Tag Archives: Agent Scripting

Using Decision Tree Scripts to Make a Better BPO Call Center

Call centers are the epicenter of many customer service interactions, and many have hundreds of representatives who take customer calls and solve problems in real-time. However, not every company has the bandwidth, resources or infrastructure to run their own call center — that’s where BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) call centers become important.

BPOs perform all call center-related activities for another organization. For a BPO call center to be effective, it needs to onboard new agents quickly, and ensure that every agent is following the proper processes and procedures of the sourcing company. There’s an inherent disconnect when internal processes are outsourced, and that’s where Zingtree interactive decision tree scripts can prove invaluable.

1. Standardizing for Best Practices

Written in the company’s voice and adhering to its own processes, agent scripts make it easier for support reps to solve customer problems as effectively as possible. With standardized interactive decision tree scripts to guide a BPO call center agent through each conversation, every agent will know precisely what to say (and when to say it).

2. CRM & Help Desk Integration

Zingtree decision tree scripts are easily integrated with any CRM tool used by call center agents, including Salesforce, Desk.com, Zendesk and others. By connecting agent scripts to a CRM platform and passing data using Merge Variables, BPO call center representatives can see customer information inside the script, and logic decisions can also be made depending upon data imported from the CRM. With Zingtree’s pause-and-resume feature, the most recent node and session history are saved with the ticket. This is handy if another agent takes over a ticket, or to see what happened during each call. All steps taken are clearly visible.

3. Rapid Training & On-Boarding

Getting agents up and running quickly, armed with the necessary knowledge, is an absolute requirement when outsourcing. Some BPOs use interactive scripts as a training aid, and others as a template to follow during each conversation. No matter how they are used, interactive scripts are an essential part of getting new agents online and scaling quickly.

4. Analyzing, Optimizing & Doing Even Better

After deploying a standardized agent script, reports and analytics can show how scripts are performing, and identify any areas of improvement. Interactive agent scripts allow you to automatically track each and every call center agent interaction and each customer’s reason for requiring support, as well as see how your script is being used (in aggregate or by individual agents). With these reports, the sourcing company and the BPO call center can easily locate pain points, check on agent performance, and even keep track of progress with call center KPIs.


Getting Started with Zingtree Call Center Agent Scripts

Follow our in-depth instructions for building your interactive agent script. Once your script is ready, you can:

  • Host on any web page or browser for easy access.
  • Integrate with Help Desk and CRM systems.
  • Get complete analytics and reports for optimization.
  • See full Q&A transcripts of every call for better understanding.
  • Keep track of agent performance.

Check out this short video to learn more about how Zingtree Agent Scripting can improve your call center BPO:


Ready to get more from your call center BPO? Sign up or log in and build your first interactive call center agent script!

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.

Can Agent Scripting Improve Your Call Center KPIs?

Call centers play a fundamental part in how efficient and effective a company can truly be, but it takes much more than just providing customer service to reach new heights as a business. Each call center will likely have variations on the same metrics to be tracking as key performance indicators (KPIs). Regardless, you should spend time figuring out which ones matter the most for your company’s overall goals and start tracking them if you aren’t already.

Zingtree Agent Scripting solutions provide a helpful platform for making improvements and optimizations in many practical areas for call center agents, including the following most commonly found call center metrics.

1. First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a measurement of the number of customer calls that are resolved during that interaction, and do not require any follow-up for additional information. With agent scripts in place, call center representatives can quickly and easily match customers to the right problem and/or solution through an interactive guide, making the process of improvement infinitely smoother than other options.

2. Average Speed of Answer or Resolution

Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is the average amount of time it takes for an agent to answer calls during a specific time period. Agent scripts allow call center reps and customers can spend less time waiting and solving problems, and quickly identify end-results. The Session List report allows you to see which agents take the most time and which achieve the best results. You can also use customer-facing decision trees to help customers self-solve, as well as quickly gather background information to speed up resolution time.

3. Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a critical measurement for all organizations to keep at top-of-mind. For call centers, this metric is expressed as a percentage, with 100% representing complete customer satisfaction with the level of service provided. It’s been proven that spending less time on the phone or on chat dealing with a question/issue, and getting the right answer quickly, makes customers happier and more loyal. By implementing interactive agent scripts, every customer call is quickly routed where it needs to go, leading to faster answers and more satisfied customers.

4. Agent Performance

Agent Performance is a direct measure of how effective call center agents are; a necessary metric to keep an eye on in order for true improvements to occur (after all, your agents are at the front lines of every customer interaction!). With our Agent Scripting tool and, you can easily track each agent interaction and each customers’ reason for needing support, as well as access Session Matrix reports on how your script is being used by agents within a given date range.

5. Average Handle Time

Average Handle Time (AHT) of a customer inquiry measures the average duration of one customer interaction, including any hold time or other related tasks that follow the direct interaction. Tied directly to Customer Satisfaction, it’s imperative to improve both in tandem to achieve the best results for your call center. By using optimized, standardized agent scripts as a part of your day-to-day efforts, call center agents are able to effectively cut down on the time spent in each call by eliminating any inefficient questions or language.

Get Started with Agent Scripting

It’s easy to get started after signing up for a Zingtree account! Just select the Create New Tree button found under My Trees and select your preference for building an agent script. Let the Zingtree Wizard prompt you for the questions and answers, use Visual Designer to draw a flowchart, or even import from Google Sheets or Excel.

Follow our in-depth instructions for building your interactive agent script. Once your script is ready, you can:

  • Host on any web page or browser for easy access
  • Get complete analytics and reports for optimization
  • See full Q&A transcripts of every call for true understanding
  • Keep track of agent performance and improvement

Check out our short video to learn more about how Zingtree Agent Scripting can improve your call center:

Any questions? We’re always here to help!

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

Zendesk Agent Scripting – Version 8 Update

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A quick update for our Zendesk Agent Scripting users: You now have the ability to see any form data entered in Zingtree during the session.

If data is present, a “Show Script Data” link will appear in the History area. Click it to see anything entered during the session, as shown below.

You can download the latest Zingtree Agent Scripting app here to easily see script data.

Thanks to Michael R. for the idea!

Do you have a great idea or suggestion to improve Zingtree? Please feel free to get in touch!

The Top Words You Should Avoid in Customer Service

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We have all been on the other end of a horrendous, perhaps even downright disastrous phone call or email with a customer service representative that is just plain untrained. We’re willing to bet that at least one of 8 words, or a derivative tone that one of those 8 words produces, were conveyed that left you with the feeling of being unheard.

It’s not uncommon, but it can (and should) be avoided — especially when its your own support staff committing the faux pas. Here’s our shortlist of words that are guilty of severe harm and worthy of making our blacklist of words and phrases to never use in your customer interactions.

1. “Can’t”

This one really needs no explanation, but nothing says “I’m unwilling to help you” better than this one.

2. “Rules,” “Protocol” or “Policy”

Any of these ridiculous words mean the same – “We have this wall in place so that I can’t or won’t help you.”

Sure there are certainly guidelines to follow, there are even situations that warrant hard and fast rules. Regardless, the customer does not need to feel that those rules were there to punish them personally!

3. “No”

We just abhor this word. Tell us “It’s a bit tough, but I can assure you that I will do my best to work with you.”

Anything but NO!

4. “Sir/Ma’am”

No other naming formality sends you to the bus of condescending “know-it-alls” than addressing someone this way. This is unfortunate because, personally, some of us like to address people this way as a form of respect. The problem is less about what is said and more about what is implied. There are too many grey areas and it would be best to avoid them if you are unsure.

5. “Wrong”

We have actually heard representatives say this one. “You are wrong.” Or, how about “You are wrong, Sir or Ma’am”… must we continue? Remember the mantra “the customer is always right?” It stands true.

6. “Job”

There’s very little worse than telling a customer what is and is not part of your job description. Don’t do it. We certainly know that it is not the job of the customer to know this. A simple, “I will work with so and so to get this matter handled” will suffice.

7. “Unreasonable”

It’s probably hard to imagine, but we have been on the receiving end of “that’s unreasonable.” Even if you sell ice cream and someone asks you to “throw in” sneakers… Ok, that’s probably unreasonable…BUT the point is that your tone can deliver a message of “work-with-it-ness”  in a way that your customers leads themselves to that realization or discovery without you even saying it at all!

8. “I’m losing ____ on this…”

Yes, this is not a word, but it deserves a spot on the list. No customer wants to hear a passive aggressive rant about how much your company is losing on the deal or I will make an exception to the rule, just for you.” Again, this one’s about tone and not so much about letting a customer know that something will be tough. See #s 2,3 and 7.


It’s not always easy identifying how words or tone may sometimes pull from the same box of taboo while dealing with your customers. And at the end of the day, implementing standardized Agent Scripts is an ideal way to avoid this in the long-term. We hope this list has given you or your team some things to keep in mind during key communications!

Ready to streamline your customer service efforts? Get started. 

Why Your Support Representatives Need Interactive Scripts

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

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

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

1. Standardize to promote best practices

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

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

2. Analyze effectiveness and performance

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

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

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

3. Integrate with existing resources

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

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

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


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

Agent Portal: How to Show or Hide Trees from Agents

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

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

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

And that’s it!

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

Notes:

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

Video: Using the Agent Scripting App for Zendesk

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If you want to have a Zingtree ready-to-use inside of Zendesk, we have a Zendesk App for you: The Zingtree Agent Scripting App.

This is extremely handy for companies that offer chat or telephone support, or call centers, as it allows an agent to have a live, standardized script to follow when helping the customer. Plus, you get some awesome reports on how your tree is being used in aggregate or by individual agents.

Watch our short video to see how your company can benefit from Agent Scripting:

Ready to get started? Learn more and follow the instructions here

The Most Common Customer Service Mistakes

Customer service is less of an exact science than its own art form — it takes a lot of careful thinking, patience and a natural finesse to pull off in a fun, fruitful way. When done well, customer service can benefit your business or organization in ways you can’t even imagine!

There are a lot of companies out there today making similar support mistakes; the biggest ones being that they haven’t yet moved to find a solution. Here are some of the most commonly found issues in customer service today.

1. Making it difficult to reach you.

One of the worst possible things you can do as a company is make it hard to get in contact with customer support; trust us, we’ve seen our fair share of websites and services that will make you jump through digital hoops to receive any kind of response from a person.

Perhaps the most important thing to do as a company working with customers is to provide a clear path of contact from anywhere on your website, support articles, marketing communications and more. Find your customers’ preferred contact method — whether it be email, chat and/or phone support — and work to provide it to them well.

2. Speaking negatively, or being difficult.

Screen Shot 2016-04-12 at 1.55.11 PMSupport representatives are the front-lines of any customer interaction, whether you are using phone, email or chat support. Employing agents who are prone to negativity and inflexibility don’t appear to be helpful to the customer and are extremely likely to leave the customer feeling dissatisfied.

Scripting solutions for representatives is a great way to build a custom, yet standardized, script that agents can follow along with during customer communications. Zingtree Agent Scripting allows you to see each session by agent, receive in-depth performance summaries and more.

3. Improperly training agents.

At the end of the day, an improperly trained support representative will likely encapsulate one or more of the mistakes listed above. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to take the necessary steps to properly train agents on standardized processes and correct etiquette, as well as empowering them to make decisions that will put customers first.

Adopting decision trees for training support employees on specific best practices, along with integrating scripting solutions, is the perfect way to get the most (and best) out of agents. You can check out the Zingtree Gallery for training decision tree examples to copy, and draw inspiration from.

4. Using out-dated support systems.

Assuming that your customers don’t care about the methods of receiving answers is always a mistake. The customer’s perceived experience will often set the tone for how they feel about your company as a whole, and so it’s important to keep up when it comes to your customer support platforms.

Companies that integrate interactive troubleshooters, FAQs and more into their support processes have seen a 20% overall reduction in support costs on average, simply through making it easy to provide help across a variety of topics. This, in turn, helps to cultivate happy, long-term customers.


Ready to improve your customer support process? Get started with Zingtree support solutions today.