Thursday, May 31, 2012

CEOs, Put Your Money Where Your Mouth Is

Image courtesy of OhKyleL
"Put your money where your mouth is." Do you remember that tagline from a toothpaste commercial many years ago? Or am I dating myself? You know what that means, right?

Show by your actions, not just by your words, that you believe in something. 

What does that have to do with employee or customer experiences? A lot, actually.

Take for example my blog post from last week, where I mentioned that Stephen J. Cloobeck, the CEO of Diamond Resorts International, has his business card displayed at the front desk of every one of his properties. He encourages his guests to call him if they have issues or if they want to compliment someone.

Or look at Jim Tincher's post about his experience with Conversocial and the subsequent follow-up by Joshua March, the CEO of Conversocial. Josh left a comment on Jim's blog and included his email address for all the world to see!

Consider my blog post from earlier this week, where I mentioned that the CEO is the ultimate brand champion. That he/she needs to build alignment to the brand strategy through constant communication:  educate and inspire; teach employees how their actions impact the customer experience. 

This is where the rubber meets the road. Or the money gets put in his mouth. He needs to not only preach, but practice what he preaches... and be prepared to show that he stands behind what he preaches; that he stands behind his people, his product, and his service; and that the buck stops with him should any of those fail.

How many CEOs do you know that would do what Stephen and Josh do? Does yours? And if yes, does he or she actually respond to customers personally? That's the true test!

If your CEO puts his/her contact information out for the public to see/use (of if you know of a CEO who does) AND actually personally responds to customers, let me know. Add a comment below; it will be interesting to see how many there are!

To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest. -Mahatma Gandhi


  1. The Brand Manager for Kia in India (essentially the CEO position for the country) would place his business card on competitor cars around Mumbai with a note encouraging the owner to call him. He was generally mocked by the competitors for doing so, but Kia's explosive growth in India certainly backs up your assertion!

    1. Hi Anne. Thanks for reading and for commenting. I love it! What a great story!

  2. Shep Hyken posted a link to this story on LinkedIn today, with this note: "It’s always nice to see a high ranking company official (president or CEO) step in to help out a customer’s problem. Leadership needs to stay connected to their customers. In this case, the president of a major company not only responded, but made it his personal mission to take care of this customer. Kudos to David Marcus at PayPal!"

    This is a great example of what I've written about in this blog post. Thanks, Shep, for sharing this.

  3. Here's another interesting article about CEOs responding to customer issues on social media sites:

  4. Read about Umpqua's CEO: Hot Line Gives Umpqua Customers Direct Access to CEO