Tool offers self-help to site users
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Nov 12, 2000
RightNow Technologies Inc. will release an improved tool today to help agencies
strengthen service to their online customers.
The latest version of the company's Web-based customer service system,
RightNow Web 4.0, can head off the need for Internet users to send an e-mail
inquiry to an agency.
"We see e-mail more as a failure than a victory," said Tom Abshire,
director of product management for RightNow.
The Social Security Administration, U.S. Customs Service, Bureau of
Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and many other agencies already use a version
of the RightNow system. Although no public-sector agencies beta tested Version
4.0, the first government customers will be upgrading to it "within a few
weeks," Abshire said.
RightNow Web 4.0 combines customer self-help, including frequently asked
questions, e-mail management, live chat, customer feedback surveys, knowledge
and workflow management, and reporting capabilities in its end-to-end solution.
The new release features:
* Enhanced search capabilities.
* A security model to provide staff members with specific permissions.
* A redesigned user interface for easier navigation.
"Customers are at the center of our knowledge base," Abshire said. "Customers
drive both the content and the structure. Most of our customers start with
20 or 30 answers and then let inquiries drive the rest. Within months they
can be up to 1,500 questions and answers depending on the volume of the
information they're dealing with."
The service is available for on-premises installation or can be hosted
by the Bozeman, Mont.-based company. Many government customers choose the
hosted option, Abshire said. "If we host it, we guarantee it will be up
and running in 15 days. It's a great deal for the government," he said.
The General Services Administration price for RightNow Web 4.0 is $30,000
for a one-year license. The hosted option costs an additional $8,000 to
$10,000, Abshire said.