RightNow Rearchitects CRM Suite With Version 8
In addition to a newly architected interface, RightNow version 8 includes three vertical industry applications -- one targeting the business-to-business sector, one geared toward the business-to-consumer sector, and one for the public sector.
RightNow Technologies will be introducing version 8 of its CRM suite next Monday in conjunction with the company's eighth annual user conference and the 2006 Gartner 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 user interface, RightNow CEO and founder Greg Gianforte told CRM Buyer. "We have moved away from browser-based AJAX technology to smart client technology. This is the platform on which we will take RightNow to the next level of development."
In practical terms, Gianforte compared the changeover to the difference between the desktop version of Outlook and the Web-based version of the product.
Three new 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 the groundwork for additional industry sector applications that will be introduced throughout 2007.
Another key change is the inclusion of several new features that he said were designed with the goal of placing knowledge at the point of customer interaction.
Customer Experience Designer
The Customer Experience Designer is a combination modular workflow engine and graphical design tool.
It allows business users to design, deliver and modify processes that span sales, marketing and customer service. Examples include complaint management, new customer welcomes and online product registration.
Like most feedback applications on the market now, RightNow Feedback allows users to capture and measure customer opinion at all channel points and in real time. Companies can then take appropriate actions based on the feedback.
RightNow offers as an example a company that can route customer comments on products to design teams, who can then contact customers to solicit more-detailed information that may be incorporated into future products.
Packaged templates can gather, monitor and act on customer satisfaction and service issues, or collect insights from a firm's own employees.
Gianforte noted that customer feedback software -- once a niche, stand-alone product -- is rapidly becoming a mainstream module for CRM operations.
"Enterprise feedback management is growing 35 percent a year annually, and both Gartner and JupiterResearch have begun tracking it as a separate category," he pointed out.
New analytics functionality includes a Report Design Center -- a drag-and-drop tool that enables users to assemble and present information such as tables, charts and fields in customizable formats.
Another new feature is historical trending, which allows users to collect, analyze and compare current and projected information with historical data, and to compare sales pipelines, lead conversion rate trends, customer satisfaction rankings and other performance metrics.
A drag-and-drop layout design feature, Workspace Designer allows users to customize their desktop workspaces by adding, deleting, moving or changing fields, tabs, analytics and tasks.
Packaged templates include role-based sales, marketing and customer service profiles at the executive, manager, sales rep and agent level. Also, role-relevant analytical information can be embedded into profiles that can be used in customer interactions.