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Ben & Jerry's savors CRM

Some knowledge is more fun than others. Take, for example, the ingredients found in a pint of Cherry Garcia.

Ice cream maker Ben & Jerry's has deployed customer relationship management technology not so much to indulge customers' appetite for chocolate chip cookie dough as to indulge their thirst for information regarding its products.

On-demand CRM solutions and professional services from RightNow have enabled Ben & Jerry's to use its online knowledgebase to respond to customer questions that concern anything from the ingredients in a flavor of ice cream to special company promotions like Free Cone Day.

Ben & Jerry's has achieved a knowledgebase efficiency rate of 99.7% through the use of its solution, RightNow maintains. That means that nearly every visitor to the Ben & Jerry's customer service Web site found the answer to his or her question using the online knowledgebase. Effective use of the Web has also reduced the in-bound e-mail volume to Ben & Jerry's to less than 10% of what it used to be. As a result, the number of employees in the ice cream maker's Consumer Affairs department has remained stable despite substantial business growth, according to RightNow.

Lucas Jenson, market research and consumer services manager at Ben & Jerry's, says that the solution has "delivered significant business value" to the company. RightNow says that because it hosts the customer service system, Ben and Jerry's avoids ownership costs and the potential IT headaches of conventional in-house software deployments.

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