Category Archives: Zingtree News

An Interactive Guide for How to Deal With Angry Customers

The hectic holiday season means a stressful time for customers, business, and support representatives at all levels. While we have our own great tips for how to improve the functionality and flow of support during the holiday season, we thought we’d round up some high-level communications to help navigate some of the trickier situations.

Before the thick of the holidays are upon us, take a quick interactive course on how to deal with some of the most common scenarios where a customer could become upset, angry, or frustrated. Good luck!

 



 

Want to see more amazing user-generated decision trees? Check out the Zingtree Gallery!

4 Customizations to Make Self-Service Support More User-Friendly

When developing a customer-facing decision tree, an important piece is to add some personality, brand identity, and industry-relevant knowledge to allow end-users a more user-friendly customer support experience.

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:

Custom colors

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.

Animated themes

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:

  • .btn-blue
  • .btn-yellow
  • .btn-sky
  • .btn-purple
  • .btn-pink

To add an icon that helps guide your customer but also helps reveal your brand personality, add one or more of these classes:

  • .btn-yes
  • .btn-careful
  • .btn-arrow
  • .btn-thumbs-up
  • .btn-question

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 so you 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.

Decision Tree Customizations – Animated Themes and Custom Colors

One of the most common requests we have had from customers is to make it easier to make Zingtree decision trees look even more awesome. So our design team and engineers worked together to make new animated themes, some colorful static themes, and an easy-to-use mechanism to make tree color customizations easy.

You can try this now on one of your existing decision trees, by clicking Set Colors in the Settings tool. If you don’t have a tree built yet, try it using one of our Gallery trees.

Once you launch Set Colors, you can choose from various themes, and also customize the color scheme used in each theme. The control panel is easy to use – it looks like this:

This video shows some of the capabilities:

Here are a couple of examples of what your decision trees can look like:

Default View with Panels

Animated Radio Buttons View with Panels

Advanced Customization – Technical Details

Zingtree’s theme and color customization scheme works by generating a CSS file, which controls how your decision tree appears. If you want even more customization, you can:

  1. Extract the CSS file that Zingtree builds – this is in the Custom CSS URL field in Settings. (Just open that URL in your browser.)
  2. Modify the file in any text editor.
  3. Upload the modified file to your own server. (Note that this file must be accessible via an https URL. If needed, we can host it for you. Just ask!)
  4. Enter the URL of the new file in the Custom CSS URL field in the Settings tool.

Like this? Love this? Have a suggestion to make customizations even better? Let us know!

Credits: Iggy made the animated themes, and McDeb did some tweaks and cleanup to make them work with our customization scheme. Great stuff, people!

Zingtree Enterprise: Self-Hosted Decision Trees

enterprise-BLOG

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

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

This self-hosted option has a lot of benefits:

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

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

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

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

Publishing Pop-Up Decision Trees

Zingtree makes it fun to include decision trees on your site by enabling them to appear on top of any page, simply by clicking a button. We call this publishing method a “pop-up overlay.” You can easily customize the button color, text, and look of the trees.

You can also include multiple trees on one page. Try these examples:

    

 

Here’s how to set up pop-up overlays:

  1. Click the My Trees button at the top of the screen.
  2. Choose the tree to embed.
  3. Select Publishing Links.
  4. Click Pop-up Overlay via Button Click.
  5. Copy the default button code to your web site, or click the Advanced Options button to do some cool customization.

Shortcut: Go here to create a button that launches a pop-up overlay for your tree.

We think this is yet another cool way to incorporate interactive decision trees into your web site. Do you like it? Or have a better idea?

Send us feedback and let us know what you think!

3 Helpful Tips for Live Chat Etiquette

zing-chat-etiquette

Live chat is a great communication channel, and the preferred choice for many customers when engaging with a company; some of the appeal has to do with its ease, simplicity and brevity. When agents are appropriately trained in live chat etiquette, and have access to efficient scripting tools, they are much more likely to have a successful interaction with a customer.

In a paper published by TELUS International, the company asserts that avoiding customer frustration and brand damage should be top of mind for companies when training live chat agents. Often, customers choose live chat because it’s easy and quick; if your live chat interactions are forcing customers to put forth a lot of effort in their engagement, then your company isn’t realizing the full potential of this communication channel.

To bolster its argument for minimizing customer effort, the report cited a 2010 Harvard Business Review article where the case was made that “delighting customers doesn’t build loyalty; reducing their effort—the work they must do to get their problem solved—does.”

So, how do live chat agents reduce the customer’s effort when choosing this communication channel?

1. Keep It Brief

Reducing customer effort begins with your agent’s greeting. The greeting sets the tone of the conversation, so if it’s long-winded or muddled, your agent is placing an undue burden on the customer. Once the conversation has commenced, keeping responses to the point is key to providing a positive customer experience. As mentioned earlier, being brief doesn’t mean being clipped. The goal is to provide enough information to the customer in an efficient, yet courteous, manner.

Keeping it brief is especially important when working with a frustrated customer. A simple “I’m sorry” has more impact than a convoluted, over-worded apology.

2. Make Sure It’s Concise

Concise wording will lessen the chances of misunderstanding, and providing clear answers reduces the customers’ effort. Remember that customers prefer live chat because it’s efficient, so training agents how to properly write out responses that quickly get to the heart of the issue, and using proper and robust Live Agent Scripting, are key components of efficiency.

3. Read First, Then Respond

One common problem identified by TELUS is that agents will provide quick answers without first taking the time to read or fully understand what the customer is asking – this is an efficiency killer. Whatever the reason, agents need to take the time to read what the customer has written and then respond with an answer that provides a quick solution.

Once the issue or question that the customer is getting at is identified, the agent can then provide a brief, yet concise, response that moves the conversation forward without requiring the customer to put forth much effort. This is made even simpler when using powerful scripting tools that can help the agent to stay on track and keep the engagement flowing smoothly.

This article was written by Jodi Beuder of MHI Global. Are you interested in submitting a guest blog post? Please contact us!

This article was originally published November 2, 2015. 

Create Decision Trees using Microsoft Excel

decision tree excel

If you’re comfortable using Microsoft Excel, you can build the first draft of your Zingtree decision trees in Excel using a spreadsheet, and then easily import them into Zingtree. Once you’ve successfully imported your tree, you can modify it and enhance it using Zingtree’s editing tools, which offer a lot more decision tree related functionality than Excel.

Here’s how our example tree used in the tutorials appears in Excel:

Overview

Zingtree can create decision trees from Excel, or any similarly formatted tabular source. Your spreadsheets just need to be set up in a specific way for this to work.

Start now by downloading and modifying this example .XLS file:

Download Examples for Excel

Note: This spreadsheet has two tabs: Basic and Advanced.

Here are the rules:

  1. The first row is for column headings. This is important, as it tells Zingtree what type of data is in each column. Make sure to use the column headings as described below.
  2. Column A is for the node number. Usually, this is sequential. It’s required. The heading must say “Node“.
  3. Column B is for the title of a node. Your trees will be easier to read if each node has a descriptive title. The heading must say “Title“.
  4. Column C is the question that is being asked. You can leave this blank if you want an answer node. The heading must be “Question“.
  5. Column D is for any content that appears in the content area.  This is imported as plain text, but you can add formatting, images, and videos later using the Zingtree editing tools. The heading must read “Content“.
  6. If you want to include node tags in your tree, insert a column with a heading of “Tags“. This is optional.
  7. If you are using a scoring variable for scoring button clicks, add a column headed “Score Variable“. This is optional.
  8. The last columns are for the button choices.  The heading over the first button column must be “Buttons“. You can have several columns of buttons.
  9. For the button columns, you can make them link to other nodes by adding the node number in square brackets.  In the above example, cell F2 has a button labeled “Yes” that links to node #2.  ( Yes[2]  ).
  10. If you’re using score variables for button clicks, you can include something like “+3” after the node number in brackets.  This would add 3 to the scoring variable mentioned in the Score variable column. (See the Advanced tab in the sample spreadsheet for an example.)
  11. If you want to add a comment to any node, insert a cell on the right that starts with an exclamation point character (!).

Note: Columns can be in any order, but the column headings must contain the proper text like “Node”, “Question” etc.

You can also make Link Nodes and Tree Nodes with special text in the content column:

  • Example: To make a Link Node that goes to Google, the content area looks like this (see cell D9 in the example):
    LINK: http://google.com
  • Example: To make Tree Node that opens tree ID #123456789, the content area is this (see cell D8 in the example):
    TREE: 123456789
  • Example: To make a Tree Node that opens tree ID #999999999 at node #3, the content area should be:
    TREE: 999999999,3

Once you’ve finished your tree, it needs to be exported as a TXT file. This is also known as a tab delimited CSV.

You can also just copy and paste cells from your Excel document into Zingtree. Excel copies tab delimited CSV data to the clipboard automatically.

Build Your Tree

To start, download our “what to wear” example tree, as an Excel.XLS file.

Open this file in Excel, and start modifying it.  You can use the Basic or Advanced tab – most people start with the basic option. Make sure to keep top row column headings in place. Keep questions in the question column, content in the content column, etc.

When you’re done, you can import it into Zingteee via copy and paste, or by exporting to a TXT file.

Import via Copy and Paste

This is the easiest way to bring your decision tree into Zingtree:

  1. In Excel, select the entire range of cells for your tree, and copy to the clipboard (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C).
  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import via Copy and Paste tool.  (You can also get there via My Trees, Create Tree, then select Import from Microsoft Excel.) A screen like this appears:

  3. Choose Microsoft Excel as the source.
  4. Enter a name for your tree
  5. Paste the data copied from step 1 into the data area. (Use Ctrl+V or Cmd+V).
  6. Click Import and Create Tree.

You’ll see your new tree in the Zingtree overview.

Import via a TXT file

For larger trees, you may find it better to upload a file instead of copying and pasting. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. In Excel, go to File, Save As, and select Text (Tab Delimited) as the type.

  2. The file name will become the name of your tree. Click Save when finished.
  3. In Zingtree, go to the Import File tool. (You can also get there from My Trees, Create Tree, and then choosing Import from Excel.)

  4. If you want to overwrite an existing tree, select it via Replace Tree. Otherwise, a new tree will be created.
  5. Click Import File, and locate the file you created in steps 1 and 2.
  6. The new tree will appear in Zingtree.

Notes:

  • You can use this process to import files from any tab delimited CSV format.

Any questions? Reach out to us anytime. 

This article was originally published January 26, 2017.

Make Tests, Quizzes, Assessments & More with Zingtree’s Logic Nodes

adding-search-to-decision-trees-6

Zingtree has the ability to create what we call evaluations through the use of logic nodes. These can be interactive tests, quizzes, assessments, training simulations, or anything else that requires assigning a score to each question answered – then later acting upon the total score.

Coupled with the powerful decision tree capabilities already present in Zingtree, logic nodes opens up a whole new realm of knowledge engineering possibilities. To see a working example of an interactive decision tree quiz using logic, try this 10-question Personality Test found in the Zingtree Gallery.

Here are the basics on how to build a tree with logic nodes:

  • Add a value to each button click when designing your tree.
  • As the end-user goes through your tree, Zingtree keeps a running total of the score values of all buttons clicked.
  • When you’re ready to act upon the running total score, use a new “Logic Node”. From there, you can specify rules which redirect to specific nodes.

Want to build your own? Here’s a step-by-step guide:

Step 1: First, go to Overview > Edit Node and open up the button editor by clicking Edit Buttons. Select Score Button Clicks, and enter a Variable Name that will be used to tally scores and branch on later.

581d3092c6fe48-46396098-359664

Step 2: Next, add your desired score values to button clicks in your lead qualification decision tree.

button-scoring

Step 3: Now, add a new Logic Node using This Tree > Add Node. In the Logic Node, you can specify which node should appear next (and which to branch to) according to rules you create.

Step 4: Link the last button click of your test/quiz/assessment to this new Logic Node.

Note that the Logic Node never appears on the screen. When you direct the flow of your Zingtree to this node, it looks at the sum total of all the button click scores and redirects to the proper node.

Need to See More Examples? The Zingtree Gallery has three trees that use Scoring. You can play or examine them to see how they work. See the Logic Demos.

Bonus Tip! 
Want to display the score on a node? Just add the text #score# into the content area.

Other Notes:

  • You should make sure you are using the latest embed code or hosting URL for your tree.
  • If your end-user presses the back button, the running total score will adjust.
  • If the tree is restarted, the running total score resets to zero.

Any questions? Please reach out to us at any time

This article was originally published August, 2015.

Sending Slack Notifications from Decision Trees

slack+zingtree

Slack has become the go-to collaboration platform of choice for so many companies, and people are also using it to track events. We have also recently adopted Slack and wanted a way to send messages to Slack channels whenever something occurred in one of our own Zingtrees.

So, as part of our mission to make Zingtree interoperable with as many popular platforms as possible, we’ve added this capability to our most recent release.

How it Works

When an end-user visits a node in one of your decision trees, you can have that node trigger a custom Slack notification. Once you set up Slack for your organization, any node in any tree can send a message to Slack.

Notifications in Slack look like this:

Slack notification from Zingtree

Setup

First, you need to give your organization access to the Slack app:

  1. Go to Account > My Apps.
  2. Click Slack under Add Apps.Add Slack to Zingtree
  3. Slack will ask you to authorize Zingtree access. Select the Slack channel you want to receive notifications (“post to”), then click Authorize.Authorizing Slack
  4. You will be returned to Zingtree, and Slack will appear in your list of apps.Slack installed in Zingtree

Now you can configure any node in any tree to send a custom Slack notification:

  1. Pick a tree, and go to the Overview tool.
  2. Pick a node, and click the Edit button.
  3. Locate the Send Message To option, and select Slack.Slack messaging added to a Zingtree Node.
  4. Enter a message that will be sent to your Slack channel.  You can also include any form variables (i.e. #name#).

Now, Preview your tree, and visit the node where you just added a Slack message. The custom message will appear in Slack, along with a link to the session transcript:

Slack notification

 


 

Any questions about this, or any of our other integrations? Please contact us anytime.

This article was originally published on April 20, 2016.

Zingtree Referral (Affiliate) Program

Some of our biggest supporters have asked us to come up with a way to reward them for mentioning Zingtree to their friends, social media circle, blog readers, or other interested people in another branch of their organization. So we’ve created the Zingtree Referral Program.

Warning: This could be extremely lucrative for you.

How the Referral Program Works

We made a referral program that’s pretty simple and straightforward:

  • You receive 20% of any revenue from a paying customer you refer. Forever.
  • The referred customer also gets a 5% discount.

Sound enticing? 

How to Get Started with Referrals

  1. First of all, you must have a Zingtree account. It’s free, so go here if you don’t have one yet. You can be up-and-running in 3 minutes or less.
  2. From your account, go to Account > Referral Program – or just click the direct link here.
  3. Grab any of the links, and share with anyone you think may be interested!

Bonus: Including a Zingtree icon on your embedded decision trees, or simply just using Zingtree hosted trees, automatically enrolls you in the program.

Where to Share

  • Email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn
  • Your Blog, Forum Posts, Website
  • Anywhere else you think people will be interested

Referral Restrictions

  • No self-referrals or posting on coupon sites.
  • No keyword advertising on the Zingtree brand.

This is a great opportunity – get started now! Full details are on the referral program page.

P.S. Our accountants think we’re insane. So be it.