Its important to understand the potential of social networking and the customer experience as well as how these technologies can be harnessed to deliver on corporate objectives.
- 1. customer management November 2009RightNow Technologies Brings Social Into the Customer Experience by Chris Fletcher RightNow Technologies recently rolled out RightNow CX at its annual user summit in Colorado Springs. RightNow November 09 will tightly integrate social networking capabilities from HiveLive (acquired earlier this year) into the RightNow CX Platform, making it one of the few, if not the only, CRM application services with tightly integrated social networking capabilities. It will be offered via the cloud or as software as a service (SaaS). RightNow has more than 1,900 companies in B2C industries, including consumer goods, retail, high-tech, travel, public sector, and life sciences.RightNow extends CRMs scope, invokes can thus automatically be made part of that customers socialtransaction record and automatically forwarded to a call or chat center agent for resolution or action. RightNow CX is equal parts market repositioning and A complaint or comment about a companys service new technology. With RightNow CX and the integra- (witness the YouTube phenomenon United Breaks tion of HiveLive, the company is placing a big bet that GuitarsRightNow was kind enough to feature Enterprise 2.0/Web 2.0, including communities, blogs, singer/guitar victim Dave Carroll singing his hallmark wikis, and social networking, will play a major role in song at the summits keynote) can be caught, addressed redefining the customer experience. The company is by an agent (or by a chat, e-mail, or Twitter response), also moving its market positioning away from general and hopefully turned into a positive experience. It also CRM (which, in fairness, was never a great description provides a single knowledge base so a customer receives of its capabilities) and focusing its message on provid- consistent answers on all the interaction channels. ing multi-channel and social-network-based customer support for consumer-centric industries. RightNow Social networking can also change the way a company calls RightNow CX the customer experience product.interacts with its customersfor example by encourag- ing customers to submit suggestions for future product The technology includes RightNow Web Experience features and enhancements. HiveLive reported that (web self-service, chat, e-mail management, and mobility), RightNow Social Experience (supportone of its high-tech customers gets more than 50% and innovation communities based on wikis, blogs, of its feature, function, and enhancement ideas from social networking apps, and cloud monitoring), andits customer-led Innovation Community. Its this type RightNow Contact Center Experience (phone and combinationtraditional CRM and contact center multi-channel support, case management, agent functions with social networking and community scripting, and workflow). All of these experience capabilitythat makes RightNow CX unique. capabilities are based on and tightly integrated with the RightNow CX Platform. Social: Redefining the scope of CRM RightNow CX is unique in providing a single customerRightNow is making a big bet on social networking, information and directory for all application services. using this rapidly growing phenomenon and the acqui- A product inquiry made through a social community sition of HiveLive to rebrand itself on the customer Customer Management | November 20092009 AMR Research, Inc. 1
2. experience. Social networking has already changed the Enterprise 2.0 platforms like Atlassian, Jive Software, way customers interact with their providers and eachLithium, and Socialtext, to open source products like other. If RightNow can deliver the announced capa-TWiki, to 2.0 enhanced collaboration and content bilities for November 09 on schedule, it would be themanagement platforms from the likes of Microsoft, only prominent CRM or customer experience vendorIBM Lotus, Open Text, Google, and Oracle, to with a tightly integrated social networking platform. external services like Facebook and Twitter. But none And its a good bet that the customer experience will of them are intended specifically to provide CRM mesh with social computing and Enterprise 2.0 efforts.functionality. When asked about the business issues driving theirWhile several CRM vendors (Microsoft, NetSuite, companies use of Enterprise 2.0, 57% of respondentsOracle, SAP, and salesforce.com, for example) have to an AMR Research survey conducted last year cited announced integration with third-party social network- customer-facing objectives, including improving cus-ing tools, deep integration at a foundational directory tomer service and support, supporting sales efforts, or level is mostly lacking, at least without custom develop- improving corporate PR and communications.ment and integration. This limits a companys ability to Meanwhile, the social networking marketplacebuild a central customer data repository, provide agents comprises more than 100 providers, ranging from and support employees with a single source of customerFigure 1: Business issues driving use of Enterprise 2.0 Improving customer service 22%and support Improving corporate communications, 22% PR, or reputation Improving information worker 14% productivity or knowledge managementImproving business intelligence and decision support13% Supporting or enhancing sales e orts13% Improving R&D 7% Improving sourcing and procurement processes 4%Improving governance, 4% risk management, and compliance Supporting nancial processes1%Other1% 25%Q: Which of the following business issues is driving your company most toward the adoption of Enterprise 2.0 tools and technologies?Percentage of responses, total respondentsn=200 Source: AMR Research, 20092 2009 AMR Research, Inc. Customer Management | November 2009 3. transactions, deliver complete and accurate analytics,The bottom line and make social-network-based interactions involv- Its important to understand the potential of social ing the company or its products an integral part of the networking and the customer experience as well as how customer support and service experience. these technologies can be harnessed to deliver on cor- On the other hand, with the plethora of Enterprise 2.0porate objectives. B2C companies in consumer goods, and social networking products, platforms, and tools, retail, life science, healthcare, and high tech, in particu- which are all too readily and freely available to users lar, must treat social networking as more than a short- already, many IT groups are concerned about out-of- term phenomenon and develop plans to integrate this control proliferation. Should marketing, sales, and new channel into its CRMor, if you prefer, customer service have their own dedicated platform for social experiencestrategy. CRM, while the rest of the organization standard- izes on a platform like SharePoint from Microsoft orBecause success in CRM, customer experience, and Connections from IBM for general-purpose knowledgesocial networking is heavily dependent on align- management and collaboration? ment with company business objectives (something The social customer experience warrants a specialized RightNow founder Greg Gianforte has stressed for system for now, but one thats based on standards and years), its imperative this strategy involves more than is open to integration with adjacent systems. Socialjust a technology rollout. A complete customer experi- CRM has a dedicated purpose and requires tightence strategy must also include input from stakeholders integration with business applications and data, so the in customer support and service, product development business case for a focused customer experience suite and product planning, as well as sales, marketing, and versus general-purpose social platforms is compelling.PR. Theyll all feel the impact. Customer Management | November 20092009 AMR Research, Inc. 3