You wouldn't expect consumers to all react the same when having a bad experience with a company, but the results of RightNow Technologies' second annual survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, conducted with Harris Interactive, may surprise you. According to the survey:
- Midwesterners are more likely to swear, feel their chest tighten or get a headache after a bad customer experience.
- Westerners are more likely to never return to a company or post a negative blog entry or online review after a bad customer experience.
- Southerners are more likely to register a complaint or tell others about their bad customer experience and are least likely to swear.
- Northeasterners are least likely to register a complaint, tell others or post a blog entry or online review after a bad customer experience.
In addition to the different regional reactions, the survey also found that 80 percent of respondents would not shop again with a company that delivered a negative experience, up from 68 percent the previous year. The biggest frustration--not being able to get a live person on the phone.
RightNow's survey was unveiled during the company's annual user conference and the availability of RightNow 8.2. The hosted, enterprise CRM service has taken the notion of customer feedback to a new level. The new version of RightNow includes a built-in "emotion detection" feature, SmartSense, which automatically measures how customers feel about a company via rating free-form, text-based communications, such as chats and email.
"If a company receives hundreds or thousands of emails, SmartSense can preview and rate the emails, from happy to angry, and determine if a customer is upset and adjust the workflow to better handle the problem," said RightNow CEO Greg Gianforte. "In addition, data can be aggregated to render an average or mean SmartSense indicator and compare how happy or angry clients are without having to read the text," he added.
Curse words as well as many other words--angry, bitter, frustrated, etc.--in the 21 languages supported by the software will set off alarms, and SmartSense can also use emoticons and typing patterns, such as all caps, to evaluate emotional states, Gianforte explained.
RightNow 8.2 has also added direct support for site maps, which makes it easier for search engines to spider content, such as instructions for fixing a problem with a product, and more scalable live chat. The company has 1,800 customers, mostly in larger enterprises, and expects to generate more than $100 million in revenue in 2007. However, the company expects a net loss per share in the range of $(0.70) to $(0.65) as it transitions from a perpetual licensing to a recurring revenue business model.