Why CEOs should have a presence on social media

What company CEOs are on social media?


Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest logos

Most CEOs aren’t on social media. Or if they are, not under their real name! But at a time when social media plays such a huge part in many people’s lives this can be very short sighted.

Greg Jackson CEO of Octopus Energy is on Twitter

Greg Jackson against a wallGreg Jackson, the CEO of Octopus Energy, says that he spends about 30 – 60 minutes a day responding personally to customers, mostly by email but he does also respond on Twitter:

A quick look through the replies on his timeline shows that customer satisfaction is high and that people complaining are getting a response and issues are getting resolved.

When a consumer contacts a CEO on Twitter

When Jonathan had a problem with the courier CollectPlus he took to Twitter to complain. He copied in Neil Ashworth the CEO when he tweeted. The company responded, twice…

Jonathan said “I value the personal response of a CEO much more than a general response from the CEO’s Office or Escalated Complaints Team, as he has seen my complaint and taken time out to respond. The message hasn’t been filtered by a team of people, most likely resulting in the CEO never seeing the complaint.”

The CEO and the personal touch

You can’t underestimate this personal touch. How many of these responses get retweeted so potential customers see how CEOs personally respond to complaints? This extra step is good for image, reputation and you benefit. You get to see what the common issues are, you are keeping in contact with customers AND practising what you preach when you say that customers are the most important part of your business. If that’s the case, why aren’t your most senior people talking to them?

It can even help with business-to-business enquiries. Having your CEO accessible on social media provides other opportunities beyond dealing with customers. For example she/he may spot new business opportunities through interacting with the bosses of other companies.

CEOs being accessible

CEO’s really should be more accessible. Marcus Williamson – the editor of the consumer information website ceoemail.com – would like to see more CEOs using social media as part of their interaction with customers. “Being active on social media allows CEOs to easily take the pulse of the company’s social media efforts. Monitoring by the CEO will ensure that management can react quickly when customer service response times fall or answers to customers are inadequate.”

On his website,he provides a list of UK companies on Twitter, including CEO Twitter accounts where available.

Take action with your CEO!

So what are you waiting for? Get your CEO onto Twitter. Show them the benefits. Spending a relatively short time to get to know your customers on social media can quickly reap more rewards than endless time-consuming strategy meetings…


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When you should complain to the chief executive – and how best to do it article in The Telegraph by Helen Dewdney covering CEOs who respond personally to emails and letters.


man looking at phone is your CEO on social media?

The complaining habits of public figures – Shep Hyken

A series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

In my series of interviews with people in the consumer world regarding their complaining habits, today is the turn of Shep Hyken an American customer services specialist. So does he differ in his  complaining habits from one in the UK?

Shep Hyken’s complaining habits

1) Generally, do you complain to a company regarding a faulty item?
Yes,  but I don’t yell or scream or anything!

2) How much does the likely redress have to be before you will complain and why?
Unless the item is very small I will complain.

3) How well do you know your legal rights (would be the Consumer Rights Act, different sectors regulations etc. in the UK)
I don’t think we have anything at that level in the US. Eventually the customers decide whether that business will stay in business or not. Class action suits will take place when there is shown to be a defect across items or it’s proven to be fraudulent or misleading advertising. We don’t have anything like the Consumer Rights Act maybe I need to be the person behind that!

4) If you receive service over and above good do you give feedback? How?
I’m the kind of a guy who will write a nice letter to someone.  If walking away I’ll speak to a manager and tell them that person is a rockstar give them a raise!

5) If you receive poor service how many people do you tell (include your social media followers too!)
Because of the job I do I don’t ever negatively talk about a business

6) If you receive good services how many people do you tell?
Sure. I tell everybody. I write articles and get thousands of hits!

7) If you don’t really complain or it has to be a significant amount in question before you will, what stops you from complaining?
I always complain unless the item is very small

8) What do you think of using social media to complain?
It’s great, it’s holding people up to a higher standard if people start to complain as it’s often the first place people are now going. The rest of the world watches how they handle it.

There are some companies that respond to everything including comments not just complaints which can be very positive for them.

9) Is customer service/being able to gain redress a factor when deciding where to purchase an item
Guarantee of returns is very important it’s why Amazon is so popular it’s so easy to return an item so people have more confidence buying from them.

10) Do you ever contact a CEO of a company? If so at what point in the complaint process?
I have but I don’t care to talk to the CEO. She or he would expect someone to deal with it so I do ask to speak to their office. I ask the CEO where I should take the matter to get it resolved.

11) If you have ever used an ADR scheme (ombudsman/mediation/arbitrator) or gone to the Small Claims Court tell us about it
We don’t have anything like that here although our arbitration is a great way of resolving things to avoid a costly lawsuit. It would need to be a high priced item like a car to go to court. I work with one company where they have a team where an issue escalates they have the ability to give someone a 100% refund. I asked them how often that had happened and they said it had never happened not because we won’t do it it’s because we resolve the issue.

Maybe ADR is something else I need to start here.

Read about the interviewing habits of other public figures in the series of interviews by The Complaining Cow

About Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken is a customer service & customer experience expert, award-winning keynote speaker, and New York Times bestselling business author. he has written 7 books*. For information on The Customer Focus™ customer service training programs, go to www.thecustomerfocus.com. Follow on Twitter: @Hyken

Shep Hyken headshot

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