Building on the past two articles on what Young’s Jersey Dairy is doing for the customers in the tech world, here are a few things they are planning for the future (both near & far).
Something that we’ve been thinking of since the first Apps came available for the iPhone, is how to make an App for our customers. We had a link on the front of the website for a time asking if customers would be – a)interested in an app & b)if they were interested, what would they want to see. Most of the responses we got were positive and our customers wanted to find the information they find on the website, all in one handy location (directions, hours, Flavor of the Week, etc).
Having a programming background (took several different levels of programming throughout my schooling, starting in high school with a C++ class my sophopmore year. Yes, I was that guy.) I thought programming a iPhone App would be a interesting challenge for myself. It is in the planning stage and we hope to have it out in the near future. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on it!
Advertising on TV is more and more becoming an expensive and inefficient way of getting the message out to the public – especially with a growing social network like Young’s is building on Facebook. Customers are not only interested in seeing the things that Young’s is up to – they like sharing this knowledge with their friends. It’s almost like the community has a bit of ownership in Young’s.
Young’s is going to build on that viral nature by starting to put out original video content starting this summer. I can’t give away too much, but 3 videos are in pre-production right now. The main star is going to be Young’s mascot, Barnabe – but you might recognize some other actors in the videos as well.
Before we took the Young’s Birthday Club online, there was an old computer out in the Dairy Store dining room for customers to sign themselves up. Mind you, this was before many people had computers, so it was a novelty to see one and people were intrigued to use one. The list grew to almost 140,000 before the Club was dismantled due to the postage fees.
When we created the E-Birthday Club, an email-based club, in to replace the old club, we let customers sign up directly online instead of in the store.
Nearly 8,000 members later, we would love to get our #’s back up on the list. If we could get a fraction of our over 1 million customers per year to sign up while they are getting their Ice Cream, we could be back up to our old numbers in no time.
I call it the ‘Elusive’ Goat Cam, because this is something we had thought of YEARS ago, but have never followed through with. Long before wireless internet, handheld devices and touch screen monitors, Dan (CEO of Young’s, as well as my father) came to me with a great idea – a live 24 hour feed (no pun intended) to our goats.
When he thought of this, like many other ideas we have in the tech field at Young’s, we were before our time by a few years. We found some solutions, but at the time, they were too costly. The Goat Cam is something that I think of often – maybe someday it will become a reality….
One thing that is an issue for us at times at Young’s, is that we are busy. Especially during those summer months when everyone in central Ohio is in need of some of our Homemade Ice Cream. Of course, this isn’t a problem, but it can be a an issue when it comes to some of the groups that show up to Young’s on these busy days.
Not all groups that come to Young’s know where everything is. Quite the opposite – our average guest visits us 2-4 times per year. Things are always growing & changing at Young’s and a flexible way of letting customers, groups & tours know what is going on is a need for us.
Digital signage, similar to the digital menus at the Dairy Store, would be a great addition for all three of our main buildings. Making an easy way for anyone who needs to ‘know where to go’ to find it.
Along with the digital signage, another idea of promoting current events, etc would be large LED signage that you see popping up more and more on those highway billboard ads.
Again, with so many things going on at Young’s – we can only promote so much at once. With a digital entrance sign, not only can we promote current events – but current dinner & dessert specials – which is something that we can’t do with a typical billboard. This is something that is probably cost prohibitive right now, but we can dream – right?
Something that we had a long time ago when we first developed our local network was an intranet. Most business people know what the difference is between an intranet and the internet, but in case you don’t: (thanks to Wikipedia)
An intranet is a private computer network that uses Internet Protocol technologies to securely share any part of an organization’s information or operational systems within that organization. The term is used in contrast to internet, a network between organizations, and instead refers to a network within an organization.
Due to technological roadblocks that we came across when we were developing the intranet, we stopped using it. But now that the technology has finally caught up with how we want our staff & management to communicate online – we are in the process of redeveloping it.
There are always new things happening at Young’s – that’s why I loved working there my whole life and am proud to be one of the family. And that’s why our customers love to come back.