Social Media for Customer Retention – a Brief Scotty’s @Brewhouse Case Study

29 Mar

Scotty's Brewhouse

For the past few weeks, Scotty’s Brewhouse, a local restaurant chain (I hate using the word “chain” to refer to a place like Scotty’s, but there are 5 locations, so I’m sticking with chain) has been running the Scotty’s Burger Bracket Challenge. In short, the contest allowed people to submit new burger recipes that would then be voted on in a bracket-style until the top burger was chosen. For the final two burgers, the Fit to Be Thai’d Burger and the Confused Buffalo Burger (read about them here), Scotty’s has been serving both burgers at their restaurants and the winning burger will be the one with the most orders as of Sunday, April 1 at 10:00 PM EDT. The winning burger will then become a permanent addition to the menu at Scotty’s Brewhouse.

Owner Scott Wise is no stranger to customer service or social media – in fact, I interviewed Scott a couple years ago to talk with him about his fantastic use of social media in the restaurant industry. I’ve always been impressed with Scott’s grasp of social media and how important it is for customer service today. I actually mention Scott as an example of how to use social media for customer service whenever I present to organizations.

Since Scott knows what he’s doing by using social media for great customer service I shouldn’t be surprised by what he did today, but it’s a great case study in customer retention:

I’ve been craving one of the final two burgers for a few days now and I sent out at tweet around lunchtime asking if anyone wanted to join me at Scotty’s Brewhouse downtown for lunch. A few friends replied and we went back and forth talking about @brewhouse for a few minutes, but weren’t able to find a time that worked for everyone so we scratched it.

A couple hours later, we were all mentioned in a tweet by Scott thanking us for talking about the restaurant and offering us all $10 gift certificates to use at the restaurant (see screenshot below for some of the conversation and resulting tweet from Scott):

Conversation about @Brewhouse results in $10 Gift Certificate

Wow! We were all just talking about Scotty’s Brewhouse and we didn’t even end up eating there today, but Scott still recognized us by gifting all five of us a $10 gift certificate to spend at the restaurant.If you look at face value of the gift cards, Scott is now out $50 by giving us these cards, but think of what our potential lifetime spending will be at his restaurant. Does this free $10 gift card make me want to go back to eat at Scotty’s again? You bet. Spend more than the face value of the gift card? Probably. Would this blog post have even been written if he hadn’t rewarded his customers?

The simple act of rewarding customers for their loyalty (or, in this case, just for talking about the restaurant) ensures an even more fervent fanbase for his restaurant. Scott will see that $50 investment returned many times over because he was listening to his customers.

Thank you Scott for your tremendous generosity.

Here’s a video I put together with the help of 12 Stars Media. Erik Deckers and I went to Scotty’s last week to try out the two burgers remaining in the 2012 Scotty’s Burger Bracket Challenge.