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5 Email Templates To Replace ‘Sorry for the Inconvenience’

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How do you admit a mistake? A meaningless ‘I am sorry!’ is no good.

Whether you own a business or are an individual service provider, you may sometimes need to render a genuine apology, so it helps to learn how to do it right.

In this article, we’ll show you how.


What Does The Phrase ‘Sorry For The Inconvenience’ Mean?

By saying ‘sorry for the inconvenience’, you express regret to a customer for the error and for the discomfort that your actions (or lack thereof) have causedIn customer support, it is common to use this phrase, but there are better ways of saying it. 

Why You Shouldn’t Say ‘I’m Sorry For The Inconvenience’

Now, let’s look at some reasons why this phrase is best avoided.

It’s old 

It has been in use forever. Accordingly, it is now a cliché. Most customers are aware of it and may even anticipate this response.

Since it lacks a sense of authenticity, you (and your customer service team) should avoid it.

Also, many issues are not just ‘a minor inconvenience’ and may have drastic consequences for your customers. So, addressing the customer concerns as an ‘inconvenience’ just won’t cut it. 

It doesn’t sound like you mean it 

Your customer had a negative experience. They want empathy, they want to be heard. Saying “sorry for the inconvenience” is like slapping a bandage on a water leakage and calling it a day.

We get it. Most people say it out of habit rather than neglect. But your customers deserve better. They deserve a chance to express their frustrations. They deserve to be assured that their problem is going to be fixed. 

When you show that you are willing to listen and help the customer instead of brushing them off with an abrupt apology, you drastically improve customer perception of your business. (Read our checklist for apology emails)

It’s just not nice

Let us face it, saying something as boring as ‘sorry for the inconvenience’ can come across as a little heartless. Do you want your unhappy customers to feel like they are not being respected as well?

Using this phrase may be construed as poor service. As a customer service representative, you don’t want bad reviews on customer complaint boards and on social media, right? 

Read also: How And When To Say ‘My Sincerest Apologies’

Tips To Avoid Using ‘Sorry For The Inconvenience’

First things first, you should avoid those exact words. Instead, start the message with a better alternative phrase, like:

  • I recognize how critical this is. 
  • I understand how frustrating this is. This is how I would feel as well.

This infographic mentions four of the best tips to avoid using this overused phrase, along with an example for each. 

Sorry of the inconvenience alternatives
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Take initiative 

Say something like this in your communications: 

  • I’m here to express my regret for the trouble we caused you. 
  • I’m writing to apologize for the delay in responding.
  • I see that you’re having issues.

Recognize your errors and take responsibility

Clients need to feel that the organization is ready to acknowledge their mistakes and own up to them. You need to offer an effective apology by recognizing customer feelings and showing that you are taking the necessary actions.

  • My error! Please accept this as my apology.
  • It is entirely our fault. I apologize for any hassle this created for you. 
  • My bad! We are working to prevent it from happening again. 
  • Offering empathy and owning up to your mistake can convert unhappy customers. A heartfelt apology goes a long way in improving customer satisfaction. 

How to Write PS in Email: A Guide For Good Writing

Offer solutions 

Remedies that can be deployed are the best way to pacify someone who’s upset with you or your business. Add something like this after your sincere apology:

  • So, here are the options I think fit: … 
  • Let me provide you with an alternative. 
  • Would you mind taking a look at our Plan B? 

Be accessible 

You have already admitted your mistake. Your patrons expect you to be open to queries. You can improve the customer experience by saying something like:

  • If you have any questions, please contact me at [email address]
  • If there is anything else I can do for you, kindly let me know. I’m available at all times.
  • Please feel free to schedule a call or conversation with me. 

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5 Email Templates To Replace ‘Sorry for the Inconvenience’

In this section, we have created hypothetical customer service situations and how best to express regret.

These templates can be combined with the above-mentioned expressions in your communication across different channels, such as live chat, email, SMS, and phone.

Poor customer service 

Subject line: Addressing your experience with [Agent’s Name]— our apologies and resolution.

Greetings, [customer name] 

I am writing to express my deepest regrets on behalf of [business name] for the poor interaction you have had with one of our customer support representatives. 

I am aware that [agent’s name]’s approach to resolving the situation was [unhelpful/rude/unprofessional/etc.]. Your annoyance at not having been given the correct supervisorial instructions is understandable.

 We appreciate you bringing this to our notice.

Your input is very important to us because we are constantly searching for ways to improve our service. 

Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me directly if you require assistance in the future.


Late or lost deliveries 

Subject line: Apologies for the delay in your order, [Customer Name].

Hi, [customer name]

I apologize for any issues you may have had with the package you ordered from us {add order details}.

Since our supplier ran out of stock, your order didn’t reach you on time. However, a new shipment is scheduled to go out soon.

Please let us know if you want to cancel your order. If you want to have a replacement package shipped to you as soon as it becomes available, you can click here instead.

Once more, we apologize for the inconvenience. 


Don’t miss out on our guide – 15 Introduction Email Templates That Work Like A Charm

General apology email template

Subject line: My apologies for your recent order issue, [Name].

Greetings [Name],

My error!

Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience you experienced during your recent order. 

But don’t worry, we are doing our best to resolve this issue at the earliest. Our customer support team is also working to ensure that this issue does not happen again. In the meantime, here’s an alternative option you can use till we resolve this issue. 

If you have any further concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Resolving an issue

Subject line: Expect our call: resolving your issue within the hour, [Name]

Hello, [name]!

I’m here to express my regret for the trouble we caused you. Let us help you resolve this issue as soon as possible. We’ll get back to you within an hour. 

If you need any assistance, feel free to ask me anything.


Read also: 12 Email Invoice Templates to Customize and Click Send

Offering a discount/freebie

Subject line: We’re sorry—let us make it up to you, [customer name].

Dear [Customer],

We apologize for the inconvenience you experienced when trying to [use our product]. 

It’s never our intention to cause frustration or disappointment, and we take full responsibility for this issue. To resolve this, we’d like to offer you a [discount/refund/credits] as a gesture of goodwill.

Additionally, we’ve taken steps to address the root cause of the issue and prevent it from happening again in the future.

If there’s anything else we can do to make your experience with us better, please don’t hesitate to let us know.


Read Also: When to say, “My Sincerest Apologies”

Bonus Content — Real-Life Examples of Email Apologies that don’t use “sorry for the inconvenience”

1. FilterEasy’s apology email for an accidental email

Take a look at this short and sweet email apology sent out by FilterEasy when they sent out an accidental email.

FilterEasy's Apology Email

Here’s what they did right:

Acknowledged their mistake

They start off by admitting to the mistake right away, which is a smart move because it shows they’re not hiding anything. Their apology doesn’t beat around the bush — they own up to the mess and are clear about it. 

Used humor to keep things light

The humor is a nice touch—it’s like they’re saying, ‘Hey, we’re human too!’ and that keeps things light. 

Took responsibility and provided solutions

They make it clear that they are actively fixing the issue to prevent future errors. To top it off, they wrap up with a thank you to their customers, keeping the vibes positive and appreciative.”

2. Joules’ apology for a technical issue on their site

Joules apology email

Apart from being straight to the point, Joules throws in a sweet 25% discount to smooth over any bumps caused by the hiccup. This makes up for the hassle and gives folks a good reason to dive back into shopping. Pretty clever, right?

Read also: Bored at Work? 6 Ways to Make Work Exciting Again

To sum up 

Your ‘sorry for the inconvenience’ communication should have a single goal in mind: to win the client back. Give it your all if you want to succeed in this attempt. 

As you can see, we didn’t invent the wheel when we created our scenarios; we simply used regular phrases stated unusually. Recall the fundamentals: address the consumer by name, be approachable, be precise, and come up with original ideas.

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