Ice Cream Retailers - Ideas on How to Engage the Customer


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Hundreds of new and existing clients raise the question: how do I bring
the ice-cream making experience “out” of the back room?

We want people to enjoy the whole experience of making fresh
high-end quality frozen desserts and engage their customers in the process.

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Ice Cream Retailers - Ideas on How to Engage the Customer

  1. 1. How to Bring the Customer Experience from the Back of the House to the Front of the House
  2. 2. About Advanced Gourmet Advanced Gourmet Equipment and Design offers education and consulting along with ice cream and gelato equipment, supplies, product, and complete support for those wishing to open a new retail shop or add frozen desserts products to their existing shop.
  3. 3. QUESTION: How do I bring the experience “out” of the back room? Hundreds of new and existing clients raise the question: how do I bring the ice-cream-making experience “out” of the back room? We want people to enjoy the whole experience of making fresh frozen desserts and engage their customers in the process.
  4. 4. <ul><li>Some Ideas </li></ul><ul><li>Using visual adaptations </li></ul><ul><li>In-store events </li></ul>             The answer in the past has been—mainly—to have in-store events and visual adaptations, but we’ve found a new way.
  5. 5. Examples of Visual Adaptations
  6. 6. One example is displaying the ice cream, cakes, and other take out items… Also, showing the production batch freezer so that people can watch as they wait. Examples of Visual Adaptations
  7. 7. The Split Banana in Stauton ,VA Examples of Visual Adaptations Another idea is to set aside exclusive areas to engage in conversation with clients while production is under way.
  8. 8. Examples of Visual Adaptations Using a viewing window is another technique, like Ice Cream Moods did.
  9. 9. Ice Cream Moods in North Port, FL Examples of Visual Adaptations In this picture we are installing a ‘Window to the World” so customers can stand outside and watch the artisan making the frozen desserts in the production room.
  10. 10. Ice Cream Moods in North Port, FL Examples of Visual Adaptations Unfortunately, due to the nature of preparing, weighing, pouring, and extracting the ice cream, the production room can get messy, and the above often happens: the curtain is closed.
  11. 11. Examples of Visual Adaptations Drive-through and window-service pose a difficult challenge to engage customers. Placing the showcase right in the front window helps to bring the experience to the customers.
  12. 12. Examples of Visual Adaptations This picture shows the fresh ice cream in the front window.
  13. 13. Examples of Visual Adaptations Other locations have live feeds from the production room, showing their customers how the ice cream is being made; however, this doesn’t engage the client effectively and can actually create a distance.
  14. 14. Examples of In-Store Events
  15. 15. Bring Your Own Banana Examples of In-Store Events Some in-store promotions that ask the customers to bring in an item or ingredient have been used in the past.
  16. 16. Ice Cream Maker for a Day Examples of In-Store Events This is an actual program for the customer to become an ice cream maker for the day. They not only learn about the process but get to keep the ice cream they make. However, this is still done in the back of the house and is limited to a few individuals at a time.
  17. 18. PTA Night Examples of In-Store Events Another example is to bring large groups in, such as a local school’s PTA and allowing them to work in the store. This helps engage the customers with the people they know who are working behind the counter.
  18. 19. PTA Night
  19. 20. Field Trips Examples of In-Store Events During organized fields trips, customers visit the store to watch, learn, and experience the finished product.
  20. 21. Reverse Christmas Some events like Reverse Christmas bring attention, add fun to the experience of going to the ice cream parlor, and engage clients.
  21. 22. Create a Buzz About your Events Make sure to use social media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter to create a buzz about your events.
  22. 23. Engaging Customers It’s about the Experience
  23. 24. Red Mango – The Experience “ Our all-natural frozen yogurt is just one component of the completely-immersing Red Mango experience … [we] offer an entirely unique sensory experience ; our stores are a stylish, comfortable, and uplifting destination.” Some of the lessons taught by chains were to focus on the “theatre” experience and engage clients to participate in the creation of their own products; this is perhaps one reason for the self-serve yogurt growth. 
  24. 25. It’s about the Experience Maggie Moo In places like Maggie Moo, the customer is engaged by picking the primary product and then choosing the various toppings.
  25. 26. It’s about the Experience The groups that prepare instant ice cream using liquid nitrogen present theatre, but that provides little involvement by the customer, and it has many limitations.
  26. 27. It’s about the Experience We have searched for a way to bring the PRODUCTION out front, the way success stories like Kilwins and the Fudgery have done.
  27. 28. It’s about the Experience
  28. 29. We have found that the most effective way is to truly engage your customers in the store while you are producing your fine ice cream products. This technique combines all the efforts used above (all the previous techniques) into a simple, make/watch/taste/serve-immediately production. It allows you to engage the customer not only in the production but with your own story.
  29. 30. In this picture, Gelato Bus Stop’s owner, Clint Legnani, is preparing and measuring by the front windows for the customer to watch, from the store or from the street.
  30. 31. Gelato Bus Stop’s production room (view from the street)
  31. 32. Customers are always curious
  32. 33. Customers are always curious
  33. 34. Remember: It’s about the Experience <ul><li>This technique adds: </li></ul><ul><li>theatre </li></ul><ul><li>old-world practices </li></ul><ul><li>customer involvement </li></ul><ul><li>hands on experience </li></ul><ul><li>the ability to serve product to your customer immediately  </li></ul>Remember: The best way to engage the customer is in the experience of watching the product being made right in front of them… It’s an old technique now NEW.