How to Apologize for Bad Customer Experiences (5 Templates)

Apologize for bad customer experience Apologize for widespread issue Tactful response to online rant Apologize for site downtime and offer a coupon code Proactively ask for a review

How to gracefully apologize for a single customer's bad experience

Subject: I'm really sorry about [incident]

Accept responsibility for a bad customer experience even if it was not your fault.

Describe the specific steps you're taking to avoid the same issue from happening again.

Put a human face on the company and let the customer contact you or someone else at the manager level.

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How to apologize after a widespread issue affects your products

Subject: I'm really sorry about [the widespread issue]

Sincerely apologize for the problem.

Describe what you're doing to rectify the issue and how you're preventing a similar one from happening in the future.

Remind your customers the biggest benefit you provide them and what inspired you to create the company.

Provide some details about how you work behind the scenes to show the issue wasn't caused by a careless mistake.

Express your heartfelt hope your customer stays with the company.

Put a human face on your company by showing a non-staged photo of your team.

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Like these templates? Our proven sales system shows you how to reliably get new clients (by doing what everyone else isn't doing).Learn more

How to tactfully reply to someone who ranted about your company

Subject: Re: existing subject line

Directly address the issue they raised and explain how the process related to their situation was meant to work.

If they did not contact customer support first before commenting online, suggest they do so next time to receive a response faster. This would also pass along the idea to your audience who may be reading the exchange.

Thank them to show that your company can take criticism well and learn from it.

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How to apologize for site downtime and make up for it by offering a discount

Subject: Major sorry for the site downtime + $10 off

Speaking as the founder or CEO of the company, apologize for the negative customer service experience.

Briefly explain what caused it.

Briefly explain the solution your team has implemented to prevent it from happening again. Depending on your audience, you can use a bit of humor to lighten the situation.

If possible, offer a small discount off their next purchase to apologize for the inconvenience.

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Tired of worrying about how to get new clients?

You've probably heard this before: polish your website, become a thought leader, set up ads, compete on job boards, network...What do all of these have in common? You have to wait for leads to come to you. The reality is, when we need a new client, we typically need one asap. Instead of waiting and watching the bills stack up, it's actually it's possible to proactively reach out to your ideal clients and get hired. A lot of people think cold email doesn't work because most of the best practices aren't well suited for getting new clients. So when they tried it, all they talked about was what they do, their benefits or past results. This may check a few copywriting 101 boxes but no matter how great your benefits or results are, the prospect has no clue how you'll actually be able to apply your skills and experience to help their business. The key to overcoming their skepticism? Come up with a few valuable improvement ideas related to your services tailored for your prospect's business and share this in your first email to them. This is what I call the VIU (valuable ideas upfront) approach. Now you’re not just offering them skills and experience prospects have to figure out how to put to use (they just won't reply), you’re offering them ready-to-go solutions to improve their business. Here's an example of this approach in action:
Come across your comment about LeadBot

In one sentence, mention where you discovered this prospect to open the conversation.

Mention that you'd like to share your process for achieving a goal related to their product and related to your services.

Break down 2-3 key steps in your process. To demonstrate your value and expertise, share steps that are insider knowledge, someone who doesn't do this for a living may not be privy to.

Ask them for an initial call, framed as a brainstorm session so the prospect of taking away valuable ideas entices them to join. The call will give you a chance to further demonstrate your value so they would want to hire you to implement your process and achieve results for them.

This approach is part of Art of Sales, our proven sales system to help you reliably get clients (by doing what everyone else isn't doing). Click here to learn more.

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How to proactively ask customers who had good experiences to leave reviews

Subject: What do you think of us?

Reiterate the results that your product or service helps your customers achieve.

Politely ask them to leave you a review.

Explain why their review makes a difference to motivate them to leave one.

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Tired of worrying about how to find new clients? A lot of methods take a long time to pay off: network, set up your ads, compete on job boards, polish your website, wait for leads. There's something you can do today to proactively put yourself in front of your ideal clients and get hired. Learn more
Apology no no's #1: discouraging customers from leaving negative reviews

Union Street Guest House: "There will be a $500 fine that will be deducted from your deposit for every negative review of USGH."

What happens when you try to penalize customers for exercising their freedom of speech? Customer poses as Adolf Hitler to leave bad review

Apology no no's #2: not accepting responsibility and downplaying and/or euphemizing the situation
United Airlines CEO re-accommodating 'apology' for dragging passenger

You and I may call dragging someone down an airplane assault and battery. United Airlines CEO calls it "re-accommodating" customers.

Your negative customer experience probably (hopefully!) doesn't involve someone getting concussed and injured but the important takeaway is: take responsibility unless you are sure the customer fabricated or misunderstood what happened.

How a graceful apology to a negative review can win a customer back and actually improve your reputation
In this study, customers were much more likely to withdraw negative feedback after receiving an apology

Most companies aren't as clueless as a certain hotel who tried to fine their customers for leaving bad reviews. However, by relying on the outdated 'say sorry, offer refund, move on' approach, you also miss a great opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your customers. A great apology not only addresses the issue(s) the customer raised but also gently reminds people what inspired you to create your product and how you hope it can help people.

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