I Scream owners Jeff and Robyn Smith share an ice cream in celebration with staff member Karen Graham (centre).
I Scream owners Jeff and Robyn Smith share an ice cream in celebration with staff member Karen Graham (centre). Matthew Elkerton

I Scream ranked in top ten

WHILE their ice cream parlour may have that vintage appeal, I Scream owners Jeff and Robyn Smith are certainly not stuck in the past.

In fact they keep a keen eye on the newest establishment critics - the online public.

With websites such as TripAdvisor, UrbanSpoon and Orbitz providing an easy platform for visitors to write reviews and rate establishments, the Smiths have utilised these websites to know how their customers are feeling and to respond to those reviews.

And the attention they pay to their online reviews has paid dividends for the business owners with I Scream being ranked in the top 10 ice creameries in Australia by TripAdvisor.

"We are surprised," Mr Smith said. "We thought we were doing some good stuff of course, we have been number one in Grafton for all the restaurants and cafes here on TripAdvisor, but we really did not know we were that good."

Mr Smith said that while the couple definitely read the reviews and utilised them to better themselves, there was a fine line between using them and becoming obsessed with them.

"We follow them, yes, but we don't become obsessed with them," he said. "Because at the end of the day they are only people's opinions. But we read them and we feed that back to our team to make improvements.

"The thing with these reviews is that they are not friends, they are not plants, they are people that are legit and often they are travellers who get to experience a lot of different establishments and towns."

For the Smiths this achievement is a testament to the effort they have put into running I Scream for the past six years.

Mr Smith said he believes he can chalk the ranking up to their ambition to make something different than the average ice creamery and the friendly staff they have helping them steer the ship.

"It is an experience really. What we have tried to do from the start is be something different. Like 'yeah, we sell ice cream, but that is only a small part of our product'," he said.

"As well as our team, on TripAdvisor there are a lot of repeat comments about how friendly our team are and how unique they are and that is fed back to the team so they know what they are doing is working.

"It is good feedback to get, because you are trying your best and always trying to improve and it is good to see that respected."



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