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CEO’s Twitter addiction is a good thing

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Many CEOs strive to stay close to their customers. But John Legere can’t help it.

Legere, 58, runs T-Mobile, the third largest wireless carrier in the United States. And he’s a Twitter fanatic.

He uses ­Twitter to connect with T-Mobile customers. He addresses their complaints, shares his opinions and gives advice on how to maximize their wireless usage.

Customers have grown so accustomed to interacting with Legere via Twitter that they jokingly refer to him as the ultimate customer service rep. The CEO has more than 2 million Twitter followers, and he has sent over 17,500 tweets since he signed up in May 2013.

“It’s something I’m doing every minute of the day,” he says. “It’s all I do. When I sit alone at a bar, I do Twitter. Maybe that’s a little sad. But my peer CEOs would never do it, because it’s way too hard and very unglamorous.”

Legere views his social media presence as a competitive advantage because it sets him apart from CEOs of rival firms. He thinks they are too stodgy or aloof to engage customers directly.

Applying what he learns from his Twitter exchanges with customers, Legere has capitalized on their suggestions. For ex­­am­­ple, he has pounced on some of their ideas such as T-Mobile’s “Data Stash” monthly rollover program and the “Binge On” promotion that features unlimited video.

Because anyone can access a Twitter conversation, Legere’s exchanges with individual customers have a positive ripple effect. Others come away impressed with the CEO’s willingness to listen and improve T-Mobile’s service.

— Adapted from “John Legere credits his ‘sad’ life for T-Mobile’s turnaround,” David Goldman, money.cnn.com.

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