Brad Smith is the President and CEO of Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU). Intuit is a leading provider of financial management, tax, and online banking solutions with more than $3 billion in annual revenue, and more than 8,000 employees.  While Brad is well known for his strong commitment to innovation, and is worthy of praise for his leadership and stellar performance alone (Intuit has consistently produced double-digit organic growth with expenses growing slower than revenue), it was my personal interaction with him that prompted me to author today’s post…In an era where CEOs seem to be column-fodder for media rants and public scorn, Brad Smith is a true breath of fresh air.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you’ll know that I am a strong proponent of CEOs taking a personal interest in their business and its customers, and Brad Smith certainly fits this definition.

My interaction with Brad started as a result of my sending an email to him in order to bring to his attention an unsatisfactory customer service interaction I experienced when dealing with his company. In less than 24 hours, I had a personal exchange with Brad, a senior member of his executive team (kudos to Anthony Marino), and a member of his management team as well. Not only was the issue in question resolved to my complete satisfaction, but what amazed me even more, was that Brad and his team used their interaction with me to gain insight into how they could improve their customer service and their business process…This is a CEO who doesn’t just throw around customer-centricity as a buzzword, Brad Smith is a CEO who actually walks the walk.

Prior to Brad and his team responding to me in the manner in which they did, I was going to take my business elsewhere. However after my interaction with Intuit leadership and management, not only will my business remain with them, but they have earned my respect and endorsement as well.

Here’s the take-away: If the CEO of a $3 billion dollar company can make a rapid response to a customer need by taking a personal interest in doing the right thing, then so can all other CEOs.

The difference between Brad Smith and other CEOs is that he actually does what others talk about, but fail to follow through on. Brad Smith is a CEO who stands behind his word, does the right thing, and brilliantly represents the Intuit brand promise.