Category Archives: Zingtree News

Single Sign-On for Zingtree Decision Trees

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We’ve had several requests to incorporate Single Sign-on (SSO) into Zingtree, as a means of restricting access to trees.  Many customers have sensitive corporate processes or procedures encapsulated in their trees, and ensuring these trees are accessible only to certain employees can be invaluable.

Single Sign-on is a service provided by many vendors, including Okta, Microsoft (Active Directory / Azure), Google (G-Suite), Salesforce and more.  These services are known as Identity Providers.  A single log-in through an Identity Provider gives a user secure, authenticated access to applications provided by Service Providers like Zingtree.

Once you log in through your Identity Provider, you don’t need to re-enter your login credentials. SSO is a very convenient way to secure access to your applications, while not burdening end-users with extra hurdles.

Zingtree supports any service that is SAML 2.0 compliant, which is a common standard.

Set Up Overview

Configuring SSO requires your Identity Provider and Zingtree to share information with each other:

  1. Your Identity Provider needs information about Zingtree.
  2. Zingtree needs information about your Identity Provider.

SSO just needs to be set up once for your organization. Once you have Zingtree and your Identity Provider successfully working together, you can mark any of your trees as “SSO restricted” via the Settings tool to require a login to get access.

Configuring Zingtree for SSO

To start, in the Zingtree top menu, go to Account, Single-Sign-on. You’ll see the parameters (specific to your organization) to share with your Identity Provider:

Configure your Identity Provider with these parameters.

Next, click the blue button to Enter Identity Provider Data into Zingtree. The following screen appears:

Copy the rest of these settings from your Identity Provider.

If you’re ready to test, make sure Enable access restrictions on specified trees is checked.

Click Save Identity Provider Settings when finished.

Testing Your SSO Setup

Once you’ve set up your Identity Provider and Zingtree for SSO, you can test from Zingtree as follows:

  1. In Zingtree, go to Account, Single Sign-on.
  2. Click the orange Test Setup button at the lower right of the page.

From here. you can test logging into your Identity Provider from Zingtree.  If you’re already logged in, the test will just return your email or other identifier from your Identity Provider.  If you’re not yet logged in, the Identity Provider’s login screen will appear, and then you will be returned to the Zingtree SSO test page after logging in.

Enabling SSO on Your Trees

Once SSO is working properly from your test, you can restrict access to any tree as follows:

  1. Go to My Trees, and select the tree that you want to require SSO login.
  2. Click the Settings tool.
  3. Check Require Single Sign-on (SSO) Login to Access.
  4. Click Update Settings.

Release Notes

SSO has been tested with a variety of Identity Providers.  If you’re having trouble configuring with a specific service, please let us know!

Avangate Startup Interview: Let’s Talk About Zingtree

Recently, our fearless leader, Bill Dettering, sat down with Avangate to talk about the ins and outs of what makes Zingtree such an effective SaaS tool. Check out some of the highlights from the interview below, and check out the entire thing on the Avangate blog!


Q1: Please tell us a bit about Zingtree. When and how did the company get started?

Zingtree was first sprouted in late 2013 by Tom Mayes and myself, the founders of Applian Technologies. We were seeing a lot of inefficiency in supporting Applian’s software products, and as such the first Zingtree-like troubleshooters were hard coded into the support path. After seeing a big reduction in support emails, we knew we had a winner, and so Zingtree was started.

Seven months later, the embedded troubleshooter concept was turned into a toolkit that anyone could use. With lots of testing and feedback, the Visual Designer and Content tools came to life, reporting was added, and Zingtree was ready to branch out to real customers. Since releasing, we’ve had a lot of interest from companies operating Call Centers, so we’ve gradually built more live support options into the product.

Q2: Meeting a real business need you’ve experienced firsthand gives you a major advantage. 

What does Zingtree do differently from alternatives in the market?

Incredibly, there are very few alternatives in our space, especially when the need for a product like Zingtree is so obvious. Technically, we offer unique features like “subtrees,” which allow decision tree publishers to easily reuse content across multiple knowledge areas. Our customization options are advanced as well.

Our experience in operating a B2C company for 20 years gives us an advantage in making Zingtree – a B2B company – incredibly accessible – our site has numerous example trees, and a prospective customer can try all of the tools and use the trees without even having to sign up for an account. It’s interesting when we demo for large companies, and they ask about “training.” We chuckle and tell them this has never been necessary since Zingtree is designed to be easy to use.

Our pricing model is also unique, in that it’s built around “pay for what you use.” Our confidence in Zingtree is really high, so we can offer this sort of value proposition to our customers and keep a profitable business model.

Keep reading the interview right here >>

Ready to get started with your own decision tree? Sign up or log in here.

Zapier Decision Tree Integrations with Zingtree

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Our Zapier app makes it easy to send data collected during each Zingtree session to more than 500+ applications supported by Zapier. In case you haven’t heard of it, Zapier is a tool that simplifies data exchange between various web applications. We’re big fans.

Here are some cool things you can do with Zingtree and Zapier:

  • Send data collected in a Zingtree session to Salesforce, Zoho, Highrise, or any other CRM.
  • Add an email address entered in a tree into Mailchimp.
  • Send  yourself an email or SMS message when a customer reaches a critical node in a tree.
  • Save new customer information in a Google Sheets row.
  • Create Trello cards from trees, and include customer notes and session data.
  • And tons more!

When using Zapier, you create “Zaps.” A Zap has a “trigger,” which is the source of the data, and an “action,” which is where the data gets sent. Most of our customers want to send data from Zingtree to another app, so we’ll demonstrate how this is done here.

Before starting, you may want to examine a demo tree from our Gallery that gathers data and sends it to Zapier, or copy it to your account.

How to Set up Zapier for Zingtree

The Zingtree Zapier app is currently invite-only. But if you’re reading this article, you’re invited!

  1. Create a free Zapier account at Zapier.com.
  2. Go here to accept an invitation to use the Zingtree app. The invitation appears:

    Accept the invite.
  3. You’ll be prompted to make a new Zap:
    Click Make a new Zap.
  4. You’ll be asked to choose a Trigger App, which is the source of the data exchange.
    Search for Zingtree, and select Zingtree (Beta).
  5. You’ll be asked to choose a single trigger.
    Click Save + Continue.
  6. Next, you’ll need to connect your Zingtree account, and a tree to Zapier.
    Click Connect a New Account. 
  7. You’ll be asked for your Zingtree API Key, which you can find here at the bottom of this page. Also enter the Tree ID that will be sending data to Zapier.
    Click Continue when finished.
  8. Change the name of the account, then click Test.

    You should see “success.” Click Save + Continue.
  9. Next, Zapier will attempt to retrieve any variables or sample data from your tree. If this is a new tree, you may want to run through it once and gather some data.
    Click Fetch & Continue.
  10. You’ll see some of the stock data that Zingtree always provides, as well as any custom data for your tree. Again, if you don’t see all the data you expect, do a test run through your tree, and enter some data at least once. This will make the rest of the process easier.
    Click Continue.

Set up the Action App – Email Example

So now you’re done with the Zingtree part. Congratulations! Next, you need to set up an Action App, which will receive data from Zingtree. Let’s set up email delivery as an action, as follows:

  1. Search for email, and choose Email by Zapier as an action app.
    Select Email by Zapier.
  2. This app has just one action.
    Click Save + Continue.
  3. Fill in details for the outbound email. You can insert fields from Zingtree in the body of the email as well.Click Continue when the email is set up correctly.
  4. You’ll see  a preview of what to expect.
    Click Create & Continue to save the action and send a test email.
  5. You should see another “success” screen.
    Click Finish when the email appears as you like.
  6. Name your Zap Zingtree to Email, and turn it on!

Your Zapier Zap is all set.

Making Zingtree Send Data

The final step is to tell Zingtree when to send all the data collected in a session to Zapier. This can be triggered from one or more nodes, when they are seen by the end-user of your tree.

  1. From Overview, Edit Node, edit the node that you want to trigger sending data to Zapier.
  2. Go to Send Message to, and pick Zapier: Zingtree to Email. This is the new Zap you created.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Now try a test from Zingtree. Using Preview or the Publish tool, navigate your tree, and when you reach the node that triggers the send, you should see something in your inbox. IMPORTANT: Make sure to use https in your published Zingtree URL when using Zapier.

Once you get your first Zap done, it becomes easy and addictive to hook Zingtree to the other applications that your business depends upon. So keep going!

Have any questions? Contact us anytime!

Update: Import from Excel, Google Sheets

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In spite of the fact that Zingtree has some really great ways to build interactive decision trees, we still get a lot of requests for making the process of creating trees even easier.  Many people are particularly comfortable working inside their favorite spreadsheet program, so we’ve created an easy way to use Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets to create new decision trees.

Once imported, the Zingtree editing and management tools can be used to refine and enhance your trees.

Here’s how our tutorial example appears in Google Sheets:

Details on this new feature:

Note that the same process for importing from Excel or Sheets can be used to import any tab delimited CSV file from any other program.

Other Updates

  • Update: Added ##ALL DATA## as a template for showing a summary of all data entry fields collected (h/t Sebastian, Logan). Details here.
  • Update: Added custom date range shortcut option to All Agents report. (h/t Allen J.).
  • Fix: Changing organization in All Agents report works properly now.
  • Fix: Restart function in older Zendesk Agent Scripting app installations now works properly again (Jamel).
  • Fix: Editing nodes from subtrees while using Preview now works properly (Jamel).
  • Update: Preview no longer automatically scrolls to the top of content.
  • Fix: Scoring uses numeric value of variables, not string value (Matt B.).
  • Update: All Agent report link added to My Agents page(Allen J.).
  • Update: Agent report now has quick date links.

Can we make your tree creating experience even easier? Just let us know!

Create Decision Trees using Microsoft Excel

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If you’re comfortable using Microsoft Excel, you can build the first draft of your Zingtree decision trees 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 Example for Excel

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. 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.
  8. 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 labelled “Yes” that links to node #2.  ( Yes[2]  )
  9. 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.  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. 

Cloudflare Causing Service Interruption

In case you or your team had trouble using Zingtree today, the cause was due to our caching provider (Cloudflare). We use Cloudflare to ensure better performance and reliability on zingtree.com (as do a lot of other popular sites), but in this case it made things worse.

Here’s Cloudflare’s summary of the problem:

Identified – Starting at 00:00 UTC on January 1, 2017, CNAME resolutions on some machines stopped working due to a bug triggered by the universal addition of one leap second, which affected both some authoritative DNS and origin DNS lookups, causing 5xx errors. Authoritative DNS was less affected since resolvers were served SERVFAIL and possibly retried until they hit a healthy instance. We deployed a fix at 01:30 UTC and it is rolling out to most affected sites. We will update this once the deployment is finished.

Details here.

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

Fresh Tree Updates: Document Nodes and More

This latest Zingtree update includes the new Document Node type, and a smattering of small improvements:

  • New: Edit Tree Node can now open selected tree in a new tab for editing (Paul G, Sebastian V.).
  • New: email-session-info.php has new parameters for subject, body, from, secure_data_link. You can also include multiple emails separated by commas.  Details here. (Alok)
  • New: Link nodes can now accept variables (both Data Entry Fields and Merge Variables).
  • Update: Added “Add Node” option to main tree tools page.
  • Fix: Duplicating Scoring nodes now also copies scoring branch rules.
  • Fix: Root node no longer ever appears as an Answer node, even if there are no choices yet.
  • Fix: Copy Node now works properly again from Overview (Chrissie, Admin).
  • Update: Edit Node can now set the Start node.
  • Fix: Multi-line text fields now input form data from previous form fills.
  • Fix: Edit Node preview now renders blank questions properly.
  • Fix: One across button layouts are now shorter, centered (Deb & Tif).
  • Fix: unchecking “Use Scoring” when editing buttons in Edit Node no longer keeps scoring variable.
  • Update: Now shows scoring variables for data entry fields in simple overview summary, Edit Node data entry fields summary.
  • Fix: Long feedback comments display better.
  • Update: Can now read and delete comments on Scoring nodes (Chrissie).
  • Fix: Instant preview in edit-node-content after deleting a data entry field no longer shows a blank for that field.
  • Fix: Simple overview buttons don’t wrap on smaller screen sizes.
  • Fix: Added extra capacity for servers, fixed server scaling issue.

We love feedback. Send us your ideas!

Make Tests, Quizzes, Assessments & More with Zingtree’s Scoring System

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Zingtree has the ability to create what we call evaluations. 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 logic already present in Zingtree, this capability opens up a whole new realm of knowledge engineering possibilities.

To see a working example of an interactive decision tree quiz, try this 10-question Personality Test found in the Zingtree Gallery.

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

  • Add a score 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 “Score Branch Node”. From there, you can specify a range of score values 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 Use Scoring, and enter a Score Variable Name that will be used to tally scores and branch on later.

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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 Score Branch Node using This Tree > Add Node. In the Score Branch Node, you can specify which node should appear next (and which to branch to) according to a range of scores.

score-branch-node

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

Note that the Score Branch Node never appears on 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 the new Scoring capabilities. You can play or examine them to see how they work.  See the Evaluations examples.

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

Update: New Decision Tree Designer and Data Entry Fields Management

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This latest Zingtree update is more comprehensive than most, primarily because we took some time to focus on our core decision tree building features and make them even better. You’ll see big improvements in Visual Designer, as well as managing Data Entry fields and editing nodes.

Visual Designer

The big change is that we’ve moved to a more powerful pop-up editor within Designer, and eliminated editing from the right panel. You now have a larger drawing area, and can do almost all of your work directly in Designer without having to go to Overview.

Designer also has “isolated” view – just click on a node, and you’ll see just the nodes and buttons connected to it. Additionally, you can print and export your tree drawings to PNG image files. And, Designer now loads 2x to 3x faster!

Important: To edit a node in Designer, you’ll need to double-click or right-click.

Here’s what some of the new changes look like:

Larger Drawing Area

larger drawing areaPop-Up Editor

Isolated View

Click on any node or button/arrow to highlight connections.

Other Designer updates:

  • Designer boxes resize to fit longer content when loading tree.
  • Designer with two buttons going to same place now has larger separation of arrow connectors.
  • Fix: Apostrophes in titles or questions now display properly.

Data Entry Fields

Also new is an improved way to manage data entry fields. Rather than inserting code into the content area, you can now manage data entry fields separately, which makes it easier for non-programmers to edit, add and change data fields.

Within the node editor (from Overview or Designer), you can add any number of data entry fields from a simple, easy-to-use form.

Complete instructions on how to use Data Entry Fields is in the Zingtree FAQ here.

Other Enhancements

Several other improvements and fixes are in this update, including:

  • Update: Tree node search now includes tags in search (h/t Trey H.)
  • Update: Simplified Edit Node.
  • Update: “Hide from Agent Portal” no longer defaulted when creating a new tree. Also gives hint to check this if no trees found in Agent portal.
  • Update: Copy Node on node editors, no more “Save and Create Duplicate”
  • New: Can now edit two trees at the same time through Designer, or keep two tabs open for different trees.
  • Fix: Edit Tree Node now shows links to all trees in your organization.
  • Fix: Traffic Map report now shows tree node links. (h/t Ben C.)
  • Fix: email-session-info.php will now substitute #source# or #agent# in the link (link node fix) (h/t Craig)
  • Update: Simple overview only shows scoring variable if scoring is being used.
  • Update: Preview now substitutes #agent_name# for author name. (h/t Marlin)
  • Update: Email nodes now insert body of message into “Notes” form field, which can be viewed and exported from the Form Data report (for Holly B.)
  • Fix: Search results linking to a tree node no longer fail (Chrissie)
  • New: Can delete multiple nodes easily from Simple Overview (for Ben C.)
  • Fix: Last Opened in My Trees page is adjusted for the user’s time zone (h/t Elijah H.)
  • New: Button Clicks report has a View All option to see all nodes on one page (h/t Mike H.)
  • Fix: apostrophe’s in page title no longer messes up #taglist# link tracking (Chrissie)

Thanks again to everyone who suggested updates! I’m sure we may have forgotten a few of you.

As always, if you have a suggestion to make Zingtree work better for you, please share.