HOWTO: Call A Company, Get The CEO’s Office

Calling a big scary company and getting executive customer can be daunting for the novice, so we wanted to show you how easy it is.

We recorded this call with Sprint while putting together our list of cellphone CEO corporate contacts. Here’s the step by step, ooh girl, ooh baby, guide to reaching the highest levels of customer service. The levels where they can really solve problems with care and consideration.

1. Enter the company in Google Finance.
2. Find their phone number.
3. Find out who the CEO is.
4. Call the phone number.
5. Ask the operator, “May I please have the offices of Mr. CEO so and so.”
6. Boom, you’re there.
7. Voice your complaint in calm, clear and professional manner.

In this particular instance, the executive switchboard boy practically spills his sippy cup all over himself in an effort to help us. — BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. homerjay says:

    That did seem a little too easy. His willingness to connect you immediately to an “executive analyist” makes me wonder if “Consumerist.com” popped up on the ol’ caller ID.

  2. I guess everything is better for “executives.”

    Incidentally, you seem down on the phone Ben. Or were you going for that disinterested, I’m sooooooo bothered to have to call you peons,” high and mighty exectutive feeling?

    I’d like to hear this again, but with the cookie-monster making the call…

  3. Excellent advice. As a former Executive Relations rep at Apple, this exact process was the most successful for customers fed up with Performa 5200s.

    Hey – I worked there a long time ago.

    Just keep in mind that familiarity goes a long way, and to a degree, research leads to familiarity. A little social engeineering doesn’t hurt, either.

    “Can I speak with Jeanne? Oh – sorry – is this the switchboard? I’m calling for Jeanne Executive, and I lost her office number, so I called information. “

  4. kbanas says:

    It’s a nice video and some useful advice, but it kind of sounded like you drank half a bottle of NyQuil before you rang up said execute analyst.

    What’s the deal with that?

  5. ord2fra says:

    “Can I speak with Jeanne? Oh – sorry – is this the switchboard? I’m calling for Jeanne Executive, and I lost her office number, so I called information. “

    Pretexting for service? I’m for it.

  6. Pretexting for service? I’m for it.

    When they take our money, offer service, and don’t provide the same, sure. Call it pretexting or social engineering, but the method and result is the same.

    There’s no such thing as “freedom of the executive”. Companies are treated as individuals…and as far as it seems to this non-law-school graduate, getting someone to blow their bluff isn’t illegal.

    I’m not a lawyer, tho’. As far as I’ve been able to tell, lying to people is only legal if you’re a corporation!

  7. “Can I speak with Jeanne? Oh – sorry – is this the switchboard? I’m calling for Jeanne Executive, and I lost her office number, so I called information. “

    Is there a receptionist or switchboard operator remaining who still falls for this? Everybody pretends to be on a first-name basis with the CEO, and they all get sent to an executive admin (or “analyst”) whose job is to make sure you don’t bug anybody important.

  8. DaveCMC says:

    It is a great idea to call and ask directly for the CEO. You won’t get the CEO–you’ll get the CEO’s executive assistant. And, that’s all you need. When you tell the executive assistant how exasperated you are about your situation and the company, the executive assistant will usually transfer you to the VP or Director of Customer Support. This individual’s role at this point is take care of your problem making certain you never want to call the CEO again. If the caller isn’t satisfied, the CEO will get yet another call. While this shouldn’t be your first step, this is a really effective approach. As a former Director of Customer Support, I can vouch for the effectiveness of this approach.

  9. infmom says:

    Hee hee, fat chance if you try it with Fry’s Electronics.

  10. Ben Popken says:

    I think I was going for the detached, this is the bottom of my todo list sound.

  11. ktoth04 says:

    Hey, the video is gone :(