Business Rules: An overview

Business rules are powerful tools for simplifying and automating common business tasks. They link data from all RightNow CX products in the knowledge base, resulting in a responsive, consistent customer experience.

Business rules help you provide a consistent, accurate, and timely experience for customers while streamlining the efficiency of staff members. When the rules engine updates information automatically and immediately, your entire organization has access to a knowledge base that is accurate and current in every customer interaction.

When you create rules to answer routine customer questions, customers enjoy an immediate response. At the same time, staff members work more productively without the distraction of repetitive tasks. As a result, they can deliver more responsive customer service and follow-up

What is a business rule? A business rule is simply an “if-then” statement: If these conditions apply, then take this action. Business rules can also include an Else clause. If the conditions of the rule are not met, the Else clause specifies the action that should be taken.

How are rules organized? RightNow CX products have 8 rule types:

  • Contact
  • Organization
  • Task
  • Incident
  • Answer
  • Chat
  • Offer Advisor
  • Opportunity

Each of these sets of rules is a rule base. The entity to which a rule base applies (answer, incident, contact, chat, opportunity, organization, target, task) is known as the object type.

Every object type has its own rule base, and every rule base is separate from other rule bases. The contacts rule base processes only contacts, the organizations rule base processes only organizations, and so on.

How are rules processed? The rules engine is the software that processes the rules in a rule base. The rules engine begins processing when:

  • Staff members add or edit answers, contacts, incidents, opportunities, organizations, or tasks
  • Customers submit questions on the Ask a Question page
  • Customers update their contact records or incidents
  • Customers request chat sessions

The rules engine looks at every new or updated object and checks to see if the conditions of any rules are met. If a rule’s conditions are met, the action associated with that rule occurs.

Important: The rules engine is triggered when the contact (or other object) is updated, not when the rule base is updated. If you create or edit a rule, objects are not evaluated to see if they meet the conditions of the new or updated rule. Rules processing happens only when objects are added or updated.

Planning business rules: Before you begin creating rules for your organization, it is important to examine your business processes. Once you have a clear idea of the processes your organization uses, you can develop an effective method for applying business rules to automate these processes. Here are some essential steps to help you get started.

  • Identify and outline business processes
  • Develop a rules flowchart
  • Review functionality of rules
  • Create rules
  • Prioritize processes for applying rules
  • Verify and fine-tune rules

One thought on “Business Rules: An overview

  1. Hi, you say “The rules engine is triggered when the contact (or other object) is updated”… When do rules get triggered when theres a timed event say escalate an incident thats not closed aft 5 hrs of having created it… how or when is that rule triggered?

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