Monthly Archives: June 2017

IT Support Software: Better Self-Solving for Happier Customers

IT support software

Having an amazing product or service out in the market is one thing, but offering customers something beyond the standard can go much, much farther.

After much evolution behind the concept of the customer over the years, the era of “customer service first” is well upon us. Today’s modern customer craves genuine connection, as well as easy access to the products, services, answers, and the service they need; needs that are met with advanced IT support software. Abinash Tripathy, CEO of Helpshift, summarizes this well:

“Customer service was the step child, the focus was on sales. Fast forward to today and better networks, the entry of apps and real=time data has made every enterprise wanting to focus on understanding their customers and consumers to serve them better. Otherwise, brands will die if they do not adapt to this changing world”

For businesses today, there is really nothing more important that the customer. We’re big on improving how businesses help their customers and have helped numerous companies in all industries make their IT support systems as flawless and seamless as possible.

Self-Help Solutions & Troubleshooters

The vast majority of customers today have preferences when it comes to how and when they can access support (as they should!). In fact, 72% of people think that self-service support is preferable as a fast and easy way to handle support issues, and 91% would regularly utilize an online, self-service support center if it was tailored to their needs (Desk.com).

Using the help of bite-sized, customized self-help support tools like troubleshooter decision trees can solve customer problems without the traditional help from a support agent, leaving them far more self-sufficient and pleased with the information your business has available. When YouMail needed a better IT support system for their customer, they relied on our help to create fully-functional self-support and troubleshooter decision trees.

“Zingtree has been a great help with providing our customers efficient and immediate assistance. The step by step process allows us to provide multiple solutions to some of our most common problems.” — Adnan Rahman, Customer Service Analyst

Happy Customers = Loyal Customers

Happy customers are the goal of every support department, and its must easier to achieve than one might think – fulfill the needs that they have, whether it be product/service related, or related to their questions, comments, and concerns. Having freedom of choice, a memorable brand, and easy access to assistance when needed can turn a business into a customer-centric company with hugely happy and loyal repeat customers.

There are a few great ways to make your customers happier, and it all starts with a solid IT support software system or CRM. By engaging with your customers regularly and giving them on-demand access to self-help support, everyone will be much happier.

IT Support Software: What Should It Accomplish?

Before considering an IT support software or CRM system to integrate into your daily operations, or if you’re re-evaluating your current system, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

1. Does it help to support customers in self-solving? An IT support software system in the modern age should always allow customers to self-solve in one way or another. With such a high percentage of customers preferring a self-service support method over more traditional IT support, it’s necessary to offer a channel of solo access in order to keep customers happy.

2. Does it provide multi-channel support coverage? Not all customers are comfortable with ticket-based support, so it’s key to offer multiple channels of support – live chat, troubleshooters, etc – to connect and ask questions. If the IT support system doesn’t provide multi-channel support in itself, an integration can be a helpful substitute.

3. Does it connect with other powerful apps and tools? No single IT support system or CRM platform will have 100% of the features and add-ons that your company could want. However, many of the best have application marketplaces and useful integrations (like our own customer support app for Zendesk) that extend the functionality of your whole support system.

4. Does it help organize and streamline support-related tasks? Every good piece of IT support software will have some kind of task-based organization, but the best ones will allow you to collaborate, plan, manage, track, and analyze every kind of support-related task (and sub-task) to help make support teams more efficient and effective.

Our Top Choices:

While there are many IT support software systems out there, we recommend a top few very highly, as they cover every important point mentioned above.

No matter your choice, interactive decision trees can integrate directly into your preferred IT support software, making it easy to provide constant, incredible customer support. Organizations that implement troubleshooters that gently guide customers toward the right solution have seen a 20% reduction in support costs. Easily integrated with email, live chat, CRM and other IT support software, Zingtree saves everyone (your business AND your customers) time and money.


How can IT support software benefit your business? Get in touch with us to learn more, or get started with your first interactive tech support decision tree.

Validate Email and Phone Numbers in Decision Tree Data Entry

Besides address verification, Zingtree can also validate phone numbers and email addresses entered while collecting data in your decision trees. Since there’s nothing worse than missing an opportunity due to a typo, being able to ensure good clean data is now much easier.

Here’s a short animation that shows how it works:

Try it Yourself!

The Zingtree Gallery has demonstration trees for validation. Just enter a phone number or email, and move to the next field in the form. A validation status badge appears automatically.

Try the Email Validation Demo
Try the Phone Number Validation Demo

Both phone number validation and email validation work world-wide. If your are entering phone numbers for people outside of the USA, you’ll need to prefix them with a plus sign. USA numbers can be entered without a plus.

Setup

There are two steps to enabling validation:

  1. Using the Settings tool, configure your tree to validate phone numbers or email addresses.
  2. Use an email or phone field type in the data entry fields in your decision tree nodes.


How to set up your tree for Phone or Email validation:

  1. Go to My Trees, and select your tree.
  2. Click the Settings tool, and make sure Verify: Phone or Verify: Email is selected.

  3. Click Update Settings to save.
  4. Now, let’s add a phone or email data entry field to a node.
  5. From Overview, pick a question node to edit, and click the Edit Tool.
  6. Go to Data Entry Fields, and add an Email or Phone Number type field:

  7. Click Add Field, and then Save Changes to save your Node.

Please note: Using phone or email validation is an extra cost, usually $0.01 per lookup.

Tips and Tricks

  • When using validation, it’s best to make sure the phone or email field is the first field, or has at least one more field below it. The validation process doesn’t start until the cursor leaves the edit box, so if it’s the last field in the form the validation may never occur.
  • Once a field is validated, you can hover over the validation badge and get more information about the phone number or email address. Try it!

Summary

Now you have a great new tool to ensure you are getting good, clean data.

As always, if you like this feature, or have any comments or suggestions, please tell us!

 

 

Decision Tree Analytics: About the Data Totals Report

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. 

Data Totals Reports

The Data Totals Report allows you to access a complete summary of the data collected (by variables) for a given date range. With this functionality built into your Zingtree analytics, you can view the data gathered by Total, Monthly, Daily, and even Weekly, to get a broader, more consistent look into the end-user information being entered.

A Success Story

For our customer, Chris Boundy at 24 Legal in Southern Australia, this report has been especially handy. With the Data Totals report, his team is collecting key location and demographic information from their visitors to see a complete breakdown week-by-week, allowing them to better understand what kind of legal advice their visitors need, as well as where they live.

They ask for a postcode and then using a Zingtree webhook, map it to what kind of population center (large city, rural, etc.) the visitor lives in. A report that used to take them three days to compile is now available in minutes. Here’s a quote from Chris:

“We use Zingtree to help provide tailored legal information to South Australians 24/7. We specialise in identifying pathways to legal information and assistance – and Zingtree has helped us to achieve this service aim in a user-friendly format that works well for visitors to our website”

– Christopher Boundy, Manager Access Services, Legal Services Commission, South Australia

How to Access the Report

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

Select which data variable you’d like to generate the report for, then click “Create Report.”

Click which range the report should be in (Total, Monthly, Daily, or Weekly). You can even adjust how the report will appear, either showing dates in rows or columns according to your preference.

With the full report generated, you’ll get an at-a-glance look at all of the data entered within your given timeframe. You can repeat this process with any data variable you collect — from email addresses to gender and everywhere in between!

Learn more about our powerful reports and analytics:

Reach out to us anytime with questions!

Check the blog for more information on our Analytics and Reports.

Make Tests, Quizzes, Assessments & More with Zingtree’s Logic Nodes

adding-search-to-decision-trees-6

Zingtree has the ability to create what we call evaluations through the use of logic nodes. These can be interactive tests, quizzes, assessments, training simulations, or anything else that requires assigning a score to each question answered – then later acting upon the total score.

Coupled with the powerful decision tree capabilities already present in Zingtree, logic nodes opens up a whole new realm of knowledge engineering possibilities. To see a working example of an interactive decision tree quiz using logic, try this 10-question Personality Test found in the Zingtree Gallery.

Here are the basics on how to build a tree with logic nodes:

  • Add a value to each button click when designing your tree.
  • As the end-user goes through your tree, Zingtree keeps a running total of the score values of all buttons clicked.
  • When you’re ready to act upon the running total score, use a new “Logic Node”. From there, you can specify rules which redirect to specific nodes.

Want to build your own? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: First, go to Overview > Edit Node and open up the button editor by clicking Edit Buttons. Select Score Button Clicks, and enter a Variable Name that will be used to tally scores and branch on later.

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Step 2: Next, add your desired score values to button clicks in your lead qualification decision tree.

button-scoring

Step 3: Now, add a new Logic Node using This Tree > Add Node. In the Logic Node, you can specify which node should appear next (and which to branch to) according to rules you create.

Step 4: Link the last button click of your test/quiz/assessment to this new Logic Node.

Note that the Logic Node never appears on the screen. When you direct the flow of your Zingtree to this node, it looks at the sum total of all the button click scores and redirects to the proper node.

Need to See More Examples? The Zingtree Gallery has three trees that use Scoring. You can play or examine them to see how they work. See the Logic Demos.

Bonus Tip! 
Want to display the score on a node? Just add the text #score# into the content area.

Other Notes:

  • You should make sure you are using the latest embed code or hosting URL for your tree.
  • If your end-user presses the back button, the running total score will adjust.
  • If the tree is restarted, the running total score resets to zero.

Any questions? Please reach out to us at any time

This article was originally published August, 2015.

Address Auto-Complete and Verification in Decision Trees

Many of our call center customers are using Zingtree to collect data from their customers, and in a sales or shipping application, there’s always an address form or two to fill out. Our customer Tom K. asked us if there was a way to make this process faster, and also to verify addresses to eliminate costly shipping errors. The short answer? Yes! Zingtree has an automatic address auto-complete and verification capability available to you.

Note: There is an extra cost for each address verification lookup: two lookup credits, or $0.02 per lookup. And currently, this is for addresses in the USA only.

Here’s How It Works

As you start entering an address, Zingtree gives you selections on every possible match:

The more text you enter, the fewer matches appear:

Once you select a match, the city, state and zip code are filled in automatically, and the address is verified against the USPS database. If the address is valid, a “USPS Verified” tag will appear in the form:

Try a demo here

How to Set Up Address Auto-Complete and Verification

Setting up a form with address verification requires two parts:

  1. Enable the Verify USA Addresses option in the Tree’s Settings.
  2. Set up your address entry forms, using the new address 1, address 2, city, state and zip field types.

Step by step, here’s how to do it:

  1. Select your tree, and go to the Settings tool.
  2. Make sure Verify USA Addresses is checked. This will enable the special address field types.

  3. Click Update Settings.
  4. Now, go to Overview, and edit a question node where your address form resides.
  5. Locate the Data Entry Fields area, and click Add to add fields.

  6. Add the first line of address entry, using the field type Address 1:

  7. Add the second line of the address, using the Address 2 field type.
  8. Add a field for the city, using the City field type.
  9. Add a field for the state, using the State field type.
  10. Add a field for the zip code, using the Zip field type.
  11. When you’re done, the data entry fields summary will look something like this:

    Important: Make sure the field types are all set properly.

  12. Save your node by clicking Save Changes.

That’s it! If you like, you can copy our Gallery demo tree and modify it for your application. Or, just examine it to see how it’s built.

If you like this feature or have any ideas on how to make Zingtree even more useful, please send us a message.

Bite-Sized is Better: Why You Need to Ditch Long Support Articles

People are presented with an overwhelming amount of information every single day — so much so that they can’t possibly even begin to absorb it all in a constructive way.

Historically speaking, packing in as much detailed data as possible into one place was considered helpful. These days, however, the trend to keep things short and sweet has got people (and consumers) hooked. Mark Schaefer, the author of The Content Code, summarized it well:

“There is a definite trend toward small. If we can’t get big chunks of content through a limited ‘pipeline’ of brain cells, maybe we can get grains of sand through.”

In the customer service world, and beyond, the shift from longer form content to bite-sized pieces of information has started to take over.

Why Take on a Bite-Sized Approach?

Making information easier to chew, swallow, and digest has been adopted across many workforces in an effort to help the learning, engagement, and problem-solving processes. Psychologically speaking, human beings find it harder to sift through and understand large portions of information — these quick-to-read snippets are developed for the customer’s convenience, and significantly improve the retention of information. Twitter, with its 140 character limitation, is an extreme example of this trend.

The digital natives, Generation Y, are those brought into the accessibility of information. From the very beginning, they have been fed small, frequent bits of data constantly, battling the overwhelming distractions of notifications and other digital media that are so popular today. In order to really reach customers and consumers in today’s hyper-digital world, it’s critical for companies to start adapting to the need for shorter-form content and communications.

Cutting Back on Information Overload

Zingtree’s decision tree making platform was built with information overload in mind, making it easy for businesses, call centers, content marketers, and support teams to break complicated or dense topics into simple step-by-step actions. Set in an interactive environment that can be embedded into any website or page, decision trees are an ideal way to help customers without the need for live agents or long support articles.

We’ve made strides to become the most powerful, user-friendly platform for presenting information in bite-sized pieces. Zingtree decision trees allow you to:

  • Guide visitors with a simple click-click-click, so they can find answers to their questions and find the information they need without sifting through manuals and website pages.
  • Present customers with a step-by-step troubleshooter to self-solve issues and resolve problems without assistance from a customer support agent.
  • Create completely interactive experiences that break down any complicated process into easy-to-digest bits.

Check out this video to learn more about how to set up a decision tree:

Ready to see for yourself? Take a look at our Gallery for inspiration, or reach out to us with any questions. 

Customer Support Chart-Toppers: The 5 Best Apps for Zendesk

best apps for zendesk

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of everything that Zendesk has to offer; so are many of our own awesome customers. With its data-forward functionalities, centralized ticketing system, multiple support channels, and collaborative environment, there’s really no question why their Help Desk platform is so popular.

Another huge perk is their extensive collection of integrated applications, allowing you to do even more amazing things with the platform. In a sea of so many, we wanted to take the time to shout out to a few of the best apps for Zendesk:

1. Tasks

Tasks lets you build simple, to-do-style lists for any complex customer ticket, making it easier for support agents to flesh out (and follow) sub-tasks so customers can get the resolutions they need. With the app, you can track steps within any ticket, and even create templates for repeated tasks so every support team member involved can stay on the same page.

Learn more here: https://www.zendesk.com/apps/tasks/

2. Time Tracking

Time Tracking is perfect for support teams aiming to improve employee performance and identify resource-intensive customers, as it focuses on tracking the time spent on every incoming Zendesk ticket. Using the Time Tracking app for Zendesk, support and operations managers can more easily figure out where bottlenecks occur in agent efforts, as well as which issues tend to take the most time to resolve.

Learn more here: https://www.zendesk.com/apps/time-tracking

3. Swiftype Search

Every kind of customer wants the ability to run a quick search on a help desk or knowledge base – it’s the fastest way to find relevant information and self-solve problems. The Swiftype Search app integrates a completely customizable search bar on your Zendesk Help Center, so customers can easily access information, and your company can tap into search behavior and popular queries.

Learn more here:  https://www.zendesk.com/apps/swiftype-search/

4. Annotate

Honest, effective customer communication is key where problem-solving is concerned. Annotate is an app that allows you to guide customers in real-time through marked-up screenshots and images. This way, support agents can take them through step-by-steps, ask them to click certain areas or links, and more easily work with them to find solutions to more complex problems.

Learn more here: https://www.zendesk.com/apps/annotate-by-driftt/

5. Trello

We know and love Trello as a flexible, visual tool for organizing and itemizing tasks within various projects.  The Trello app for Zendesk lets you integrate the amazing task-based collaboration of Trello with the centralized communication of Zendesk, so agents can add support tickets to Trello cards and organize the boards they’re a part of. It’s an incredibly simple way to stay on top of it all.

Learn more here: https://www.zendesk.com/apps/trello/

In case you hadn’t heard, we have our own Zendesk apps to make your customer service and relationship-building efforts even more centralized, too:

The Zingtree Customer Support app for Zendesk allows you to integrate the steps a customer takes within a decision tree troubleshooter directly into that customers’ Zendesk ticket. If the customer can’t self-solve using your decision trees, your support people get valuable background information with every ticket, which saves everyone a lot of time and minimizes back-and-forth. You can learn more here: https://www.zendesk.com/apps/zingtree/

The Zingtree Agent Scripting app for Zendesk lets you build completely customized scripts that support agents can follow along with during each call, all while integrating with your Zendesk system. This makes it easy to streamline customer conversations, and provides powerful stats and reports on how the decision tree script is being used. You can learn more here: https://www.zendesk.com/apps/agent-scripting/


Any questions? We’re here for you

Decision Tree Maker: Troubleshooting for Tech Support

Troubleshooting has been a key problem-solving technique used by technical support teams and agents for ages. For every type of product or service in existence, there are countless types of issues that can potentially occur; troubleshooting aims to help narrow down what that problem could be for each customer, based on other contextual factors.

Zingtree makes it easy to build custom, interactive troubleshooters for tech support that are simple and straightforward enough for anyone to use and understand. When YouMail, the leading provider of visual voicemail, realized that they needed to resolve their support inquiries more quickly, they looked to automated troubleshooters to help. Using a clever mix of our interactive troubleshooters and YouMail’s own technical support staff, the company was able to amp up their customer support efforts, and assist customers in a wider range of questions and issues – all while saving money.

Here’s how our interactive troubleshooters have allowed YouMail and other companies to streamline their tech support departments.

Improving Self-Solving for Customers

While traditional methods of customer support are still in practice today, the vast majority of customers (72%, in fact) prefer to use self-service support options before reaching out to a live agent to resolve their issue. Turning a complex interaction into a simple click-click-click provides an easy-to-digest platform for people to find solutions all on their own, at any time or place. Offering these types of avenues for customers to find answers, understand technical processes, and troubleshoot problems, will greatly improve how you serve your customers, and, in turn, how they will feel about your company.

Providing a Complete, Guided Path

Information is always easier to follow and retain when you’re being gently guided through bite-sized pieces of information. Interactive decision tree troubleshooters are a more user-friendly way than traditional troubleshooting methods to guide people through a series of in an interview-style way, which helps to keep the process moving along and customers more engaged with the information being presented. You can even add customizations and visuals like GIFs, videos, and photos to help display information in a more fun and engaging way.

Connecting with Existing CRM

Effective technical support strategies should integrate every method and means of customer communications in a centralized way. For most companies, this means having a built up knowledge base, FAQ, and live support that can share information with one another seamlessly.

Zingtree troubleshooters Integrate directly with Salesforce, Freshdesk, and any other CRM platform, making it easy to pass along proper information from the troubleshooter straight to an agent. If the troubleshooter doesn’t solve the problem, the entire Q&A session history is sent to you, or imported into your CRM, saving tech support from a lot of back-and-forths.

Here’s an example of how a Zingtree session transcript appears inside of Zendesk:

Optimizing with Reports & Analytics

With built-in, real-time analytics and powerful usage reports, businesses can view the direct impact of their interactive troubleshooters for tech support.

  • Performance/Results Report: see how your help system is performing.
  • Session List Report: see all the different customer sessions during a date range, and easily click for more details such as what parts of your troubleshooter they visited, their node-to-node path, and for how long they stayed on each node/question.
  • Traffic Map Report: quickly access a complete view of the content in your decision tree nodes, as well as a breakdown of the traffic to each, shown in both number of clicks and percentage of total traffic.

The Basics: How to Build a Troubleshooter

To get your troubleshooter up and running as quickly as possible, we recommend using the Zingtree Wizard tool.

Set up in a guided, form-based way, the Wizard allows you to supply every question, answer, and other pieces of content for each stage of the troubleshooting process. As you dive further into the creation of your troubleshooter, you can fill in more of the nitty-gritty details, and see a live preview of what the page will look like:


Companies that integrate Zingtree troubleshooters into their customer support processes have seen a 20% reduction in technical support costs on average, as well as improvements in the overall volume of incoming tickets. 

Get started with an interactive troubleshooter, check out our Gallery for more inspiration, or reach out to us with any questions!