USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service Virtual Representative, Ask Karen, Expands Interaction Channels with RightNow Mobile

Published on July 12, 2011 in Internet, Technology


FSIS Puts Premium on Exceptional Citizen Services that Comply with April 27 Executive Order

RESTON, Va. (July 12, 2011) – RightNow (NASDAQ: RNOW) today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) has implemented RightNow Mobile to enable its new Mobile Ask Karen application. Powered by RightNow CX, the customer experience suite, this web-based Smartphone application instantly answers food safety questions on the go, providing citizens with the same great experience via mobile devices as is received on web, chat, email and phone channels. The service is a mobile version of the existing Ask Karen site, a virtual food safety representative that offers advice about properly handling, storing and preparing food to prevent illness.

FSIS, the public health agency in the USDA responsible for ensuring that the nation’s commercial supply of meat, poultry and egg products is safe, wholesome, and correctly labeled and packaged, has been a RightNow customer since 2006. With RightNow CX, FSIS has improved email communication and response times, while capturing important feedback to improve information sharing. Notably, in the first few months of its original CX implementation, on average, 90 percent of all inbound requests that came through “Ask Karen” were answered via self-service.

RightNow Helps FSIS Answer Citizens Most Pressing Food Safety Questions on the Go

FSIS implemented Mobile Ask Karen to make food safety information more accessible. Whether accessed from a desktop, laptop or mobile device, Ask Karen taps into a common knowledgebase, powered by RightNow. Citizens can search for nearly 1,500 answers by topic or by product, chat with a live representative, or send an e-mail

To start using Mobile Ask Karen now, go to on your phone’s browser.

“Mobile devices are a ubiquitous aspect of modern life; people utilize Smartphones to find information quickly and easily. As such, we have expanded the agency’s communication tools to provide food safety information via a variety of mobile devices. Now, people can access Ask Karen from anywhere and at anytime for important information, including food safety, preparation and recall updates.”

Kim Taylor, Director, Web Services, FSIS

“In our work with FSIS, we have been impressed with the agency’s ability to create unique solutions to offer U.S. citizens access to important food safety information. RightNow understands the service imperative that the Federal government faces and we are pleased to see FSIS’s dedication to providing a transparent citizen experience.”

Kevin Paschuck, Vice President, Public Sector, RightNow

Federal Government Agency Provides Streamlined Service Delivery and Exceptional Customer Service

FSIS puts a premium on providing exceptional customer service, a strategy that the Obama Administration has promoted. In fact, President Obama’s newest Executive Order, released on April 27, 2011, Streamlining Service Delivery and Improving Customer Service, addresses this very topic. President Obama’s plan to improve Federal government customer service outlines the need for agencies to apply private sector best practices in the delivery of timely, efficient and lower-cost citizen services. FSIS is a prime example of an agency that has already implemented many best practices to provide increased transparency between the agency and the public. These include:

  • Mobile: Consumer use of the mobile web and mobile devices is ramping fast, with Smartphones delivering an internet experience approaching that of a PC. Staying ahead of the curve, RightNow Mobile lets FSIS extend its customer experience and leverage the capabilities and interaction patterns of the latest generation of mobile devices, such as touch screens.
  • Web Self-Service: With the RightNow Web Self-Service solution, consumers can find the information they need anywhere, anytime, without the need for agent assistance. Web self-service automatically learns and adapts to inquiries, delivering the most frequently viewed content first and suggesting related answers to citizen questions. By empowering consumers to self-serve at their convenience, agencies can fulfill the Executive Order requirement to streamline processes, reduce costs and accelerate service delivery, while reducing the need for calls and emails.
  • Chat: FSIS uses live chat to connect with consumers directly over the Internet. RightNow Chat bridges the gap between web self-service and phone-based interactions. It provides a way to engage consumers immediately when they have problems solving their own customer service issue. Consumers who engage with a customer service agent through interactive chat while on an agency’s website have increased customer satisfaction rates. Notably, this capability addresses another component of President Obama’s order to identify ways to use innovative technologies to lower costs, decrease service delivery times and improve the customer experience.
  • Citizen Feedback: RightNow Feedback helps FSIS capture the voice of its constituents at every stage to drive continuous improvements. The RightNow CX built-in survey mechanism provides timely, relevant feedback from consumers at the time of the interaction. This simple tool specifically meets the Executive Order point to establish methods to solicit customer feedback on government services and to use that feedback to make service improvements.

Learn more about how RightNow can help Federal agencies implement a program to address the April Executive Order here.

About RightNow Technologies

RightNow is helping rid the world of bad experiences one interaction at a time, eight million times a day. A leader in bringing the Cloud delivery model to government, RightNow has successfully served the U.S. government for more than ten years. RightNow CX, the customer experience suite, helps agencies deliver exceptional customer experiences across the web, social networks and contact centers, all delivered via the secure government cloud. With RightNow, agencies are able to drive citizen engagement, reduce the cost of operations and increase information transparency within the secure government cloud.

Over 170 government agencies including nearly every U.S. cabinet level agency, Army, Marines, Air Force, members of the Intelligence Community, and DoD, rely on RightNow’s cloud based solutions to answer the call for better citizen service

RightNow is a registered trademark of RightNow Technologies, Inc. NASDAQ is a registered trademark of the NASDAQ Stock Market.


Source: RightNow Technologies

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