Monthly Archives: January 2017

The Visual Designer: Drawing Out Your Decision Tree

Everyone prefers their own way of creating, and it can come in many forms. To address this, we built Zingtree with a few different ways to design and construct an interactive decision tree.

For the more visual learner, the Zingtree Visual Designer allows you to draw out your decision tree. This “white board” style lets users to create nodes, along with their connections, and see the nitty gritty details of how the tree functions.

Here’s how to get started with the Visual Designer:

1. Once you log in to your Zingtree account and start Designer, you’ll see a screen that looks like the one shown below, with one node already in place as a green box. This is the very first node your users will see and interact with.

2. Click on Node #1, and you’ll see an edit window pop up on the right hand side. You can edit the Title, Question and main Content segments to your liking.

3. Drag new nodes into the design area – these correspond to the pages in your decision tree. Again, select the green box to edit each node’s Question, Content, etc.

4. When you’re ready, add a Final Answer Node and edit to fit your needs. These will appear in blue, to differentiate from your green Question Nodes.

5. Continue to create these Questions & Answer Nodes by dragging new nodes into the design area, and then connect them using labeled arrows. The connecting arrows represent the button selections from each node.

6. Finish linking all of your nodes using this method, and you’ll end up with a finished product that looks something like this image below. Often times, Zingtree users only use this mode as a way of assembling their decision trees. Please keep in mind that things can get confusing for more complex trees that require more nodes.

For a more in-depth tutorial, watch this video to see how to build the example tree above using Zingtree Designer:

 

 

To view more ways of building your decision trees, check out our Zingtree Design Tutorials.

Update: Import from Excel, Google Sheets

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In spite of the fact that Zingtree has some really great ways to build interactive decision trees, we still get a lot of requests for making the process of creating trees even easier.  Many people are particularly comfortable working inside their favorite spreadsheet program, so we’ve created an easy way to use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to create new decision trees.

Once imported, the Zingtree editing and management tools can be used to refine and enhance your trees.

Here’s how our tutorial example appears in Google Sheets:

Details on this new feature:

Note that the same process for importing from Excel or Sheets can be used to import any tab delimited CSV file from any other program.

Other Updates

  • Update: Added ##ALL DATA## as a template for showing a summary of all data entry fields collected (h/t Sebastian, Logan). Details here.
  • Update: Added custom date range shortcut option to All Agents report. (h/t Allen J.).
  • Fix: Changing organization in All Agents report works properly now.
  • Fix: Restart function in older Zendesk Agent Scripting app installations now works properly again (Jamel).
  • Fix: Editing nodes from subtrees while using Preview now works properly (Jamel).
  • Update: Preview no longer automatically scrolls to the top of content.
  • Fix: Scoring uses numeric value of variables, not string value (Matt B.).
  • Update: All Agent report link added to My Agents page(Allen J.).
  • Update: Agent report now has quick date links.

Can we make your tree creating experience even easier? Just let us know!

Create Decision Trees using Google Sheets

sheets-blog

Did you know that Google Sheets can be used as a decision tree building tool? Using a specific layout, you can easily import any Sheets document into Zingtree, and turn it into a fully functional interactive decision tree.

Once you’ve successfully imported your tree, you can enhance it using Zingtree’s editing tools, which offer a lot more decision tree related functionality than Google Sheets.

Here’s how our example tree used in the tutorials appears in Sheets:

You can get started now by copying this example and modifying it:

Get Examples from Google Sheets

 

Overview

Zingtree can create decision trees from Google Sheets, or any similarly formatted tabular source. Your spreadsheets just need to be set up in a specific way for this to work.

Here are the rules:

  1. The first row is for column headings. This is important, as it tells Zingtree what type of data is in each column. Make sure to use the column headings as described below.
  2. Column A is for the node number. Usually this is sequential. It’s required. The heading must say “Node“.
  3. Column B is for the title of a node. Your trees will be easier to read if each node has a descriptive title. The heading must say “Title“.
  4. Column C is for any content that appears in the content area.  This is imported as plain text, but you can add formatting, images, and videos later using the Zingtree editing tools. The heading must read “Content“.
  5. Column D is the question that is being asked. You can leave this blank if you want an answer node. The heading must be “Question“.
  6. If you want to include node tags in your tree, insert a column with a heading of “Tags“. This is optional.
  7. If you are using a scoring variable for scoring button clicks, add a column headed “Score Variable“. This is optional.
  8. The last columns are for the button choices.  The heading over the first button column must be “Buttons“. You can have several columns of buttons.
  9. For the button columns, you can make them link to other nodes by adding the node number in square brackets.  In the above example, cell F2 has a button labelled “Yes” that links to node #2.  ( Yes[2]  ).
  10. If you’re using score variables for button clicks, you can include something like “+3” after the node number in brackets.  This would add 3 to the scoring variable mentioned in the Score variable column. (See the Advanced tab in the sample spreadsheet for an example.)
  11. If you want to add a comment to any node, insert a cell on the right that starts with an exclamation point character (!).

Note: Columns can be in any order, but the column headings must contain the proper text like “Node”, “Question” etc.

You can also make Link Nodes and Tree Nodes with special text in the content column:

  • Example: To make a Link Node that goes to Google, the content area looks like this (see cell C8 in the example):
    LINK: http://google.com
  • Example: To make a Tree Node that opens tree ID #123456789, the content area will be (see cell C7 in the example):
    TREE: 123456789
  • Example: To make a Tree Node that opens tree ID #999999999 at node #3, the content area should be:
    TREE: 999999999,3

Once you’ve finished your tree, it needs to be exported as a TSV file. This is also known as tab-separated values, or tab delimited CSV.

You can also just copy and paste cells from Sheets into Zingtree. Sheets copies tab delimited data to the clipboard automatically.

Build Your Tree

To start, open this file in Sheets, and make a copy for your personal use. You can use the Basic or Advanced tab – most people start with the basic option.

Now start modifying it.  Make sure to keep top row column headings in place. Keep questions in the question column, content in the content column, etc.

When you’re done, you can import your work into Zingteee via copy and paste, or by exporting to a tab delimited (TSV) file.

Import via Copy and Paste

This is the easiest way to import your decision tree into Zingtree:

  1. In Sheets, select the entire range of cells for your tree, and copy to the clipboard (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C).
  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import via Copy and Paste tool.  (You can also get there via My Trees, Create Tree, then select Import from Google Sheets.) A screen like this appears:

  3. Choose Google Sheets as the source.
  4. Enter a name for your tree
  5. Paste the data copied from step 1 into the data area. (Use Ctrl+V or Cmd+V).
  6. Click Import and Create Tree.

You’ll see your new tree in the Zingtree overview.

Import via a TSV file

For larger trees, you may find it better to upload a file instead of copying and pasting. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. In Sheets, go to File, Download As, and select Tab-separated values (.tsv, current sheet).

  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import File tool. (You can also get there from My Trees, Create Tree, and then choosing Import from Google Sheets.)

  3. If you want to overwrite an existing tree, select it via Replace Tree. Otherwise a new tree will be created.
  4. Click Import File, and locate the file you created in step 1.
  5. The new tree will appear in Zingtree.

Notes:

  • You can use this process to import files from any tab delimited CSV format.

Any questions? Reach out to us anytime. 

Create Decision Trees using Microsoft Excel

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If you’re comfortable using Microsoft Excel, you can build the first draft of your Zingtree decision trees using a spreadsheet and then easily import them into Zingtree.

Once you’ve successfully imported your tree, you can modify it and enhance it using Zingtree’s editing tools, which offer a lot more decision tree related functionality than Excel.

Here’s how our example tree used in the tutorials appears in Excel:

Overview

Zingtree can create decision trees from Excel, or any similarly formatted tabular source. Your spreadsheets just need to be set up in a specific way for this to work.

Start now by downloading and modifying this example .XLS file:

Download Examples for Excel

Note: This spreadsheet has two tabs: Basic and Advanced.

Here are the rules:

  1. The first row is for column headings. This is important, as it tells Zingtree what type of data is in each column. Make sure to use the column headings as described below.
  2. Column A is for the node number. Usually this is sequential. It’s required. The heading must say “Node“.
  3. Column B is for the title of a node. Your trees will be easier to read if each node has a descriptive title. The heading must say “Title“.
  4. Column C is the question that is being asked. You can leave this blank if you want an answer node. The heading must be “Question“.
  5. Column D is for any content that appears in the content area.  This is imported as plain text, but you can add formatting, images, and videos later using the Zingtree editing tools. The heading must read “Content“.
  6. If you want to include node tags in your tree, insert a column with a heading of “Tags“. This is optional.
  7. If you are using a scoring variable for scoring button clicks, add a column headed “Score Variable“. This is optional.
  8. The last columns are for the button choices.  The heading over the first button column must be “Buttons“. You can have several columns of buttons.
  9. For the button columns, you can make them link to other nodes by adding the node number in square brackets.  In the above example, cell F2 has a button labelled “Yes” that links to node #2.  ( Yes[2]  ).
  10. If you’re using score variables for button clicks, you can include something like “+3” after the node number in brackets.  This would add 3 to the scoring variable mentioned in the Score variable column. (See the Advanced tab in the sample spreadsheet for an example.)
  11. If you want to add a comment to any node, insert a cell on the right that starts with an exclamation point character (!).

Note: Columns can be in any order, but the column headings must contain the proper text like “Node”, “Question” etc.

You can also make Link Nodes and Tree Nodes with special text in the content column:

  • Example: To make a Link Node that goes to Google, the content area looks like this (see cell D9 in the example):
    LINK: http://google.com
  • Example: To make Tree Node that opens tree ID #123456789, the content area is this (see cell D8 in the example):
    TREE: 123456789
  • Example: To make a Tree Node that opens tree ID #999999999 at node #3, the content area should be:
    TREE: 999999999,3

Once you’ve finished your tree, it needs to be exported as a TXT file. This is also known as a tab delimited CSV.

You can also just copy and paste cells from your Excel document into Zingtree. Excel copies tab delimited CSV data to the clipboard automatically.

Build Your Tree

To start, download our “what to wear” example tree, as an Excel .XLS file.

Open this file in Excel, and start modifying it.  You can use the Basic or Advanced tab – most people start with the basic option. Make sure to keep top row column headings in place. Keep questions in the question column, content in the content column, etc.

When you’re done, you can import it into Zingteee via copy and paste, or by exporting to a TXT file.

Import via Copy and Paste

This is the easiest way to bring your decision tree into Zingtree:

  1. In Excel, select the entire range of cells for your tree, and copy to the clipboard (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C).
  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import via Copy and Paste tool.  (You can also get there via My Trees, Create Tree, then select Import from Microsoft Excel.) A screen like this appears:

  3. Choose Microsoft Excel as the source.
  4. Enter a name for your tree
  5. Paste the data copied from step 1 into the data area. (Use Ctrl+V or Cmd+V).
  6. Click Import and Create Tree.

You’ll see your new tree in the Zingtree overview.

Import via a TXT file

For larger trees, you may find it better to upload a file instead of copying and pasting. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. In Excel, go to File, Save As, and select Text (Tab Delimited) as the type.

  2. The file name will become the name of your tree. Click Save when finished.
  3. In Zingtree, go to the Import File tool. (You can also get there from My Trees, Create Tree, and then choosing Import from Excel.)

  4. If you want to overwrite an existing tree, select it via Replace Tree. Otherwise a new tree will be created.
  5. Click Import File, and locate the file you created in steps 1 and 2.
  6. The new tree will appear in Zingtree.

Notes:

  • You can use this process to import files from any tab delimited CSV format.

Any questions? Reach out to us anytime. 

Custom Themes with CSS: A Look At Duda’s Decision Trees

Duda is a is a self-service software suite built for creating optimized, responsive and personalized websites for businesses. As a company with a large focus on customer communication, support and self-service solutions, they take advantage of interactive troubleshooter decision trees with a custom theme to help site visitors help themselves.

Created with powerful custom CSS for decision trees, Duda was able to create a completely unique and personal experience through Zingtree with a theme that fits seamlessly with their brand. Complex in its code, the experts at Duda built a truly incredible customized decision tree for their customers that we’re in awe of!

You can view the live tree here, and see some previews below.

The tree’s Welcome Page has a clean, beautiful design that showcases each major section of knowledge base information. 

 

Learn more about personalizing decision trees with Zingtree Custom CSS, and see some great tree examples on the Zingtree GalleryAny questions? Let’s talk!

Online Marketplace Case Study: Turo + Zingtree

Turo + Zingtree

Interactive solutions to make peer-to-peer services even more people-friendly

Turo connects car renters with car owners, helping people find the perfect transportation for their next journey or to earn extra money by renting an existing vehicle. Operating in major cities from Los Angeles to Miami, it’s the easiest way to list and find cars for rental across the United States.

Turo’s Challenge

As a growing peer-to-peer business providing support to both car renters and owners around the country, Turo needed an efficient way for support agents to run through user/driver verification procedures in order to better enforce its community and marketplace safety rules.

Zingtree’s Solution

Zingtree’s interactive decision trees provided Turo with the perfect platform to guide agents through the correct verification process for any specific scenario or user. After implementing for internal use, agents also discovered the tree’s helpfulness with support and claims-related processes.

“The tree makes the final decision for the agent depending on the results of every check that is made. This has helped make the process more structured, and at the same time protects the agents,” says Emanuela Ferrari, Onboarding Manager at Turo. “Individual pieces of the process are guided, decreasing the risk of error.”

About Zingtree

Zingtree is the most user-friendly, business-ready platform for creating and implementing interactive decision trees that deliver answers faster. Quickly create a decision tree that your site visitors, leads, trainees and/or customers navigate by clicking buttons to answer questions, and receive detailed analytics on how trees are being used. Zingtree makes it easy to guide anyone through complicated processes – there’s no better way to help people get answers and solve problems.

View the full Turo + Zingtree case study and download the PDF here


Want to see more? Explore the Zingtree Gallery for examples of how our decision trees and interactive solutions provide value for businesses!

Updates: Reporting Enhancements, API Tweaks

updates-blog

Being able to see how much time and money you are saving with Zingtree makes us all feel good and useful. So this past week we’ve been working with some of our customers to make reporting cleaner.

Here’s what’s new with reporting:

  • Fix: All Tree Stats, Clicks and Usage and Popular Nodes now using same measurement techniques for engagement (Olivier).
  • Fix: Session Detail report now shows duration from first click (Jane A.).
  • Update: Added Agent Details to All Agents report.

Our APIs and integrations also needed a few tweaks to help solve some business problems for our customers. Here’s what’s new on the API side:

  • Fix: Zendesk session ID stuffer leaves existing session IDs in place in case of error submitting ticket form (Iggy).
  • Fix: Back button keeps data entry field values. (Chrispy).
  • Update for Zendesk tag matching (Jorge).
  • Update: /api/tree-tag-search.php now takes a minimum number of tags to match (Jorge).
  • Update: Zendesk API now returns a blank instead of “false” if no session IDs present (Bryan M.).
  • Fix: API for tree tag matching strips trailing commas from search string.
  • Update: Tree tag matching now returns results in alphabetical order.

Got any great ideas? Chat us up!

Decision Tree Analytics: All Tree Stats & All Agent Usage 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. 


All Tree Stats Reports

While simple in theory, the All Tree Stats Report is one of the most powerful summaries you can quickly access with Zingtree. With this analytics capability, you can see a usage overview for every decision tree in your organization all at once, including the number of Views, Total Time, number of Button Clicks, and more.

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

With your date range set, the All Tree Stats report shows you an at-a-glance perspective of how your decision trees are being used. Click through each decision tree name or ID to generate more report details and gain more insight.

All Agent Usage Reports

Hand-in-hand with the report above, the All Agent Usage Report is a great report to get a quick idea of how your agents are interacting with your trees. Geared for internal use and/or call center customers, you can easily see how many days and sessions each Agent has used for a given date range.

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

Click through an Agent’s name to generate an overview of all sessions for that particular agent, with detailed stats like number of successes, failures and inconclusive results, duration, and number of clicks.

And, click through each session number even further to get more in-depth details for that specific tree.


Learn more about our powerful reports and analytics:

Reach out to us any time with questions!

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Zingtree: 8 Hacks For Success

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Our interactive decision tree tool is a must-have for any business looking to skyrocket their customer service through self-help, organizations hoping to logically deliver answers, and even contact centers to guide their customer-facing agents through how-tos and support.

No matter what you use Zingtree for, getting your first tree deployed can be daunting for some. So have no fear, here are our top tips for breaking into the awesomely helpful world of Zingtrees:

1. Sketch Out a Roadmap

Remember in school when you’d sit down and brainstorm out a strategy? Just like that! Whether it’s in list, mind map or spreadsheet form, getting down the touchstones you need your tree to cover before you start building your tree is crucial and will make building your nodes and connecting them in a flow much easier. Compiling an outline is essential and will make the creation much more streamlined.

2. Go With What’s Already Been Built

We’ve expanded (and promise to keep expanding) our Gallery. In here you will find a handful of pre-made Trees that you can edit and customize to fit your needs. Simply click the “Copy” button to create a replicate version. Also, see the top navigation to filter by your specific need. Check out our examples, and hopefully one will be great inspiration for you to start your own!

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3. Start With The Visual Designer

We all know that there are different styles to learning, creating, coding and strategizing. For this reason, we’ve equipped Zingtree with a robust Visual Designer that allows for a “white board” to create nodes, connections, and truly see the Tree as it’s being built. Some Zingtree builders only use this mode as a way of aesthetically assembling their decision trees. Visually, however, it can get confusing for large, complex trees – but for getting started, it’s perfect!

Screen Shot 2015-05-08 at 10.16.51 AM

4. Use Placeholders When Undecided

When you’re on a roll mapping out your decision tree you’re bound to run into a speed bump here or there, especially when dealing with conditional node flows. In practice, this means if you need two nodes connected you need to create both nodes before you create the connection between them.

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If you’re stumped on the additional nodes, we recommend that you create simple untitled / undefined nodes to help you continue through the process. You can always go back to that node and edit appropriately as needed.

5. Go Back With Snapshots

A very helpful feature we’ve built into Zingtree is Snapshots. Snapshots allow you to review edits and go back to previous versions of your tree – helpful when creating trees with multiple revisions. To find this tool, select More Tools > Snapshots. You can see any other team members’ work and revisions, not to mention, recover that past version.

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6. Make A Backup As You Go

If you’re ever nervous about losing your place or the data within your Zingtree, we recommend exporting the tree to a file on your PC or Mac. This also works well if you’re making a whole new round of edits that you’re not 100% sure about.

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Backups are a great way to not only save your work but also collaborate on different versions of the same idea, especially for teams working with multiple versions for reference and cross-examination. To find the Exporting feature, select More Tools > Export.

7. Big Copy Edits With Exporting

Another exporting trick! If you have large, bulk changes that you need to make with the text within your tree (say, a URL throughout that’s totally changed or an updated product name), simply export and open it with a text editor platform. Using the “Find & Replace” tool within the text editor, swap out the old text portion with the new.

8. Sub-Trees for Even Bigger Zingtrees

If you know you’re going to have a large project ahead of you,  prepare more than one Zingtree to ease the pain in constructing one whole decision tree. In fact, when you’re in the planning stages, you will find these sub-trees occur naturally in complex decision trees. By containing themes and varying elements in different trees, and then later, linking them up into one final tree using Tree Links, you can concentrate on one element at a time!


We’d love to hear your tricks and tips for starting a Zingtree. Feel free to share on our Facebook Page!

How to Offer Always-On, Self-Service Customer Support

self-service customer support

Self-service is a win-win for rapidly-growing (and exceedingly busy) businesses, pleasing the majority of customers while at the same time providing an efficient, always-available support medium for customer service teams. Empowering customers to solve problems and answer their own questions means less work for support teams, and overall more satisfied consumers!

Don’t believe us? Here are some statistics about customer support self-service from our friends at Desk.com:

  • 72% of people think that self-service support is a fast and easy way to handle support issues
  • 40% of customers place a call after already looking for support or answers themselves
  • 91% of customers would regularly utilize an online, self-service support center if it was tailored to their needs

Your business doesn’t have to get swept up by the new wave of customer service; get your support team up-and-running with self-service support options with these 3 steps.

1. Bulk Up Your Knowledge Base & FAQ

It all starts with your FAQ and knowledge base of information — 56% of customers cite a lack of information as their reason for abandoning a website, so it’s critical to make sure that the content in your support center is totally user-relevant, helpful and currently up-to-date. Revisit and revamp knowledge base articles, FAQ answers and other support-related content on your site on a regular basis (quarterly or even monthly), to provide your customers with the most important, accessible information possible; both your customers and your team members will certainly thank you for your proactive customer care!

2. Implement Interactive Troubleshooters

It’s pretty amazing that in today’s world, you can easily provide 24/7 access to support without doling out for any extra staff members. Creating and integrating interactive, customer support troubleshooters makes it easy to help your customers even when no one is there for a one-on-one. Additionally, Zingtree decision trees make it possible to quickly gather customer background information in case a support ticket is submitted, so you have all of the key information you need in one place.

Pairing your existing knowledge base with interactive decision trees is the best way to cover every base where support is concerned, and simplifies the process of finding real solutions. In fact, organizations that use these decision tree troubleshooters have spent an average of 20% less on support costs overall.

3. Reach Out, and Be Easy to Reach Out To

When a customer is having a major issue, or really just prefers a good old fashioned human interaction, it’s always a good idea to provide a way to get in contact with a real live person. Make it as simple as possible to reach out to your support staff, sales team, or anyone else who could help out – having this kind of clear pathway laid out on your website can mean the difference between a super happy customer, and one that is completely stressed out by your online presence.

Better yet is the idea of reaching out to your customers before they have the chance to have a problematic situation occur; this makes people feel at ease whenever something does inevitably come up, and sets a positive tone for any future communications.


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!