Right Now beefs up Web customer service application

www.nwfusion.com |  Software

BOZEMAN, MONT. -- Right Now Technologies last week gave its Web customer service application new modules to handle servicewarranty contracts, as well as support for online chat and phone callback requests.

Right Now Web 3.0 runs on a Unix or NT server and sits between a Web server and a database, such as Oracle, Microsoft SQL Server or the Linux-based MySQL.

The software can query these databases based on customer questions, which are entered via Web forms. Questions can also be answered by routing them to the appropriate manager or by sending the customer a frequently asked question (FAQ)-style information sheet.

The Right Now Contracts module offers custom reporting in addition to the existing preconfigured reports.

The module can also be used to administer service contracts, such as those for parts warranties, via the Web. For instance, Right Now Contracts can tell online customers that their free service warranties have expired, according to Right Now CEO Greg Gianforte. The module can also inform customers that a self-help FAQ list is always available for free even after the warranty has expired.

Right Now Contracts is shipping now.

Another module called Surveys, set to ship later this month, can be used to design online customer satisfaction surveys that can be sent out automatically.

In November, Right Now will ship a third module called Right Now Live, which will support chat or a Web-initiated phone callback request. "You'll just add a button to your main Web page, calling it whatever you like, such as 'online customer help,' " Gianforte says.

The Right Now Contracts and Surveys modules will cost around $10,000 each, on top of the base price of $19,500 for a two-year license for Right Now Web. Right Now Live has not been priced.

Xerox has been using Right Now Web to speed the response to reseller questions from around the world.

"One thing we've learned is we can't offer phone support around the clock in Europe and Asia," says Ken Corpus, Xerox engineer and technical support specialist. "And we needed something better than just e-mail to answer these questions."

Corpus says that by adding Right Now Web to the Xerox electronic commerce site the company was able to post searchable and "dynamic" FAQs that work better than static FAQs.

In November, Right Now plans to ship a software developers tool kit to link the Right Now Web application with e-commerce applications from Remedy and Vantive, among others.

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