Editor’s Note - This story was originally published in July, and is part of Loyalty360’s “Best of 2016.” We wish you and your family a happy holidays, and will return to our regular content schedule in 2017!

Wingstop likes to display its innovative spirit and commitment to digital technology that helps magnify brand loyalty. And company officials have big plans for today, which is National Chicken Wing Day.
Wingstop, which has more than 900 locations across the globe, will launch the world’s first heart-to-win auction on Periscope to celebrate National Chicken Wing Day.

Wingstop fans can win nearly $5,000 in exclusive prizes and the company is also hosting a restaurant giveaway of five free wings with any wing purchase during lunch. The fan who “THUMPS” the most hearts at the end of each auction wins the prize.  No money is needed or exchanged to play. 

Prizes will range from a Beach Cruiser Bike and custom Nike shoes, all the way to a “Choose Your Own VIP Experience” worth up to $1,500 where the winner will receive two $250 concert vouchers and a $1,000 travel voucher that can be used toward experiencing any concert they want, in any city they choose.

Flynn Dekker, CMO of Wingstop, talked to Loyalty360 about today’s big festivities and the company’s approach to digital engagement.

What are Wingstop's goals for the heart-to-win auction on Periscope in celebration of National Chicken Wing Day from a customer engagement/customer experience perspective? And how important is innovation for Wingstop?
Dekker: Our goal is to be the first to market and engage with our fans through social media in a completely new and exciting way.  Innovation is the cornerstone of our digital strategy. We are constantly looking at how we can break new ground to increase engagement and drive guests to order online. In fact, Wingstop was recently the first brand to offer dynamic social ordering on Twitter and Facebook Messenger, allowing fans to order anything from our menu through their favorite social channel. And now we’re the first company to let our fans use hearts instead of currency to bid on items while engaging with us on Periscope.

What does Customer Experience mean to Wingstop?
Dekker: We take a 360-degree approach to customer experience. Every touch point has to deliver on guest expectations from online to offline to the in restaurant experience. Over the past two years, Wingstop has invested heavily to improve our guest experience by adding a new online ordering system, which seamlessly integrates with our new POS system to increase order accuracy, streamline labor, and improve the overall Wingstop experience.
How sophisticated would you say your CX measures are?
Dekker: Wingstop’s CX measures are very sophisticated. First, based on industry research and accolades, we believe we are one of the most responsive brands on social media. We’re constantly listening, responding, and measuring sentiment – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition to that, we use customer satisfaction surveys that are automatically sent out to guests after every online order, provided on every receipt, and available on our website. We have access to thousands of data points every month to measure ourselves against and drive continuous improvements. And finally, we use social listening tools to make sure we’re monitoring and responding to reviews on third-party sites.

What is being done differently now with social media for loyalty marketers, as opposed to 18 months ago?
Dekker: For Wingstop, we’ve evolved a lot. We are more focused on exclusive content and driving innovation than ever before. There is so much clutter in the marketplace that we firmly believe brands have to constantly break new ground to remain relevant.

How are you leveraging the power of mobile to extend your customer engagement reach?
Dekker: We focus the majority of our efforts around mobile because we know it is key to our continued growth in the areas of online ordering and engagement. About 33% of our online business comes through mobile web, and we know that will continue to move higher as we continue to enhance our mobile web experience and engage with fans online through innovative efforts like social auctions and social ordering.

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