RightNow Focuses on Customers

RightNow's eService Center enables solid self-help, but administration isn't easy.

If your main concern is providing a customer self-service application, it stands to reason that you would want very good usability on the customer side. And this is the area where eWeek Labs found the main strength of RightNow Technologies Inc.s eService Center, which provides a customer self-service interface that not only makes it easy to find answers but also to manage responses and updates to information.

Using eService Centers intuitive browser-based interface, users can ask questions, search for answers, provide feedback on the quality of the answers, receive updates and even build a personalized support page (see screen).

However, although users benefit from a great interface, the support people who will be using eService Center are not so fortunate. The browser-based management interface for eService Center is needlessly complex, especially in comparison with the management interface of competing products, such as KnowledgeBase Solutions Inc.s KnowledgeBase.net (see Labs Case Study). Many tasks require multiple steps that arent always intuitive, and when it comes to top-level administration tasks, the interface gets even more complex.

Nevertheless, once we had gotten used to some of the inconsistencies of the interface, we were able to work effectively in it. And given that the main audience for self- service applications is customers, the excellent self-service interface in eService Center makes it worth a look for any company interested in providing a self-service solution.

Pricing for eService Center is based on capacity needs and is the same for hosted and enterprise solutions. A typical range for a two-year license is $35,000 to more than $100,000, and costs can reach seven figures for large, multisite implementations.