How to Write an Apology Email

Every business makes mistakes every once in a while. And in most cases, a simple yet professional apology email is capable of changing a customer’s perception of the situation for the better and helping you maintain your relationship with them. Regardless of what happened, and whoever was at fault, a well-crafted, timely, apology letter can go a long way in turning a negative customer experience into a positive one, while increasing customer retention and reducing churn. 

In fact, according to the RightNow report, 63% of consumers would be willing to go back to a company after a negative experience if they received a follow-up apology/correction from a supervisor/head office. At the same time, not apologizing at all or providing a poor apology can easily make things worse. Below are some tips on how to write an efficient apology email to customers along with 10 ready-made apology letter templates you can use whenever you need to respond to a similar situation and apologize on behalf of your business.

How to write an apology email to customers

  • Make it clear that you are apologizing for what happened without shifting the blame.
  • Own the mistake and take responsibility even if it wasn’t your fault.
  • Acknowledge the customer’s negative emotions, feelings, and pains.
  • Be transparent and tell customers what went wrong and what caused the problem.
  • Give a clear recovery plan and explain what you’ll do or have done to make things right.
  • Describe the steps you take to ensure that the mistake won’t happen again.
  • Offer a refund or any other reasonable compensation, if it makes sense.
  • Keep some of the common apology phrases but make sure to also personalize your apology message when possible.
Kukuruza apology email template
Kukuruza apology email template

10 customer apology email templates

Whether you’re dealing with a breached SLA, damaged products, billing problems, service outages, negative customer support experiences, or anything else, having solid apology email templates at hand allows you to react quickly and comprehensively whenever something doesn’t go as planned. Here are 10 apology letter templates that can serve as a prompt for different situations in which you’d need to apologize to your customers.

An unsatisfactory product apology email

Hi [Name],

On behalf of our company, I want to apologize for sending you a defective item.

Our team tries to implement effective quality control for our products, but we failed this time, and we regret that your product slipped past our quality measures. I realize it was frustrating for you and I’m very sorry.

In order to make things right I’d like to propose two solutions:

[Solution 1: for example, full refund]
[Solution 2: for example, replace the product with a new one]

All you have to do is inform me what suits you best and leave the rest up to me.

Thank you for your patience.

SaaS product issues apology email

Hi [Name],

We’re so sorry about the issues you’ve been having with [product]. We know how frustrating it is when technical issues prevent you from getting your work done.

This was likely caused by a malfunction in our own servers, so we’re actively trying to minimize the possibility of this happening again.

In the meantime, we’re going to give you back this month’s subscription cost as an additional apology.

Thank you for your patience. Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like any help or more


Negative customer support experience apology email

Dear [Name],

I’m so sorry to hear about the poor experience you had with our customer support agent. I realize how frustrating it must be to [details of the issue]. We obviously failed this time, and for that, we are very sorry.

Our customer support reps have all been trained on how to handle our customers’ issues, including how to escalate problems that they are unable to assist with. However, as a result of this experience, we’ve decided to provide additional training to our entire customer support team to make sure that this won’t happen again.

As an additional apology, we’re sending you a 20% discount for your next order. You can use this code: [CODE]

Thank you for your patience and for bringing the issue to our attention. Let me know If there’s anything else we can do.


Service downtime apology email

Dear [Name],

I want to apologize for our extended downtime yesterday. As stated in our SLAs, our team guarantees 99% uptime every day, and this was one of the few times we failed to uphold our standard. We realize we caused operational problems to you and we are very sorry for that.

This was likely caused by [explaining the reason].

We’ll do our best to make sure this doesn’t happen again. As an additional apology, we are offering [details of your offering].

Thank you for your patience and understanding. As always, if you have any questions or issues, please let us know.


Billing error apology email

Dear [Name],

Thank you for contacting our customer support and for bringing this issue to our attention. We’re so sorry that you were charged twice for the same product.

This is a terrible mistake caused by a glitch in our billing system, and we’re currently looking into how this could have happened. As soon as we find the bug in our system, we’re going to squash it!

In the meantime, we have refunded you the full amount of one of the charges, including extra charges and tax. Please allow 1-3 business days for the amount to appear back on your credit card.

Getting overcharged is a stressful and frustrating ordeal, and we’re sorry once again to have put you through that. If there are any other issues or questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Website issues apology email 


We blew it!

You may have noticed that our website had trouble today keeping up with the unexpectedly large amount of interest in our [details of promo] sale.

We’re happy to say this has now been fixed – hurrah!

If you had trouble shopping, don’t worry – we have extended our sale until [date]!

Sorry for any inconvenience caused.

Apology email template for delivery issues


We just realized that the [type of emails] emails we’ve been sending to you lately might have not gotten through to you on time.

There has been a glitch in our database, but the good news is that it’s all sorted now, so you’ll be kept up-to-date with our exclusive deals and promotions. We’ll also make sure this doesn’t happen again.

We’re very sorry if in the meantime you’ve missed some of our offers. By way of an apology, we’d like to give you [details of your offer].

Thanks for understanding.

Product recall apology email

Dear valued customer,

Due to [reasons], we must recall our [product]. We are very sorry that [product] has slipped past our quality standards.

If you have bought this item, please click below for details of how to return it and receive a full refund (plus a little extra compensation).

We will continue to create the products that our customers love, but with more extensive quality testing to ensure that this situation remains an isolated incident.

We thank you all for your loyalty over these [number] years that we have been in business — we will work hard to not disappoint you in the future. Once again, please accept our apologies for this unpleasant event.


Mass apology email

To our valuable [Company name] customers,

As you may already know, at [time] today, we experienced [description of issue], which affected [number] customers. We realize that caused operational problems to many of you and we would like to apologize for that.

Here’s what happened: [details of the problem and status of the resolution].

Our company aims to offer the best possible service to our customers, and we know we’ve let you down. We are taking this incident very seriously and are doing a full analysis on this issue, the root cause, the impact, and how to prevent this from happening again.

As an additional apology, anyone who was affected by this will be able to [details of your offering]. While we understand it can’t exactly make up for the inconvenience we caused, we hope it’ll go some way towards making amends.

Thank you for your patience. If there is anything else our team can do to improve your experience, please don’t hesitate to reply to this email and ask.


 Follow-up apology email

Hello [Name],

I wanted to check in with you regarding the issue you had the other day with [details of the issue]. I know we let you down, and I’m sorry once again for that.

So, I’m following up on the solution we provided. Did it help? Could we have done better? Please let us know.

I’d be happy to assist if you have any other questions or concerns.


Now that you know how to apologize for mistakes you’ve made, how about learning how to politely decline customer requests?

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Frequently asked questions

How do you apologize professionally in an email?

Apologizing professionally in an email should be done by sincerely acknowledging the issue and taking responsibility. Moreover, try to offer a possible solution. More importantly, do not copy and paste generic apologies.

What do you say when someone apologizes in an email?

Simply thank them for the email and express that you appreciate the apology/prompt response.

What are the steps to professionally apologize to your customer?

1. Take responsibility for the mistake.

2. Acknowledge that the mistake was a problem for your customer.

3. Apologize.

4. Offer solutions to remedy the mistake.

5. As a show of good faith, do something nice for your customer.

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