Why Excellence Starts From the CEO Down – Or Should

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When something isn’t right at a business, usually you tend to find that the person viewed as responsible takes the fall.

So, for example, a marketing campaign that fails could be tied back to the agency, or Marketing Director, or team lead. Similarly, a new employee appointment that turns sour can be traced back to HR, or the manager that interviewed the candidate for the position.

Yet, while there’s definitely accountability to be taken by those directly in the front line, there’s (increasingly) also the option of some accountability and involvement going back to the top, at CEO level.

Pipe dream? Maybe. Unrealistic? Maybe. But it can be (and is) done on a growing basis. And when the CEO takes an active role, everyone benefits.

The Jugnoo Example

Here at Jugnoo, for instance, because we’re in beta we seek to gain as much feedback as possible from our users, so we can improve the product and bake in the solutions that users want as we gear up to come out of beta in the second half of the year.

Very recently, we received immensely helpful feedback that showed us where we could improve in certain key areas.

While our Senior Manager of Social Media and Retention Julie Tyios was liaising with the user to walk through the feedback and ensure it went to the right team, our CEO Aamir stepped in personally to thank the user for the feedback, advised these changes were being implemented, and invited him to continue to be a “sounding board” as we move further into the product.

The Ford Example

My friend Marc Girolimetti will always be happy to tell his Ford experience if you ask him and, given the story, rightly so.

Marc was in the market for a new car, and as a staunch Audi supporter until then, was looking to release from the German manufacturer again. Unfortunately, the local dealer wasn’t great, to say the least. So Marc looked around.

He noticed Scott Monty talking about “the new Ford” a lot on Twitter, and decided to check out their cars for himself. Again, though, he had a less than stellar experience at two local Ford dealers.

So, for fun, he tweeted Scott and advised he was in the market for a new Ford and asked him to get Alan Mulally (the Ford CEO) to call him to discuss. And guess what? Call him he did. That’s led to a great relationship and loyalty between Marc and Ford, and probably over $250k in sales from Marc’s referrals.

It’s Not Easy, But It Can Be Done

Now, I’m a realist. I know CEO’s are busy people, and they hire smart folks like Julie and Scott to do the work that they can’t do themselves, due to time constraints and other business needs.

But knowing exactly what your customers are thinking, and acting on it, doesn’t (shouldn’t) need to be left to the front line folks all the time.

Sure, they’re the guys that can often dictate a business’s success from their reactions and actions. But they can only do so much.

Often, the real change comes from the very top, or at least the power to make the change real. And, as our experience and Ford’s experience shows, having an active CEO immediately adds another bow to your business arrow – especially in the social media-led world we live in, and the public image that can be both created and destroyed in a heartbeat.

Something to keep in mind the next time your customer reaches out to you.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Danny Brown
Danny Brown is partner at Bonsai Interactive Marketing, a full service agency offering integrated, social media and mobile marketing solutions. He is also founder of the 12for12k Challenge, a social media-led charity initiative connecting globally and helping locally.

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