Yext Helps Graeter’s Ice Cream Strengthen Its Relationship With Customers
There just aren’t many businesses that still do things the old-fashioned way anymore. But at Graeter’s Ice Cream, making small-batch ice cream — the way the company has for 150 years — is its secret to lasting success. (Oprah, America’s queen tastemaker, once called Graeter’s “absolutely the best ice cream I’ve ever tasted” on her talk show.)
“We only make our ice cream two-and-a-half gallons at a time, which is very unique — most other places mass produce their products,” explains Amanda Buechel, Social Media Manager at Graeter’s Ice Cream. “‘The best ice cream you’ll ever taste’ isn’t just a motto, it’s what we live by.”
To help the brand expand its online customer base and continue to stand out in a crowded market, Graeter’s chose Yext.
“Anyone who likes ice cream could be our customer,” says Buechel. “We have grocery customers. We have e-commerce customers since we ship our ice cream nationwide. We have 55 brick and mortar stores.”
It should come as no surprise that new customers often find the brand through Google search results. According to Buechel, customers are typically asking questions about where they can find Graeter’s Ice Cream in stores, searching for a location near them, or trying to find an ice cream brand that ships nationwide. And now, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also looking for information about curbside pickup, local delivery, and whether a location is currently open to the public.
Before working with Yext, Graeter’s stored its information in a decentralized way, meaning the team would have to update store information piecemeal, across many different platforms. Now, the brand is able to publish updates for its 55 locations across Yext’s entire Knowledge Network — approximately 175 digital services globally, including Google, Amazon Alexa, Apple, Bing, Facebook, Yahoo, and Yelp — arming customers with the accurate, timely information they need to find the ice cream they’ll love.
“Yext has been huge for us,” says Buechel. “We have to make sure all that information across search experiences is correct because if it’s not, we risk losing a customer on the journey.”
She also says the brand has a very engaged customer base and gets a ton of customer reviews posted across the internet every day. With Yext, Graeter’s is able to monitor its reviews, analyze customer sentiment, strategically respond to customers, and fill in any information gaps that might exist — a proactive approach that wasn’t possible before.
Buechel says her partners at Yext have provided “incredible customer service” and even built Graeter’s an easy-to-use feature to mark a location temporarily closed when it was being remodeled.
“Using Yext has definitely helped us get closer to our customers, whether that’s been online or in the stores,” she says. “And the platform has made it easy to communicate very rapidly with our customers during all this uncertainty.”
Since launching with Yext, Graeter’s has experienced increased visibility and engagement across search experiences. Year over year (February 2019 – January 2020, as compared to February 2018 – January 2019), the brand has seen a 24% increase in clicks for directions, a 42% increase in website clicks, a 45% boost in clicks-to-call, and a 31% increase in overall listing clicks. Over that same period, the brand also saw a 91% year-over-year increase in search and map views.
As of June 2020, Graeter’s had also monitored nearly 5,000 customer reviews, helping the brand stay in contact with its customer base and get a pulse on how it can improve operationally.
“Monitoring our reviews has been a great way to start to understand our customer a lot better,” says Buechel. “Ultimately, our goal is to continue to keep our information consistent and up to date, and to learn more about our customers so that we can target them with better information. Yext has really pushed us to think more strategically about changes in search technology and in consumer behavior.”