Case Study: California Tortilla — live from Word of Mouth Supergenius

4:30 — Kurt Vanderah introduces California Tortilla‘s Stacey Kane.

4:31 — “All I ever needed to know about customer engagement I learned from Howard Stern.  He built his audience one person at a time.” Stacey is talking about the process they used when deciding to introduce a new menu for California Tortilla and how she used Howard’s methods to accomplish her goals:

4:33 — Howard Pre-sold everything.

4:34 — So they pre-sold the heck out of it. Told customers to come in and get their old favorites before the menu changed.

4:35 — California Tortilla took down that 4th wall, so they let people know what was going on behind the scenes during the menu re-launch. They also gave away their recipes.

4:36 — They let their customers dictate their content and encouraged inter-fan conversation.  They wanted to name the new vegetarian burrito the vegito. So they did a poll to see what the new name should be. One customer came up with the name no meato burrito and he campaigned heavily to get people to vote for his name.

4:39 — They rewarded highly engaged customers with special status:

1.  Invited top 200 customers, Facebook Likers and Twitter followers to a VIP party

2.  Held a secret password day

3.  Awarded a “King of all Mayors” to person with most check-ins on Foursquare

4:42 — They dealt with discontent in a very public way, they didn’t delete negative comments.  After deleting the Thai Peanut burrito, they posted the recipe online so people could make it themselves.

4:43 — California Tortilla had one customer, Vicky Tucker,  who really complained about the Carribean Jerk chicken being taken off the menu. So, they are going to do a Vicky Tucker day at the store she goes to (it’s a surprise to Vicky) and let everyone have their fill of Carribean chicken burritos before they’re taken off the menu.

4:45 — The results:

  • April up 10% (with no advertising)
  • May up 7%
  • June up 8%

Love this live coverage? It’s all thanks to the fantastically fantastic blogging of David Polinchock.

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