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Better customer service Natural language processing specialist Q-go was just acquired by RightNow Technologies for $34M. RightNow handles customer service for companies: It operates customer support centers and can handle every interaction with customers via company websites, email, mobile apps, support communities and social media.

Many web sites only recognize keywords in searches or provide static FAQs (frequently asked questions). But Q-go’s research shows that 70-80 percent of customers use more than two words in a query and 70 percent are unable to find what they are looking for.

Q-go’s technology recognizes the meaning and intention of a question rather than just matching words. For example, “How do I cancel my subscription?” can mean the same as “I want to close my account.” By matching all versions of the same question with the correct answer, Q-go reduces customer support costs. Instead of having frustrated customers forced to contact a call center (this costs $4-10 per call) or send a customer support email ($13-20 per customer including follow-up mails), they receive the correct answer immediately via the web site.

Q-go can also identity gaps in the answers a company is providing to customers’ questions. It’s easy to see how RightNow could take Q-go’s natural language search beyond the web site into email or social media interactions.

Q-go operates on a SaaS (software as a service) business model and supports all major Western languages. Major customers include banks, telecommunications companies and airlines. These are among the industries most notorious for providing bad customer service, so they could use all the help they can get.

Q-go was founded in 1999 and is based in Amsterdam.

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