Empathica Enhances Facebook Guest Recommendations App

Empathica Inc., a provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to the world's most respected brands, announced new features for its patent-pending brand recommendation application, GoRecommend, that will help brands to further mobilize advocates.

After customers complete a retail experience survey, the GoRecommend engine prompts those who were happy with their experience to make an online recommendation on Facebook. With the new GoRecommend features, brands can now give satisfied customers two additional options: the ability to send Facebook virtual gifts to their friends, or coupons that can be used at the brand's locations.

Facebook gifts & coupons
Facebook virtual gifts have become a very popular feature on the social networking site, allowing users to give each other tokens of appreciation that live within Facebook user profiles. GoRecommend allows brands to tap into the power of virtual gifts on Facebook, with the ability to create virtual gifts that tie into the brand and that are distributed through GoRecommend's viral marketing engine.

GoRecommend coupons are another way consumers can extend goodwill to friends, providing them with an extra incentive to check out a restaurant or retailer they thoroughly enjoyed.

Brands can also view the analytics behind user demographics and behaviors related to the GoRecommend-powered brand coupons, identifying how frequently those who were positive with their customer experience chose to share a coupon with a friend, as well as coupon click-through rates.

Driving new customer acquisition
Early pilots of GoRecommend's new features by leading brands show the effectiveness of integrating customer experience surveys with a viral recommendation engine.

Results experienced by Boston Market recently showed that for every recommendation made, approximately four coupons were redeemed in-store.

"We've received some really passionate recommendations from our customers via GoRecommend, and I'm continually surprised by the breadth of positive language consumers use when they share experiences online," saysJohn Jones, Boston Market's VP of operations systems. "It's very rewarding to hear and see what guests are saying about your restaurant rather than just receiving a statistical report. Yet those statistics are still worthwhile, since our GoRecommend coupon redemption rate has been substantial so far. It is clear there is incremental sales potential by creating the opportunity for our guests to make immediate recommendations to a powerful social network of friends. It is definitely more than we anticipated."

To date, more than 40 brands are utilizing the GoRecommend application to mobilize advocates and generate new business. As a result, GoRecommend now boasts a total of more than 50,000 recommendations that have been shared among 8 million friends.

This non-direct promotional tactic is working well. GoRecommend posts have experienced ten-times the click-through rate as compared to Facebook paid advertising, as the newsfeed posts are the "front page" for Facebook users.

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