Hard Rock Finds More Ways To Keep Customers Happy 2

Marketing and customer-service software from E.piphany improves customer loyalty

InformationWeek Staff, Contributor

December 20, 2001

2 Min Read

In November 2000, diners and shoppers at the Hard Rock Cafe's restaurants and rock 'n' roll memorabilia centers were no more than passing customers to the marketers overseeing the restaurant chain.

The 30-year-old Orlando, Fla., chain didn't know its customers, how often they visited the company's restaurants--43 in the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean and 12 in Europe--or what they bought from the stores. But by January, Hard Rock was running marketing and customer-service software that had transformed many of those visitors into loyal, well-understood customers.

Today, Hard Rock has regular contact with its 5,500 most loyal customers, called Pin Collectors, while acquiring and building relationships with less-frequent visitors, called All Access Members. All were recruited from restaurant promotions or online. Hard Rock uses E.piphany marketing and customer-service applications to analyze the behavior of its customers, based on membership cards used in restaurants, stores, and online.

Incentives range from preferred seating to discounts. All Access Members receive a $20 credit to their loyalty card each time they spend $200; Pin Collectors get a 10% discount at all times.

Hard Rock delivers targeted E-mail promotions for use online and in its stores. From one E-mail campaign, the company sold $150,000 in merchandise. "Before, we never did this type of campaign, so we went from nothing to something big," says Todd Lindsey, senior VP of finance and IT.

The restaurant company also leverages customer visits. As diners leave, they're handed customer-satisfaction surveys that can be completed online. "In the past, once the guest left the restaurant with a bad experience, they were gone," Lindsey says. "Now I can reach out and touch those people." Guests who fill out the form receive coupons for another meal, giving Hard Rock another chance to impress them.

Hard Rock had a nine-month payback on the software. But as the company learns more ways to use it, executives expect revenue and customer loyalty to continue to improve. "We're still in customer-acquisition mode," says Kelly Maddern, senior director of IT and online, "and looking at different ways to acquire customer information."

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