RightNow Technologies will be introducingversion 8 of its CRM suite next Monday in conjunction with thecompany’s eighth annual user conference and the 2006Gartner Customer Relationship Management Summit.RightNow 8 will be available in December 2006.
Representing a US$25 million, two-year investment,version 8 has a completely rearchitected userinterface, RightNow CEO and founder Greg Gianfortetold CRM Buyer. “We have moved away from browser-basedAJAX technology to smart client technology. This isthe platform on which we will take RightNow to thenext level of development.”
In practical terms, Gianforte compared the changeoverto the difference between the desktop version ofOutlook and the Web-based version of the product.
Threenew industry applications are also included in RightNow version 8:one targeting the B2B (business-to-business) sector, one geared toward the B2C (business-to-consumer) sector, and one for the public sector. These verticals, Gianforte said, provide thegroundwork for additional industry sectorapplications that will be introduced throughout 2007.
Another key change is the inclusion of severalnew features that he said were designed withthe goal of placing knowledge at the point of customerinteraction.
Customer Experience Designer
The Customer Experience Designer is a combinationmodular workflow engine and graphical design tool.
It allows business users to design, deliver and modifyprocesses that span sales, marketing and customerservice. Examples include complaint management,new customer welcomes and online product registration.
Like most feedback applications on themarket now, RightNow Feedback allows users to capture and measurecustomer opinion at all channel points and in realtime. Companies can then take appropriate actionsbased on the feedback.
RightNow offers as an example acompany that can route customer comments on productsto design teams, who can then contact customers to solicit more-detailed information that may beincorporated into future products.
Packaged templatescan gather, monitor and act on customer satisfactionand service issues, or collect insights from a firm’s ownemployees.
Gianforte noted that customer feedback software –once a niche, stand-alone product — is rapidlybecoming a mainstream module for CRM operations.
New analytics functionality includes a Report Design Center — adrag-and-drop tool that enables users to assemble andpresent information such as tables, charts andfields in customizable formats.
Another new featureis historical trending, which allows users to collect,analyze and compare current and projected informationwith historical data, and to compare sales pipelines, leadconversion rate trends, customer satisfaction rankingsand other performance metrics.
A drag-and-drop layout design feature, WorkspaceDesigner allows users to customize their desktopworkspaces by adding, deleting, moving or changingfields, tabs, analytics and tasks.
Packaged templatesinclude role-based sales, marketing and customerservice profiles at the executive, manager, sales repand agent level. Also, role-relevant analyticalinformation can be embedded into profiles that canbe used in customer interactions.