If you’re reading this, chances are you’re looking for an executive contact who can help fix your customer service problem.
We are not afraid to publish anything, but we draw the lines at home address and phone numbers. Those are off limits, for obvious reasons.
If you don’t find the contact you’re looking for, don’t worry. Here are some of our proven research strategies.
When it comes to the company contact information, here’s what we look for:
✓ A corporate mailing address.
✓ Telephone numbers.
✓ Main web page, any toll-free customer service number(s) and social media contacts. A lot of this can be found on a company’s main website.
For people, we’re looking for:
Primary Contact – usually a director of customer service or vice president of customer service.
Secondary Contact – This is usually a president or senior vice president. It could also be another manager with the word “customer service” in his or her title.
CEO – Chief executive officer, and the final appeal in any service dispute.
We need to find their email address, telephone number (and if you find a cell phone or direct line, so much the better), mailing address.
The database is flexible, so you can add a lot of related information. Don’t limit yourself!
Here are some sites we use to find information:
Data.com – this is a membership-based website but you can use it for free and earn points by inputting new contacts and companies, which in turn makes you able to buy contacts for five points each. You also get points for updating contacts in there, for instance if the CEO has changed, you can let them know the other one left the company and update it with the new CEO. This scores major points, and you get five extra points if you put in a good phone number.
BBB.org – When companies respond to complaints made to this organization, the BBB notes on the file the points of contact, usually a CEO and/or President/Vice President of Customer Care or Customer Relations. They might not give a phone number or email address, but they give you a name of a person whose job it is to take care of customer complaints.
LinkedIn – You’d be surprised at how much information some people put on their profiles over at LinkedIn. An account there is free and a lot of people have open profiles. We’ve found home addresses and personal cell phone numbers on LinkedIn profiles.
Google – When using Google to locate information, don’t be afraid to go ten pages deep in the search. I’ve found email addresses inside SEC Corporate Filings, a PDF of a memo sent between two executives tucked inside a newsletter, and I found them in all sorts of odd places. You never know where you might find that email address, or at least the convention for figuring it out (example: Toshiba gave us fits for a few weeks. Someone finally stumbled across an email address on a web page that was about 15 deep in the search, it was firstname.lastname@example.org. Using this, we were able to figure out the rest.)
VerifyEmailAddress.org – Before putting an email on the web page, we make sure it works. This website is the first line of defense to see if it’s valid. If it comes up valid here, I’ll then send a test email, with a read receipt requested, to see if it comes back good or bad.
Questions? Please ask me.