The Power of Social Sharing: Empathica’s ‘GoRecommend’ Marks a Milestone

Empathica, a leading provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to more than 200 of the world’s most respected brands, has announced that its GoRecommend Advocacy Engine is commemorating two successful years of enhancing customer advocacy and driving positive brand recommendations via social media. Since its launch, GoRecommend has been used by over 100 top brands and has driven recommendations that have been shared across more than 65 million friends via social networks.

Launched in June 2009, GoRecommend facilitates the full social advocacy lifecycle, from advocate acquisition and retention, through brand advocacy, to leveraging the social graph for marketing and operational improvement.

After a retail customer experience survey is completed, the GoRecommend engine prompts those customers who were happy with their experience to make an online recommendation via Facebook, Twitter or email. Satisfied customers can also share the brand’s campaigns, coupons and promotions with their friends as part of their recommendations. These can be used to drive traffic to the brand’s location, website or trial of a specific menu item or product.

“The concept of marketing is changing because the way in which consumers access information is changing,” comments Gary Topiol, Managing Director at Empathica. “We live in a social era where it’s essential that brands understand the role social media plays in influencing people’s purchasing decisions. GoRecommend simply empowers brand advocates to share their positive recommendations in a viral manner via the social graph. This is extremely important in driving advocacy, along with positive and authentic online word of mouth for the brand.”

As an example of this trend, Econsultancy has reported that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. A study by social networking site myYearbook also shows that 81% of respondents said they had received advice on a product purchase from friends or followers on a social networking site, with 74% also saying that the advice was influential. EMarketer data shows the same trend, reporting that consumer reviews are nearly 12 times more trusted than when that message comes from brands themselves.

A diverse number of brands have benefited from GoRecommend, including department store Debenhams. The retailer has acquired – using an automated referral process – more than 12,000 brand advocates and reached nearly 1.5 million consumers via social media channels.

“Late last year we decided to include a coupon voucher with every recommendation made by an advocate,” comments Kate Whittaker, Strategy Manager at Debenhams. “During the two-week promotion, advocates delivered the voucher to their friends and followers on social media via GoRecommend. From those advocates, Debenhams received thousands of redemptions and sales.”

In North America, auto dealership Brown’s Automotive Group saw its Facebook fanbase double during a three-month pilot of GoRecommend. More than 400 recommendations from real customers were created as a result of positive experiences in Brown’s Sales, Service and Parts departments.

“A lot of people don’t trust traditional advertising, which is why I really like the program,” notes Gary Brown, owner of Brown’s Jeep Chrysler Dodge. “With Empathica, and through GoRecommend, it is other people talking about us, and not us talking about us. There’s a lot more validity with one individual talking to another about an experience they had with the Brown’s brand.”

GoRecommend is also available for other service industries, ranging from automotive to insurance. To learn more, go to http://www.empathica.com/products.html.

 

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