Category Archives: Call Centers

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!

Making Dynamic Data Collection Forms

YouAsked

One of our larger customers requested the ability to make a list box that can change depending upon a selection made previously while using a decision tree. If you are doing data collection, this can really simplify things for your end-users.

Demo

For a demo, we’ve built a tree that asks you to select a state in the USA, and from there shows a list of cities in that state.  You can try the demo here.

Setup Overview

This tree uses Zingtree Webhooks. Here’s how we built it:

  1. We created a PHP script for our state-to-city list box generator. This script receives a state code, and returns JSON with a variable called pick_a_city that contains an HTML list box to pick a city in that state. This will be the Webhook URL. It looks like this:
    https://zingtree.com/demo/get-cities-from-state.php?state=#state#

    Substitute #state# with the 2 letter abbreviation for your state to see the results, or just use this example for Alaska.

  2. We created a new Webhook called “City/State Lookup” (under Account > My Apps) with the URL in step 1.

  3. The first node contains a list box with all of the states. The selection is stored to a variable named state. The only button in this node goes to node #2. The end-user view for node #1 looks like this:

  4. Node #2 calls the Webhook we created with the state variable from node #1. The Webhook returns HTML for a list box that replaces a placeholder in node #2 called #pick_a_city#. Here’s the content area for node #2:

    Under Advanced Options, we tell node #2 to send a message to our City/State Lookup Webhook before it loads, like this:

Source Code

  • You can see the entire tree here.
  • The PHP source code for the Webhook URL script is here.
  • The URL for the Webhook is:
    https://zingtree.com/demo/get-cities-from-state.php?state=#state#

Need More Info?

Questions or suggestions? Just holler!

Zendesk Agent Scripting App – Version 9

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

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

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

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

Zingtree Setup

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

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

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

Zendesk Setup

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

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

  3. Click Upload Private App.

  4. The Upload App page appears.

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

Configuring the App

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

Here’s what each item does:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try It with Example Data

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

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

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

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

Any questions? We’re always here to help

8 Call Center Technologies to Improve Your First Call Resolution

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

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

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

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

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

Read the full article on TechSee.me >>

Update: Search ALL Your Trees from any Node

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If you have a lot of decision trees that you’ve been building for your organization, it can be handy to let employees or customers search through any and all of your trees to find answers. To do this, simply add a Tree Search Form to any node, which looks like this:

 

 

 

How to add basic tree search:

  1. Go to Overview, and edit the node you want to contain the form.
  2. Place the cursor at the place where you want the form inserted.
  3. Click the Templates button in the Content editor, and select Tree Search Form.

Search queries will match words in the tree titles, or tree tags.  You can set both in the Settings tool.


Full Tree Search:

If you want to search everything in all your trees: titles, tags and content, use the Tree Content Search Form option instead:


Notes:

  • You can hide trees from Tree Search. In Settings, select “Hide Trees from Agent Portal and Search All”.
  • Searches will examine ALL trees belonging to the same organization as the current tree.


What are you waiting for? Try it live!

Thanks to Elise and her team for suggesting this. Do you have any great ideas for Zingtree? Please share!

Save

Why Your Support Representatives Need Interactive Scripts

Customer service is more than just answering questions and escalating serious issues; it’s a long-term, relationship-building process that requires excellent care and consideration to thrive.

Your agents and representatives are the face (or rather, voice) of your company. By providing them with the right tools to help guide customer conversations, you’ll be able to make sure that every interaction has a productive and positive outcome – Agent Scripts are used to help with exactly this.

Written in the company’s tone of voice and adhering to its own best practices, Agent Scripts make it much easier for support representatives to express information correctly and assist customers in any way. Among other benefits, these scripts allow agents to:

1. Standardize to promote best practices

There’s no need to reinvent the wheel and run the risk of failure in each customer interaction. Once you find your magic formula, stick to it and you’ll find that your support agents are much more effective at delivering consistently great experiences (your customers will take notice, too).

With standardized scripts to guide your team through the interaction, it’s easy to ensure that every support agent will know precisely what to say and when to say it. A natural flow to a conversation is often the best way to make sure a customer is feeling heard and helped!

2. Analyze effectiveness and performance

After implementing a solid, standardized script (or scripts) for use in your business, it’s important to keep up with how well they are doing so you can continue to make the process even better.

With our Agent Scripting tool, you can easily track each agent interaction and each customers’ reason for needing support, as well as access awesome analytics and reports on how your decision tree is being used, in aggregate or by individual agents.

You can also go straight to the source and gather comments from your support agents themselves – this way, the original Author receives actionable feedback that makes it easy to continue to improve upon.

3. Integrate with existing resources

Zingtree integrates directly with many of the popular, useful services that are used by support teams today, including Slack, WordPress, Salesforce, Freshdesk, Zopim, Intercom and more. By linking up your agent scripts to your CRM platform or tool of choice, support representatives can do a whole lot more with the information they’re given.

For CRM integrations, when a customer uses your decision tree and submits a support ticket, your agents will see helpful information in the ticket sidebar. Additionally, the most recent node and buttons clicked during the tree session are always saved with the ticket, so if another agent takes over, previous steps taken are clearly visible.

Curious to see how it all works? Check out this short video:


Ready to improve your customer support efforts? Get started with Zingtree Agent Scripting solutions today!

Agent Portal: How to Show or Hide Trees from Agents

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When using the Zingtree Agent Portal, some customers asked if there was a way to make specific scripts visible to certain agents, or hide scripts from other agents. With this latest update, you can now assign agents to groups, and have trees visible to only those groups. This is done using tagging. Here’s how it works:

When editing your Agent Lists from Account > My Agents, assign tags to each individual agent. Each tag corresponds to a group that the agent belongs to.

Next, assign tags to your trees, using the Settings tool. These tags are also used to group trees.

And that’s it!

If an Agent has tags assigned to them, they will only be able to see trees with those same tags. For example, if Agent Bill is assigned a tag of “sales,” he will only be able to see trees also tagged as “sales.”

Notes:

  • Any agents with no tags will be able to see all trees.
  • You can assign multiple tags to agents or trees.

Embedding Zingtree Decision Trees in Salesforce

z-salesforce

If you run a Call Center or do live support, and you use Salesforce, being able to link a Zingtree script or troubleshooter to each case is really handy. Not only does this give agents a guide to follow when helping customers, but if a case is transferred or reopened, the last viewed node in the Zingtree reappears, and the entire history of the session is available as well.

Inside of Salesforce, we’ll create an Agent Script button, accessible from each case. Clicking this button will open an Agent Script, built with Zingtree:

Here’s how to set up Salesforce with an embedded Zingtree:

  1. Go to Salesforce.com, and log in to your account.
  2. Click Setup on the top right of the screen.
  3. Select Build > Customize > Cases > Buttons, Links and Actions in the left panel.

  4. Click New Button or Link.

  5. We’ll modify the New Button form to look like this:

  6. Make the Label “Agent Script”.
  7. Make the Name “Agent_Script”. (The name cannot have space characters, so we use an underscore here.)
  8. Select Detail Page Button.
  9. The Behavior is Display in New Window.
  10. The Content Source is URL.
  11. For the URL, make it look like this (substituting the tree ID of your script for #########):
    https://zingtree.com/host.php?tree_id=#########&style=panels&show_history=1&persist_names=Restart&persist_node_ids=1&agent_mode=1&nopermalink=1&source={!Case.OwnerEmail}&session_id=#########-{!Case.CaseNumber}
  12. Click Save.
  13. Next, we have to add the custom button to the Case page layout. Within Setup, go to Build, Customize, Cases, Page Layout.
  14. Click Buttons.
  15. Drag the Agent Script button into the custom buttons area, like this:

  16. Click Save.

Now, when your agents are in a case, they can click the Agent Script button, and walk through your Zingtree troubleshooter with the customer. Awesome!


Customization Notes: You can use the Zingtree Advanced Hosting Options to customize the display of your tree within Salesforce by modifying the URL. Once you’re done, take the hosting URL, and add the following to it (substituting your tree ID for #########):

&source={!Case.OwnerEmail}&agent_mode=1&session_id=#########-{!Case.CaseNumber}

Adding Call Scripts to Desk.com

salesforce-desk

Besides being a well designed, elegant, simple-to-use help desk system that is easy to learn and configure, Desk.com is also great for Call Center use – both inbound and outbound – and is a natural platform for launching Interactive Agent Scripts created with Zingtree.

Using Agent Scripts in Desk.com

Within Desk.com you can load a script from any Case using the Integration Links at the top of the page.

This loads your custom Zingtree Agent Script in a new browser tab.

Cool feature: One of the best things about using Zingtree with Desk.com is that the last viewed page and the history of the interactions with the script are saved with each ticket.  So if a customer calls back, or a call is transferred to another agent, the script will be in the same place as it was left previously.

Please note: This is only available in the Next Gen interface in Desk.com.

How to Set Up Zingtree Call Scripts in Desk.com

You will need to create a custom Integration URL within Desk.com as follows:

  1. Create a tree in Zingtree, and note the nine digit Tree ID. (You can use 628045351 as a demo.)
  2. Log into desk.com, or create a free account if you haven’t yet done so.
  3. Go to the Admin dashboard.
  4. Click Cases, Integration URLs.
  5. Enter “Zingtree” as the Name, and select New Browser Window as the Open Location.
  6. Add a URL like this, substituting the Tree ID into both places with #########:
    https://zingtree.com/host.php?style=panels&tree_id=#########&session_id=#########-{{case.id}}&agent_mode=1&show_history=1&source={{case.active_user.name}}

  7. Make sure Enabled is active.
  8. Click Add.


Advanced Uses

Displaying Session History in Case Details

You can use a Standard iFrame Integration URL to show the Q&A History from your script next to the ticket, like this:

You will need to create an iFrame Integration URL. Use this URL (substituting ######### with your Tree ID):

https://zingtree.com/api/get-qa-data.php?nototal=1&session_id=#########-{{case.id}}

This article explains how to set up an iFrame Integration URL.


Inserting Desk.com Fields into Scripts

You can include fields from the Desk.com case into your Zingtree scripts using Merge Variables.  These are added to the Integration URL.

For example, to add the customer’s first name and company, add these parameters to the URL:

&variables=NAME|COMPANY&values={{customer.first_name}}|{{customer.company}}

In your Zingtree scripts, enter #NAME# and #COMPANY# wherever you want the name and company to appear.


Advanced Display Options

When using the Publish tool in Zingtree, go to the Advanced Hosting Options under Have Zingtree Host your Tree. You can experiment with adding different styles and button options to the URL you will use with Desk.com.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to include these options at the end of the URL:

&session_id=#########-{{case.id}}&agent_mode=1&show_history=1&source={{case.active_user.name}}


Automatically Choosing a Script from a Custom Field

You can  make different scripts appear based upon the value of a custom field. The key is to match a Zingtree tree tag with the custom field value. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In Zingtree, tag your trees with the value of the custom field to match.  This article has more on tagging.
  2. Use an integration URL like this:
    http://zingtree.com/host-trees.php?jump=1&key=APIKEY&type=treetag-any&agent_mode=1&show_history=1&search={{case.custom_FIELDNAME}}&source={{case.active_user.name}}&session_id=DESK-SUBDOMAIN-{{case.id}}
  3. Substitute APIKEY with your API Key. (You can find it here.)
  4. Substitute FIELDNAME with the name of your custom field.
  5. Substitute SUBDOMAIN with your Desk.com subdomain.  For example, if you use mysupport.desk.com, use “mysupport” as the subdomain.

 

Zingtree Agent Portal for Contact Centers

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Many of our Call Center customers have asked for a simple, standalone way for their agents to access interactive Zingtree scripts from their browser. To that end, we have created the Zingtree Agent Portal.

Overview

The Agent Portal is a one-stop location for your agents to access all of the scripts in your organization. Here’s how it looks:

When your agents click on a script name, their interactive script appears like this:

Accessing the Agent Portal

Everyone who wants access to the Zingtree Agent Portal for your organization needs to log in from zingtree.com. You can set up logins for all your agents, and use your own Zingtree account to gain access as well.

The first step is to add yourself as an agent:

  1. Log into your Zingtree account.
  2. Go to Account > My Agents.
  3. Click Add Myself as an Agent. Your name and login appears in the list of agents:
  4. Click Go to Agent Portal.

That’s it. You’re in!

Adding Agents to the Agent Portal

Once you’re happy with how the portal is working, you can give others access.

  1. Go to Account > My Agents.
  2. Click Add One New Agent. The Add Agent form appears:
  3. Enter the agent’s info, then click Create Agent.

You can also add multiple agents in bulk by using the Add Multiple Agents option in step 2 above. It looks like this:

Features of the Agent Portal

Besides the self-explanatory Back, Start again with this Customer, and Finished with this Customer, there are a few other goodies your agents will appreciate.

History

Agents can see all the steps they took with the customer by clicking the + icon next to History.

The ‘A’ button at the upper right makes just the answers appear.

Agent Feedback

If an agent sees a problem with a node in your script, they can send feedback directly to the tree’s authors using this button at the lower right of the screen:

Shrink Headers

For a more compressed view, have agents use the  button at the top right.

Inserting Agent Info into Scripts

You can personalize your scripts for each agent. When creating your tree, use these placeholders:

#agent_name# – inserts the name of the Agent into the script.

#agent# – inserts the Agent’s login into the script.

Hiding Scripts from Agent View

While you’re developing scripts, you may want to keep them out of the Agent Portal until they are ready and approved.  You can hide scripts as follows:

  1. Go to the tree you want to hide from the My Trees page.
  2. Go to the Settings tool.
  3. Select Hide from Agent Portal View.