Disappointment is an inevitable part of any workplace. It can occur when projects do not meet deadlines, when results fall short of expectations, or when goals are not achieved. When it arises, it is important to express disappointment in a professional manner. Doing so can prevent misunderstandings, preserve relationships, and promote positive change.
Expressing disappointment professionally involves choosing the right words, tone, and approach. Instead of placing blame or pointing fingers, it is important to focus on the issue at hand and provide constructive feedback. This can help to promote accountability and encourage a collaborative approach to problem-solving.
Therefore, if you are disappointed with your coworker, boss, a particular service, etc and you want to address them without sounding rude and offensive, then this blog post is for you
Types of Letters Expressing Disappointment
Informal Letter of Disappointment
An informal letter of disappointment is a letter expressed in a more personal context. it can be friends, family, colleagues, relatives, or the same social circle. This type of disappointment can be expressed through phone calls, emails, face-to-face, and any other channel you feel will work for you.
Informal letter of disappointment
A formal letter of disappointment is more official and professional and it can be expressed by a company to another company, a worker to his/her boss, a customer disappointment, a complaint of an organization towards the worker, a complaint towards the government, disappointment over the standard of a product or quality of work.
This type of complaint is expressed using a more formal channel like email or formal letters.
Before You Write A Letter of Disappointment
Before you begin to write or express your letter of disappointment, make sure you have a valid reason behind the letter.
Be sure of what has happened to you, and the party responsible for it, and overall make sure it is based on facts.
Also, ensure that your letter is authoritative and presented more professionally with credibility.
Before you write, make sure to keep it concise, well written, comprehensive, and make suggestions that can lead to a solution than just rambling.
How to Express Disappointment Professionally Via Email
Since we are more focused on the professional aspect of expressing a letter of disappointment or dissatisfaction, it is best to use email.
The first thing you need to do when expressing your disappointment to your boss, coworker, or an organization over the quality of their service or product is
1. A Subject Line
Like any other professional email, the subject line is one of the most important parts of your email. Your subject line needs to be short and concise and should be in line with your email content.
Don't use long sentences or rude language so that the recipient can take your mail more seriously.
Choose a subject that isn’t longer than 5 words and type it into the email subject line.
For example, if you are writing to complain about a company’s product e.g a phone company, you could include a subject line that looks like, “Complaint about Broken Screen”
2. Use a Formal Greeting and Address
Opening your email with a formal greeting makes it more professional and presentable. Make sure you choose a greeting that is appropriate for your relationship with the person.
If the email is to your boss, you can use “Dear Sir,” “Dear Ma,” “Dear Mr. Mark,” or “Dear Miss/Mrs. Jane”.
To a coworker, you can use the person's name or surname like “Dear Mark,” “Dear Joy,” etc.
On the issue of address, you need to find the address of the company/person that you want to issue the complaint.
Once you have their address, address it to the relevant department.
For example, if you are writing to complain about a company’s product, your best chance of success will come from directing the letter to the customer service department.
You can easily find the company’s email address on its website, advertising materials, or any product packaging.
3. Say Something Friendly
When you are writing the introduction or opening line, you can add little pleasantries after you have greeted the recipient.
Keep it short and don’t go over 2 or 3 lines before you get to the point of your email.
For example, I hope you are doing well or I hope this email finds you well can help kick things off on the right note.
4. Explain Your Problem in the Body of the Email.
In the body of the email, after you have greeted the recipient and set the tone with little pleasantries, it is time to get down to the reason why you are writing the email.
Diligently address the problem you are facing, tell them what they have or are doing wrong, and tell them clearly how you feel and the challenges you are facing as a result of what they did.
Give them as many details as possible. The very first lines of the letter should draw attention to your complaint immediately
As you make your grievances known, keep your language formal, avoid using sarcasm, threats or profanity.
Keep it short and concise and keep it in one paragraph if possible so that the email is focused on the subject at hand.
For example, if you are writing to express your disappointment over a damaged product from a company, you could say something like, “I bought a Samsung Galaxy A12 from your store and I took it home to unbox it. To say I was excited would be an understatement but that excitement was cut short when I noticed a crack on the screen”
If you’re writing to your boss to express your disappointment, you could say something like, “It’s come to my attention that the “sick leave” policies are not being properly followed
These policies exist to protect the well-being of the employees, so it’s disappointing to learn that they’ve been ignored.”
5. Conclude Your Email by Offering a Solution or Suggestion
After you have made your complaint known, it is time to wrap up your email.
Before you wrap up your email it is best to suggest a solution or how you would like the issue to be resolved by offering actionable information.
This will help to avoid making the situation more complicated for both sides. You can ask for a refund, a replacement, set up a meeting, etc.
For example, you could write to an organization you applied to by saying, “ I’m thankful for the opportunity to interview with your company. Please do let me know if something opens up in the future!”
“If you’re writing to an employee, you can say, “I know you’ve been very busy with the ICF project, I just wanted to let you know about the sick leave policies being violated so you can resolve when you are less busy to any potential problems in the future”
6. Proofread Before You Send
In any professional email, it is best to close your email professionally.
Make sure you check for grammatical errors using tools like Grammarly.
Double-check your recipient address to avoid sending your mail to the wrong person.
When you are satisfied with your email you can hit the send button.
How to Express Disappointment Professionally Via Email: Templates and Samples
Letter of Disappointment
Dear [Recipient], I am writing to express my disappointment regarding [the situation that caused the disappointment]. As someone who [expected better/ had high hopes for], I cannot help but feel let down by [what happened]. I had hoped that [describe what you had hoped for], but instead, [describe what happened instead]. This has left me feeling [upset/disappointed/let down], especially considering the [time/energy/money] that I have invested in [the situation that caused the disappointment]. I hope that in the future, [the situation that caused the disappointment] can be handled differently, so that others do not have to experience the same disappointment that I have. Thank you for taking the time to read this letter. I hope that we can work together to find a resolution to this situation. Sincerely, [Your name]
Express Disappointment Professionally
Dear [Recipient], I wanted to take a moment to express my disappointment regarding [the situation that caused the disappointment]. While I understand that things do not always go as planned, I had expected better from [the organization/individual involved]. Specifically, [describe what happened that caused the disappointment]. This has left me feeling [frustrated/disappointed/upset], especially considering the [time/effort/money] that I have invested in [the situation that caused the disappointment]. I would appreciate it if we could discuss the situation further and explore ways to improve [the outcome/communication/process] in the future. I value our working relationship and believe that we can work together to find a resolution that meets our needs. Thank you for your attention to this matter. Sincerely, [Your name]
Disappointment Over Damaged Goods
Subject line: Complaint about a Damaged Product Dear Sir/Ma I am writing to complain about a Samsung Galaxy A12 mobile phone I purchased at your store yesterday at 1 pm. I bought a Samsung Galaxy A12 from your store and I took it home to unbox it. To say I was very excited would be an understatement, but my excitement was cut short immediately when I saw a crack on the screen. I was shocked, but still, I carefully picked it out and tried to switch the device on. The device took longer than usual to switch on and when it did, the screen was blank. Carefully, I put the product back in the box and repacked it. I didn’t even use it to see if there were any other faults. As this item was damaged before I bought it, I would like a replacement. I have attached images of the damaged phone and a receipt for my purchase. I hope you can identify what went wrong at the packaging stage, and hopefully, there can be a replacement before next week. Regards, Jason Teague.
Email of Salary Dissatisfaction Sample
Dear Mr Oliver Subject Line: Salary Dissatisfaction I have been working at Sparkconnect Digital marketing industry as a content writer/graphics designer for 2 years now and would like to raise the issue of my salary. It is to my understanding that I am still the lowest-paid employee among colleagues and giving my job description and qualifications, I feel that I am at an unfair disadvantage. I have always got good feedback and positive reviews from customers and colleagues alike on my performance and never required disciplinary action. I would like you to review this and perhaps Perhaps arrange a meeting to discuss the matter sometime soon? I look forward to your response. Regards, Barry Allen
Email of Disappointment Over a Colleague
Dear Mr Trusk, My name is Max Payne and I have been working at Sparkconnect as a Content writer/graphics designer for the past 4 years. I am excited about my job and I am always eager to contribute to the development of this company. Unfortunately, my wonderful experience in this company is being sabotaged by Miss Vannessa. After exploring other options which didn't work out, I decided to reach out to you for a resolution. Her misbehaviour and lack of conduct are just too much to cope with. It is affecting my performance and blocking me from carrying out my job description(you can give examples of what she has done, including dates, numbers, etc to back up your claim ) I ask for your immediate intervention to find a solution to this problem and to establish a professional, friendly, and productive environment for all of us. Thank you very much for your understanding. Sincerely Barry Allen
Complaint Letter Sample for Poor Service
Dear Sir, Sub: Complaint Letter for Poor Services I wish to inform you of the encounter I had yesterday with the new piano instructor. I have been taking classes with the Mark school of Arts for the past 2 years now and have always had a smooth practice with my instructors. Usually, I always have private paid sessions with the instructor from 7 am to 8 am. For whatever reason, the new instructor was having a session with another group during my time. Therefore, I wasn't able to have my session and had to go home to meet other pressing demands. The new instructor didn't even offer as much as an apology for his conduct. Hopefully, this would be resolved before my next lesson coming up next week Monday. Thanks for your favourable considerations. Sincerely, Nora Gage
Conclusively, expressing disappointment via email can be a daunting task. This is mainly because while you can express yourself via email, you're not entirely sure how the other part will react to it. But with the guidelines we've listed in this article, it should be easier to handle.