Category Archives: Customer Support

Customer Service Skills for the Next Generation of Support

As opposed to the traditional support methods focusing on being reactive, being proactive is the new way to control and scale your customer care. Beyond a customer service strategy in itself, proactive customer support is the one true driver of retaining customers and building relationships.

What does this mean for customer service teams? Anticipating customer issues and addressing them in engaging, informative, easy to understand ways. Luckily for agents and teams today, this can be done in a number of helpful formats – through tutorial videos, interactive knowledge bases, FAQs, decision tree troubleshooters, and other instructive media.

Beyond providing excellent self-service customer support methods, it’s still important to have basic contact information ready to go and easy to find, even in today’s digitally focused world. Studies show that 41% of companies currently don’t make this information visible or quick to locate – to be the best, you should always balance interactive decision trees and other helpful media with any and all platforms of communication available.

The Next Generation of Customers

Millennial customers today are like an entirely new category in their own light. Where previous generations prefer more one-on-one connection and personal relationships, young people today lean towards self-help solutions and fast-paced interactions.

In recent studies, it was found that nearly 70% of millennial females are comfortable resolving CS issues on their own, and 56% of millennials moved their business elsewhere as a result of poor customer service. With the trend continuing toward self-service support and easy, positive experiences, it’s more important than ever for businesses to be thinking about the next generation of forward-thinking, self-solving customers.

The 4 Most Important Customer Service Skills to Master

Your business’ millennial customers today will bring about the next generation of confident and well-researched purchasers. In terms of customer service skills, and in our own experience, here are the top few that agents need to truly master before that next generation comes.

1. Professionalism

The face of your business relies on the tone, grammar and writing style across digital ways of communication, as well as the professionalism and conciseness of any phone interaction. Some rules for professionalism in email or chat customer service: no abbreviations or lingo, check your information, and definitely never be pushy or leading.

Being understanding, friendly, informative and quick to respond to any customer service interaction is the best way to remain professional and help a customer resolve any issues with lightning speed. When in doubt, one of the best ways to promote better professionalism is to craft standardized decision trees and agent scripts that follow your company’s voice and brand perfectly.

2. Empathy

Every customer wants their issue to be understood and cared for. Customer service agents need to put themselves in the customers’ shoes and broaden their perspectives (and vocabularies, in some cases) to understand where the issue came from and how it can be resolved.

Everyone involved in a customer service interaction is a person — showing compassion and empathy in genuine ways for the problems they are facing, or relating on a more positive note, shows that you care and builds loyalty with the customer.

3. Assertiveness

With professionalism and empathy comes a need to be assertive in customer service situations. Now, we don’t mean aggressive — we mean being completely clear, confident and direct with the information provided and support offered. Taking control of a customer service interaction in a calm and helpful way by asking appropriate, direct questions will help guide support agents to the right conclusion far easier and faster, and the customer is much more likely to feel that the agent they spoke with is the right person for the job.

4. Expertise

32% percent of those surveyed in a recent State of Social Customer Service Report found the phone to be the most frustrating way to engage customer service (ConverSocial).

Without your customer service agents fully mastering the ins and outs of your business and product or service offering, they’ll never feel 100% comfortable and confident helping customers, and in return, customers will be more frustrated. Customer-facing agents should always be trained experts on every relevant inner working, allowing them to be more empowered to answer questions accurately and directly.


The main goal of customer service skills for the next generation is to make it easier for customers to solve problems, access help themselves, and feel totally satisfied with their relationship with your company. With Zingtree decision trees built for your business’ needs and scripts customized to your brand’s voice, customer service agents (and your customer service strategy overall) will become more effective, efficient, and automated.

Take a look at our Gallery to get more customer service inspiration, or get started with your own interactive decision tree or agent script to help streamline your customer service team. 

7 Tips for an Effective, Interactive Knowledge Base

Interactive Knowledge Base

These days, there are quite a few solutions for improving customer service and support in completely digital ways. Customer-friendly knowledge bases are one tried-and-true way to present every bit of important information, tutorials, and how-to’s in a completely categorized display. Your typical, traditional website knowledge base can’t compare to the power and effectiveness of a fully interactive knowledge base, however.

Armed with guided instructions that are compacted into smaller, more digestible pieces, interactive knowledge bases allow customers to quickly troubleshoot, find answers, and solve complex issues, all without calling your business up on the phone. Zingtree enables organizations and businesses of all sizes to create and integrate a customized, easy-to-use, interactive knowledge base into their support system, so every customer gets the answers they need. In fact, we host our own Zingtree FAQ on the Zingtree platform itself!

Here are just a few of our best tips for building the best interactive knowledge base you can.

1. Nail down your categories and main topics first.

Start with an outline of the topics you want to cover, as well as the categories of topics that they belong to. Having this thoroughly laid out before you set in will help you visualize your completed knowledge base, as well as make sure that you’re not missing any key topics, tutorials, or FAQs.

Here’s an example of how we have our own interactive knowledge base set up:

2. Always add a search bar.

The key to having a fully automated, interactive knowledge base is to make it as easy as possible for customers to direct themselves to the correct article or tutorial. Adding a search bar to the top of your knowledge base will prompt any unsure customers to see if they can quickly pull up the answers or information they need. It’s a simple tip, but one that your customers will absolutely appreciate!

3. Start with your favorite tool.

It’s important to work with the decision tree-building tool that works best for you, personally. We offer up a few different ways to get started:

  • Overview: Build your trees from scratch, piece by piece (or rather, node by node).
  • Visual Designer: Draw out every node, connection, and final result in one visual space.
  • Wizard: Quickly create by answering a series of questions and answers that ultimately build the final tree.
  • Spreadsheets: Start creating in Excel or Google Sheets and import for refinement.

4. Word everything carefully and concisely.

Beyond the general advice to keep wording (especially complex wording) to a minimum, it’s important to carefully craft each question, how-to, or other information to be perfectly clear, and never use phrasing that could steer customers down the wrong path. Keeping the decision tree questions and information presented in your interactive knowledge base as simple as possible and structuring them in an easy-to-absorb way is the best way to help customers get the help they need.

5. Use videos and animated GIFs strategically.

Visuals are proven to aid in information retention, plus they are fun to look at and are easy for customers to save to their respective desktops for future use! An interactive knowledge base built with decision trees allow for businesses to embed documentation and/or visual media to help convey information better. Using photos, graphics, and GIFs, and adding relevant videos to your questions is a hugely productive way to communicate instructions within limited space.

Here’s an example GIF that clearly shows how to connect nodes in our Visual Designer:

6. Link to more in-depth information where it’s needed.

There’s a lot to be said about going with a more streamlined, bite-sized approach to your support articles – something that our decision trees help a lot of businesses with. When in doubt, it’s always better to keep things short and to the point while linking out to further information or details when needed. Our decision trees allow you to use what we call “link nodes” to easily open up into a new window.

7. Integrate with CRM systems and other platforms.

One of our best tips for building a great interactive knowledge base is to make sure that it’s all linked up to CRM. Zingtree decision trees integrate directly with Freshdesk, Salesforce, Zendesk, and just about every other CRM out there to make the sharing of information fast and easy. With these integrations in place, support staff will have a much better look at where customers are getting held up, and can quickly send a full decision tree transcript over to their CRM for fast access.


Head over to the Zingtree FAQ to see how we set up our own interactive knowledge base with decision trees, or check out the Gallery to get inspiration for your trees!

Anything else? We’re always here to help you get started, offer advice, and answer any questions. 

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.

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!

25 Customer Support Statistics You Should Pay Attention To

It used to be that winning products and services spoke for themselves, and kept customers loyal and happy; an era that’s long since been over. We think Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, said it best himself: “In the old world, you devoted 30% of your time to building a great service and 70% of your time to shouting about it. In the new world, that inverts.”

Customer support and experience are fundamental to the performance, and ultimately, the long-term success of modern-day businesses. These customer support statistics pulled from various industry reports and studies tell a story of how increasingly important it is to provide full-service, multichannel, round-the-clock, easy-to-digest support to every customer in 2017.

1. Companies lose more than $62 billion due to poor customer service every year on average. (Source: New Voice Media)

2. researchers found that among thousands of customers studied, customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

3. 32% percent of those surveyed in a recent State of Social Customer Service Report found the phone to be the most frustrating way to engage customer service. (Source: ConverSocial)

4. 54% of millennials said they stopped doing business with a company because of poor customer service. So did 50% of Gen Xers and 52% of baby boomers. (Source: Conversion Research)

5. 40% of customers switch brands or services because a competitor offers better customer support. (Source: Zendesk)

6. There’s a $3 return on investment expected for every $1 invested in the customer experience. (Source: SiteCore)

7. 95% of consumers have taken action as a result of a bad customer experience, and of those consumers, 85% wanted to warn others about doing business with the company. (Source: Zendesk)

8. On the other hand, 23% of customers who had a good customer experience told 10+ people. (Source: Harvard Business Review)

9. 67% of consumers list bad customer experience as one of the primary reasons for churning. (Source: Kolsky)

10. 32% of social media users who contact a brand expect a response within 30 minutes, and 42% expect a response within 60 minutes. (Source: The Social Habit)

11. 77% of people say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service. (Source: Forrester)

12. 90% of consumers say they expect consistency and continuity from a brand across channels. (Source: Microsoft)

13. 97% of global consumers say customer service is important in their choice of, and loyalty to, a brand. (Source: Microsoft)

14. 51% of B2B companies avoid vendors after a poor customer service experience, and 66% stopped buying completely. (Source: Zendesk)

15. 66% of customers said that they would spend more with a retailer for improved customer service. (Source: Salesforce)

16. Only 1 out of 26 unhappy customers complain, and the rest churn. (Source: Kolsky)

17. Live chat support has a customer satisfaction rate of 73% – the highest of all customer service channels – with email at 61% and a low 44% for phone support. (Source: Econsultancy)

18. 55% of consumers say that easy access to support and information can make them fall in love with a brand. (Source: RightNow)

19. Even for a small support team of three people, implementing simple automation can save up to 600 hours — that’s an extra 25 days every year. (Source: Groove HQ)

20. 60% of consumers view a brand with a mobile-responsive self-service offering more favorably. (Source: 2015 Global State of Multichannel Customer Service Report)

21. 90% of customer service decision-makers believe that delivering good customer service is critical to their company’s success. (Source: Forrester)

22. 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves. (Source: Zendesk)

23. 70% of customers expect a company’s website to include a self-service application. (Source: Super Office)

24. 91% of customers surveyed said that they would use an online knowledge base if it were available and tailored to their needs/questions. (Source: Coleman Parkes)

25. In a survey of more than 75,000 consumers, the number one most important factor in a customer’s loyalty was found to be reducing their effort; in other words, the work they have to do in order to solve their problem. (Source: Harvard Business Review)


As new trends in customer service and customer experience emerge, companies in every industry are taking stock of what they can do to improve. With such high importance placed on providing consistent, fast, and self-service support to customers, Zingtree decision trees are a powerful tool that can streamline and strengthen customer service.

With an interactive online format that can be hosted anywhere, interactive decision trees allow customers to quickly self-solve issues, find answers to questions, and schedule follow-ups, so they’re more likely to be happier and more loyal to your business.

Did we miss any important statistics or trends? Let us know in the comments below!

4 Steps to Creating a Scalable Customer Support Strategy

While you can choose to pool all of your energy into development or marketing to get your product/service alive and out into the world, you’ll only ever see some of that potential return. After all, what is a reliable product without a reliable company behind it?

Investing the time and resources into building a solid, scalable customer service strategy is necessary to creating a brand that’s both profitable and sustainable. According to a recent Customers 2020 report, experts predict that customer experience will soon surpass price and product as the key differentiator from one brand to another. In other words, how you handle customer service matters.

When Applian Technologies was working on improving their processes and becoming more streamlined, they performed a support audit of their channels and found a lot of inefficiencies. Their goal was to scale up as a startup, and their human labor intensive customer support strategy was holding them back. From our experience with Applian building customer experience, we came up with a few pointed steps to lead to a scalable support roadmap.

1. Find the Perfect Help Desk Platform

After performing a full-fledged audit of your customer service efforts, it’s time to adopt a help desk solution if you haven’t already. And, if you have, it might be a good time to refresh things or even look into new platforms if things aren’t scaling up as quickly as you’d hoped.

The right help desk solution will centralize your communications across email, chat and social media, and be easy to manage day-to-day. With a platform like Zendesk, Freshdesk, or Desk.com, support teams can quickly identify repetitive issues, respond to customers and solve problems, and access key analytics to help optimize further along the way.

2. Offer Multi-Channel Customer Service

Offering multiple channels of access to support is the best way to keep customers happy 24/7; with the tools available today, it’s possible to provide consistent customer service without outsourcing live support or keeping agents up at all hours. The basic minimum multi-channel support platforms include:

  • Live chat support
  • Phone number
  • Helpdesk or CRM
  • Knowledgebase and FAQ
  • Interactive troubleshooters

While agents are offline, interactive knowledge bases, FAQs, and troubleshooters can offer customers access to many answers and solutions. Zingtree integrates with any CRM (like Zendesk and Desk), as well as live chat tools (like Zopim and Intercom) and publishing platforms (like WordPress), so you can strategically connect the dots with your customer service strategy, and help to streamline the entire process as you scale up.

In fact, when Applian technologies set up an interactive support system, they saw a 20% overall reduction in support cost and a huge reduction in the volume of back-and-forth support tickets overall.

3. Train Your Support Agents Early and Often

Onboarding new agents early and training (and re-training) them often is a hallmark of any company that truly understands how the knowledge of their employees can impact performance, satisfaction, and motivation. As customers are more empowered in their control of purchasing when, where and how they choose, so too should customer service agents be; training should always include a tutorial on how and when to go above and beyond for consumers.

Interactive training programs, much like interactive knowledge bases, are an ideal way to share information. With an online, standards-and-scenarios based training program, support staff can continue their company education in an easy-to-digest format, with complete information available on every facet of the business that they might need to know.

4. Keep up With (and Analyze) Reports

At the end of the day, the numbers and data surrounding your support strategy won’t lie. Set up your CRM tool to dole out automated reports based on the key statistics and indicators you need to keep track of, as well as for Twitter, Facebook, and any other platform you’re communicating with customers through. Aggregating and analyzing this data can help you to consistently improve as you scale up, identify any bottlenecks or trouble spots, and prove to the board that your strategy is really working.

Zingtree offers powerful analytics and reports to help make pulling data every month as simple as possible. Depending on how your interactive decision trees are set up, you can quickly see high-level usage stats, breakdowns by agent, overall traffic, and much more. Additionally, Zingtree works with Google Analytics to allow you to get even more robust and powerful tracking data.


How scalable is your current support strategy?

Start a new interactive decision tree to start streamlining, scaling up, and saving time and money. 

Any questions? We’re always here to help you get started. 

Zendesk Decision Tree Support App: Version 4

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Travis A., who is implementing Zingtree for a video technology company, was keen on using Zingtree to try to reduce his team’s support ticket load. He also needed to import a synopsis of the Zingtree session data into his Zendesk tickets so his tech support people could get some time-saving background information.

Travis wanted to emphasize the condensed Q&A part of the session. Done!

Here’s the new look of the Zendesk Decision Tree Support app:

Here’s what’s new in the Zendesk Support App, version 4:

  • The Q&A view is now the default.
  • Any “back” or “restart” button clicks no longer show in Q&A view.
  • The answers clicked are highlighted, so it’s easy for a support person to see where the customer went at a glance.

You can download the latest Zingtree Decision Tree Support app for Zendesk here.

Need help installing the app? Instructions are here.

Travis' photo
This is Travis.

Thank you, Travis, for the awesome suggestions!

Is Your Customer Service Working? How to Audit & Improve Your Strategy

Customer service is at the very heart of how businesses achieve true, sustained growth. For Zingtree, it’s a top priority; we do our absolute best to keep our customers satisfied and successful with our decision tree software, and much of our customer feedback is full of amazing suggestions for how to make our toolkit even better. In other words, when our customers are happy and engaged, we’re happy.

Even companies that have been around for decades need to re-evaluate their strategies every once in a while to ensure that everything is running smoothly, that key goals are focused, and that customer service strategies are measuring up. It’s important to perform a customer service audit on your support staff, channels, and overall effectiveness. Here’s our best advice for how to approach it:

1. Ask Yourself the Important Questions

The first step of any customer support audit is to ask yourself pointed questions about the state of your support channels, ease of access, profitability, and customer satisfaction and experience:

  • Do you know the real costs behind providing support to customers?
  • Is there a well-defined point of contact for customers within your business?
  • What is the demand, or average volume, of inquiries per channel per day? 
  • Do you have well-rounded support processes internally?
  • How responsive are you to incoming customers questions and issues?
  • Is customer service an integrated part of your sales and marketing strategies? 
  • Does your staff have the tools they need to really succeed?

Performing in-depth research, and reflecting on your current and past customer service strategies and outcomes is the best way to start the process of identifying areas of improvement in your support channels.

2. Figure Out the Cost of Customer Service

One of our very first deployments, Applian Technologies, develops powerful software to record and download online streaming media, with customers all around the world. As a busy technology company with an online presence, Applian was used to using more traditional support methods to keep up with customers. After performing an audit on their customer support channels, they realized that they were spending exorbitant amounts of time, money, and human resources on every incoming support ticket and decided to make some changes.

Here are the steps they took to audit customer support:

  1. Totaled how many tickets were answered in a given month.
  2. Totaled how much was paid to support staff.
  3. Calculated the cost per ticket, by dividing the number of tickets by the amount paid to staff.
  4. Gave each technical support employee a time tracker to narrow down how much time was spent on each support-related activity per product, per support agent.

Applian now uses decision trees to streamline the entire customer support and technical troubleshooting process. After adopting the new decision tree tool, the company was able to save 15+ hours/week on support communications, reduce overall support tickets by 25%, saving more than $30,000 in resources overall, and improve customer satisfaction in the process.

3. Optimize for Your Support Goals & Key Metrics

Take a quick step back and look at the larger picture. What are your goals and key performance indicators for customer service? Do you need to shift priorities to get there? Making improvements to your support strategy as a whole is critical to bettering the experience for your customers, and ultimately becoming more profitable.

For many support teams and call center agents out there today, there are a few main KPIs to focus on enhancing:

  • First Call Resolution (FCR)
  • Average Speed of Answer (ASA)
  • Customer Satisfaction (CSAT)
  • Average Handle Time (AHT)
  • Agent Performance

At the end of the day, these are the tried-and-true metrics to track, measure, and optimize for. With a narrowed focus, answers to some very critical questions about the health and effectiveness of your support strategy, and new tools to help streamline the process of communication, you’ll be well on your way to a more profitable rest of the year.


Any questions? We’re always here to help!