Monthly Archives: April 2016

Sending and Receiving Data from Decision Trees with Webhooks

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Our larger corporate clients have asked us for a way to be able to exchange Zingtree data with other applications. Some customers want to send data from a Zingtree session to another application, or include data from another application in Zingtree.

Zingtree’s data exchange feature make use of Webhooks with JSON formatted data. (A lot of the tools we utilize work the same way.)

Example

To demonstrate how to send and receive data from your decision trees, we will walk through how to build a simple tree that asks for a USA zip code, and then shows the city and state for that zip code inside the tree.

Try this demo tree in the Zingtree Gallery here.

We will send data to a custom webhook we built, which takes a parameter of a zip code. It returns a JSON structure with the city and state info.  Here’s an example of the webhook in use:

http://zingtree.com/apps/webhook/filters/zippopotamus.php?zip=94960

If you click the link above, you’ll see these results:

{"zip":"94960","state":"California","state_abbreviation":"CA","city":"San Anselmo"}

The PHP source code for the webhook URL is here.

The variables #city#, #state# and #state_abbreviation# will now be usable by Zingtree. So to show the city, just enter #city# into the content area of any node.

Process

Here’s a summary of how this works:

  1. Add the webhook to your organization’s apps.
  2. Include a call to the webhook in a node. When the node is visited, the call is executed.
  3. Any JSON variables returned by the call become Zingtree variables.

Adding the Webhook:

  1. Go to Account > My Apps.
  2. Click the Webhook button under My Apps.
  3. Enter a name for the webhook, and the URL as shown:The URL is:
     http://zingtree.com/apps/webhook/filters/zippopotamus.php?zip=#zip#

    #zip# will receive the zip code variable entered by the end-user.

  4. Click Add Webhook. This makes the hook available to your trees.

Calling the Webhook when a node is visited:

  1. Go to Overview, and edit the node you want to trigger the webhook call.
  2. Under Send Message To, select Webhook: Zip Lookup.

Adding Security/Authorization

You can add an extra layer of security to your webhooks by passing an authorization token into the URL that launches your tree. The token is passed back to the webhook URL in the HTTP header.

To send the authorization token MYTOKEN, add this to the URL that launches the tree:

&auth_token=MYTOKEN

To check the token in your webhook, look at the X-Auth-Token value in the HTTP header.

Please note: The auth_token remains the same for the entire tree session.

Credits

The demo uses the free zippopotam.us postal code lookup service.


Any questions? We’re here to help – please reach out at any time via the feedback page or the orange chat window at the bottom right of our homepage.

How to Print Out Your Decision Trees

We created Zingtree to be a powerful, interactive tool to be used to help navigate users through a complicated process. We also understand that sometimes a physical, tangible copy of that decision tree can be just as useful, if not more so depending on your specific needs.

After building your perfect decision tree, teachers, marketers, contact centers and support staff can all benefit from the ability to convert that digitized flowchart into something that anyone can easily flip through and understand. For these reasons, we made it simple to print out your Zingtrees straight from the platform itself!

How to print your decision trees:

1. Sign in and select My Trees, then pick the tree you wish to print out.

2. From the menu shown below and on your Zingtree account, click Print.

3. On the right hand side, select the style you wish your decision tree to be displayed in when printed – you can choose either Panels or Buttons.

4. Click the Print Tree button above your style selection. The print window will appear, along with a preview of what your printed decision tree will look like.

5. When you’re ready, select Print – your full decision tree will be translated perfectly into physical form.

Need more help? Just ask our resident decision tree experts!

4 Unexpected Ways to Personalize Decision Trees

Anyone with a Zingtree account can make a decision tree (trust us, we designed it to be simple!), but it takes a certain level of commitment to your trees and your organizational needs to take things just a little bit further.

Customization is one of our strong points; we understand the importance of creating an extension of your brand within the decision trees you build. For that reason, we made it as easy as possible to personalize troubleshooters, FAQ’s, scripts and more in a few fun, helpful ways.

1. Images

Visuals can often go over-looked when it comes to more technical use-cases. In fact, around 65% of people are “visual learners” — appeal to the majority! Including how-to’s and other types of images into your decision trees can help your users understand what you’re trying to convey as well as beautify the whole process.

2. GIFs

Images that can actually move are incredibly useful for describing specific steps, pointing out where one needs to click to on your website, and even injecting a bit of personality into decision trees. Inserting GIFs in your trees can help customers understand and absorb much more easily than a general, text-heavy explanation.

3. Icons

Small, yet mighty tools of design, icons are just another way to customize your decision trees’ look and feel. Zingtree taps into the amazing power of FontAwesome, so you can add the icons you want just by inserting the proper HTML. For example, to add a little car icon to a button, just insert this code into the button text:

<i class=”fa fa-car”></i>

4. Custom CSS

For everything else and then some, upload your own custom CSS file to our platform, or download our simple CSS file. You can use Zingtree styling to modify every element to your liking —  tweak everything from colors and icons (mentioned above), to logos and fonts.

Looking for more great ways to build your decision trees? View our blog for inspiration, ideas and more.

Infographic: How People Use Zingtree Decision Trees

Below is a brand new infographic we created for our customers. We wanted to share how others are using Zingtree decision trees. If you’ve spent any time with Zingtree you’ll find it interesting.

Since sprouting in late 2013, we’ve helped over 7,500 organizations everywhere engage with customers, streamline support and business processes, build powerful sales funnels and more.

There’s a virtual forest of Zingtrees out there, and it’s growing every day. Have you planted your tree yet?

The Most Common Customer Service Mistakes

Customer service is less of an exact science than its own art form — it takes a lot of careful thinking, patience and a natural finesse to pull off in a fun, fruitful way. When done well, customer service can benefit your business or organization in ways you can’t even imagine!

There are a lot of companies out there today making similar support mistakes; the biggest ones being that they haven’t yet moved to find a solution. Here are some of the most commonly found issues in customer service today.

1. Making it difficult to reach you.

One of the worst possible things you can do as a company is make it hard to get in contact with customer support; trust us, we’ve seen our fair share of websites and services that will make you jump through digital hoops to receive any kind of response from a person.

Perhaps the most important thing to do as a company working with customers is to provide a clear path of contact from anywhere on your website, support articles, marketing communications and more. Find your customers’ preferred contact method — whether it be email, chat and/or phone support — and work to provide it to them well.

2. Speaking negatively, or being difficult.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 1.55.11 PMSupport representatives are the front-lines of any customer interaction, whether you are using phone, email or chat support. Employing agents who are prone to negativity and inflexibility don’t appear to be helpful to the customer and are extremely likely to leave the customer feeling dissatisfied.

Scripting solutions for representatives is a great way to build a custom, yet standardized, script that agents can follow along with during customer communications. Zingtree Agent Scripting allows you to see each session by agent, receive in-depth performance summaries and more.

3. Improperly training agents.

At the end of the day, an improperly trained support representative will likely encapsulate one or more of the mistakes listed above. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to take the necessary steps to properly train agents on standardized processes and correct etiquette, as well as empowering them to make decisions that will put customers first.

Adopting decision trees for training support employees on specific best practices, along with integrating scripting solutions, is the perfect way to get the most (and best) out of agents. You can check out the Zingtree Gallery for training decision tree examples to copy, and draw inspiration from.

4. Using out-dated support systems.

Assuming that your customers don’t care about the methods of receiving answers is always a mistake. The customer’s perceived experience will often set the tone for how they feel about your company as a whole, and so it’s important to keep up when it comes to your customer support platforms.

Companies that integrate interactive troubleshooters, FAQs and more into their support processes have seen a 20% overall reduction in support costs on average, simply through making it easy to provide help across a variety of topics. This, in turn, helps to cultivate happy, long-term customers.


Ready to improve your customer support process? Get started with Zingtree support solutions today.

Zingtree Agent Portal for Contact Centers

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Many of our Call Center customers have asked for a simple, standalone way for their agents to access interactive Zingtree scripts from their browser. To that end, we have created the Zingtree Agent Portal.

Overview

The Agent Portal is a one-stop location for your agents to access all of the scripts in your organization. Here’s how it looks:

When your agents click on a script name, their interactive script appears like this:

Accessing the Agent Portal

Everyone who wants access to the Zingtree Agent Portal for your organization needs to log in from zingtree.com. You can set up logins for all your agents, and use your own Zingtree account to gain access as well.

The first step is to add yourself as an agent:

  1. Log into your Zingtree account.
  2. Go to Account > My Agents.
  3. Click Add Myself as an Agent. Your name and login appears in the list of agents:

  4. Click Go to Agent Portal.

That’s it. You’re in!

Adding Agents to the Agent Portal

Once you’re happy with how the portal is working, you can give others access.

  1. Go to Account > My Agents.
  2. Click Add One New Agent. The Add Agent form appears:
  3. Enter the agent’s info, then click Create Agent.

You can also add multiple agents in bulk by using the Add Multiple Agents option in step 2 above. It looks like this:

Features of the Agent Portal

Besides the self-explanatory Back, Start again with this Customer, and Finished with this Customer, there are a few other goodies your agents will appreciate.

History

Agents can see all the steps they took with the customer by clicking the + icon next to History.

The ‘A’ button at the upper right makes just the answers appear.

Agent Feedback

If an agent sees a problem with a node in your script, they can send feedback directly to the tree’s authors using this button at the lower right of the screen:

Shrink Headers

For a more compressed view, have agents use the  button at the top right.

Inserting Agent Info into Scripts

You can personalize your scripts for each agent. When creating your tree, use these placeholders:

#agent_name# – inserts the name of the Agent into the script.

#agent# – inserts the Agent’s login into the script.

Hiding Scripts from Agent View

While you’re developing scripts, you may want to keep them out of the Agent Portal until they are ready and approved.  You can hide scripts as follows:

  1. Go to the tree you want to hide from the My Trees page.
  2. Go to the Settings tool.
  3. Select Hide from Agent Portal View.

 

How to Get Great Data: Framing Quantitative Questions

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Services like Zingtree offer powerful, interactive tools for gathering data, but the programming behind the system you build with those tools is only half of what you need.

It takes an extremely well-thought-out and well-written flow of questions in order to gather great data correctly. How you write the questions presented in your decision tree or survey directly affects the data you receive, including its accurateness and effectiveness.

About Quantitative Questions

Decision tree questions that take a quantitative approach are;

  • Completely closed-ended
  • Generally very simple to select an answer for
  • Ideal if you are looking to collect hard stats or data in numbers

Do your customers think the product/service you offer is amazing, or just alright? Would they like it more if you charged less, or offered something additional? Quantitative questions will garner answers that provide you with objective data to make your business even better.

Zingtree also includes a distinctive scoring functionality, so you can build a sophisticated system that assigns numeric values to corresponding answer selections that you’ve predetermined — this allows for quick measurement and objective comparison.

Structuring Quantitative Questions

Quantitative questions follow a fairly standard format, typically starting with a “how” or “what” in order to gather information. Some very common ways to begin structuring your questions include:

  • What is/are…?
  • How many/much…?
  • What percentage…?
  • How often…?
  • To what extent…?

Because Zingtree allows users to select only ONE answer to move forward in a decision tree, you’ll need to be aware of every potential answer to include and gather the most accurate data.

When in doubt, take advantage of comments to gather feedback from your customers on which answers they would have selected, if given the option — this will allow you to continually optimize your decision trees to gather the best data possible.


 

Strategically constructing your decision trees and writing out your questions, answers and final solution paths according to standard quantitative framing will make things easier for you and your end-users. Customers will be able to understand and navigate more clearly to provide better answers, and you’ll gather amazing data from your key users!

Ready to change your business? Get started on your first decision tree.