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RightNow puts Electronic Arts ahead of the game

Web support sections find ready answer to email overloads

What can you do when you're overwhelmed with soldiers on the battlefields of war-torn Europe in Medal of Honour Allied Assault? Or all your Sims are getting stuck on the iron fence?

Electronic Arts in the UK and Ireland (EA) have just gone live with RightNow eService Centre from RightNow Technologies - which means the answers to these and many other computer games dilemmas can be easily found in the support sections of their Web sites (at www.uk.ea.com or www.ie.ea.com).

According to EA, all the signs point to a significant rise in self-service rates compared to their previous solution, while providing them with a 360-degree view of their customers' contact history and forming part of their larger CRM strategy.

EA is the world's leading independent developer and publisher of interactive entertainment software for PCs and entertainment systems such as the PlayStation 2 computer entertainment system and the Xbox video game system from Microsoft.

EA UK and Ireland made the decision to implement the technology after hearing how it had helped their US colleagues deal with more than 20 million visitors per month to EA's US-based online entertainment Web sites.

Prior to implementing RightNow eService Centre, EA received at least 300 emails a day from customers in the UK and Ireland who were unable to access the information they needed via the 'frequently asked questions' previously listed on the Web site. Caroline Cullen, EA CRM manager explains staff members were trying to deal with these emails field telephone inquiries at the same time.

"On top of this, we had no central knowledge base. All our information was in different places - in our standard frequently asked questions, in emails, and in peoples' heads. It was becoming impossible," she said.

RightNow solved the "impossible," Cullen said. Now users can search an extensive knowledge base within the RightNow system. This currently has more than 500 questions and is growing all the time as more questions are asked. Despite the amount of information available here it is easy to use as RightNow eService Centre automatically brings the most popular questions to the top of the list.

If the answer to a question is not available, users can send an email that is routed to the most appropriate customer service representative. Also, RightNow eService Centre uses intelligent language recognition technology to alert customer service representatives when customers express anger or dissatisfaction so the email can be escalated to a supervisor where necessary. "Our CSRs love the new system," Cullen said.

She expects early return on investment, "I don't yet want to predict when that is going to be - but is easy to see because of the volume of our users who are using the self-service option, considerable savings are already being made. However the most important thing to us is that we are adding value for our customers by providing them with detailed information about our games."

"The implementation of RightNow in the UK is part of EA's worldwide strategy for building its lead as the entertainment company with the world's pre-eminent customer relationship management service for its customers," said Rick Geiger, vice president of CRM for Electronic Arts.

"We are extremely pleased that our existing relationship with Electronic Arts in the US has now expanded into the European markets," said Sean Forbes, vice president of marketing and business development at RightNow Technologies. "We look forward to working closely with Electronic Arts to ensure the success of their global online initiatives which will help to raise customer satisfaction while reducing support costs."

About Electronic Arts
Electronic Arts (EA), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts posted revenues of more than $1.7 billion for fiscal 2002. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. EA markets its products under four brand names: EA SPORTS, EA GAMES, EA SPORTS BIG and EA.COMSM.

Electronic Arts, EA SPORTS, EA GAMES and EA SPORTS BIG are trademarks or registered trademarks of Electronic Arts Inc. in the U.S. and/or other countries. EA.COM is a service mark of EA.com Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

"PlayStation" and the "PS" Family logos are registered trademarks of Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. Microsoft, Xbox, and the Xbox Logos are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries.

About RightNow Technologies
RightNow Technologies, a recipient of UPSIDE Magazine's 2002 Hot 100 Private Companies Award, is the leading eService solutions expert, engineering business solutions that deliver rapid time-to-benefit and quick return on investment. RightNow delivers these benefits to such customers as: Air New Zealand, Ben & Jerry's, British Airways, Cisco, Fujitsu, Maxtor, Orbitz, Ping Golf, Remington, Sanyo, Social Security Administration, Sprint, and more than 1,100 other organizations.

RightNow's multi-channel eService suite supports Web-based self-service, email response management, live chat and collaboration, and service analytics. RightNow Locator, which directly links a company's Web presence with its real-world locations, provides customers the information they need to purchase products or obtain services locally.

Founded in 1995, RightNow has offices in Bozeman, Dallas, London, and Sydney, with an associated office in Tokyo. RightNow's products are available in 16 languages worldwide. For further information visit http://www.rightnow.com/.