Close this search box.
Close this search box.

These CEOs Handle Customer Complaints Directly

How many CEOs have ever counseled an aggrieved customer themselves? If they have, they should be congratulated for finding the time. And if they haven't, well, they may want to start brushing up on their customer service skills.

According to a report in the Guardian, customers frustrated by a lack of responsiveness from traditional channels are increasingly trying their luck by writing directly to CEOs, directors and other senior executives. There’s even a website out there to help them:, a free UK-based service, which says the volume of people searching for CEO email addresses has increased dramatically.

One customer of Delta Airlines, who was offered no accommodation or compensation when bad weather delayed her flight for days, got a much better response from the company’s head of customer service than she did from the U.S. airline’s customer service department. “That same day, she called me personally. She gave me £400 ($522) in cash, £900 in flight vouchers, 45,000 air miles and made me a Gold Member, so it’s likely I’ll be upgraded on future flights,” the customer told the Guardian. If you are to present any sort of customer complain to a local seller, this article helps defining FINRA arbitration and how does it work

“When we get it wrong, I want our customers to know we’re trying very hard to get it right.”

And it turns out, at least according to, that senior executives from the airline industry and other retailers such as supermarkets are more responsive to direct customer complaints, while CEOs at telecom and energy companies are not.

To test this, the Guardian sent emails to a host of CEOs. Craig Donaldson, the CEO of British retail bank Metro Bank, replied in just five minutes. “If a customer takes the time to write to me, I should take the time to read it, resolve any issues and learn from it,” he said.

Carolyn McCall, CEO of British No. 2 low-cost carrier EasyJet, took less than 90 minutes to reply personally. “When we get it wrong, I want our customers to know we’re trying very hard to get it right,” she said, while noting that she gets around 500 emails a day. “I’ll scan all of them, make a phone call or reply to some, and funnel them to my executive team. I’m particularly interested in when there are multiple things we haven’t got right or something has been mishandled. I want to know why, so we can improve.”

McCall has a track record of impressing customers with a direct response, according to a report in Customer Think.


  • 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.