Business Apology Letter (Tips & Sample Letter)

A business apology letter is written to express regret for a mistake in the business circles. The main aim of the letter is to strengthen business relationships and retain clients. In the corporate world, mistakes are inevitable but how do you respond as a businessman when a fault occurs? Writing a letter becomes one of the best ways to appease your customers after a business error. The letter must highlight the circumstances that led to the blunder and the corrective actions that were taken.

Avoid making more mistakes when writing the apology letter by using a template or a sample.

How to write a business apology letter

Recount the error

In your apology letter, recount what led to the mistake. Avoid laying blame on the customer. Own the mistake and ask for forgiveness. The first step in seeking forgiveness for any wrong is to own the mistake.

Provide a solution

Besides asking for forgiveness, you need to offer a solution to the problem. You might need to provide a refund, compensation or replacement for defective goods or poor services. If possible, let the customer decide if they’ll receive as a refund or replacement for faulty goods.

Acknowledge the customer’s feelings

The customer must be mad at you for the mistake. In the letter, assure them you understand how they feel about the matter, but you’ll do all you can to solve the error and to prevent a reoccurrence.

Seek forgiveness

After acknowledging your mistake, it’s high time to ask for forgiveness. The client must understand your business holds them in high esteem and the error was an accident. As you ask for forgiveness, you must state the measures you’ll put in place to avoid a repeat of the mistake.

Express regret

In your apology letter, let your customer know your business doesn’t tolerate such errors, and the mistake was just an isolated case. You client must understand that you’re remorseful at what occurred to them.

How to send a business apology letter

How you sent the business apology letter conveys lots of information on how to take the matter.

You can send the apology letter via email, regular mail or courier. Apology letters send via courier bear more weight compared to email or regular mail. The client will understand that you value the business relationship and you regret the error.

The kind of the relationship that exists between the two parties will dictate the mode of sending the letter. If you’ve a causal relationship with the customer, you may opt to apologize via email.

Things to keep in mind when writing a business apology letter

  • Request the customer to forgive you for the mistake
  • offer a solution to the problem if possible
  • Use words/ phrases that show you are sorry such as “I apologize”, “I regret”.
  • Recount what transpired to show you understand the situation.
  • Avoid blame games, own the mistake
  • Only apologize for the mistake at hand, avoid referring to past mistakes

Bad Example of a Business Apology Letter

Dear Essie,

We appreciate your concern regarding your order number32455/19. We have re-looked at the order, and we found some goods were expired.

It’s unfortunate you never verified the goods once they arrived in your warehouse. But anyway we take responsibility for the error; we’ll replace the expired products.

In the future, always confirm the products when they arrive at your warehouse.

Thank you.


Jack Peters

Sales department

Good Example of a Business Apology Letter

Dear Essie,

We thank you for letting us know an error in your order no. 32455/19. We’re genuinely sorry for sending expired goods in that order. We understand how disappointed you’re and we apologize for the inconvenience.

When packaging our client goods, we always take caution to make sure we deliver the best to our customers; unfortunately, it seems our staff didn’t follow our packaging and dispatch guidelines. As a company, we take entire responsibility for the error.

We’ve shipped another consignment of goods to replace the expired ones. You’ll receive these goods in the next five days. Kindly, return the expired products via our courier once you receive the new batch.

The management has instituted measures to make sure such a mistake will not recur. Also, the staff in the warehouse will undergo retraining, and we’ve assigned two more supervisors to the department.

Once again we’re sorry for the inconvenience caused and thanks for bringing the error to our attention.


Jack Peters

Sales department

Types of business apology letter

Business apology letter for inconvenience

A business apology letter for inconvenience expresses regret for causing displeasure to a client in regard to the delivery of goods or services. Once you realize any of your staff has hurt your customer; you must apologize and offer a solution to the problem in a letter. These details should appear in the letter;
  • The nature of the inconvenience
  • A sincere apology
  • Corrective action taken

Business apology letter for mistake

Any mistake done to a client demands an apology; a sincere apology is the only way of establishing and solidifying business relationships. When apologizing to a customer for a mistake, this information should be in the letter;
  • The mistake at hand
  • Regret for the mistake
  • How you’ll prevent a reoccurrence

Business apology letter for miscommunication

In the business world, you’ll encounter cases of miscommunication times and again. If you identify a misunderstanding because of a miscommunication, write a letter to the client to clear up the matter. Include these details in the letter;
  • A brief account of the miscommunication
  • What you meant
  • An apology for the miscommunication
  • A promise the error will not recur

Apology letter to an unsatisfied customer

Though customer satisfaction is at the heart of every business, not all customers will be satisfied with your services. In such a case, you need to write an apology letter to calm the customer. The letter should include;
  • A true apology
  • Measures adopted to correct the error
  • A commitment not to repeat the mistake

Apology letter to a customer for poor service

An apology letter to a customer for poor service is written to apologize to a customer after complaints of poor service. Every customer has a right to excellent services, of the opposite happens, it’s your duty as a business owner/manager to apologize to the customer. In your apology letter highlight the following;
  • Regret for the mistake
  • Corrective action in place
  • How you’ll make sure a repeat of the same doesn’t occur

Apology letter to a client for a delay in service

An apology letter to a client for a delay in service expresses an apology for a delay to offer services to a customer. It’s essential to remember that time is a limited asset that must be used appropriately. When any of your customers experience a delay in service delivery; it’s imperative to apologize to them. Your letter should include;
  • Reasons for the delay
  • A genuine apology
  • What you’ll do to avoid a reoccurrence

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