’s concert, which was canceled. Here’s the apology letter to an unsatisfied customer she received:
Unfortunately, the concert of The Strawberries band on 04/12/2021 in Lumiere Hall was canceled. We are very sorry for the inconvenience.
Our company does its best to organize events as scheduled. However, due to quarantine measures caused by Covid-19, we are forced to comply with newly emerging restrictions and requirements.
Please contact us if you have any concerns or questions regarding the cancellation policy and ticket refund. We would be glad to help you.
What’s wrong here? Alice has all reasons to say goodbye to this organizer since:
How do prevent such mistakes? Avoid using the following things when crafting a ’we apologize for any inconvenience’ letter:
Different mistakes require different apologies, so finding the right words might be insanely difficult. Here are the most common customer service scenarios in the SaaS and eCommerce sectors, with relevant examples of letters. Below, you will find alternative ways to express your regrets and turn bane into a boon.
Technical issues, downtimes, and poor communication are pretty widespread in the SaaS sphere. Naturally, that irritates customers, so make sure to inform them about technical issues as soon as possible. Thus, they will know you’re already working on the problem, and access to service will soon be restored.
Here are the most common situations and related apology letter templates.
Number 3 sums up a versatile apology letter for any conflict, guaranteed.
If there’s something wrong with your servers or other technical facilities, your apologies statement should contain this information. Let users know you’re aware of the problem and doing your best to solve it.
Got no time to warn your customers about the downtime? Once you fix it, express your apology for bad service and consider some compensation. This way, your reputation will stay unaffected by clients’ discontent.
If customers have a negative experience with anyone from your company’s staff, their impression may have a lasting impact on… your rival’s wallet.
Don’t let conflicts ruin your relationship — there’s always a way to smooth things over.
Why should you send a customer service apology email when software bugs are revealed? Then, people will know you are proactive in fixing the issues and won’t be forced to find alternatives to your digital products.
Devoted fans spend years waiting for game releases, so thank them for loyalty and do a favor — notify them about bugs before their experience gets spoiled irreversibly.
People need your support at every stage of the customer journey — not only when the problem hits. If you plan to perform technical maintenance works, it would be very kind of you to notify users about it. That shows your professionalism and true concern about customers’ experience.
The number one rule of billing issues is to compensate a customer as soon as possible. If possible, explain the reasons for the mistake: let the client know it’s not a fraud, and you did not intend to charge any hidden payments.
Feel free to use these templates when your business email box is overloaded with customer requests and complaints and you need ready-made text samples.
How to apologize professionally in an email when your clients face delays and poor quality of items? First, do not make them wait even longer — they wasted enough time already. Second, send instant feedback with ready solutions and options.
Don’t forget that connection breeds cooperation. When buyers see your genuine concerns, they are more likely to buy anything from you again.
Even if delivery troubles happen on the carrier’s side, you bear the responsibility for the customer’s satisfaction, so deal with anger in a dignified way. Your number one priority is to specify delivery dates.
If deadlines are heavily violated, you should provide some compensation: that significantly increases your chance of retaining a client.
Take these complaints seriously, as one negative review with the photos of your distorted products may avert hundreds of customers. News spreads like fire on the Internet, so don’t make things worse by neglecting proper customer support.
Consumers won’t even notice that your canned cat food contains too much zinc, but letters explaining product recalls show that you really care. Sincerity in eCommerce is so rare these days, so try to serve your customers as you’d do your loved family members.
People hate waiting. Making them wait twice is one of the worst things a company can do. Your ‘sorry about inconvenience’ won’t be enough, so make sure to sweeten the deal with a bonus for patience.
How to compose a convincing apology letter to a customer for an error? If you feel like the samples mentioned above aren’t perfect enough to fit in your situation, follow this step-by-step instruction for a more personalized approach.
Here are a few recommendations that will make your sorry email sound more convincing and soothing.
This point might be obvious since you write a business apology. Yet, your ‘Sorry’ should sound natural, which is not easy to do in official messages. Do not try to find excuses — it can make your apology sound forced or fake. Customers who feel that the company doesn’t care about them are not likely to return ever again.
Your apology for poor customer service is worth nothing until you take measures. For example, has your customer received a damaged item? Send the replacement immediately after receiving the complaint. Is your system experiencing downtime? Report on that via mass email — people should know that you’re working tight-lipped on fixing it.
The golden rule of quality customer support is helping ASAP. That shows your genuine concern and care about clients.
Let’s face it: we all hate feeling guilty and accepting the blame. Owning your mistake might be very tough on your ego, but you should take the high road instead of trying to find someone else to bear the responsibility.
But remember that you have a chance to make it up to your customer. By taking your responsibility and showing concern in problem-solving, you raise the brand’s reputation in your recipient’s eyes.
Don’t ever be vague about the problem and solutions — it irritates people. Your next step is to explain to your clients what went wrong. Understanding the reasons can calm them down. Detailed explanations show your empathy and involvement, so you should always investigate the event.
Pro tip: Do not try to deflect your blame or deny your role in the error. Even if it really does not depend on you.
When writing an apologetic email, do not emphasize the client’s feelings with ‘I know it has caused you inconvenience’ or ‘We understand how frustrated you feel about this incident. Most people understand that things happen and, most likely, have been in your place before.
A customer has clear goals that your company’s service or product should accomplish. So focus on solutions, not tons of empathy. If your errors have prevented a client from getting the desired item or service, try to make it up as soon as possible. Be proactive — customers will appreciate it.
Since you’ve tackled a problem, the next logical step would be to give a clear solution. Having a clear plan of action is a must because it will alleviate customer’s concerns even before the problem gets solved.
Besides, you raise trust by showing transparency on how you will deal with the issue. Customers will rest assured that they have learned the lesson and will not repeat the mistake. So try to express that their complaints are appreciated and help your company improve the overall user experience.
Customer complaints might hurt because a) you have to admit your mistakes; b) you risk losing a client or many of them. However, remember that mistakes are inevitable for any human and are a natural part of evolution.
So instead of beating yourself up, think of the lessons you can learn and ways to improve your business. Be thankful to clients who complain or report on your products — they help you grow up!
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This is essential when trying to restore your relationship with customers you’ve failed to serve correctly. When finishing your letter, provide customers with a channel for communication. Emphasize that their questions and concerns are always welcomed, and you are here from sunup to sundown to solve their problems.
Mention that their opinion matters and helps you grow your business and deliver an impeccable user experience. Ideally, a client should be able to contact a customer support agent personally.
Pro tip: Run a survey to evaluate your customers’ experience. It’s better to prevent troubles than spend eternity trying to solve them.
How to apologize in email?
Your primary goal is not just to express regrets — you should sound sincere and come up with solutions for a customer’s problem. You can craft a sorry email using the following formula:
How to say ‘Sorry for the inconvenience’ differently?
When writing an apology letter for a customer complaint, avoid repeating the same phrase repeatedly. Adjust words according to the situation.
Here’s a set of apology phrases you can use:
How to make my apologies sound convincing?
Actions speak louder than words. Train your support agents to show customers that you’re working on their problems or, if possible, offer several solutions to choose from.