For corporations that deal with millions of customers every year, for organizations that deal with especially sensitive client issues, for start-up small businesses seeking to establish a positive reputation, or even for independent contractors needing to maintain professional credentials, knowing how to write a customer service bad news letter may be absolutely essential. Many consumers worldwide can attest to the disappointment of poor customer service, with one potential consequence being receiving frustrating follow-up to their issues. If only the responsible entities would have kept a few key concepts in mind when forming their letters and other communications, such stigma may have been avoided.

Sandwich Method

Although it is a popular technique, and likely fairly widely taught as a standard of office communications, it cannot be overemphasized as a necessary strategy for how to write a customer service bad news letter. Regardless of the specific situation involved, crafting such notices should be done in the “sandwich” pattern: Good news, bad news, good news. For example, if a customer ordered a product but due to an accident at the manufacturing plant the delivery will be delayed, the letter could begin with a positive note (“Thank you for ordering, we appreciate our customers”) followed by the relevant bad news (“Unfortunately, a recent uncontrollable incident at our plant has resulted in a delay that will affect your delivery timing”) and ending on another positive note (“Not only can you rest assured that you will receive your desired product, but our new capital investments will result in higher quality as well”). Often, companies will use the conclusion to include a coupon or other monetary incentives to lessen the blow of bad news.

Flawless Professionalism

Just because an outgoing communication is of a bad-news type and not expected to garner a response does not mean that it should be shoddily constructed and meagerly written. Even if it is a form letter with most of its content predetermined, knowledge of how to write a customer service bad news letter must include the know-how of how to write professional business communications in general, adhering to the same procedures and business-letter rules as any other official piece.


As difficult as it can be for faceless businesses both large and small to create a genuine, concerned tone in their customer service communications, part of how to write a customer service bad news letter must include at least trying to seem like you care about the human being that will be receiving it. Many people understand that operating any venture will come with its fair share of issues and setbacks, and will at least be willing to meet a company halfway in understanding a situation. Chances of this compromise are reduced, however, when every word they hear seems heartlessly manufactured and having little to do with their specific situation. Perhaps no entity knows how to write a customer service bad news letter that will achieve perfect results, but such is the reality of dealing with imperfect situations to begin with. In putting forth a heartfelt effort to craft a quality bad news letter, at least companies can maintain a semblance of connection with clients that otherwise may have felt as though a bridge were outright burned between them.