|Izzy's Ice Cream Case Study|
Izzy’s Ice Cream
Customer: Izzy’s Ice Cream, an artisanal ice cream producer in Saint Paul, Minnesota, has earned an enthusiastic following. With flavors like Norwegian Chai, Dinosaur Egg, and customer favorite, Salted Caramel, it’s not your run-of-the-mill ice cream parlor.
In addition to the standard vanilla fare, Izzy’s produces high-quality ice cream with interesting ingredients such as baked goods, beer, and wine, many obtained from local sources. And with their innovative, "Izzy Scoop®,” a one-ounce taster added to each order, customers feel emboldened to try the less conventional flavors.
Challenge: Because of the popularity of Izzy’s products, they had a chronic problem of unmet customer expectations. Lines snake out the door in the peak summer season, meaning Izzy’s often ran out of favored flavors before a customer reached the front of the line. Izzy’s has only 32 spots in their dipping cabinet, yet produces over 120 different varieties each year, so the flavor changes can be frequent. During busy periods, staff wasn’t always able to accurately maintain the flavor description displays, and the limited space in front of the cabinet to make a visual choice further impacted the problem. Co-owner Jeff Sommer says he was beginning to sense a tipping point in customer frustration; frustration that developed before he’d even had the chance to sell them a single scoop.
He tried to address the problem by taking down customer’s names and calling them when their preferred flavor became available. But often by the time the customer arrived, that flavor was already gone, redoubling the customer’s frustration.
Benefits: Although not directly measurable, Sommers considers the benefits to be multiple: an increased level of comfort in the store, because customers have more warning as to their choices; decreased unmet customer expectations; more interaction amongst customers in the store over their choice of "Izzy Scoop,” which adds to the atmosphere; scalability for future increased customer interaction via social media; and increased sales.