How to apologize for bad customer experiences and win them back

Customer upset or unsatisfied? With a sincere apology, you can win them back and they may trust you more for handling it gracefully.

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

One of your customers had a negative experience? Here's how you can sincerely say sorry and show them what steps you're taking to make sure it doesn't happen again.

Subject line: I'm really sorry about your spa experience

Accept responsibility for the bad customer experience.

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

Put a human face on the company and let the customer contact you if they have any questions.

Download 5 apology templates

Edit template Reset Copy

How to apologize after a widespread issue affects your products

Experienced an issue that affected a handful or many people? Here's how you can say sorry to keep them as customers by explaining what caused the issue and how you're preventing it from happening again. You can also mention what inspired you to start your business and what it helps with so they want to keep supporting you.

Subject line: We're really sorry about the order issues you experienced recently

Briefly describe the issue that happened and sincerely apologize for it.

Describe what your team did or are doing to rectify the issue and how you're preventing this from happening in the future.

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

Put a human face on your company by showing a casual photo of your team.

Whew, my customers aren't upset anymore...but question, how do I sell to them without coming off as a money grubber? Here are 4 sales emails that Nigerian princes would never send (which is good). :)

Edit template Reset Copy

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

Subject line: We're sorry about the downtime + $5 off

Acknowledge the issue your customers experienced and apologize for it.

Briefly explain what caused it.

Describe what your team has done to prevent the issue from happening again. Depending on your audience and how severe the issue was, you can use a bit of humor to lighten the mood.

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

Download 5 apology templates

Edit template Reset Copy

How to tactfully reply to someone who ranted about your company

Subject line: Re: existing subject line

Directly address the issue they raised and explain to them how your product or service works to clear up any misunderstandings.

If they did not contact customer service first, recommend they do so next time to receive a quicker response. This subtly encourages others who may be reading the exchange to reach out to support first before saying something on a public forum.

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

Download 5 apology templates

Edit template Reset Copy

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

Subject line: What do you think of us?

Enumerate the results that your product or service helped your customer achieve.

Politely ask them for a review.

Explain what impact their review makes to motivate them to leave one.

Download 5 apology templates

Edit template Reset Copy

Frequently asked questions about apologizing to customers

How do you apologize to a customer for a bad experience?

If the customer had a bad experience because you or your team made a mistake, sincerely apologize. Depending on the severity of what happened and your product or service, make up for it by offering compensation such as a refund. If it was a moderate or serious issue, mention a change you'll make to prevent something similar from happening.

What if a customer leaves a negative review anonymously or under a name you don't have on file?

They could be a customer who uses a different alias online or someone who didn't buy from you or work with you. It's important to reply to these reviews to show potential and existing customers you're acknowledging and addressing the negative ones.

Simply let them know you don't have a customer with their name on file and ask them to reach out to your support team so you can look into it for them.

What if a customer had a negative experience that wasn't your fault?

Show empathy for the inconvenience they experienced and explain how it happened and why it was outside of your control without blaming anyone or apologizing. If there is something easy and costless you or they can do to fix the issue, you can suggest this as an idea.

Last updated:
"How do I get new clients?" No you don't have to create content, get active on social media or complete on job boards. Yes all of these help, but you're forced to play the waiting game. While your bills stack up... Instead you can proactively reach out to clients you want to work with. Here's how (and no, talking about your benefits is not enough). Yes, let's get proactive
More proven templates