RightNow August ’08 Release: Customer Portal, Widgets, Co-Browse and Proactive Chat

RightNow Technologies announced their latest release this week, RightNow August ’08, and it includes some very cool features that pay tribute to their B2C roots.  It is surprising how much new functionality and infrastructure this vendor continues to deliver with their challenging quarterly release cycle.  For a complete list of what’s included you can read the press release, but allow me to highlight the pieces I was most excited about.

  • New customer portal.  One of my criticisms of RightNow in the past had been that their customer sites tended to look very similar, and customizing the look/feel to differentiate your self-service site was difficult without consulting services.  Boy, that has changed.  The new customer portal includes a palette of AJAX widgets you can drop into your site, as well as the ability to build your own widgets.  With the high energy and involvement I always see from the RightNow customer community, I wouldn’t be surprised to find libraries of user created widgets available within the next year.
  • Co-Browse.  I have been writing about how the customer support and remote support markets need to consolidate, and I see this new product from RightNow as a positive step in that direction.  Leveraging an OEM of LiveLOOK, RightNow August ’08 includes an optional module for customer co-browse, allowing agents to establish a secure, proxy-based connection to a customer and see whatever they are seeing.  Though not a full remote control/remote support product, it does put agents in the driver’s seat to see what is going on with the customer and walk them through making changes to settings to dramatically improve talk time and first contact resolution.
  • Proactive Chat.  I absolutely love this feature, which allows support organizations to leverage their staff for the highest possible utilization….and improve customer satisfaction.  Proactive chat allows you to prompt online customers if they would like to join a chat session with an agent, transitioning a customer seamlessly from unassisted to assisted support.  A rule engine allows customers to be prompted based on time period (browsing your self-service site for longer than normal), number of searches (when it appears they are struggling to find what they need), by profile (in case you only want to prompt premium/platinum customers), or by agent availability (so you can prompt more customers for proactive chat when call volumes are low and agent availability is high).

Congratulations to RightNow for such a feature-rich quarterly release.  Great to see the original SaaS customer service vendor continue to add to their suite of agent and customer facing tools.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Please add a note or shoot me an email.  And as always, thanks for reading!

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3 Comments on “RightNow August ’08 Release: Customer Portal, Widgets, Co-Browse and Proactive Chat”

  1. John:

    RightNow’s new release looks very interesting and progressive. However, I did not see anything to facilitate leveraging the individual and collective insights of internal and external community members to perpetually evolve knowledge base content.

    Does this new release offer anything like this to help ensure editorially-controlled content with brand implications reflects the wisdom of the crowd?

    Thanks, Chuck

  2. jragsdale Says:

    Great question Chuck! RightNow looks to their strategic partner, Lithium, for their community platform. Lithium has the concept of collaborative content, or as they call it “Tribal Knowledge” (which I love), coming next year, and I forsee an integration that supports threaded discussions on RightNow content, with the ability to kickoff a publishing task with customer-driven updates. But I don’t think there will be an ‘out of box’ approach for some time.

  3. I know this post is old, but RightNow has really stepped up in the last couple years and especially in the May 2011 release and custom objects. As a RightNow systems integrator this makes my life so much easier.

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