“Walk a mile in your customer’s shoes.” As the quote suggests, Empathy is one of the key pillars in Customer Service. A customer-first approach helps in preventing mistakes and glitches in our product or service.
But here’s the thing, as much as we try to prevent mistakes, negative experiences are likely to pop up once in a while. In such scenarios, how do we mend the damage? Sending a polished and professional apology letter to your customers is the first step to making it right again and potentially winning back their confidence.
Being a SaaS company in the customer service space, we at HappyFox believe in building a strong relationship with our customers. We have made mistakes and learned how to win back our customers’ trust by writing the most genuine and simple apology emails that connect with the customers and make them believe in us.
In this blog, we have compiled some of the best practices to write perfect apology emails after analyzing real examples from our customer success team. Below are some pointers to keep in mind while writing an apology email:
- Be Proactive – Delay in communicating about an issue is sometimes more dangerous than the problem itself. Don’t wait for customer complaints to arise. Keep customers informed and send them an apology email right when you get to know about a potential problem and be clear about the timeline for resolution.
- Say Sorry – Many companies dread writing apology letters to customers out of fear of accepting blame or admitting wrongdoing. An apology is not the end of the world; it is far from it. So say Sorry period.
- Acknowledge your Mistake – There is no point in defending for the error made, it’s always better to own up the mistake and reflect that tone in your email. For example: “I am sorry if I made a mistake” or any other phrase like that would mean you haven’t accepted your mistake. So avoid using such phrases.
- Be Transparent About the Issue – Explain why the issue happened in the first place. Be as clear as possible.
- Specify the ETA – Make sure to set the expectations right when you write an apology email. It’s good you acknowledge your mistake, but what action will you also take matters. So be clear about the timeline to execute the mitigation plan.
- Provide Workaround – Just being “sorry” and accepting your mistake is half the job done. Along with a formal apology, make sure you also provide a quick solution that can be a temporary resort for your customer.
- Send Email from the Right Person – Right message, with the right tone from the right person, is essential. Send your email based on the severity of the issue. For situations where you are directly accountable to the customer in question, use a personal apology email template to convey sincerity and empathy.
- Approachability – Show that you are approachable at any time and always ready to help. Follow up with your customers via phone or social media, to show that you care and will not repeat the mistake.
Here’s your takeaway, based on the pointers above, we have drafted five templates for some of the common issues faced while serving customers that you can use and save time.
1. Addressing a Bug in the product
Hi [Customer Name], Accept our sincerest apologies for the problem with [specify] you have been facing with our product. Our Engineering team has confirmed [specify the issue here] is a bug and they are working on resolving it. We have prioritized this, and in another 1-2 business days, you can expect this bug to be completely fixed. Customer experience is what matters most to us, and in future releases, we will make sure we do thorough testing to avoid such issues. We understand the severity of the issue and the impact it might have on your business and would like to suggest a workaround until it is fixed. You can try [suggest the workaround ]. I hope this helps. Feel free to schedule a screen share session with me: [screen share link], and I'll be glad to help you set it up quickly. Yours Sincerely, [Your Name] Customer Success Agent [Your company]
2. Performance issue
Hi [Customer Name], I apologize for the latency issues faced by your team while using our app. I escalated this case to our backend team, and we were able to find the root cause of the slowness and deployed a fix. We have a few more updates planned in the next 1-2 days, and the app should feel much more responsive going forward. We understand how much this impacts your business and so we are making infrastructure changes to prevent such issues in the future. Thanks for your patience. I am looking forward to hearing back from you. Sincerely, [Your Name] Customer Success Agent [Your Company]
3. After an Outage – Mass apology email to customers
Hi [Customer Name], I'm writing to update you on our service outages on [date and time]. Service was fully restored at about [time]. I apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you. Please be informed that our team has been working through the night to resolve these incidents. [Specify incident details] Our team has analyzed and taken this incident very seriously, and we have devised a way to rewrite the particular servers affected today. I realize that doesn't make up for lost business though. As a token of apology, we are issuing you a discount of 20% for this month's subscription. If you feel this isn't sufficient, please let me know, and we can discuss it further. Sincerely, [Your Name] Customer Success Manager [Your Company]
4. Billing Error – Wrong invoice sent
Dear [Customer Name], I hope you are doing good. I apologize for sending the wrong invoice in the previous email. I understand how this would have impacted your payment. Kindly consider the invoice attached in this email for processing the payment and ignore the one sent in the previous email. We will make sure this doesn't repeat in the future. Reach out to me in case you need any help. Sincerely, [Your Name], Billing Support Agent [Your Company]
5. Negative Customer Service Experience
Dear [Client Name], Thanks for letting us know that our customer service was not up to the mark. We completely understand your disappointment. Please accept my sincere apologies. We at [Company Name] make it a point to take any negative feedback constructively and work towards improving our processes to ensure mistakes never repeat. To fix this situation, [Explain the solutions you'll provide and how you'll provide them]. [Customer name], thanks once again for bringing this issue to our notice. Sincerely, [Your name] Customer Support Agent [Your company]
The last word
Apologies matter because they increase customer retention and reduce churn. Apologizing doesn’t lower your brand reputation; infact, being honest, and taking full responsibility for the mistake can help build trust and loyalty.
Sorry and Thank you are two powerful words that always do the magic. Customers are humans, after all. A heartfelt apology will make your customers stick with you beyond unfortunate events.
I hope this post helps you build good apology emails and win the confidence of your customers.