Monthly Archives: August 2017

Upload File Attachments into Decision Tree Sessions

Many customers have asked for a way to include file uploads as a part of a Zingtree decision tree session. Some use cases include:

  • Attaching a screenshot.
  • Including a photo.
  • Uploading a document.

Overview

Using Data Entry Fields, you can pick the File Upload field type. This allows you to include one or more files in the session data gathered by Zingtree. When the end-user uploads a file, here’s what happens:

  1. The file is copied from the end-user’s computer to a Zingtree file storage server.
  2. Zingtree assigns a variable to the URL where the new file resides.

Security note: Each file uploaded has a random 7 digit prefix or session ID attached to it, so that files with the same name aren’t overwritten, and the file names cannot easily be discovered by hackers.

How It Works

When the end-user reaches a node with a file upload, they will see something like this:

Clicking Upload Document File allows them to choose a file on their computer. Once a file is chosen, the button changes:

How to Set up File Uploads

When editing a node, do the following:

  1. Go to Data Entry Fields, and select Add:

  2. Choose File Upload as the field type, and enter a variable name and label for the upload button:

  3. Click Add Field.
  4. Now click Save Changes to save changes in the node you were editing.

It’s that simple! This gallery example shows how a simple file upload tree is built.

If this is useful for you, let us know. We love customer stories!

How to Customize Your Decision Trees with Color Buttons

Customization is one aspect of decision tree creation that we’re really big on — Zingtree’s new Custom Buttons are the latest extension of that practice. With this tool, you can create buttons that look a little something like this:

Overview: All About Custom Buttons

With the new Custom Buttons, you can make a range of adjustments to the style of your decision tree buttons, including:

  • Setting a button color
  • Adding an icon to a button
  • Combining colors and icons
  • Creating your own custom buttons (CSS)

Customizing the style of a button is done by prefixing the button text with special classes. To choose a color, use a prefix like:

  • .btn-orange
  • .btn-red
  • .btn-green
  • .btn-blue
  • .btn-yellow
  • .btn-sky
  • .btn-purple
  • .btn-pink

To add an icon that helps to show a little more context, add a prefix like:

  • .btn-yes
  • .btn-no
  • .btn-careful
  • .btn-caret
  • .btn-arrow
  • .btn-thumbs-up
  • .btn-thumbs-down
  • .btn-information
  • .btn-question

You can even make a special combo, mixing colors and icons together. For example, .btn-yes.btn-green will appear as:

 

Check out our Button Customization decision tree in the Zingtree Gallery to see more of the styling options in action. 

Setting Up Custom Buttons

  1. Go to Overview, and edit the node to customize.
  2. Click Edit Buttons.
  3. Edit the button text, and prefix it with one of the color or icon options. For example, to make a red Stop button, enter:
  4. Click Save Changes when you’re done.

Other Decision Tree Customizations

The ability to customize decision trees is something that we offer to all plan types and free trial users. Some of the styling options provided include:

  • Adding videos, GIFs, and image-based media.
  • Inserting custom CSS files to adjust the overall look and feel
  • Publishing and presenting as a fun pop-up overlay.
  • Applying a pre-made color theme to spice things up.

Love this new customization feature? Have any ideas for other awesome ways to make your decision trees look and feel even better?

Send us feedback!

Zingtree Enterprise: Self-Hosted Decision Trees

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While we are highly focused on our own security and data integrity, we recognize that using a SaaS (Software as a Service) site like Zingtree may require approval from various departments. For many, the hosting of company data offsite immediately triggers a cautionary reaction.

To address these concerns, we have a completely self-hosted Zingtree version. It utilizes the same awesome tools found in Zingtree but packaged in a way that can be installed on any server with industry standard PHP and MySQL. A full source code license is included, as well as regular updates.

This self-hosted option has a lot of benefits:

  • Customer data remains on-site.
  • Data is not intermixed with other company’s data (in case of legal subpoena issues).
  • Full source code allows security specialists to inspect the code for any possible hacking loopholes.
  • The design and engineering teams can modify the code or design of Zingtree to their liking.
  • You can guarantee your own uptime.
  • Plus, we provide consulting, support and maintenance as requested.

Want to learn more about the self-hosted Zingtree Enterprise solution?

Please contact us with licensing questions, or to get started with your self-hosted Zingtree Enterprise solution.

This article was originally published on September 28, 2015, but the information is still just as relevant! 

The Best Tools for Call Center Data Collection

All customers calling into your contact center have one thing in common: they care enough to want to get directly in touch with your company. Whether in regards to a critical issue that needs to be resolved, a quick question regarding accounts, or a request for more information on your products and services, these customers are reaching out for one-on-one care.

Not only can Zingtree interactive decision trees guide your agents through the call, but you can also collect and verify data about the customer, including name, address, email, phone number, and anything else you like.

Customer Calls = Data Goldmines

With the right interactive scripts in place, your call center can automate the process of collecting important customer data. You can:

Fill out information about a customer’s specific problem, question or request:

Use entry fields like list boxes, check boxes, dates, text, and numbers – shown here on the backend:

And shown here how they would appear for end-users:

You can even include the collected information in other parts of the script later on!

Here’s how to set up a call center script to collect data.

Verifying Key Customer Data

Beyond data collection, Zingtree interactive agent scripts for call centers also allow your organization to verify customer emails and phone numbers, and even any USPS address, to completely avoid any costly errors or mistakes that can happen during the purchase or shipping process.

As you begin to enter a shipping address you’ll see every possible match appear – these options will show less and less as you type in more of the address being verified.

Once you select an address from the choices presented, the city, state, and zip code will be filled in, and the address will be checked and verified.

For the verification of customer phone numbers and emails, the process is just a little bit different to make sure that your collected data is nice and clean. In the email validation test, for example, you’ll just need to enter in the customer email address and the Zingtree will verify if that email is “High Quality” or “Unverified.”

Both phone number and email validation work worldwide. Please note: If you are entering phone numbers for people outside of the USA, you’ll need to prefix them with a +.

For more details:

With your data cleaned and verified, you can rest assured that your collected customer information is accurate and reliable.

Like these features? Have any questions, comments, or suggestions? Please let us know!

Tree Nodes: How to Automatically Return to a Previous Decision Tree

Tree Nodes are one of Zingtree’s most popular decision tree building features. By allowing one tree to launch another, you can better organize your work and use smaller components repeatedly as a part of larger processes.

For example, a hardware company that makes lots of products may have a specific troubleshooting process for power-on problems that are common to many trees. By linking to a subtree, this troubleshooter can be authored just once, and used from several different trees.

A common request when implementing tree nodes is to be able to automatically return to the original decision tree that launched the process – just like a return statement in any programming language. This is done using a special type of tree node that is labeled as “return to previous tree.”

Summary: Setting Up a Return to a Previous Tree

Setting up a return tree node requires these steps:

  • Create a tree node in the starting tree, and specify a node number to return to.
  • In the subtree, use a tree node selected as return to previous tree. When this node is reached, the return node in the calling tree appears next.

Setup: Step by Step

  1. Create your starting tree and the subtree that will be launched from the starting tree.
  2. In the starting tree, create a tree node. Include the tree to launch, as well as a node in the starting tree that you want to return to when the subtree is finished (highlighted in red below). It looks like this when editing a tree node:

  3. In the subtree, create a new tree node and specify it as “return to previous tree.” Like this:

When the “return to previous tree” node is reached in the subtree, the return node from the starting tree will appear.

Example

The Zingtree Gallery has an example, both the starting tree and the subtree.

Thanks for Shawn G. and others for the inspiration!

3 Reasons Why Retailers Need to Offer Self-Service Support Online

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As Internet usage rises exponentially around the world, so does the popularity of online shopping. And naturally, as self-service shopping becomes more prevalent, the need for complementary self-service customer support becomes even more important for retail stores to introduce. Whether it’s for convenience, savings, location restrictions or any other reason, consumers are spending a lot of time and money with eCommerce retail.

Let’s take a look at some statistics:

  • Global online retail sales are estimated to top $4 trillion by 2020, making up 14.6% of total retail spending. (eMarketer)
  • Retail eCommerce sales in North America will rise 15.6% this year to reach $423.34 billion. (eMarketer)
  • The number of consumers browsing and buying online will hit 270 million by 2020, driven largely by mobile. (Forrester)
  • 72% of people think that self-service support is a fast and easy way to handle support issues. (Desk)

Is your retail store providing online, self-service support to empower customers? Here are a few big reasons to start making the change…

1. Answer Questions Outside “Regular Hours”

Your storefront hours and customer service representative availability will always have a timeframe. Meanwhile, customers are online shopping at any and all hours of the day – they are bound to run into some questions or issues while you’re away. Knowledge bases of information and thorough FAQs are critical to upkeep for online shoppers, and when you put that information into an interactive, easy-to-follow format, customers are all the more likely to find the answers they need quickly and painlessly.

Online decision trees and troubleshooters are the perfect way to set up customers for success outside of official store hours. Rather than forcing customers to search a trove of documents, by guiding end-users through a simple, click-by-click knowledge base they can easily self-solve questions about sizing charts, returns and exchange policies, gift card redeeming, credit card processing, and anything else they might need.

2. Encourage More Sales

Forrester estimates that online retail sales in the United States will grow 17% between 2016 and 2018. However, this fails to represent the huge percentage of customers who are far more likely to make a purchase (either online or in-person) after a successful online experience. In fact, offline sales that were influenced by a web-based interaction or experience hit close to $1.5 trillion just last year. Customers who purchase in your brick and mortar retail store have already looked at your website before walking in the door to buy. For this reason, creating a super-helpful online experience is just as important as the trained sales staff hired to generate interest in-person.

A self-service decision tree can also help encourage more sales online, too. For instance, our clients, Phoenix Bats, created a perfectly customized decision tree to help more customers find the exact right product to fit their needs. The Bat Selector decision tree now helps direct customers to the ideal bat, leading to an increase in overall sales.

3. Streamline Customer Communication

Your store’s website should be doing most of the work – if a customer has to hunt around in order to get some form of contact, you’re off to a rough start. Decision trees make a helpful interactive front-end for directing customers to the right page on your retail website, so people can easily get where they need to go with the power of automated filtering. Plus, they look and work great on any browser – on desktop or mobile – so customers can access a system to communicate with you anywhere with Internet access.

Once your agents are signed back online, any information submitted through your online troubleshooter decision tree during offline hours can be linked directly to any CRM (or live chat tool) your retail store is using, including Freshdesk, Zopim, Intercom, Salesforce, and others


Check out the Zingtree Gallery for decision tree examples.

Ready to start streamlining retail customer support for your eCommerce business? Get in touch with us, or sign up for an account. 

This article was originally published on March 16, 2017.

You Are Talking to a Robot. How Does That Make You Feel?

Chat is an incredible tool for having a real-time conversation with a customer on the other end of the computer. It’s been proven to be one of the most preferred methods of communicating with a customer support representative online. In fact, 63% of customers said they were more likely to return to a website that offers live chat as opposed to one that doesn’t.

But how do the tables turn when chatbots are introduced into the customer service mix? Do customers really mind if an automation is clicking “send” on their responses? Alex Debecker of Ubisend and VentureBeat teamed up to publish this article on the issues and real questions around having a robot do the talking.

Read a portion of the post here, and the rest on the VentureBeat site:

Conversations about chatbots helping humans in the workplace always brings up the same range of issues. We often end up discussing the place artificial intelligence will have in our lives. We (very) often talk about robots taking over completely. Some mention ‘the Singularity’ in a frightened tone, while others scoff at it.

Whatever the conversation, it always seems to revolve around the same topic: the impact robots will have on the humans they might replace and/or harm.

This debate is missing an entire piece of the puzzle, though. What about the humans on the other side of the conversation? After all, chatbots are there to converse, and there must be someone on the other end. So how do they feel about talking to a robot?

You are talking to a robot. How does that make you feel?

This is a highly relevant question. A chatbot could be as smart as anything in tech, but if people are reluctant to use it — for whatever reason — it becomes utterly useless. We know the prospect of robots taking over our jobs is scary to some. But how do we feel about chatbots helping us in our daily lives?

Thankfully, a few studies have allowed us to answer this question.

Mimi An from HubSpot shared the results of her study on the topic of artificial intelligence in eCommerce and customer support. The study found that only 57 percent of the people interviewed would rather get help from a real person than an AI program. To support this statistic, 40 percent answered they didn’t care whether they are talking to a human or a machine as long as they get the help they need.

Continue reading the article >>

Check out Ubisend’s 2017 Chatbot Report here >>

How does the thought of robots taking over live chat support make you or your business feel? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

25 Call Center Leaders Share the Most Effective Ways to Boost Contact Center Efficiency [CallMiner]

What is the most effective way for a contact center to increase efficiency?

This question is brought up time and time again when call centers and customer support teams are looking to make improvements; knowing where to start can be a tough call, though. Our CEO, Bill Dettering, is an expert when it comes to this. He recently gave some insight and tips to the folks at CallMiner.com, along with two dozen other contact center experts.

Here are some of our favorite quotes from the article that fill in the blank on,“the number one way to increase efficiency in a call center is by…”

Being responsive and getting back to potential customers in a timely manner. Prospective customers like to feel like they matter. Being responsive, setting follow-up reminders, and doing what you say you are going to do increases customer acquisition and helps the center run more efficiently. – Rachel Ivers, 8z Real Estate

To implement continuous training. Most centers do front-end training and that’s pretty much it. They don’t do anything else except maybe monitor a few calls and give some feedback. When it comes to contact centers, a huge amount of money is lost when someone has an undeveloped skill. If someone is making a mistake for two months waiting for his/her quarterly coaching session, thousands of dollars can be lost. Continuous coaching and training helps mitigate this risk. – James Pollard, The Advisor Coach

Using your wealth of customer data to give contact center reps every opportunity to connect with their callers. One of the most common complaints about contact centers is that the customer has to repeat their problem to multiple agents. Make sure you have software in place that gives all agents access to the same customer information, then give them the training they need to use it quickly and efficiently. Cutting out repetitive conversations will alleviate most customer service complaints and allow your agents to focus on resolving the issue at hand. – Paul Faust, RingBoost

Read the full article on CallMiner.com >> 

Want to learn more about how to make your contact center more efficient with interactive agent scripts? Reach out to us right here.

Summer Updates: Pop-Up Overlays, Predefined Webhooks and More

We’ve been busy this summer – so much so that we haven’t had a chance to share all the great updates we’ve done in the last couple of months! So here’s a list of all the latest improvements to Zingtree:

  • New: Popup overlay option
  • Fix: Webhooks now run when added to root node
  • New: Pre-defined webhooks (Session Summary, Timestamp, Send Custom Email)
  • Fix: Phone number field type can now be set as ‘required” (Boruch)
  • Fix: Preview now shows agent / end-user views properly (Boruch)
  • Update: Sessions List report now paginates at 500 per page (Roman)
  • New: Send secure session data link in email node also now includes a link to reopen the session (Boruch)
  • Fix: Zendesk app Q&A now shows all button clicks, even when going through subtrees (Phillip R.)
  • Fix: Session detail report now shows subtree jumps properly (Phillip R.)
  • Fix: PHP API call for tree_sessions now recognizes tree_sessions operation.
  • New: Repeating Forms
  • Fix: Designer now properly saves absolute button click values (i.e. =3)
  • Fix: Agent logins with trailing space characters now work in Agent Portal
  • Fix: Designer now always shows root node properly
  • New: Search Terms report
  • Update: Added Copy to Clipboard button for iFrame embed advanced options
  • New: Timestamp stock webhook (for Abe in Japan)
  • Update: Cleaned up API documentation so section titles and calls properly matched
  • Update: Layout of My Agents page improved
  • Fix: Phone number verification now treats numbers starting with 1 as International style. Allows for easy verification of USA numbers entered starting with 1.
  • Update: Made margins smaller for embeds in mobile device.
  • New: added email validation option, phone number validation (Tom K., Alok)
  • Fix: Verified badges for address lookups now align with input forms
  • Fix: Address verification now looks better on smaller screen displays
  • Fix: Copying trees now also properly copies checkbox score values in data entry forms (Ana)
  • New: Added CSV export to All Tree Stats report.
  • New: USA Address auto-complete and verification system in place
  • Update: Increased max form fields to 50 (Jonathan K)
  • Update: Scoring nodes can now call webhooks
  • Update: Webhooks and apps no longer run asynchronously, so webhook data is available immediately upon node launch
  • Fix: Recovering trees from snapshots no longer duplicates form fields
  • Fix: Copying a tree saves new copy as first entry in snapshots, labels the copy event properly
  • Update: All tree Stats report shows totals in the last row (Diana T.), lets you select an organization
  • Fix: Thin line at top of embedded trees no longer appears (Josh S)
  • Update: Agent portal “Done with Customer” button now logs that as a button click in session logs
  • Fix: Plus signs in email addresses now get transferred properly via email-session-info link nodes.
  • Fix: Embed options now always uses https by default.
  • Fix: Publishing links cleaned up for https always.
  • Update: Custom CSS URLs are now forced to be https in Settings tool.
  • New: Data Totals report
  • Fix: Saving layouts with unlinked nodes in Designer no longer gives weird error messages
  • Fix: “Default Browser” as browser type broke Zendesk agent scripting app for some people
  • Fix: Redirecting from http to https didn’t work for some really long URLs. Including Zendesk Agent Scripting app.
  • Fix: Webhooks now handle URLs with variables with spaces properly
  • Update: Now forces https for all URLs
  • New: Added zt_browser as an enhanced location variable
  • Fix: Pressing restart button reloads enhanced location variables, merge variables
  • Update: Question field length now 500 characters (Julie C.)
  • Fix: Updated location data for higher volume lookups
  • Fix: Resetting button click variables on the first click now works properly.
  • Update: Export to CSV buttons now at top of each report page (for Josh)
  • New: Option to switch between running total and fixed value for button click scoring

Whew! That’s a lot of updates over the last two months.

Whenever possible, we give credit to the customer who suggested an improvement. So if you have a brilliant idea, a suggestion, or a real need, let us know and we’ll do our best to make it part of the next update.