Get Loyalty from a Brand by Being Nice to their CEO
What I'm about to share involves personal examples from a variety of CEOs and senior leaders from well-known corporations (some big and some small) that resulted in me being a very loyal customer. All of this love can be tracked back to my mother. She is the one to heap praise upon because of her lifelong “kill them with kindness” philosophy. Because of her I incorporate the goal “do something nice for a total stranger” into my daily life. It’s just a nice way to live. You should try it.
In business I started my career on the service side and quickly learned that as a customer, if you’re nice and willing to work to resolve problems it can go a long way. Being rude, angry or belittling gets your problem resolved, but no perks. Here are the positive experiences I’ve had by just being nice.
Ford CEO Alan Mulally
During my experience working with Alan, which got me to switch vehicle brands to Ford, he and I emailed a few times. Not being one to let a relationship die I figured, after a year of ownership, I would send along some feedback.
When I wrote him I started off with all the positives (My friend John Torres beat it into my head to do that), but had to share some frustrations, specifically a problem with the exterior light switch, which couldn’t be re-created at the dealership (I hate Murphy’s Law).
Within two days I received a call from a Ford employee, named Teresa, who worked directly with the plant engineers, where my Edge was assembled, to see if they could re-create and potentially resolve my problem. One customer; one light switch; a massive global corporation; and, a team of people jumping all over a small issue. I’m still shaking my head.
Yale Appliance CEO Steve Sheinkopf
For those who don’t live in the Boston area Yale is an appliance and lighting retailer.
Like Zappos, they are completely driven by service top to bottom. Steve Sheinkopf and I just happened to meet at his store one day and had a random discussion about Audi’s. Come to find out Steve is an occasional guest speaker in a class taught by a fellow professor at BU.Continued on the next page