Monday, January 16, 2006

CEO Direct

My London colleague sent me some information she found online about how to best reach CEOs. The insights came from a blog called the consumerist. Basically there is a 4-step approach to get the CEO's ear with your complaint or criticism. A CEO-proof strategy is also provided. Here they are:

Step 1: Go to Google, find out where your problem company’s headquarters is located. Sometimes you can find this on the corporate part of the company website as well. Good search terms include: Company X headquarters and Company X corporate offices.

Step 2: Find the phone number for that location. Use, Google, superpages, or

Step 3: Use Google or the company site to determine the president’s name or the name of the executive you are looking for.

Step 4: Call the number after the main offices have closed. Generally one of the first choices available is the option of using the directory. Start by dialing the CEO’s last name and you will get to the CEO’s voicemail box or one monitored by his assistant which is generally good enough.

Making your case:
--Praise the company’s past service or products
--Focus on one problem while maintaining a positive tone and pleasant demeanor
--Always being professional and concise

I recall that Robert Crandall, legendary CEO of American Airlines, used to list his telephone number in the phone book for customers to call (hoping that they had some restraint on calls at 2am). This old-time CEO assumed that was his job -- hearing from customers who were dissatisfied!

Good luck to anyone who reaches a CEO voice mail or actual person. Let me know if it works.


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