Working with clients is not an easy job and you should be attentive to whatever you say to them. Sometimes, it happens that they are becoming very frustrated because they don’t receive the expected response asap. But sometimes, they understand that you can be so quick because there are other people that are involved in the solution. Don’t panic, just say the magic word ”Sorry” in the proper way and situation.
In this article, we are going to show you 26 templates to send an apology email for a late response to your customer, colleague, boss, etc. Furthermore, you find a lot of tips about how to apologize for your late response.
26 Ways to Apologize for Late Reply
1. Please accept my apologies for the delayed response.
2. Kindly accept my sincere apologies for the delay in replying to your e-mail.
3. My sincerest apologies for not getting back to you about (THE REASON FOR YOUR EMAIL) sooner.
4. Sorry for the late response.
5. Thank you for your patience while I was working on (THE REASON TO DELAY THE RESPONSE) I sincerely apologize for the delay in response.
6. I understand that you would have preferred an earlier response to your inquiry, but your request required some time.
7. I am really sorry for the delay in responding to this.
8. I apologize for the delayed response. I was out for a few days due to health issues.
9. Once again, please accept our sincere apologies for causing you such inconveniences and delaying you so much in time.
10. Sorry for the delay in coming back to you, it has taken time for me in order to clarify the issues within our departments.
11. Please note that we are a bit highly overloaded nowadays and maybe there will be some delays in the response. I am apologizing in advance!
12. Please accept our apologies for the delays caused by some internal re-organizations.
13. First of all, please accept my apologies for the delay in coming back to you. The recent acquisitions and internal re-organizations have led to an exceeded workload and a backlog at our end.
14. We appreciate your business and we apologize for the late response. This is an unexpected delay due to our workload but please note that this will not happen again.
15. Please forgive us for this delay caused by some internal re-organizations. Any delays are certainly unintentional and regrettable. We have taken action to clear this issue and it’s not going to happen again.
16. I am extremely sorry for the late response. I had issues with my Outlook and I just received your email.
17. I was very busy today and finally, now I found time to reply to my emails. Really sorry about that.
18. First, sorry for the late answer. It’s a busy week and every time I go to answer you, I get distracted by new tasks.
19. On the behalf of the company, please accept our apologies for the delay in response. Our company was at an annual general meeting last day.
20. We apologize once again for the delay in payment and we can assure you that we will do our best in the future to avoid such annoying omissions.
21. I haven’t seen your email sent on 05.05.2021. It’s been past almost a month, but I hope you’re still interested in the topic. Please let me know and I will provide you with the necessary information.
22. After a whole month in my mailbox, I just came across your email. I apologize a lot for the occurred unpleasant situation, because of my fault. I am sending you the requested information now and hopefully, this delay will not reflect on our mutual business relationship.
23. I’m sorry that it took me so long to answer. I was away for a few days.
24. Due to the recent acquisition, we had a big backlog and we respond to emails with a little delay. We hope you understand.
25. My reply was delayed due to the delayed receipt of your message from our support. The team is currently reduced and we from the sales department receive your messages later.
26. I’m so sorry for the late reply. I wish I could have get back to you sooner.
Tips on how to apologize for a late response
Should I use apologize or apologies?
Apologize is used in American English.
Apologies/Apologies is used in British English.
However, they mean the same thing but there’s a little difference.
1. I apologize for the late response. (Apologies is used as a verb)
2. My apologies for the late response. (Apologies is used as a verb)
3. You can accept my apology for the late response. (Apology is used as a noun)
All of them are acceptable and you can either use them in a formal or informal e-mail.
How you should NOT apologize for a late response?
– Sorry for the delay in responding, I forgot to answer you.
– I am really really sorry for the late response.
– Apologies, I saw your message but I didn’t have time to answer you.
– Apologies for the delayed response. It’s not going to happen again.
Sorry or Apologize?
Sorry- an informal way to express your feelings. However, if you have become closer with the client (had several conversations, talked many times on the phone), you can always say ”Sorry”.
Apologize – a formal way to express your feelings.
Response or Reply?
The meaning is the same. Both are synonyms.
The only difference is that ”Response” is more formal than ”Reply”.
Why sometimes you should AVOID apologies?
You should not exaggerate the use of the word ‘Apology’ because the person on the other side will feel superior to you and can sometimes feel more powerful. Everything has its measure!
For example, you send a message that you apologize for the late response and after a couple of hours, you send the same message. You should avoid it!
How to answer when the customer apologizes to you?
You should not answer anything. You can continue to talk about your topic and disregard the late response.
What timeframe is fine to say sorry?
Depends on the reason why you have delayed with the answer:
If you have been collecting information and the customer is aware of that:
– It’s okay to answer 1-2 days later but if you answer after one week you can add the magic word – Apology;
Nothing special, just some simple questions:
If you answer after 4-5 hours after their question:
– It’s okay to avoid the word – Apology;
If you answer after 1-2 days after their query:
– You should say – Apology;
Reasons why you have delayed your response:
Apologize, I was gathering information internally;
Apologize, I was pending our responsive team;
Apologize, I was out of the office;
Apologize, I had to accidentally leave the office earlier;
Apologize, I was at a meeting/event;
Apologize, I’m just back at the office after a week’s flu;
Apologize, I was on sick leave;
Apologize, I was pending my line manager;
Apologize, I had issued with my Outlook;
Sometimes you are able to avoid the word ”Apology” by simply providing regular updates that you are working on their request.