RightNow Focuses on Customer Outreach With Syndication Widget

RightNow is leveraging two of its competitive strengths — self-service and knowledge management — to deliver a syndication widget in its November 07 release.

The feature allows companies to syndicate and then distribute content, such as pricing or warranty information, across several Web sites that are not necessarily directly owned or linked to the original company’s site.

For instance, a customer shopping for an electronic gadget might be comparing prices across several different online retailers. The manufacturer of that gadget could leverage the product information in RightNow’s knowledge management module — also called the “knowledge foundation” — and then syndicate it to external Web sites such as e-commerce outlets that sell the item or partner sites.

Being Proactive

The content to be syndicated could be anything from product information and specs to store policies about which credit cards are accepted, according to Suzy Meriwether, industry solutions manager at RightNow.

This proactive push of information could also be coupled with an offer to chat with the customer, she added.

This release is part of RightNow’s move to further develop its presale outreach functionality, Meriwether told CRM Buyer.

“We have always excelled at the post-sale servicing of the client,” she said. “The syndication widget is all about giving the customer knowledge before the sale.”

Knowledge Foundations

RightNow began moving in this direction in earnest earlier this year when it introduced a sitemate feature in August that allowed organizations to index knowledge foundations, making them accessible to search engines.

This was followed by an industry specific app called RightNow Consumer Electronics — a preconfigured product designed to help manufacturers close a deal with a potential buyer during its first interaction. Much like the syndication widget, it gives electronics manufacturers the ability to leverage the content from the RightNow knowledgebase, such as FAQs or product specs — and make that information available on specific product pages.

Web 2.0-Friendly

This feature is emblematic of RightNow’s — indeed all of the Software as a Service (SaaS) CRM vendors’ — push into Web 2.0 technologies. Last month, RightNow and Demandware launched a new mashup integrating RightNow’s CRM and customer service offerings with Demandware’s e-commerce suite. The offering incorporated product content management and promotion with interaction functionality as click-to-chat, and order-tracking and management functions to the agent desktop.

Other new features in November 07 include on premise platform support; Microsoft Vista agent desktop support; enhancements to the analytics, feedback, workspace designer features and voice enhancements. The company also added support for 12 new languages, bringing its language capabilities support up to a total of 33 languages and dialects.

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