Yesterday I invited a client twice.

For the first appointment I made, the client met with me but we could not complete our task due to lack of preparation. So the client left and I made the second appointment with thorough preparation. In the end the client came for the second time and we got things done successfully.

My client was still nice to people, as always.

I think my client has been patient with this situation.

But I know I should not make the same mistake again.

I found a webpage which says Thank You For Your Patience: Avoid Saying This To Clients


So how does it really feel when people say "thank you for your patience" to their clients in English?



What should I say after this experience?

  • 1
    What does 'invited them twice' mean? Do you mean that you accidentally gave them two different appointments when they only wanted one? I think the point is that you shouldn't automatically say it when something goes wrong, because you would seem to be taking their patience for granted. Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 9:03
  • 3
    The web page says you should not 'thank' people for patience that has not been freely given, or before the person has had a chance to freely give it. It says that you should not request clients to be patient. If your client showed patience without being asked to, then it was appropriate to thank him or her. Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 9:42
  • 1
    Generally, assuming there is a valid reason to do so, e.g. if your client has expressed some understanding reagrding a delay, then there is absolutely nothing wrong with saying"thank you for your patience". It's a fairly common polite expression. It also acknowledges that there has been a problem and I think most people would appreciate it being said. I find some of these websites that make such suggestions to be quite bizarre TBH.
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 13:22
  • 1
    @BillyKerr - that website seems to be giving advice to sales people, and a pop-up advertises the author's book on the same subject. Sales people are not always concerned about etiquette, which is what this question is really about. Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 13:32
  • 2
    I've edited your explanation into the original question. Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 15:44

1 Answer 1


In my opinion, "thank you for your patience" is perfectly appropriate when the wait comes to an end: a restaurant patron has been waiting for a table, so you thank them for their patience and seat them. This applies whether they really have been waiting a frustrating amount of time or just a little longer than usual, though of course in the former case you'll emphasize it more.

Saying it to someone who's still waiting is shakier. Like many stock customer service phrases, it can be neutral as long as it's not overused, and it serves a purpose: a perfunctory acknowledgement that you're growing impatient is better than no acknowledgement. As the article you linked suggests, there are alternatives that can make the customer feel more in control, but the bottom line is that being kept waiting is never pleasant, you have to say something, and what you say is usually less important than how you say it (and what you do about it).

  • 3
    Yes. A stock phrase. I won't 'feel' much different whether someone says 'Thank you for your patience while I consult the database/call my manager/whatever' or if they say 'Please bear with me while I...' or 'I'm sorry but I have to...' It's a routine everyday situation and for most people it doesn't really matter what you say, as long as it isn't actually rude. People from very deferential societies may overthink this type of thing when considering how to manage such a situation in English. Commented Nov 12, 2023 at 11:48

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