Category Archives: Training

Simple Software: How to Start a Training Program with Decision Trees

People are what make businesses move, grow, and flourish; investing in your live human resources is always a smart decision. However critical to success, training programs don’t have to feel stuffy and laborious. A great training process shouldn’t feel like unwanted homework, it should inspire knowledgeable, motivated employees that are comfortable and confident.

Is your company using an effective training program? Are you training enough, and regularly? Outdated methods of a VHS tape and a conference room doesn’t count. These training statistics from Shift start to tell a tale of why an investment into employee training and engagement is so key:

  • Out of nearly 4,300 workers, 74% felt they weren’t achieving their full potential at work.
  • Companies with 100-500 employees only have 6 minutes of training every 6 months, on average.
  • 1 out of 3 employees said that uninspiring training content is actually a barrier to learning.
  • 7 out of 10 people said that training and learning opportunities influence their choice to stay with a company or leave.

Employee training programs, when executed well, can turn around the most effective, productive, and happy staff a business has ever seen. By setting up an interactive training program using online decision trees, you’ll provide a powerful platform for staff to learn from anywhere, and much more easily.

Guided Training Sessions

All businesses will typically have a training guide set in place; a long PDF or thick stack of bound papers to house the important items, manuals, and other key employee information. The problem with these long-form training guides? They’re time-consuming, mind-numbing, and never an accurate representation of the company’s brand or personality.

Interactive decision trees are a more friendly way to guide people through a training session by asking questions in an interview-style way, which helps to keep things moving quickly and keep employees more engaged with the important information being presented. You can even add customizations and visuals like GIFs, videos, and photos to help display step-by-step information and lead workers to a path of understanding.

Online Situational Simulations

Scenario-based documentation is in high-demand for many companies and organizations looking to train new hires in a standard and efficient way; different situational training always varies, for every type of industry. Whether your business is in retail, tech, healthcare, customer support, insurance, or even if you’re a governmental department or non-profit organization, your training simulations should be able to easily match your audience (employees).

Decision trees are a perfect digital resource for creating and implementing simulations online, for any kind of scenario that you may need to communicate in a training session. Providing interactive simulation tools to emulate different potential work scenarios can prove to be invaluable when leading trainees through new or complicated learning environments. Click here for an interactive example of a training simulation to see how it’s done.

Interactive Knowledge Base

Employees and customer-facing agents should be trained on every area of a businesses’ inner workings in order to provide the best work and the most helpful service. If staff were to ask questions to supervisors or other departments multiple times a day, a lot of bottlenecks and frustration would start to occur.

While customer-facing for our purposes, we host our own Zingtree FAQ on the Zingtree platform itself. We’ve found it’s a great way to organize based on different categories of information and quickly lead customers to the right answers to their questions. These knowledge base decision trees can be used in the same way for internal employees, offering a robust FAQ on everything from procedural standards to procurement processes.


Ready to improve your employee training and evaluation process? 

Get started with Zingtree!

The Best Ways to Make Customer Support Profitable

To the untrained eye, customer support is merely a means of communication and troubleshooting. Experts and strategic decision-makers, however, have seen the incredible impact that customer service can have in all areas of business — including improving revenue.

Your success as an organization relies on providing an exceptional experience throughout the entire purchase and post-purchase process; it’s so much more than just offering a support system. At Zingtree, having great support has been key to our success. In spite of the fact we have lots of information in the form of decision trees, articles, and our FAQ, over 90% of our new customers have interacted with us via email, chat or voice.

What it takes to actually deliver excellent customer service is simple: put your customers at the center of your business initiatives and take them into consideration before any decision is made. Once you figure out how to implement this magic formula into your day-to-day processes, you’ll be well on your way to making customer support a major profit-generator.

The Real Value of Customer Support

Heard any customer support horror stories recently? Poor interactions with customers happen more often than you’d think, and they have a direct negative effect on your annual revenue. According to a Gartner study, as much as 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company completely because of a single bad customer experience, and 51% said they would only try to reach support once before giving up on a purchase. These statistics in mind, your margin of error is incredibly small.

On the positive side of things, however, great customer support leads to a direct increase in annual revenue. So, if you can focus on how to make customer service better (for both your customers and representatives), you’ll be opening your doors to even more potential sales. Research from the Harvard Business Review has shown that “not only it is possible to quantify the impact of customer experience — but the effects are huge.”

After looking at two separate companies with different revenue models, and comparing customer feedback with data on future spending by customers, HBR found that “after controlling for other factors that drive repeat purchases in the transaction-based business (for example, how often the customer needs the type of goods and services that the company sells), customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.”

In our own experience working with industry-spanning organizations large and small, we’ve also seen the effect that amazing customer support can have in all other areas of business; in fact, it’s a big reason why we started Zingtree to streamline the support process. So now that you understand the possibilities, what are some simple ways to improve support and make customer service more profitable?

Show Empathy & Understanding

At the end of the day, your customers are humans. Showing compassion for their problems, and taking the time to really understand the areas of disconnect, can go miles for brand loyalty. Put the customer first always, and bend the rules when and if you can — your customer will give your company extra kudos for being flexible, and will more than likely come back again and again.

Display Multi-Channel Support

What kind of documentation do customers expect? Knowledge base articles, tutorial and demo videos, blog posts, and live agent chats are just a select few different channels of support that many people search for. Offering multiple channels of support is the only way to discover the channels you truly need, versus the ones that may be more of a “nice-to-have.” With this information under your belt, it’s easy to remain in contact with your customers, as well as to weed out and remove the unnecessary support channels to save time and money.

Have a Fast Response Time

If you have a complex product or service or don’t have all of the available knowledge base material available online, chances are that customers will want to get in touch. Self-service support can only go so far with certain issues, so it’s incredibly important to offer other ways to talk to a representative; be it through live chat, a phone call or simple back-and-forth email communication.

Hire the Best People (And Train Them Well)

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: amazing customer service agents with exceptional training is absolutely necessary for a successful customer support strategy. And, the better your representatives are at helping customers, the more likely those customers are to make additional purchases! By taking the time to hire great people, and training them with the proper technical and soft skills, you’ll set up your support department to bring in more revenue than you thought possible.


Ready to get more from your customer support? Sign up or log in and start your first interactive decision tree!

3 Ways to Take Advantage of Decision Trees in Business

Decision trees for business can address a variety of problem-solving use cases. Since the beginning of Zingtree, we’ve helped 7,500+ organizations spanning geographic locations and industries to improve support and internal business processes, build powerful sales funnels and enhance productivity in a number of ways.

The intuitive question-and-answer style of a decision tree makes it simple for companies to improve efficiency, train new hires and evaluate staff, qualify the best leads, deliver amazing support experiences, and much more. Here are just some of the ways that taking advantage of intuitive decision trees can help businesses.

1. Lead Qualification

A business can’t grow, or succeed long-term, without continued interest from leads that are the most qualified for the market they serve; this is a well-known fact. After generating new leads for your business, it’s important to carefully select the cream of the crop, according to what your company is looking for in an ideal lead.

By putting these new leads into a decision tree based on the main characteristics of your ideal customer, any business can easily make sure that the most qualified leads are sent along to the right person. After all, the faster you can follow-up, the more potential for new business! For a decision tree to qualify leads, you should include a flow for proper sales distribution, content and promotions to best serve them, and more.

See an example in the Zingtree Gallery.

2. Training and Evaluation

Because Zingtree is such a powerful interactive tool, it is a prime resource for building and implementing training programs, simulations and evaluations. As with all training and evaluation programs, yours should be relevant to your company or the position, easily digestible, and appropriate to the employee involved – this is important if the training is to be integrated into workplace practices.

Once training is completed, it’s just as important to keep up with how they are doing, using evaluations to tap into their knowledge, progress and comfort levels. We’ve used Zingtree’s robust logic with a scoring system that can perform detailed evaluations, allowing you to add a value to each answer and later act upon the total weighted score. Explore our Gallery examples to preview existing decision trees for training and evaluations.

See an example in the Zingtree Gallery.

3. Customer Support

Interactive decision tree troubleshooters customized to fit your business needs are one of the most important extensions of your brand that can be implemented. Troubleshooter decision trees allow customers to follow a path of questions and answers that lead them to the most-likely solution, and are even more helpful for technical issues.

Companies that build interactive troubleshooters and FAQs into their customer service processes have seen an average of a 20% overall reduction in support costs!

See an example in the Zingtree Gallery.


Ready to improve your key business processes?

Get started with Zingtree!

Employee Training Simulations using Decision Trees

Because Zingtree is such a powerful interactive tool, it is a prime resource for creating and implementing training programs, simulations, guides, evaluations and more. You can take advantage of the Zingtree platform to create a program based on an existing decision tree, design your own from scratch, or take the process step-by-step; the choice is yours!

Training Your Employees

As with all training programs, yours should be relevant to your company or the position, easily digestible, and appropriate to the person using the simulation. Providing these kinds of tools for different types of positions, situations and learners is important if what is being taught will be incorporated into common workplace practices.

How to copy a basic training program:

1. Sign in to your account and go to the Zingtree Gallery.

2. Go to Training and find the Training Simulation template, then click to Play the tree. From here, you’ll be able to Copy or Examine more closely.

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3. Rename your training program to fit your needs, add a description, and Copy when ready.

4. Modify the decision tree content to generate your own customized training simulation!

Using the Wizard

To create an advanced training program from scratch, try using the Zingtree Wizard tool. With the Wizard, you’ll be able to fill out simple forms to generate your customized decision tree as it guides you through the creation process. You provide the questions and answers that your employees will see in the program, and the Wizard goes through each scenario asking for more information.

Using the Designer

For those who enjoy getting down to a fine point with design, try drawing your training program visually with the Zingtree Designer. With the Designer, you can drag new nodes into the drawing area, and connect them with labeled arrows. Each nodes correspond to a page in your tree, and the arrows represent the button choices from each node.

 

 

 

Performing Employee Evaluations

 

Once training is completed and your employee has settled into his or her rhythm, it’s important to keep up with evaluations to test their knowledge and progress.

For decision trees created with employee evaluations in mind, we’ve coupled Zingtree’s robust logic with a scoring system that can allow you add a value to each answer, and later act upon the total weighted score. Explore our Evaluation examples to preview existing creations, and copy any of the projects to make into your own.

Hungry for more examples and inspiration? Head to the Zingtree Gallery for all the decision trees you can copy and use to fit your needs. 

Divide & Conquer!

sub-trees-zingtree

Use Sub-trees For Tackling The Trickiest Trees

Have you had trouble developing intricate, multi-step trees? Is maintaining an easy flow for your users throughout a complex decision process a challenge? Are you having issues scaling your trees up to accommodate more users and use cases?

If you know you’re going to have a large project ahead of you, planning is crucial. You’ll want to break up your larger tree into individual threads and themes. Once they’re broken up, you can refine the smaller pieces until they’re perfected, and then create discrete, small to medium sized trees. Finally, once your sub-trees are ready and working properly by themselves, you can use Tree Nodes to connect them into your finished, mega-Zingtree.

While in the planning stages of complex decision trees, many users find these sub-trees occur naturally. So pause your active tree development (just for a minute) in Wizard or Designer, make an outline of your tree and its constituent sub-trees.

Try using sub-trees for your most intricate trees today.

Training Simulation with Zingtree

One of the great things about Zingtree is that it can be used to quickly create a variety of interactive projects. Training simulations are one example.

After talking with a couple of customers, we’ve created a Training Template in the Zingtree gallery. You can copy this project into your own Zingtree account, modify the content, and have your own training simulation up and running in minutes.

Use the Copy button from the Zingtree Gallery, or explore the Training Simulation Template here.