Wish you had not said or done something? Smooth things over with a carefully worded apology letter.
Struggling to find the right words? Get 81 ready-to-use apology letters to help you find the perfect words to say, plus must-know tips & steps recommended by professionals.
How to write a business apology letter
Type this apology letter on your computer using a serif font such as Times Roman or Georgia and print it on good quality, bright-white inkjet paper.
Use a formal business letter format such as full block or semi-block.
Offer your apology in the beginning of the letter and clearly state the problem: “Please accept my apology for being unable to give you a definitive answer at this time. . . . ” or “We apologize for whatever inconvenience this may cause you, but. . . .”
Give some explanation for what happened: “Our committee has not yet completed its investigation into. . . . ” or “In order to err on the side of caution, this toy has been recalled by the manufacturer. . . .”
Focus on what actions you are taking to rectify the problem: “We are happy to offer you a full refund. . . . ” or “We will be happy to notify you as soon as we receive the information you requested. . . . ”
Hand-sign the apology letter with a black pen.
Remember: Say you are sorry as soon as wisdom dictates! You will find that an apology letter will not only help save your friendships and your business associates, it can also dissolve a small problem and keep it from snowballing into a big one!
How to write a personal apology letter
Write this apology letter carefully on a piece of stationery; don't type it on a computer.
Express your apology in the beginning of your letter: “I am so sorry. . . .” or “I want to apologize. . . .”
State exactly what you did wrong early in the apology letter: “I shouldn't have lost my temper when. . . . ” or “I have looked all over, but I'm afraid I have lost your book. . . .”
Accept responsibility for what you did and don't blame the other person: “I accept full responsibility for what happened. . . .” or “I know this was completely my fault. . . .”
Promise in your apology letter not to repeat your offensive action and ask the injured party to give you an opportunity to prove this to them.
Suggest that the two of you get together at a restaurant or some other non-threatening place so that you can apologize in person and begin to rebuild your relationship.
Why an apology letter is so important:
Writing an apology letter shortly after the offense can usually help save a relationship before a wound becomes a scar and the damage becomes irreparable.
You can usually find forgiveness and understanding if you freely acknowledge what you did wrong and express sincere regret in your apology letter.
Depending on the situation, if you offer the injured party the appropriate material restitution for whatever loss they incurred because of you, this will also help to repair your relationship.
You can help to rebuild your credulity in your apology letter if you promise not to repeat the offense and assure the injured party that they will see a definite change in your behavior.
You can use your apology letter to assure the injured party that you truly value their friendship and do not want to lose it.
Just writing an apology letter shows the injured party that you realize you were wrong and that you value the relationship.
You may find that if you freely apologize and accept responsibility for what you did, the injured party may also accept some responsibility for the problem and apologize to you in return.
NOTE: Be careful! Use wisdom in deciding when to write your personal apology letter. What does your experience with the injured party tell you? Should you write the apology letter immediately or should you wait and give him/her a brief cooling-off period?