Whether you’re an online retailer or consumer, Black Friday is a crazy time of the year. For customer support teams, in particular, the stress and demand can seem neverending – it’s not a question of if a customer will have an issue or question, but when. Adding extra layers of employees needing (and deserving) time off of work around these times and generally higher stress levels, startups and small businesses especially can feel the tension around customer support.
Black Friday On-Demand: Salesforce Industry Report
To be frank, mobile and on-demand options truly reign supreme. Customers today expect a smooth purchasing experience, fast shipping, and even faster customer support.
Salesforce combined the insights on the activity of over 500 million global shoppers and billions of transactions, millions of public social media conversations, and data from Salesforce’s annual Connected Shoppers Report to give retailers and online businesses the intelligence they need keep moving forward this holiday season.
Here’s what VP of Industry Insights, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Rob Garf, had to say:
“Just like watching television, holiday shopping has moved from an appointment based activity to an on-demand activity. Salesforce expects to see continued growth not only in mobile orders and website visits, but also in newer technologies such as mobile payments and artificial intelligence. It’s not too late for retailers to make adjustments today in order to meet consumer expectations and better compete this holiday season.”
A Better System of Customer Support for the Holidays
So, how does an online business truly prepare for holiday shopping? A new trend in customer support: self-service.
Interactive decision trees allow customers to quickly and easily navigate through processes, products, troubleshooting, and more. Setting up a completely automated, information-filled FAQ or knowledge base, simple-to-use product finder, or digestible problem-solving can solve a myriad of internal issues (and your customer’s, too!).
Our retail customers are able to solve problems and answer questions outside of regular and holiday office hours, as well as encourage more sales and truly streamline the customer support process. Take a look at some of our own resources for improving customer support here, and stop by our own decision tree-built knowledge base here.
Implementing a personalized or branded color scheme, along with icons that relate to your company, will keep an easy-to-follow and digest structure throughout your support process. An interactive decision tree is the easiest way to help a user with visuals, where they can follow the trees effortlessly while being able to really learn from the guided instructions.
We’ve detailed each customizable element – and examples of how to use them correctly – to make your end-users even happier about their customer service experience!
1. CSS & Personal Style Customizations
Colors and icon choices communicate in subtle ways and can reinforce your brand and mission. Here are some ways to manage these:
We made it easier to adapt your decision tree to your personality or brand when customizing so your tree can fit your desired color, custom CSS files being the main one. Once you have created your ideal profile, you can simply add it to your decision tree product finder which will help reveal your true brand identity.
We had feedback from our users suggesting that it would be more user-friendly if we included a feature of animated themes, including colors but remaining easy-to-use. Our design team and engineers set out to create this recommendation with the main goal of making tree color customizations easy.
See the endless possibilities in this quick, fun video:
Color buttons and icons
Here’s the feature that will allow you to build your own personalized color buttons, icon imagery or even to include emojis within your page titles and buttons. To customize the style of your buttons, all you need to do is prefix the button text with special classes. For example, for your color buttons, choose:
To add an icon that helps guide your customer but also helps reveal your brand personality, add one or more of these classes:
2. Visual Features for Creative Support
Video content is shaping user satisfaction across the internet. And with many uses and forms, this is something that more people are demanding, which is why video is the best way to improve your user experience. GIFs are also actively being incorporated into decision trees making the user experience more rewarding. A short clip of a difficult instruction, being repeated several times after 3 seconds or so makes the process of self-service a lot easier to follow.
When including still imagery, diagrams or other graphics into your customization, you are allowing the customer to be at the same pace when working towards a solution. Having reminders follow your tree also makes the service more user-friendly.
There are two main features when using visual aids with a decision tree, one is the effectiveness and the second is interactiveness. It’s so easily done, you can add it to any node you want.
3. Easy Data Collection and Presentation
The use of document nodes can be used for specific types of customized documentation that prove highly beneficial to the self-service aspect of support. Documentation can include building legal agreements, generating purchase orders or even a lead to a returns label that the user has personally generated.
4. Messaging & Translations for Understanding
When publishing across multiple languages, creating a decision tree that works interactively for these can become complicated. With the translation customization, you can reach a larger user base who need the language localized. With localization management software, along with other custom support features, your users will find your platform much easier to follow. You can follow our instructions here on how to translate your decision trees.
It all starts with a good base of messaging, however. When communicating throughout your decision tree, you should write well and use industry language that is helpful and informative. For nodes with poorly descriptive language, it creates confusion and incomplete results. Here are some of the basics of writing effective nodes that will help you write informative questions that lead to a better, more personal experience.
Make questions concise by focusing on one subject at a time and structuring to an easily absorbed manner.
What not to do:
If our system of tutorials and articles hasn’t been helpful, do you think you would consider switching service providers?
What to do:
Would you consider another provider if you were not able to self-solve using our knowledge base?
Use the right language so that every user can navigate through your tree knowing the subject and words being used.
What not to do:
What kind of issue or problem is happening with your account?
What to do:
How can we help? Please select a category.
Focus on an active voice soyou can communicate areas appropriately that identify awareness of the issue within that action.
What not to do:
Our recommended guidelines and instructions for solving your issue should be followed as written below.
What to do:
Follow our recommended guidelines below to solve your issue!
When navigating through the creation of your decision tree, have the customer at the forefront of your mind, and keep questioning the end user experience. If you need any other assistance, reach out to us so we can assist you with the best self-service solutions.
One of the process issues we’ve faced as a company is the amount of time it takes to coordinate scheduling online demos for prospective new customers. If only there was a way to intelligently gather background information from each prospective customer, and then route the requests to the proper team… oh, wait! Zingtree can do that.
If you request a demo from our Contact Us page, you’ll launch a decision tree that determines what sort of customer you are, gathers relevant background information, and then opens a scheduler built with Calendly for the relevant team.
Calendlyis really well designed, and about as easy to use as possible. You can set up individuals or teams, and Calendly accesses their Outlook or Google calendars so that the available times are shown for each person or group. Rather than having a ton of back-and-forth with every party involved, our customers can quickly see when we are available, and pick a time that works with their schedule.
Calendly also lets you pre-fill custom forms used in the scheduling process. So besides name and email, we create a backgrounder using Zingtree data entry fields and button click variables for each meeting request. Our calendar entries include something like this:
name: Joe Customer
company: Acme Widgets
Use_Case: Internal & External
Agents: up to 10
data_transfer: Send from Zingtree to another App
features: how to create trees
business: We manufacture widgets
how_help: save time in support
Not only do we make it convenient for the customer to provide this information to us, but also this helps us prepare properly for each meeting.
Many of our customers with large decision tree systems in place ask for guidance on how to make a “master tree” which links to individual trees for troubleshooting or other processes. This is especially helpful for organizations that use Zingtree to build and publish completely interactive FAQs. In this article, we’ll discuss how it’s done.
Building a Master Tree
Creating a Master Tree is a simple, yet powerful process that consists of two over-arching steps:
Build the individual decision trees.
Build a Master Tree with one node, using a “blank starter tree.”
After building your individual trees and troubleshooters, there are a couple of distinct ways to build a Master Tree. We’ve created an example Master Tree for a few of our Gallery product finders.
Method #1 – Using Tree Tag Lists
1. Use the Settings tool to add tags to the trees you want to include in the Master Tree. For this example, we added the tag “master_finder” to our product finder decision trees.
2. Create a new decision tree to act as your Master Tree.
3. In the Master Tree root node’s content area, include a tree tag list. For our example, we tagged our trees with “master_finder,” so the tree tag list looks like this:
Method #2 – Using Tree Nodes
1. In the Master Tree, add tree nodes for each tree to link to.
2. In the root node of the Master Tree, create a button for each tree node. This will allow an end-user or customer to quickly jump to any other relevant decision tree from the Master Tree.
In partnership to provide insurance agencies with powerful interactive scripts
Easy Insurance Scripts has helped more than 2,500 independent insurance agencies across the U.S. and Canada become more profitable. With a unique system that provides online scripts to guide agents through insurance solutions for policies and procedures, marketing, human resources, errors & omissions, and customer service, it’s the only company of its kind offering powerful, tangible resources.
Easy Insurance Script’s Challenge:
Focusing exclusively on independent insurance agencies in the US and Canada, Easy Insurance Scripts saw many agencies confronting procedural issues with staff and customer service. Founder and CEO, Ted Baker, said: “there is often very little training and consistency offered for new staff and incoming insurance agents, so we wanted to create scripts to help guide agents through every interaction and policy question.” Easy Insurance Scripts needed a reliable way to assist independent insurance agents, but realized it wasn’t sustainable or feasible to create this solution from scratch.
Easy Insurance Scripts is partnering with Zingtree to combine 40 years of insurance experience with the dynamic technology of interactive decision trees. With a comprehensive platform for creating consistent training and call scripts, independent insurance agents are more effective, productive, and helpful.
“It’s amazing that I’m able to automate all of this for independent insurers,” says Ted, Founder & CEO. “For me, the ROI of Zingtree is immediate. Introducing standardized decision tree scripts for insurance has allowed the insurers in my network to really thrive. With scripts for guiding conversations, interactive trees to train new agents, and the reporting that comes along with it, agents are able to provide a better customer experience that’s consistent and informative.“
About Zingtree: Zingtree is the most user-friendly, business-ready platform for creating and implementing interactive decision trees and scripts that deliver answers faster and simplify complex processes. You can quickly create decision trees that your employees, 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. Interactive decision tree scripts have allowed Easy Insurance Scripts to bring their original concept to life.