Writing to apologize to a client for poor service or a faulty product takes a little extra care and planning. Don’t use a rigid template. If you have to apologize to the same client more than once, they’ll know you’re using a formatted letter and not writing from the heart.
Here are the basics of an acceptable apology but, remember, it’s not what you say about your mistakes that counts, it’s what you do:
- Be personal. Use the client’s name, never Dear Client/ Customer/ Subscriber/ Member
- Briefly state your understanding of what went wrong and acknowledge that this should never have happened and rarely does.
- Take responsibility. Don’t try to shift any blame to the client even if they may have been partially at fault.
- Promise that changes have been made to remove the loophole in your systems that allowed the error to occur.
- Offer compensation in line with the degree of inconvenience the client suffered. Additional product, a discount voucher, a small gift – any of these will help turn an unhappy customer into one who tells all her friends how well you treated her.