The social media sundae – What Perry’s Ice Cream did right

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It’s peach season and time for peach sundaes. And thanks to an ice cream company’s excellent use of social media and customer service, I’m about to have one.

I wait all year for peach season. It’s a small window of time here in my part of the country – late summer, just a couple of weeks to get home-grown peaches so full of juice they drip down your hand as you eat them.

That’s kind of like the small window of time that you have to catch something on social media that can make or break your reputation.

Two weeks ago, I was finishing the last of a half-gallon of ice cream called “Peanut Butter Cup.” I don’t often buy ice cream. Too tempting. But I’d bought it for the “peanut butter” part. I expected lots of peanut butter in it – thought it might have actual chunks of broken chocolate peanut butter cups in the ice cream.

But, no. It was a disappointment in that it was mostly just chocolate ice cream with  peanut butter smudges through it.

The brand was Perry’s Ice Cream, founded in 1918 in Akron, NY and today one of the two largest ice cream manufacturing plants in New York State. Ninety-eight percent of their milk comes from farms within 50 miles of Akron.

Make no mistake – I like Perry’s Ice Cream. [N.B. I’m not being compensated for this blog post.]

But that scanty amount of peanut butter…  I sent out a tweet.

Dear Perry’s Ice Cream, if you name a flavor Peanut Butter Cup people generally expect a whole lot more peanut butter in it.

And I very promptly got this reply on Twitter:

@writerdiehl Dear Marci, we completely agree! Please fill out our contact form and click product problem button.  (@perrysicecream)

The very best brands really listen on Twitter. They not only listen, they respond – in a positive, let-us-take-care-of-this way.

So I clicked on the link and it took me to their website, where I filled out a form detailing my information, and what the problem was (or complaint). The form asked for the production number on the bottom of the carton.

I had to run down and get the carton out of the freezer. (Okay – there was about 3 tablespoons of ice cream left in it. I wanted more peanut butter, but I wasn’t going to throw it away.)

Within 24 hours, I got an email from Perry’s.

Hi Marci. 

We appreciate you taking the time to contact Perry’s Ice Cream.  We are always interested in communication from our consumers. 

We are sorry to hear that our Peanut Butter Cup was not up to our usual high standards.  Thank you for supplying us with the information on the carton, as this will help our Quality Assurance Team to locate the problem.

We hope that you will accept our apologies for the inconvenience and disappointment you experienced.  We will send out a replacement coupon and hope that you will continue to try our products.

We hope you have an enjoyable summer!

 Consumer Affairs, Perry’s Ice Cream

One Ice Cream Plaza

Akron, NY 14001

See how it works? >> Twitter… website… email.

What’s important here is Perry’s attention and responsiveness. This is essential when you are on social media for business. Now Perry’s is “talking” to me as a real person.

I reported this back on Twitter – remember, thousands (maybe more) are reading these tweets.

Now I’m impressed with Perry’s as a quality brand who take their customers seriously. And Perry’s has the best advertising of all — word of mouth. (Soon to be filled with ice cream!)

About a week later, I came home from a trip to find a message in the mail (yes, snail mail, too!) with two coupons enclosed — $1.00 off any Perry’s product and one for a free pint of any Perry’s Ice Cream.

This is how you do it. It takes just a few minutes of attention and response to be a bright spot of brands. 

Now all I need is some vanilla ice cream and those juicy fresh peaches, and I’m on my way to an end-of-summer sundae. Heaven.

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One Response to “The social media sundae – What Perry’s Ice Cream did right”

  1. Andy HayesSeptember 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm #

    This is a great story. Sadly, I find so many companies don’t respond to customer service inquiries, good or bad, on Twitter. A missed opportunity.

    Also, peach sundaes = YUM!

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