Empathica Sponsors the National Restaurant Association’s Spring 2012 Marketing Executives Group (MEG) Conference

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At this year’s event, MEG conference attendees will learn how to gain a marketing edge in today’s competitive market

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Empathica Inc., a leading provider of Customer Experience Management (CEM) solutions to more than 200 of the world’s most respected brands, announced today that two of its food services industry experts will attend the National Restaurant Association’s Spring 2012Marketing Executives Group (MEG) Conference held May 2-4 at the Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel in Chicago.

MEG is a community of restaurant marketing professionals who come together twice a year to raise the level of industry excellence by connecting, inspiring, teaching and challenging each other. At the conference, more than 200 industry influencers, leaders and consumer behavioral experts will discuss strategies around the theme of this year’s event, “Rock the Status Quo; Gain Your Marketing Edge.”

The event is open to members and non-members of the National Restaurant Association (NRA) who are responsible for marketing their restaurant’s brand. Empathica’s Steve Prodger, VP of Food Services, and Dr. Gary Edwards, Chief Customer Officer, will be in attendance.

Empathica works with top brands within the food services industry, helping to elevate their brands through tailored CEM programs aimed to deliver better customer experiences. Last month, the company launched Empathica Local, a new CEM product that focuses on helping multi-unit location managers deliver consistent and memorable customer experiences at their restaurants, retail locations, grocery stores and banks. A streamlined, easy-to-understand interface presents only the most relevant information for a location manager and then suggests action plans to help execute real behavioral change among staff members to improve the customer experience.

Smashburger, the fast casual restaurant chain named America’s Most Promising Company by Forbes in 2011, recently launched a pilot program with Empathica Local. In the first two months of the program, Smashburger has seen a 5.5 percent increase in customer satisfaction in test locations and more than two million friend impressions of positive online recommendations via social networks.

“In order to drive brand advocacy for multi-unit restaurants, location managers must constantly fine-tune their operations to consistently deliver a great customer experience, but managers do not have the time to analyze detailed customer reports,” said Edwards. “Empathica Local simplifies the data and prescribes specific actions, allowing location managers to spend more time engaging with their employees and customers to ensure an excellent experience and build brand loyalty.”

Over the past three years, Empathica's GoRecommend Advocacy Engine has also played a large role in enhancing customer advocacy by driving positive brand recommendations via social media. This empowers supporters of the brand to drive advocacy through authentic word-of-mouth reviews. GoRecommend has been used by more than 100 brands and has driven recommendations that have been shared across more than 110 million friends via social networks.

The three-day MEG event kicks off with an opening night dinner and reception and also includes keynote speeches and numerous networking opportunities with industry experts and consumer behavioral leaders. For more information or to register for the Spring 2012 MEG Conference, visit http://www.restaurant.org/education/studygroups/meg/meeting/index.cfm.

About Empathica:

Empathica provides Customer Experience Management programs to more than 200 of the world's leading brands, ranging from multi-unit retailers, to banks and restaurants. Its rich analysis of survey data using state-of-the-art surveying and dashboard reporting software allows for performance-improvement solutions, evidence-based marketing insights, and customer experience management consulting. Annually, Empathica's 30 million customer surveys in 25 languages reach more than 70,000 locations. A privately-held organization, Empathica is headquartered in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, has an office in Birmingham, England, and U.S. executive consultants in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Bozeman, Mont. For more information about deriving actionable insights that enhance a brand's operational excellence, visit Empathica at http://www.empathica.com.

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Meghan Reilly
Walker Sands Communications
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Bruce Warren
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