• January 2, 2003
  • By David Myron, Editorial Director, CRM and Speech Technology magazines and SmartCustomerService.com


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In an effort to reduce churn broadband service provider Charter Communications uses online SFA solutions provider Salesnet. Charter wanted to not only accelerate sales, but also to focus on building customer loyalty, improving customer service, and strengthening its customer relations to help drive revenue. So for about a year Charter has been using Salesnet as the primary technology tool behind a program aimed at retaining more of its Charter Digital Cable customers. The Charter program educates and informs new digital customers about the service, which helps to reduce the likelihood of new-customer attrition during the first few weeks. Charter's customer retention teams are now better able to track customer inquiries and callbacks in real time. Salesnet has also helped the company measure results and improve follow-up to customer inquiries. Last July the Cable & Telecommunications Association for Marketing recognized Charter's new program with a first-place award for its approach to customer retention and its use of Salesnet's solution. There's nothing like a 750 percent ROI to demonstrate a successful CRM effort. Using Salesforce.com's hosted solution, Fujitsu Technology Solutions Inc., a provider of IT infrastructure services, has recognized an ROI of 750 percent--a culmination of several factors, including increased productivity, reduced administrative time of pipeline management, and forecasting. Fujitsu estimates Salesforce.com has saved it $75,000 per year on application costs, $415,000 a year by reducing the amount of labor required to maintain the system, and $640,000 annually on time and resources formerly spent on data gathering and maintenance. "Salesforce.com has enhanced our healthy sales pipeline," Ken Mason, vice president of marketing at Fujitsu Technology Solutions, said in a prepared statement.
"Do you still make Holy Cannoli?" "Where can I find my favorite flavor?" Repetitive questions such as these created a backlog of about 6,000 emails for Ben & Jerry's. The ice-cream maker turned to online customer service solutions provider RightNow Technologies. Ben & Jerry's in 1999 deployed RightNow eService Center, a Web self-help solution, as part of the Consumer Assistance section of BenJerry.com to eliminate the email backlog. Within a month the company reached its goal of responding to all consumer complaints within two days. During an average month customers view more than 40,000 FAQs, but requests for personal assistance total an average of only 200--approximately one half of one percent of all views. By initiating self-service, the consumer affairs staff was able to reduce their email response demands by at least 90 percent.
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