• January 11, 2010
  • By Koa Beck, Editorial Assistant, CRM magazine

CEO Greg Gianforte Delivers Keynote at RightNow Summit '10

COLORADO SPRINGS -- Greg Gianforte, CEO of RightNow Technologies, delivered a keynote at the RightNow Summit ‘10 addressing RightNow's growth of the past year, the importance of customer experience, and findings from the RightNow Customer Experience Report North America 2010. Gianforte also announced that Wayne Houyard will assume the role of COO of RightNow Technologies and Susan Cartsensen, the former COO, will become the senior vice president of customer service.

Gianforte said that RightNow Technoligies is currently the fastest growing cloud application business in the industry with eight million customer interactions everyday. He reminded the audience that a year ago he spoke about, "rid[ding]  the world of bad experiences," the focus mission of products like  CX solution, CX commitment, and CX community.

"The number one thing that executives want to talk about is how we deliver better customer experience because its critical that we keep the customers we have and leverage those relationships to attract new customers. We have seen a huge acceleration in our business...We have seen a 3X increase in our top line growth rate in the last year, going from seven percent year over year growth in the first half of ‘09 to 27 percent in the first half of this year," said Gianforte.

He added that profits are up 28% for this same period, giving RightNow the resources to reinvest and keep up with the "accelerated pace of change in the industry."

"I founded this business about 13 years ago and I can honestly say that I have never been more excited about the opportunities we have in front of us then we have today. The feedback we're getting from clients, the convergence of the mega trends in the marketplace, the importance of the consumer -- it's all coming together and we feel like we have built a unique capability in partnership with you to conquer this challenge," said Gianforte.

Gianforte spoke extensively about the findings of the RightNow Customer Experience Report North America 2010.

Highlights from the report include:

  • 55 percent of customers became a customer of a company because of their reputation for great service
  • 40 percent of consumers began purchasing from a competitive brand simply because of their reputation for great customer service
  • 85 percent of consumers said they would be willing to pay more over the standard price in order to ensure a superior customer experience
  • 79 percent of consumers that had a negative experience with a company told others about it
  • 58 percent of respondents would like the company to respond if they left a comment on a social networking site but only 22 percent of consumers who left a comment on a social networking site got a response from the company

"Half of the consumer we talked to switched brands solely because of the reputation of that other brand. This is an interesting finding because now it's not just based on personal experience, it's what friends and networks and reviews online say about companies that determine purchase behavior," Gianforte observed.

Gianforte stressed that attention to customer experience should be a top priority for all businesses:

"The customer experience is the number one business imperative in any high volume consumer business really in any organization that has lots of constituents. It doesn't matter if you're supporting consumer electronic customers or students who come to a university or students who are thinking about coming to your university or soldiers or airman within the military. It's all the same. We're all consumers and we transpose our experiences with all the firms that provide services to us. Customer experience determines whether or not consumers are going to buy from us, what they're going to say about us publicly, and also what price they're willing to pay," he elaborated.

Gianforte outlined ways to take this initiative with his "Six Points of Action" :

  • Go mobile
  • Get on Facebook
  • Tweet with your customers
  • Create community
  • Innovoate
  • Pull the plug on land agent desktop

"We shouldn't do this just because we're scared of losing customers. We got to do this because we have an opportunity to drive top line revenues and increase profits," Gianforte concluded.

You may leave a public comment regarding this article by clicking on "Comments" below.

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