Tag Archives: Agent Scripting

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.

Zingtree Agent Portal for Contact Centers

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Many of our Call Center customers have asked for a simple, standalone way for their agents to access interactive Zingtree scripts from their browser. To that end, we have created the Zingtree Agent Portal.

Overview

The Agent Portal is a one-stop location for your agents to access all of the scripts in your organization. Here’s how it looks:

When your agents click on a script name, their interactive script appears like this:

Accessing the Agent Portal

Everyone who wants access to the Zingtree Agent Portal for your organization needs to log in from zingtree.com. You can set up logins for all your agents, and use your own Zingtree account to gain access as well.

The first step is to add yourself as an agent:

  1. Log into your Zingtree account.
  2. Go to Account > My Agents.
  3. Click Add Myself as an Agent. Your name and login appears in the list of agents:
  4. Click Go to Agent Portal.

That’s it. You’re in!

Adding Agents to the Agent Portal

Once you’re happy with how the portal is working, you can give others access.

  1. Go to Account > My Agents.
  2. Click Add One New Agent. The Add Agent form appears:
  3. Enter the agent’s info, then click Create Agent.

You can also add multiple agents in bulk by using the Add Multiple Agents option in step 2 above. It looks like this:

Features of the Agent Portal

Besides the self-explanatory Back, Start again with this Customer, and Finished with this Customer, there are a few other goodies your agents will appreciate.

History

Agents can see all the steps they took with the customer by clicking the + icon next to History.

The ‘A’ button at the upper right makes just the answers appear.

Agent Feedback

If an agent sees a problem with a node in your script, they can send feedback directly to the tree’s authors using this button at the lower right of the screen:

Shrink Headers

For a more compressed view, have agents use the  button at the top right.

Inserting Agent Info into Scripts

You can personalize your scripts for each agent. When creating your tree, use these placeholders:

#agent_name# – inserts the name of the Agent into the script.

#agent# – inserts the Agent’s login into the script.

Hiding Scripts from Agent View

While you’re developing scripts, you may want to keep them out of the Agent Portal until they are ready and approved.  You can hide scripts as follows:

  1. Go to the tree you want to hide from the My Trees page.
  2. Go to the Settings tool.
  3. Select Hide from Agent Portal View.

 

The Feedback Loop: Getting Comments From End-Users and Agents

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One new feature super-user Travis suggested to us was the ability for people using trees to send notes back to the authors. For Travis’s company, they wanted a way for their Call Center agents to easily comment on any node, and have that feedback reach the authors of the tree. This seemed like such an obviously beneficial idea that we re-prioritized to make it happen.

The result is a subtle comment bubble, which can appear at the bottom right-hand-side of any tree: 

This quick video shows how it works:

How the Feedback Loop Works

Both Zingtree hosted end-user trees and internal agent (Call Center) trees can use this feedback feature. To illustrate, we’ll use the Zingtree Agent Portal as an example.

Here’s how a tree appears, showing the comment bubble:

 

When an agent clicks the comment bubble, they get a simple pop-up feedback form:

When feedback is sent, all authors get an email notification:

You can see all nodes with comments from Overview. They have an icon like this: 

Example:

Finally, when you Edit a Node, you can see and delete all comments, like this:

Comments for End-User Support Trees

This feature is not limited to Call Centers. If you’re using Zingtree for end-user support, you can enable the comment bubble in Zingtree-hosted trees. Use the Advanced Hosting Options from Publish, Zingtree Hosting, or simply add this to the URL for your tree:

&feedback=1

4 Reasons Why Call Center Scripts are the Key to Surviving the Holidays

While many associate the term “Black Friday” with the official start to the holidays, it actually refers to that time of year when many retailers see their profits go from “being in the red” to “being in the black.” Within the contact center world, only two seasons exist: pre-holidays and post-holidays. Fortunately for these centers, much of the chaos surrounding temporary agents can be minimized with personnel training and a good scripting solution.

For many organizations, this is the time of year when new relationships can be forged, giving scripts an important role in the overall customer experience. The holidays are the perfect time to show potential and returning customers the breadth of your product line, and even increase sales. Here are some of the ways that a call center scripting solution can enhance the customer’s experience (even when relying on less-trained, temporary agents):

Consistency

All of the reasons why customers may call into your contact center can be tracked and monitored, and therefore specific scripts can be created so that customers will have a similar experience, regardless of the agent who takes the call.

Natural flow

Organized like a flow chart, scripts prompt agents to probe deeper or ask new questions depending on the answers given. This allows for a more natural flow of conversation where the customer feels they are being heard, rather than an agent reading off a linear script, which can come off as not only robotic, but disrespectful.

Train agents faster

Scripts, especially for temporary staff, can help call center agents deliver better experiences with less training involved. These scripts are in no way a replacement for training, but they do provide increased flexibility, especially during the holidays.

Improve customer experience & KPIs

Scripts that incorporate best practices from top performing agents can positively impact Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). By standardizing best practices within your call center through scripts, poorer performing agents and temps can more quickly, improve their performance, and deliver more consistent customer service.

There are a number of ways that contact centers can prepare for the upcoming season, from cloud-based workforce management software and scheduling solutions to scripting. When these scripts are done right, most customers won’t even realize the agent is being guided. And, with strategic planning that starts well in advance of the holidays, there is no reason that contact centers can’t easily handle the increased hustle and bustle!

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