This blog post will teach you the 4 important parts of a letter of condolence and teach you how to write a meaningful condolence letter to your client in the event of a loved ones’ death.
When a loved one dies, the grief experienced can be hard to face. Along with the loss of a close friend or family member, people experience the difficulty of trying to get back into their daily routines while coping with the palpable loss of someone they held dear. As a business owner, you will work with clients who are experiencing loss, and when that happens, it’s prudent to write a meaningful condolence letter to your client.
Condolence letters are written messages to someone who is experiencing the loss of a loved one. A condolence letter to your client from a business or owner perspective should convey 4 things:
- Acknowledging the loss
- Expressing your condolences
- Discussing the relationship
- Offering to lend assistance
We’ll discuss each of the sections of a meaningful condolence letter in detail below.
Anatomy of a condolence letter to your client
I. Acknowledging the loss
Your condolence letter should open with you acknowledging the loss as you understand it. Depending on the relationship with the client, you could write the letter from a personal point of view as the business owner (using “I” statements) or from your business’ perspective (using “we” statements).
Example: “Mrs. Grayson, we were deeply saddened to hear about the recent loss of your mother.”
II. Expressing your condolences
Once you’ve acknowledged the loss your client is experiencing, you should express your condolences. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy or emotional expression – simply iterating your sympathy for your client during this time will be appreciated.
Example: “Please accept our heartfelt sympathy for your loss during this difficult time of grief.”
III. Discussing the relationship
Next, it’s appropriate to discuss the relationship you have to the deceased, even if it’s only through your client. You don’t have to have a personal relationship with the deceased to be able to comment on the effects they’ve had in your clients’ or your life (see Example 2).
Example 1: “I only met your assistant a handful of times, but each time, she was so warm and clearly dedicated to her job. She was a joy to be around. I know Kathy will be missed.”
Example 2: “I’m saddened that I never had the chance to meet your mother in person, but through working with you for the past 10 years, I’ve witnessed first hand what an incredibly close relationship you two shared. I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you.”
IV. Offering to lend assistance
You may choose to close your condolence letter to your client with an offer to lend assistance, depending on the length and depth of the relationship you’ve built with the client. Including a statement about your willingness to help or provide additional assistance will be appreciated by your client. Chances are, they’ll never call on you for help, but letting them know you’ll be there if they need you is an exercise in building trust and offering meaningful condolences. Bonus: Send flowers or a sympathy card with your letter.
Example: “Please let us know if there is anything we can do to help you during this difficult time. We value you as a client and offer our deepest sympathies for your loss. We will keep you and your family in our prayers/thoughts.”
A sample condolence letter
Dear Mrs. Grayson,
I was deeply saddened to hear about the recent loss of your mother. Please accept my heartfelt sympathy for your loss during this difficult time of grief.
I never had the chance to meet your mother in person, but through working with you for the past 10 years, I’ve witnessed first-hand what an incredibly close relationship you two shared. I can’t imagine how difficult this is for you.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you during this difficult time. I value you as a client and offer my deepest sympathies for your loss. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
Jane Doe, Company A