Monthly Archives: May 2015

Your Suggested Updates: Merge Variables & More Buttons

YouAsked

You guys are awesome! We’ve received a few suggestions from some of you recently to make Zingtree even more useful. These are now live.

Here’s what we heard:

  • Increase the number of buttons per node”.  Done.  Is 30 buttons enough?
  • “Allow us to add merge variables to a node”.  Done. You can now pass in merge values for the title, content, question or button text.  For example, a software company wanted to pass in the latest version number into a troubleshooter tree, without having to change the tree each time. Mission accomplished by just adding a couple of parameters to the end of the URL.

Here’s a quick primer on adding merge variables:

  1. Edit a node, and insert text like “#NAME#”, “#VERSION#’ anywhere into the node where you want to substitute a variable.
  2. Pass the name of the variables, and their corresponding values, into the URL for hosting or deploying your tree.  Separate the variables with a | character. Just add a string like this to the end of the Zingtree hosted URL or within the embed code:
    &variables=NAME|VERSION&values=Joe+Smith|54.0


More information:

Introducing Zingtree “Panels” Style

Updates2

We don’t live in a bubble. Our team is constantly looking for web sites that spent a lot of money (and time) to custom code something similar to our Zingtree interactive decision tree, and we’ve seen a different style of user interface that we like, and we think you might too. So we adopted it as an option, which we call the Panels style.  It looks like this:

You can choose between the traditional Buttons style, or the new Panels style, when you deploy your tree. You can also try any of our Gallery trees in Panels or Buttons style.

In case you are new here, here’s how the Buttons style looks:

Plus, you can even use your own CSS to redefine the standard colors, fonts and spacing used in the Panels style – just go to the Settings for your tree.  (You can also change the default preview style from this screen as well.)

As we mentioned, this new Panel style is great for long answers. Hopefully you’ll enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed creating it for you. Let us know what you think and how you use this format!

Best Training Strategies for Customer Facing Agents – Pt. 2

ZingtreeTraining

In this two-part series, our friends at Impact Learning, share their top strategies for customer service agents. They provide fantastic guidance in their blog and improvements for sales, service and support staff.

Often times, when customers are calling into your contact center, it is likely because they require technical assistance, can’t find an easy answer to their question, or your system has prompted them to do so in order to complete a transaction. No matter the reasons why a customer chooses to reach out to you, it’s important that each customer facing agent is professional, knowledgeable, courteous, and can offer expedited assistance.

If you are using technology that gives customer facing agents an edge over your competitors who aren’t, let’s review a few training tips to take your customer service from good to great.

  • Be Courteous. The push-pull of a profitable contact center requires agents to quickly resolve a customer’s issue while also remaining polite and courteous. Training agents in how to be polite and efficient is a practiced skill. As more customers demand personalized care, agent training that teaches manners and personalization techniques will be favorably rewarded with customer loyalty.
  • Give departmental knowledge. Don’t make your customers suffer because your agents haven’t been adequately trained on which department can better service the customer. Before an agent is allowed to work with customers, he or she needs to be broadly aware of the functions and roles of the other customer-serving departments. The next step is to ensure proper training in how to efficiently patch a customer through to the right person or department. This is where the need for an omni-channel strategy comes in. You can probably see how frustrating it is for customers to start with one agent, get transferred to another, but have to start over at the beginning because your software doesn’t track a customer through different media channels or departments.

As with all training programs, they should be relevant, easy to absorb, and appropriate to the learner. Making training tools available for various types of learners is important if what is being taught is to be incorporated into the workplace.

Customer facing agents are under a lot of stress and pressure but a good training program that is ongoing pays off in that employees are more satisfied in their jobs, which ultimately translates to more satisfied customers.

Don’t forget to read our Part 1 of the Training Strategies Series for more tips on how to educate the best customer service reps and agents!

Update: Default Subject, Message Body in Email Nodes

One of our customers asked us if we were able to pre-populate the subject and message when an end-user submits an email form via Zingtree.  And today, it’s now a new feature.

This is obviously very handy, as it makes less work for your web site visitors when you want them to email you.

Do you have a feature request? Let us know via our feedback form.

In 1492, Columbus Sailed the Ocean Blue…

Sometimes the best place to start is by example. We love creating and sharing Zingtree templates. If you haven’t visited the Gallery yet then make sure to make your way there now. We’ve culled some of our favorite Zingtrees for you to use as a template for an interactive decision tree of your own. And of course, we’re always welcome to see your creations and let you share them with other Zingtree users.

Recently, Zingtree user Peter, created this amazing interactive Choose-Your-Own-Adventure tree following the pathway of Christopher Columbus. It’s super fun and very informative. See how far you get to America, and feel free to make your own, simply “Copy” and customize for your own adventure Zingtree. Don’t forget to add yours to the Gallery!

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.32.10 PM

Mobile & Tablet Stats

Today I was wondering how much people on mobile phones used Zingtree troubleshooters.  So we ran some stats on our usage data, and here’s what we found:

Mac 11%
Mobile (iOS and Android) 21%
Unix 1%
Windows 64%
Other 4%

We’ve always thought that Zingtrees are particularly helpful for mobile users (since I for one hate typing on my phone). And now we have evidence that mobile/tablet users are a significant part of your potential customer base.

Are you making Zingtrees specifically for helping mobile users? Let us know!

 

 

Best Training Strategies for Customer Facing Agents – Pt. 1

ZingtreeTraining

In this two-part series, our friends at Impact Learning, share their top strategies for customer service agents. They provide fantastic guidance in their blog and improvements for sales, service and support staff.

Often times, when customers are calling into your contact center, it is likely because they require technical assistance, can’t find an easy answer to their question, or your system has prompted them to do so in order to complete a transaction. No matter the reasons why a customer chooses to reach out to you, it’s important that each customer facing agent is professional, knowledgeable, courteous, and can offer expedited assistance.

Training targeted specifically to areas of competency, efficiency and customer service best practices are all requirements to delivering excellent customer care. Training alone is not enough to account for consistent customer service delivery; the software that customer facing agents rely on is equally important. The technology surrounding CRM platforms is evolving and nowadays it is easier to stay nimble thanks to cloud technology. Another big change in software is the analytic capabilities that allow companies to incorporate some pretty nifty features such as customized scripts and persistent ticket tracking. CRM software that allows agents to quickly access shipping and billing information and can pull data about a customer across your communication channels also allows for better customer experiences.

If you are running software that gives customer facing agents an edge over your competitors who aren’t, let’s review a few training tips to take your customer service from good to great.

  • Knowledge is power. Customers are coming to you with a lot of product awareness but they still expect your company representative to be the expert. Customer facing agents should be trained about all the products and services they are responsible for representing, in addition to knowing where to quickly send a customer if s/he requires help or service from another department. Beyond product knowledge, training should also be comprehensive regarding the software/hardware platforms the agent is working with.
  • Professionalism matters. Training customer facing agents how to handle frustrated and irate customers is key for employee morale and lower turnover. If agents aren’t fully and properly trained in working with upset customers, you can plan on a revolving door in your contact center. That just means a strain on your bottom line! Customer facing agents who can remain professional, even when tested, will reflect well on your company. It is too easy for conversations that go off-track to go viral on social media sites, creating a public relations nightmare for your company. Training agents to remain professional whenever they’re representing your company should be on-going as there is always room for improvement.

Tune in next week for Part Two, and get more insight on training agents!