Monthly Archives: December 2016

Cloudflare Causing Service Interruption

In case you or your team had trouble using Zingtree today, the cause was due to our caching provider (Cloudflare). We use Cloudflare to ensure better performance and reliability on zingtree.com (as do a lot of other popular sites), but in this case it made things worse.

Here’s Cloudflare’s summary of the problem:

Identified – Starting at 00:00 UTC on January 1, 2017, CNAME resolutions on some machines stopped working due to a bug triggered by the universal addition of one leap second, which affected both some authoritative DNS and origin DNS lookups, causing 5xx errors. Authoritative DNS was less affected since resolvers were served SERVFAIL and possibly retried until they hit a healthy instance. We deployed a fix at 01:30 UTC and it is rolling out to most affected sites. We will update this once the deployment is finished.

Details here.

Zendesk Agent Scripting App – Version 9

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Our Contact Center customers using Zendesk are becoming more sophisticated, so we’re continuing to improve our Zendesk Agent Scripting app in response. This version 9 update automatically chooses scripts based upon one of the following:

  • The Zendesk brand field
  • Zendesk ticket tags
  • The value of a custom field

If you’re just using one script for everyone, this is supported as well.

Here’s how the app appears in the right hand sidebar in Zendesk:

Zingtree Setup

Script matching works by matching tree tags you set in Zingtree to values in the Brand, Tags, or a custom field in a Zendesk ticket. For example, if a tree is tagged with “astrology”, and the ticket tags include “astrology”, then that tree appears. If several trees match, then they will all appear.

First, add tags to a tree in Zingtree as follows:

  1. Select a tree from My Trees.
  2. Go to the Settings tool.
  3. Enter or select a tag from the tags field.

Zendesk Setup

You’ll need to download and configure the Zendesk Agent Scripting App version 9:

  1. Download the Agent Scripting app.
  2. In Zendesk, click the Admin icon and go to Apps > Manage.

  3. Click Upload Private App.

  4. The Upload App page appears.

  5. Enter “Zingtree Agent Scripting” for the App Name.
  6. For App File, locate the file zingtree-agent-scripting-v9.zip you downloaded in step 1.
  7. Click Upload, then confirm if necessary.

Configuring the App

Once you’ve uploaded the app, the configuration screen appears:

Here’s what each item does:

Title: A title for the app, as it displays in Zendesk.

Tree ID: If you’re installing just one script for everyone, enter the ID of your tree here.  If you will be offering multiple scripts to your agents, leave this blank.

Height (pixels): The height of the app as it appears in the Zendesk ticket sidebar.

Display in Panels Style: Tick this option to use the Panels style to display your scripts.  Untick to use Buttons style.

Open Script based upon Brand: If this option is checked, the subdomain of the selected brand will be matched to a tree tag.  Any matching tree or trees will appear.  For example, if the brand subdomain is xyz.zendesk.com, any trees tagged as xyz will appear. (Requires the Zingtree API key in this configuration.)

Open Script based upon Tags: If checked, the values in the Zendesk ticket tags will be matched with your tree tags to show one or more matching scripts. (Requires the Zingtree API key in this configuration.)

Open Script based upon Custom field: If you want to use a custom field value to show matching scripts, enter the field ID here. The Field ID can be found in Zendesk under Admin, Manage, Ticket Fields. Click Edit to see the field ID. (Requires the Zingtree API key in this configuration.)

Zingtree API key: Each organization in Zingtree has an API key, which is used to match scripts. If you’re using one of the tag matching options, this is required. Your API key can be found at zingtree.com under Help > API.

Try It with Example Data

You can use trees from the Zingtree Gallery to see how the Agent Scripting app works.

For a single tree, enter ’14’ as the Tree ID. This will show an Astrology web site troubleshooter example.

For multiple trees, see how a tree can be selected by tag by doing the following:

  1. Enter 6a103737e44e4aa6e1e4b6b0bcb46f83 as the API key.
  2. Make sure Open Script based upon Tags is checked.
  3. Try entering one or more of these tags into a ticket: “zingtree”, “astrology”, “pet_rock”.

Any questions? We’re always here to help

8 Call Center Technologies to Improve Your First Call Resolution

Is your call center using the most up-to-date software and tools to improve KPI’s? Zingtree was recently featured in TechSee‘s list of the best technologies to improve first call resolution, among other important customer service stats.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“First call or first contact resolution (FCR) is the golden lariat of the customer service sphere. Handling your customers’ problems the first time they call in, and making sure they remain satisfied, loyal customers has to be the defacto aim for customer support and retention teams. 

There are many significant metrics which contact centers need to monitor: Average Handling Time, Abandon Rate, Customer Satisfaction and other operational performance metrics need to be factored in when measuring your customer service performance. 

But, FCR is the most important and only KPI that addresses both ends of your contact center functionality in a single measure. First Call Resolution measures both productivity (getting the problem solved) and customer experience (solving it in the most efficient way for the customer). It’s this KPI that connects the dots in your organization.”

Read the full article on TechSee.me >>

Decision Tree Analytics: About Node Popularity Reports

Zingtree has powerful built-in analytics. In this series, we’re taking a closer look at some of these in-depth reports and how they help you learn even more about how customers use your trees. 


Node Popularity Reports

Much like its name implies, the Node Popularity Report shows you the overall popularity of every one of the nodes in your decision tree, ultimately letting you see how often each one is visited. More than just seeing which nodes are getting the most love, this report also allows you to find out where users are getting stuck as well, as you can take note of trends in node drop-off.

To access this report, go to Overview > Reports and select Node Popularity Report from the drop-down menu. You can specify an exact date range to pull the stats from before clicking “Show Report.”

Once the report is built, you can quickly scroll through a break down of each decision tree node, the node’s name, and the number of visits to each one.

Keep your node View as Page Titles, or choose to show the questions and answers.

Plus, click into each node detail for additional information on the time a node was selected, duration of time spent on a node, and even the source.

See a live example of this report on the Zingtree Gallery.


Learn more about our powerful reports and analytics:

Reach out to us any time with questions!

Zapier Decision Tree Integrations with Zingtree

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Our Zapier app makes it easy to send data collected during each Zingtree session to more than 500+ applications supported by Zapier. In case you haven’t heard of it, Zapier is a tool that simplifies data exchange between various web applications. We’re big fans.

Here are some cool things you can do with Zingtree and Zapier:

  • Send data collected in a Zingtree session to Salesforce, Zoho, Highrise, or any other CRM.
  • Add an email address entered in a tree into Mailchimp.
  • Send  yourself an email or SMS message when a customer reaches a critical node in a tree.
  • Save new customer information in a Google Sheets row.
  • Create Trello cards from trees, and include customer notes and session data.
  • And tons more!

When using Zapier, you create “Zaps.” A Zap has a “trigger,” which is the source of the data, and an “action,” which is where the data gets sent. Most of our customers want to send data from Zingtree to another app, so we’ll demonstrate how this is done here.

Before starting, you may want to examine a demo tree from our Gallery that gathers data and sends it to Zapier, or copy it to your account.

How to Set up Zapier for Zingtree

The Zingtree Zapier app is currently invite-only. But if you’re reading this article, you’re invited!

  1. Create a free Zapier account at Zapier.com.
  2. Go here to accept an invitation to use the Zingtree app. The invitation appears:
    Accept the invite.
  3. You’ll be prompted to make a new Zap:
    Click Make a new Zap.
  4. You’ll be asked to choose a Trigger App, which is the source of the data exchange.
    Search for Zingtree, and select Zingtree (Beta).
  5. You’ll be asked to choose a single trigger.
    Click Save + Continue.
  6. Next, you’ll need to connect your Zingtree account, and a tree to Zapier.
    Click Connect a New Account.

     

  7. You’ll be asked for your Zingtree API Key, which you can find here at the bottom of this page. Also enter the Tree ID that will be sending data to Zapier.
    Click Continue when finished.
  8. Change the name of the account, then click Test.

    You should see “success.” Click Save + Continue.
  9. Next, Zapier will attempt to retrieve any variables or sample data from your tree. If this is a new tree, you may want to run through it once and gather some data.
    Click Fetch & Continue.
  10. You’ll see some of the stock data that Zingtree always provides, as well as any custom data for your tree. Again, if you don’t see all the data you expect, do a test run through your tree, and enter some data at least once. This will make the rest of the process easier.
    Click Continue.

Set up the Action App – Email Example

So now you’re done with the Zingtree part. Congratulations! Next, you need to set up an Action App, which will receive data from Zingtree. Let’s set up email delivery as an action, as follows:

  1. Search for email, and choose Email by Zapier as an action app.
    Select Email by Zapier.
  2. This app has just one action.
    Click Save + Continue.
  3. Fill in details for the outbound email. You can insert fields from Zingtree in the body of the email as well.Click Continue when the email is set up correctly.
  4. You’ll see  a preview of what to expect.
    Click Create & Continue to save the action and send a test email.
  5. You should see another “success” screen.
    Click Finish when the email appears as you like.
  6. Name your Zap Zingtree to Email, and turn it on!

Your Zapier Zap is all set.

Making Zingtree Send Data

The final step is to tell Zingtree when to send all the data collected in a session to Zapier. This can be triggered from one or more nodes, when they are seen by the end-user of your tree.

  1. From Overview, Edit Node, edit the node that you want to trigger sending data to Zapier.
  2. Go to Send Message to, and pick Zapier: Zingtree to Email. This is the new Zap you created.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Now try a test from Zingtree. Using Preview or the Publish tool, navigate your tree, and when you reach the node that triggers the send, you should see something in your inbox. IMPORTANT: Make sure to use https in your published Zingtree URL when using Zapier.

Once you get your first Zap done, it becomes easy and addictive to hook Zingtree to the other applications that your business depends upon. So keep going!

Have any questions? Contact us anytime!

How Customer Support Data Can Help the Value of Your Business

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For most small businesses and startups working with a customer-facing product, the people making the purchases are at the heart of what’s most important. Customers are the lifeblood of businesses, which is why it’s so critical to keep up with the data, learnings and optimizations to keep things moving forward in the best direction.

  • Do you know how much value your customer data is lending to your business? 
  • Is your customer support data truly being used to make improvements?
  • Do your customers feel connected and/or loyal to your business? 

These are just some of the questions that every kind of company should be asking themselves, and then acting upon on a regular basis. We shouldn’t have to say it, but we will: information is power! Having a high level of customer knowledge and understanding can help make your business smarter, faster and better placed among competitors.

If you’re already using Zingtree for your interactive customer support needs, you can collect and access relevant, accurate and in-depth customer data at any time, so you can make more intelligent business decisions.

1. Collecting Customer Information

Gaining a customer base is one thing, but effectively capturing important information from that customer base is critical to sustainable growth as a business. Without collecting and tracking key variables, demographics and levels of satisfaction, how can you really understand where your company is headed?

With built-in data entry forms for decision trees, you can automatically collect data from your customers as they navigate through your interactive knowledge base. Once gathered, you can pass this information along to any CRM service easily, making the support process much simpler and more valuable for your business, your support staff, and (most importantly) your customers.

2. Building Brand Loyalty

When customers engage with your business, they expect that communication to accurately reflect the brand they know (and hopefully love). It’s become the standard preference among customers that the more personalized, customized and informative an interaction is, the happier they are with the support they received and the company itself!

Integrating custom self-help solutions like troubleshooter decision trees is a great way to not only solve customer problems, but also to test and track your own customers’ preferences where customer support is concerned. After all, understanding what your customers prefer is the best way to serve them well and build up their loyalty.

3. Offering Flexible Solutions

2 out of 3 consumers prefer self-service versus speaking with a person for customer service inquiries, but this statistic leaves behind the remaining third who want to deal with support on different terms. Emails, phone calls and live chat are all used widely, and serve their own functions separate from self-help support.

Offering flexible, multi-channel support is the only way to truly identify what your own customer base is looking for, and then effectively optimize for those channels. By narrowing down the specifics of what support solutions your customers want to tap into, you’ll be able to weed out others that don’t work and enhance the efforts of those that do, saving your business a ton of time, money and human resources.

4. Tracking & Analyzing Results

The month-to-month performance results of your customer support efforts help to lay the foundation for all of your customer communications to come, so it’s absolutely necessary to stay on top of the numbers and take note of any irregularities, improvements, etc.

Are your customer call resolutions taking more time than they should or have in the past? Do your customers consistently get hung up on one area of your product or service? Getting to the root of any underlying problem, as well as identifying any particularly stellar performance analytics, can help your business optimize interactions — support-related or otherwise.


Zingtree makes it easy to build customized, informative decision trees to satisfy your customers and your business. Contact us to learn more or get started today!

Updates: Reorder Nodes, Efficient Forms, Tree Content Search and More

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The holiday spirit never quits here at Zingtree, as we’ve added some cool new features for some of our best customers.

Reordering Nodes in Overview

Tom K. (and a few other people) asked if we could reorder the nodes in the Simple Overview. And now you can! Just drag any node up or down, and it will stay in that position forever.

Some caveats:

  • The root node always appears at the top of the list. If you drag a node over the root, it will appear in position #2 the next time.
  • Some people asked about automatically re-numbering nodes.  For now, we’ve decided to keep the node numbers permanent, as there are cases where node numbers are used in links and URLs outside of Zingtree, and any renumbering would break these links.

Tree Content Node Search

Abner J. asked if we could extend our search forms to include ALL trees in the account, not just the current tree.  So we added a new form type you can insert from the content editor in Edit Node: a Tree Content Search Form:

If you have multiple trees, and you want your end-users to be able to search all nodes in those trees, this is what you can use.

Placeholders vs. Labels in Forms

Tom K. asked if we could make our form layouts more concise by offering an option to eliminate the labels in forms, and put “placeholders” in the fields instead. Done!

Here’s how a form with labels appears:

And here’s one with placeholders:

Sending Multiple Emails

For Alok: Email nodes, and the email-session-info link now can send multiple emails.  Just enter email addresses separated by commas.

Got something special on your wish list? Send it along, and our elves will start working on it!

Hectic Holidays: A Simple Guide for Improving Customer Support

As families everywhere are winding down for the holiday season, support teams are just ramping up. This time of year can be especially strenuous for small businesses that want to continue to provide amazing customer service and support seasonal promotions, while at the same time allowing staff members to take some much-needed vacation time.

Customers can often have raised expectations for support during the holidays, and we all understand it. With the right support strategy and preparation in place, staff and agents can be well ahead of any issues, and customers can get exactly what they need. Here are our top tips for keeping things streamlined in your support department this holiday season:

1. Empower Agents

A good amount of customers still enjoy traditional support methods, like simply calling you up on the phone. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to empower the people who are answering those calls. Agent empowerment can come in many forms: in-depth training, up-to-date knowledge, freedom to make key decisions. By preparing agents with the tools they need to succeed, and giving them the power and confidence to make judgment calls, they will be ready and able to tackle any customer need!

Agent scripts allow support reps to have a real-time, custom script to easily guide them through a customer communication. Crafted to fit the business’ own “voice,” scripts follow personalized support standards that make it simple for agents to help customers with the best information possible. The best part about agent scripts for the holidays is that, because they convey the most accurate information and natural flow, it’s possible to hire last-minute seasonal help while ensuring your high standards of customer service are still met.

2. Provide Self-Service

According to a 2013 Forrester report, roughly 72% of customers actually prefer self-service support options to resolve their issues over calling or sending an email. For the holiday season, this is excellent news. The more you provide self-service support, the less questions and issues your support team has to field — it’s a win-win!

As far as self-service options go, pairing your existing knowledge base, FAQ and/or tutorial videos with interactive troubleshooters is the best way to cover all of your customer service bases. With the question-and-answer-style of a decision tree troubleshooter, finding solutions becomes much more manageable (for customers and support staff). In fact, businesses that use these troubleshooters have seen an average 20% reduction in support costs, some saving upwards of 15 hours per week on customer support.

3. Create a Holiday Tree

Not quite the tree that’s traditional to the season, holiday-specific decision trees are also a great idea if you’re running any promotions, offering special deals of any kind, or need to answer common shipping questions. By anticipating questions ahead of time and building a simple, interactive how-to or troubleshooter can help to solve seasonal problems.

Our friends at Desk.com shared a helpful list of some common holiday-related questions to address:

  • What are your hours during the holidays?
  • Did you release a new version of the product during the holidays? What’s different about it from the older version?
  • Are there any discount codes available? Please explain.
  • What are the shipping policies?
  • Do you have rush order? 
  • What are your return/exchange/cancellation policies?

Zingtree makes it easy to build customized, informative decision trees to satisfy your customers, and your business) during the hectic holiday season. Contact us to learn more or get started today!

Decision Tree Analytics: About Session Matrix Reports

Zingtree has powerful built-in analytics. In this series, we’re taking a closer look at some of these in-depth reports and how they help you learn even more about how customers use your trees. 


Session Matrix Reports

The Session Matrix Report lets you view each end-user session within a given date range, including buttons clicked, as well as scoring and data entered when available. Once generated, it’s simple to see an overview of all session data. You can also export this report to Excel, Google Sheets, or any other database via a CSV file for further analysis.

To access this report, go to Overview > Reports and select Session Matrix Report from the drop-down menu. You can specify an exact date range to pull the stats from before clicking “Show Report.”

The report is built instantly, showing a complete overview of every session. Scroll through each end-user’s selections to view every node and the content they house.

Click into each session to reveal its full Session Details, including Node Titles and Button Clicks, as well as stats on Time Spent and Click Score when applicable.

With display options to show only Subtree sessions, date, or agent/source, you can customize your report view to see only the data you need to access. You can even change your view to see button text vs. score values!

See a live example of this report on the Zingtree Gallery.


Learn more about our powerful reports and analytics:

Reach out to us any time with questions!

Fresh Tree Updates: Document Nodes and More

This latest Zingtree update includes the new Document Node type, and a smattering of small improvements:

  • New: Edit Tree Node can now open selected tree in a new tab for editing (Paul G, Sebastian V.).
  • New: email-session-info.php has new parameters for subject, body, from, secure_data_link. You can also include multiple emails separated by commas.  Details here. (Alok)
  • New: Link nodes can now accept variables (both Data Entry Fields and Merge Variables).
  • Update: Added “Add Node” option to main tree tools page.
  • Fix: Duplicating Scoring nodes now also copies scoring branch rules.
  • Fix: Root node no longer ever appears as an Answer node, even if there are no choices yet.
  • Fix: Copy Node now works properly again from Overview (Chrissie, Admin).
  • Update: Edit Node can now set the Start node.
  • Fix: Multi-line text fields now input form data from previous form fills.
  • Fix: Edit Node preview now renders blank questions properly.
  • Fix: One across button layouts are now shorter, centered (Deb & Tif).
  • Fix: unchecking “Use Scoring” when editing buttons in Edit Node no longer keeps scoring variable.
  • Update: Now shows scoring variables for data entry fields in simple overview summary, Edit Node data entry fields summary.
  • Fix: Long feedback comments display better.
  • Update: Can now read and delete comments on Scoring nodes (Chrissie).
  • Fix: Instant preview in edit-node-content after deleting a data entry field no longer shows a blank for that field.
  • Fix: Simple overview buttons don’t wrap on smaller screen sizes.
  • Fix: Added extra capacity for servers, fixed server scaling issue.

We love feedback. Send us your ideas!