Close this search box.
Close this search box.

5 Tips For Helping CEOs Prioritize Their High-Value Customers

Effective leaders know that delegating tasks is key to maximizing the value they can ultimately provide to the organizations they run. Yet when it comes to high-value customers, the direct involvement of CEOs can pay off in spades, indicating to customers just how important the company collectively considers the relationship.

Here are 5 simple ways you can prioritize your high-value customers, despite your busy schedule.

1. Proactively check in with their satisfaction. How you treat customers is almost more important than the products you sell and the services you offer, particularly in an era of social media where customers can publicly express their pleasure—or pain—about their experience with a company within seconds. In fact, one survey by Aspect Software revealed that 76% of consumers view the service they receive from a company as the real indicator behind whether their business is valuable.

Make it a priority to reach out to your high-value customers proactively, even if it’s with a quick email or voicemail. Ask how things are going, and what could be done better. If you don’t hear from them, you’ve made the effort, and left the impression that you care about their business enough to take the initiative. If you do hear from them, you can diffuse a bad situation personally, before it spirals out of control.

“People who give a company money want to feel a connection to the people making the decisions about how it’s used. As the CEO, you are that person.”

2. Support their charitable efforts. Customers want to feel like the business they support will do the same in return. If your company offers charitable support to different organizations and nonprofits, consider whether you can direct those funds to the organizations and charities your high-value customers support.  The effort will likely cost your company very little, but the attention your high-value customers feel as a result will have a lasting effect.

3. Give them your time. Publicly traded companies offer shareholders the opportunity to attend annual meetings for reasons that extend far beyond legal and compliance mandates: People who give a company money want to feel a connection to the people making the decisions about how it’s used. As the CEO, you are that person. Host a recurring special event every few months for your valued customers to communicate your interest in having a relationship. Keep the interaction genuine. Mingle like you’re not the CEO. Let your guard down and talk to them like they’re not your customers—but rather, casual friends. Not only will they appreciate getting to know you “beyond the suit,” you’ll likely form deeper connections that will equip your business to weather any service issues with them that may arise in the future.

4. Be likable on social media. When President Barack Obama takes to social media, it immediately makes news headlines. His tweets aren’t newsworthy simply because he’s addressing the American public—it’s because the idea of the President doing something so many “regular Joes” do makes him relatable.

A CEO who lets his/her guard down enough to be candid and likable on social media can have the same impact. If your high-value customers are on a certain social media channel, be there too. It’s an instant way to connect, and says you care about what they’re doing enough to follow suit.

5. Ask for their help. A customer service study by NewVoiceMedia revealed that poor customer service costs companies a whopping $41 billion a year—and that 53% of customers include “bad customer service” as simply feeling unappreciated. People want to feel like they matter. Solicit your customers’ opinions, if you’re developing a new product, a new service model, or considering a new policy. Not only will you get free market research from the people whose satisfaction matters most, they’ll feel appreciated in the process.

These simple tips take less than an hour a week to put into action, but can keep CEOs connected with the very people who dictate success or failure. With the connections and information these interactions present, you might even find that you’re better equipped to make informed decisions as a leader that keeps business moving forward.


  • Get the CEO Briefing

    Sign up today to get weekly access to the latest issues affecting CEOs in every industry
  • upcoming events


    Strategic Planning Workshop

    1:00 - 5:00 pm

    Over 70% of Executives Surveyed Agree: Many Strategic Planning Efforts Lack Systematic Approach Tips for Enhancing Your Strategic Planning Process

    Executives expressed frustration with their current strategic planning process. Issues include:

    1. Lack of systematic approach (70%)
    2. Laundry lists without prioritization (68%)
    3. Decisions based on personalities rather than facts and information (65%)


    Steve Rutan and Denise Harrison have put together an afternoon workshop that will provide the tools you need to address these concerns.  They have worked with hundreds of executives to develop a systematic approach that will enable your team to make better decisions during strategic planning.  Steve and Denise will walk you through exercises for prioritizing your lists and steps that will reset and reinvigorate your process.  This will be a hands-on workshop that will enable you to think about your business as you use the tools that are being presented.  If you are ready for a Strategic Planning tune-up, select this workshop in your registration form.  The additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $695 will be added to your total.

    New York, NY: ​​​Chief Executive's Corporate Citizenship Awards 2017

    Women in Leadership Seminar and Peer Discussion

    2:00 - 5:00 pm

    Female leaders face the same issues all leaders do, but they often face additional challenges too. In this peer session, we will facilitate a discussion of best practices and how to overcome common barriers to help women leaders be more effective within and outside their organizations. 

    Limited space available.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $495 will be added to your total.

    Golf Outing

    10:30 - 5:00 pm
    General’s Retreat at Hermitage Golf Course
    Sponsored by UBS

    General’s Retreat, built in 1986 with architect Gary Roger Baird, has been voted the “Best Golf Course in Nashville” and is a “must play” when visiting the Nashville, Tennessee area. With the beautiful setting along the Cumberland River, golfers of all capabilities will thoroughly enjoy the golf, scenery and hospitality.

    The golf outing fee includes transportation to and from the hotel, greens/cart fees, use of practice facilities, and boxed lunch. The bus will leave the hotel at 10:30 am for a noon shotgun start and return to the hotel after the cocktail reception following the completion of the round.

    To sign up, select this option in your registration form. Additional fee of $295 will be added to your total.