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RightNow Adds Sensitivity to Social CRM

Recently, a customer was using the Navy Federal Credit Union ATM and encountered some difficulty with his account. Concerned, he whipped out his mobile device and tweeted to the world that he was having problems.

If you have been paying attention to the new ways customer service organizations have been using social media, you can probably guess what happened next: He received a return tweet shortly afterward. However, you might not have guessed this part: Because the problem had to do with his account, the rep didn’t want to continue the discussion on a public platform like Twitter. So the conversation moved to a private channel, where the problem was resolved.

The Navy Credit Federal Union rep was able to do this because the credit union is a RightNow Technologies customer, and it was making use of one of the SaaS service provider’s latest enhancements: Cloud Monitoring.

Privacy Screen

To be precise, the enhancement was the ability to move public conversations to a private channel when necessary, said John Kembel, VP of social solutions at RightNow Technologies.

RightNow introduced Cloud Monitoring as a feature of its CX platform — its customer experience suite — in 2009.

“At that point, we knew that while companies were experimenting with social media, eventually it would become an important part of their customer service,” Kembel told CRM Buyer. “We introduced the service then and have been enhancing it ever since.”

The latest quarterly upgrade was in February (RightNow tends to release its upgrades mid-quarter), and it included the private channel feature.

Listening and Responding

At its heart, Cloud Monitor is designed to listen to what customers are saying about a company on social media channels and then help the firm decide how or if it wants to respond, Kembel said.

The platform includes tools that analyze conversations and track trends. It can help a company not only to determine whether a particular tweet needs a response, for example, but also to identify the key issues turning up in conversations about the company in general, he explained.

Identifying which conversations need a response is RightNow’s competitive differentiator from other platforms on the market, said Kembel.

“One tool we have performs sentiment analysis — which helps the user understand which post or tweet is urgent,” he said. “Those are sent to the top of the response list. Topic monitoring is another; that tracks the trending topics relevant to a brand.”

The next piece is the most important, he said — the actual response. Because Cloud Monitor is incorporated into CX, an agent is able to reply in the same channel — Twitter, let’s say — and keep that back-and-forth as part of the normal customer service work flow.

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“That is why we built Cloud Monitor into the agent desktop,” Kembel said. “The agent can take the tweet, escalate it, or route it to someone with different expertise who might need to respond.”

The responses can vary as well. The agent might respond with a link or with a tweet or — as with the Navy Federal Credit Union customer — with a request to move to a private channel such as email.

The conversation is also stored as part of the customer record, not just as an incident report, Kembel said — another way this service distinguishes itself from competing products.

“Companies can’t just interact with social media,” he maintained. “They need to integrate with it too, across all functions.”

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