Business letters of apology: repair online reputation & mend relationships

Business letters of apology: a customer of yours has just written a scathing online review of your products or services. How should you respond?

The short answer is that you should write the customer a letter of apology (and, don’t worry, we’re going to include a business apology letter sample!). Regardless of the underlying issue with the complaint, when you write a letter of apology, you can:

  • Rebuild a relationship with a disgruntled customer
  • Repair your online reputation, which may be damaged when other site visitors read the negative review of your business

Before you write any business letters of apology, carefully read the complaint and consider what seems to be upsetting the customer.

In many cases, you will have the option to address a complaint directly in a reply or comment box on the site. Resist the urge to use those – at least, not yet! Instead, craft the letter offline and either have someone else review it or put it away for a couple of hours and review it again yourself. Is the tone appropriate? Do you sound defensive or disbelieving? If so, then you’ll need to edit the letter before posting in the reply or comment box on the site.

Most importantly, make sure that you are actually apologizing for whatever the person listed in his or her complaint. The goal is to mend a business relationship, if possible, and to do some online reputation repair, NOT to defend your viewpoint, to win an argument or to prove that you’re right.

Before we share a business apology letter sample, here’s a bonus online reputation management tip that you might not have considered.

In your letter, avoid using any keywords – especially your brand/company name, your personal name or the names of employees. The use of your company name or other keywords related to your company will only add strength to this complaint by helping it rank in search engine results.

For online reputation management purposes, be sure to change up the copy in the letter if you need to use it more than once.

Business apology letter sample (note: you will need to replace information in

[brackets] with information specific to the posting)

We Would Like To Help You, [Name]

Dear [Name],

I noticed your posting and I would like to help you. I want to help you with your [first issue] problem, as well as the problems that you are having with your [second issue].

At this store, we want you to be satisfied with us. Unfortunately, problems do arise. When this occurs, it is even more important to go the extra mile to satisfy you.

[Name], I stand ready to correct any problem or perceived problem that you bring to my attention. While business transactions can be ‘easy’ when everything goes ‘fine,’ you should judge a company by how they resolve issues when there are ‘bumps in the road.’ I am available [Monday through Saturday] between the hours of [7:00 AM and 7:00 PM]. My direct dial number is [234-1234]. Please contact me personally if there is any way that I can assist you. I can assure you 100% resolution.


[Your first name and last initial]

2021-04-07T10:35:16+00:00October 18th, 2010|0 Comments

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