RightNow powers Obama's Answer Center

As Illinois Sen. Barack Obama's presidential campaign steamrolls toward the Wisconsin Democratic primary, more people might check out the 'Answer Center,' a database of questions and answers on the candidate's web site that is powered by RightNow Technologies' customer relationship management applications.

Like many politicians and political candidates, the Obama campaign is using the Internet and other web-based technologies to engage voters and stay in touch with constituents.

Since going live in April 2007, 1.3 million people have accessed or used either the Answer Center or Online Invitation solutions on the Obama web site, said Colin Jones, RightNow's senior account executive for the public sector.

Visitors to the Answer Center can search questions and answers by category including general, feedback, policy, scheduling/invitation or volunteering. If they cannot find answers to their questions, they can click on a link and suggest new questions.

The Obama campaign is using RightNow's service solution, which contains a self-learning knowledge base that uses artificial intelligence technology to learn how users and contact center staff search for information and automatically applies that insight to make it easier for them to find what they're looking for, Jones said.

RightNow users can build content based on the questions their customers actually ask. In addition, they can stamp content with a "freshness date," so experts can periodically review the subjects to make sure it stays accurate and up to date.

'Once the knowledge base is up and running there's not a lot [users have] to do' to maintain it, Jones said. The knowledge base lets a campaign staff focus on marketing their candidate, he added.

About the Author

Rutrell Yasin is is a freelance technology writer for GCN.

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