RightNow urges more social customer experiences
Many large consumer brands are increasingly using social media technologies to provide customers with an exceptional experience, to listen to and respond to conversations on the social web, and to build branded communities to cultivate their own conversations, according to RightNow Technologies.
More than thirty of RightNow's clients are already using RightNow's own social experience systems to enable peer-to-peer support and drive product innovation by capturing their customers' best ideas.
For example, Blackboard, a provider of e-learning software and services, has begun using RightNow's software to run an online community that aims to build stronger connections with students and faculty at universities, community colleges, and government organisations. Blackboard Connections (which is powered by RightNow Support Community) provides a way to access e-learning software support, share expertise, and build peer-to-peer user groups and networks. Specifically, Blackboard's customers can:
- Connect with the customer service team for immediate support;
- Learn from their peers by connecting with other members working on similar projects;
- Access community resources about system management, training and course development;
- Build professional networks based on geography or interests.
According to Jan Poston Day, senior director of client engagement for Blackboard, the company is also capturing customer insights for product development. The online Blackboard Idea Exchange chooses customers to participate in surveys, focus groups, and feature reviews in order to influence Blackboard's future product plans. These customers can also beta test new releases and directly interact with the product development team during the process, ultimately strengthening both customer loyalty and buy-in (engagement).
At the same time, MySpace has announced plans to enhance its customers' online experience by adding a RightNow Support Community. The new online community aims to empower customers to share information through discussion forums, question and answer pairing, and various resource libraries, as well as to resolve problems more quickly and efficiently. MySpace will also use the 'RightNow Cloud Monitor' to gather, answer, and analyse all customer comments, questions and concerns posted on social networking web sites.
According to Tish Whitcraft, senior vice president of customer experience and operations for MySpace, the new community allows clients and partners to:
- Directly communicate with RightNow's own development team and other customers to discuss real case issues, potential solutions, and innovative product usage ideas;
- Collaborate with other customers and partners about implementation best practices;
- Find peers based on region, industry, and similar usage to share rich content or organise a user group;
- Submit ideas for product innovation and training.