Empathica Inc., a leading provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to more than 200 of the world’s most respected brands, announced today that it has equipped restaurant chain Smashburger with the means to attain a full 5.5 percent increase in guest satisfaction just two months into Smashburger’s implementation of Empathica Local™. Empathica Local is a new CEM product that enables location managers to deliver consistent and memorable customer experiences at their restaurants, retail locations, grocery stores and banks.
Brands traditionally struggle with a unique set of challenges when it comes to achieving a consistent customer experience across all of their locations. Although consumer feedback provides insight into the needs of patrons at a given location, local managers are too often bogged down by day-to-day operations to wade through mountains of reports, let alone to use that data to identify specific areas of improvement and action plans for each. Empathica Local solves each of these problems and beyond.
Empathica Local leverages a patent pending prescriptive reporting technology to set focus areas for improvement that are presented in a simple, clear interface. This eliminates the need for managers to search through complex reports to find insights. The program then takes these insights one step further by providing users with specific action-items, thereby transforming customer insights into tangible actions. This ensures that feedback is not only heard on the local level, but is also acted upon in perceptible ways that positively impact the customer experience.
Case-in-point: Smashburger’s astonishing 5.5 percent increase in customer satisfaction in just two months – a figure that surmounts the performance of its control locations (which only achieved a one percent increase). When paired with the 8 percent improvement in guest experience focus areas, these metrics clearly indicate the impact the Empathica Local product has on multi-location brands.
“We put ourselves in the shoes of Smashburger location managers,” said Dr. Gary Edwards, Chief Customer Officer with Empathica. “We want to give location managers more time to spend engaging with employees and customers by streamlining and simplifying guest insights. Empathica helps each Smashburger location maintain consistently great customer experiences by turning guest feedback data into specific improvement actions that can be shared as best practices nationwide.”
Smashburger was named America’s Most Promising Company by Forbes magazine in 2011 and expects to have more than 450 locations open nationwide in the next few years. With such exponential growth at hand, the restaurant chain turned to the experts at Empathica for a program to ensure high quality brand standards are maintained across all locations.
“At Smashburger we believe that our in-store experience helps us stand out in the crowded restaurant market,” said Jeremy Morgan, SVP Marketing & Consumer Insights at Smashburger. “The Empathica program and its location focus is a key to maintaining our competitive edge.”
Leading up to the recent public launch of Empathica Local, Smashburger piloted the program at its restaurant chain’s locations across the country. When researching options for a customer experience management program, the brand’s key criteria included the ability to scale its overall success to new markets, while adhering to brand standards and maintaining Smashburger’s high quality. The Empathica program was ultimately selected because Smashburger executives believe Empathica shares their belief that customers and employees deserve to love where they dine and where they work.
Empathica Local also facilitates social sharing of community-sourced operational best practices, giving location managers insight into a living library of what’s working for the top performing locations and how it could apply to them. The Empathica program is especially useful for Smashburger because the restaurant chain localizes its menus with a unique burger and signature flavors from each region. Despite the unique twist to the menu in various regions, Smashburger wants every location manager to be educated on how to deliver a consistent “perfect guest experience” that Smashburger fans have come to expect. With the help of Empathica, Smashburger identifies and shares best practices from high performing locations with new and lower performing locations.
In addition to Empathica Local, Smashburger also implemented Empathica’s GoRecommend™ application, which is a patent-pending social media advocacy solution. GoRecommend has helped the restaurant brand transform their satisfied customers into active brand advocates, creating positive word of mouth advertising. Since the launch of the program, 12,000 recommendations from “SmashFans” have been generated via social media, resulting in more than two million impressions of positive recommendations for the brand.
“The goal of GoRecommend is to encourage brand advocacy in a way that is fun and engaging to the consumer,” added Dr. Edwards. “For an emerging brand such as Smashburger, GoRecommend allows genuine consumers to drive awareness and advocacy of the restaurant chain, as opposed to content only being generated by the brand itself.”
To learn more about location engagement best practices, download Empathica’s whitepaper, entitled “Location Engagement Doesn’t Come from Reading Reports,” and learn how multi-unit brands can engage location managers to deliver great customer experiences. Visit http://www.empathica.com/whitepapers.
Smashburger is America’s fastest growing, fast casual “better burger” restaurant. Its hand-crafted, award winning burgers are made with fresh, never frozen, 100% Certified Angus Beef, that are “smashed”, seared and seasoned on the grill to juicy perfection for every individual order. The restaurant’s menu also features a variety of chicken sandwiches, salads and innovative sides and beverages. Developed and owned by private equity firm Consumer Capital Partners (CCP), Smashburger operates and develops both corporate and multi-unit franchise territories across the country with 151 restaurants in 25 states nationwide. Smashburger topped Forbes America’s Most Promising Company list in 2011 and was also named to the 2011 Inc. 500 list. It is the recipient of the International Council of Shopping Centers 2011 Hot Retailer Award. To learn more, visit www.smashburger.com.
Empathica provides Customer Experience Management programs to more than 200 of the world’s leading brands, ranging from multi-unit retailers, to banks and restaurants. Its rich analysis of survey data using state-of-the-art surveying and dashboard reporting software allows for performance-improvement solutions, evidence-based marketing insights, and customer experience management consulting. Annually, Empathica’s 30 million customer surveys in 25 languages reach more than 70,000 locations. A privately-held organization, Empathica is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has an office in Birmingham, England, and U.S. executive consultants in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Bozeman, Mont. For more information about deriving actionable insights that enhance a brand’s operational excellence, visit Empathica at www.empathica.com.
Walker Sands Communications
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