Rose, thank you so much for taking the time to reply to my questions. I really appreciate it.
Your explanation above perfectly cleared up my confusions.
So, I’ll sum up here:
1. The feeling of guilt is what separates “being sorry” and “feeling sorry”.
– “I’m sorry (or “I apologize”) for my delayed response.” –> being sorry – feeling guilty
– “I’m sorry that you lost your previous XML file.” –> feeling sorry – but not my fault
2. Empathy is seeing/hearing/feeling from the customer’s stand. And I apologize if I or my company caused an inconvenience to the customer directly.
– “I understand that it is very frustrated when your email account is hacked. I’m so sorry that you lost all your data.” –> showing empathy, I can feel the frustration, but the problem is not caused by me or my company
– “I apologize for any inconvenience caused by the recent server glitch.” –> problem on the company
I hope those are the correct examples. Absolutely need more practice on these 🙂