Several people sent me this gem from my homeland, the UK. The BBC reported the fact that Prime Minister Gordon Brown was making personal phone calls to voters to respond to their feedback on his government's performance.
Now it's tempting to make some inference here about the level of support amongst voters that would drive this kind of behavior, but I'd rather take a different tack. Also a tack that is less likely to get me into trouble with folks who hold strong political viewpoints.
First, closed loop action does seem to convert detractors, as it did with this particular voter. I'm not sure what would be more surprising, getting a follow up from the Prime Minister or a follow up from many of the companies who send me surveys but either way, expectations are greatly exceeded when someone reaches out to actually show they listened. It pays to close the loop.
Second, let's talk about word of mouth. Brown's PR people explicitly saw this as a word of mouth opportunity. Clearly, having the BBC pick up on it was good PR and probably not lost on the staff. However, suspending cynicism, maybe the word of mouth effect in politics is strong enough to make a difference? If so, why not for your brand?