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"Hello. Gordon Brown here. Would you recommend this Government to a friend...?"


Brown is callingAlthough it suspiciously sounds like a made up story, apparently UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown calls up voters to answer questions and spread good word of mouth according to bbc.co.uk.The prime minister is understood to ask the No 10 switchboard to put him through to people who have written to him with questions or concerns, and a Mr Wafid Rafique told how Mr Brown called him two months ago to talk about the Iraq war. He said the PM apologised on behalf of the government "for what had happened to the people of Iraq".Mr Rafique had written a letter to Brown, but had not expected reply.This approach by Gordon Brown is easy to lampoon, but seems to be becoming a trend (and I applaud it). I was talking recently to a colleague who had worked with the CEO and Senior Executive team of a major consumer company to call some consumers and follow up comments.It was not a qualified success. First, the senior execs were not happy at all with having to spend valuable time call ing customers (although they had all been enthusiastic of adopting Net Promoter in the company. Second they were quite nervous about what they would hear. Third, it was hard to get anyone at home. Finally, when the CEO did get to speak to someone, he was slightly miffed that the consumer had no clue who he was (and even when explained how lucky they were to get a call were not impressed).But having said this, I believe that occasional or regular customer calling should be part of an executive routine - this would get the nerves out the way, create some useful customer feedback and help senior execs understand some issues from the front line.Good luck if you can get your CEO to adopt a "Gordon Brown Calling You" campaign!

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