RightNow Combines Customer Service, E-Mail Marketing

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RightNow Technologies is expected to announce today a new version of its customer relationship management software that allows businesses to better integrate customer service with e-mail marketing.

The Bozeman, MT, company's RightNow CRM 7.0 includes a new feature that can trigger e-mail marketing messages in response to customer service inquiries. For example, a customer calling a toy company's customer service department could trigger an e-mail with offers for similar toys.

"There's all this market intelligence locked away in customer service," said Greg Gianforte, CEO of RightNow. "Now, it is truly multichannel, multi-event management."

Another feature of RightNow CRM 7.0, Offer Advisor, suggests marketing pitches for customer service agents at the conclusion of service.

Gianforte said the tool is part of RightNow's quest to link businesses' disparate customer information so it can be accessed.

He said most people come in contact with a business through customer service, and those communications have not been used as invitations to develop relationships beyond fixing the immediate problem.

RightNow CRM 7.0 has applications for service, sales and marketing. The marketing module has a graphical campaign design tool to make it easier for marketers to design and implement e-mail campaigns. It also tracks campaigns for costs and lead generation, producing a cost-per-lead calculation. Another new feature is the ability to create Web forms for registrations, customer profile administration and other lead-capture applications.

RightNow CRM 7.0 is expected to be available in the fourth quarter.

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