Success That Made the Press

Serving the Customer

Gloversville, New York

An example of customer service at its best made it possible for Haagen-Dazs to dispense the “world’s finest ice cream” in their exhibit at the FMI show.

Overnight on Saturday someone had “borrowed” can clamps from the famous ice cream maker’s Hussmann dipping cabinet which placed them in a real bind. Haagen-Dazs was scheduled to give an important presentation the following day at noon using the ice cream cabinet…and the stolen accessory was critical to the success of their presentation.

Haagen-Dazs Sales Manager Russell Lay immediately shared his problem wit Dell Dahl, president of Rodar Corporation, the Gloversville self-contained distributor in Tampa, Florida. After checking their own warehouse and frantically calling over, Dell contacted Hussmann’s Director of Sales Jeff Zullo at his home on Sunday around 4pm.

Jeff immediately reassured Dell and promised to provide a replacement. Jeff knew the stolen parts were not standard sized items since Haagen-Dazs used a special size. He also knew that if he waited for the factory to start up Monday morning it would not allow enough time to get the parts made and shipped to Chicago in time for the presentation.

After apologizing to his wife and mother-in-law for missing their Mother’s Day dinner, Jeff went to the plant and got to work. A preliminary search of the plant turned up only standard size parts which Jeff shipped to the show as a precaution.

Next he searched the engineering files and located the proper prints for the Haagen-Dazs part. With more standard parts in hand, Jeff started up the model shop machinery and spent the next four hours modifying the straps to the special size.

At 9 p.m., after he was sure he had completed the parts, Jeff booked a flight t Chicago for the next morning.

Monday morning Jeff arrived at the airport carrying three big boxes of accessory parts and proceeded to track Dell down in Chicago to alert him of his anticipated arrival at the show. As the plane touched down in Chicago, Dell met Jeff at the gate and rushed to the FMI show. When Dell arrived at the Haagen-Dazs booth 15 minutes prior to the presentation, he quickly proceeded to remove the parts that had not been stolen. He then inserted a full set of parts Jeff had made.

The presentation was a success and the Haagen-Dazs people were pleased to learn that their product looked exceptional when the proper special components were used for the display.

As a direct result of Jeff’s special effort, Dell was able to schedule a subsequent meeting with the Haagen-Dazs people. The famous ice cream maker is currently considering a long range program that began with the purchase of 12 Gloversville Ice Cream Dipping cabinets.