Why Your CEO Makes or Breaks Your Social Customer Service Program

By: Sofie De Beule

June 7, 2016

A CEO is often a jack of all trades and juggles many hats. In the age of the customers where “putting your customers first” is the talk of the town, the way your CEO values your customers is pivotal for your company’s success. Getting the full-fledged support of your CEO is a requirement for any business that is trying to make the case for social customer service.

Although it’s often very much neglected, it’s important your CEO believes in your social customer service program, stays in touch with customer needs, and even regularly talks to customers and employees from every level within the business. It’s essential a CEO knows why customers keep on, or more importantly, stop doing business with you.

Your CEO should embody your brand values and business culture more than anyone else. A CEO is – more than any other employee of a company – a public figure and therefore needs to live and breathe what your business is all about. Think about the Jeff Bezoses and Brian Cheskys of the world. Just like your first-line social customer service agents have an important responsibility to represent your company in the best possible way, all eyes are on the CEO to keep your company’s reputation strong. If a CEO makes one problematic comment that goes into the world, it will quickly spread through social media.

As social media has given the opportunity for customers to really step up and take full control over the relationship with a brand, one slip-up from a business can damage your reputation. Adopting the right mindset to tackle your program – which is vital for your program’s success – starts and ends with getting full approval from your CEO. It’s their responsibility to personify the brand values and get to grips with today’s customer-centric world.

A CEO should be the company’s #1 social customer service and customer experience evangelist. In some cases, CEOs have fully embraced the power of social media and also have an active presence on social media to set the tone. However, being a social customer service and CX evangelist means more than regularly sending out tweets into the world. At every board meeting, the CEO should re-emphasize the same messages all over again. After all, if your CEO doesn’t believe in your program, how can you expect the rest of the company to?

Empowerment is key–and trusting your social customer service team and customer experience team. We all know these days customers loyalty is really at stake, so giving your employees the power to really make an impact on your business should be your company’s biggest focus. In reality, very few departments within a company know what the social customer service and customer experience teams are doing. It should be the CEO’s top priority to connect and be a role model to get departments to work together.

A CEO who actually knows what your social customer service and CX program entails, supports your efforts throughout the organization, and has your back, is the key ingredient in a recipe for social customer service success.