A Delicious Example of Internal Customer Service: The ‘Ice Cream Airlift’ from Nextiva


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When she heard the UPS truck coming up the driveway, she wasn’t sure what to expect. It was 108 degrees in Courtney’s Arizona town, not far from where she works at Nextiva, a fast-growing provider of business communications and team collaboration software. The driveway in question was nearly liquefying in the early afternoon heat.

The UPS dropoff, she saw as she drew nearer, was a large box in the signature orange color favored by long-time Nextiva client Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams.

“It’s kind of a legendary success story around the office. So I recognized what awaited me pretty quickly–and it put a proud smile on my face,” she says.

An ice cream airlift

Unknown to Courtney, a similar driveway scene was unfolding at a thousand locations across the United States. Hers was just one shipment in an ice cream airlift of sorts, with pints and pints of the sweet stuff touching down at the homes of every single one of the company’s over 1,000 U.S.-based employees.

That’s 3,500 pints in all.

Jeni's Ice Creams Airlift from Nextiva- pints in carton. Image by Micah Solomon
Jeni’s Ice Creams Airlift from Nextiva

The occasion? An opportunity to celebrate the work that the entire Nextiva organization has put in, culminating in this week’s launch of NextivaONE, Nextiva’s next-generation workhub for communication, collaboration and customer engagement.

Screen Capture from NextivaONE, the new offering from Nextiva, Nextiva.com - image courtesy of Nextiva
Screen Capture from NextivaONE, the new offering from Nextiva

With the realities of a hybrid setup (work from home/work from office) making it challenging to sufficiently recognize everyone in the workforce, Nextiva got creative, enlisting the logistical (and scooping) skills of a beloved customer, thus simultaneously supporting their business and applying their magic to create a special Nextiva moment.

Jeni’s’ largest single ice cream order to date

3500 pints, it turns out, made this the largest single order Jeni’s has received to this year via its newly minted (tee hee) corporate gifting program, which Jeni’s describes as “a quick and unforgettable way to send 25 or more shipments to clients, customers, co-workers, and anyone else you know.”

Since those early days with the modest six phone lines from Nextiva, Jeni’s, founded in Columbus in the early 2000’s by James Beard-winning ice cream maker Jeni Britton, has grown to more than 130 phone lines with advanced call features that ensure Jeni’s is able to support its customers online and across its service area.

Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams: A Client Success Story

But beyond those inside-the-Beltway telecom stats that perhaps only Communications nerds could love, Jeni’s has grown to encompass 90 storefront and distribution locations and to be on the tip of the tongue, in more ways than one, whenever true ice cream aficionados get onto their favorite subject.

And beyond flavor (Jeni’s is known for wildly successful experiments ever since Chef Britton, on a whim, mixed some cayenne [!!] into her plain-vanilla, so to speak, ice cream starter), Jeni’s is also known for its commitments to fair trade, direct, local, and family-farming practices, part of its being a Certified B Corporation, allowed (and required) by its by-laws to serve goals beyond profit.

All of which has turned Nextiva into “huge fans “of Jeni’s. “We’ve enjoyed watching their success story for well over a decade,” says Nextiva CMO Chris Reaburn. “As with all our customers, we’re committed to always being there for them – even round the clock, because, as we like to say around here, ice cream can’t wait.”

Micah Solomon
Micah Solomon is a customer service consultant and trainer who works with companies to transform their level of customer service and customer experience. The author of five books, his expertise has been featured in Forbes, Fast Company, NBC and ABC television programming, and elsewhere. "Micah Solomon conveys an up-to-the minute and deeply practical take on customer service, business success, and the twin importance of people and technology." –Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder.


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