Tag Archives: agent scripts

Hectic Holidays: A Simple Guide for Improving Customer Support

As families everywhere are winding down for the holiday season, support teams are just ramping up. This time of year can be especially strenuous for small businesses that want to continue to provide amazing customer service and support seasonal promotions, while at the same time allowing staff members to take some much-needed vacation time.

Customers can often have raised expectations for support during the holidays, and we all understand it. With the right support strategy and preparation in place, staff and agents can be well ahead of any issues, and customers can get exactly what they need. Here are our top tips for keeping things streamlined in your support department this holiday season:

1. Empower Agents

A good amount of customers still enjoy traditional support methods, like simply calling you up on the phone. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to empower the people who are answering those calls. Agent empowerment can come in many forms: in-depth training, up-to-date knowledge, freedom to make key decisions. By preparing agents with the tools they need to succeed, and giving them the power and confidence to make judgment calls, they will be ready and able to tackle any customer need!

Agent scripts allow support reps to have a real-time, custom script to easily guide them through a customer communication. Crafted to fit the business’ own “voice,” scripts follow personalized support standards that make it simple for agents to help customers with the best information possible. The best part about agent scripts for the holidays is that, because they convey the most accurate information and natural flow, it’s possible to hire last-minute seasonal help while ensuring your high standards of customer service are still met.

2. Provide Self-Service

According to a 2013 Forrester report, roughly 72% of customers actually prefer self-service support options to resolve their issues over calling or sending an email. For the holiday season, this is excellent news. The more you provide self-service support, the less questions and issues your support team has to field — it’s a win-win!

As far as self-service options go, pairing your existing knowledge base, FAQ and/or tutorial videos with interactive troubleshooters is the best way to cover all of your customer service bases. With the question-and-answer-style of a decision tree troubleshooter, finding solutions becomes much more manageable (for customers and support staff). In fact, businesses that use these troubleshooters have seen an average 20% reduction in support costs, some saving upwards of 15 hours per week on customer support.

3. Create a Holiday Tree

Not quite the tree that’s traditional to the season, holiday-specific decision trees are also a great idea if you’re running any promotions, offering special deals of any kind, or need to answer common shipping questions. By anticipating questions ahead of time and building a simple, interactive how-to or troubleshooter can help to solve seasonal problems.

Our friends at Desk.com shared a helpful list of some common holiday-related questions to address:

  • What are your hours during the holidays?
  • Did you release a new version of the product during the holidays? What’s different about it from the older version?
  • Are there any discount codes available? Please explain.
  • What are the shipping policies?
  • Do you have rush order? 
  • What are your return/exchange/cancellation policies?

Zingtree makes it easy to build customized, informative decision trees to satisfy your customers, and your business) during the hectic holiday season. Contact us to learn more or get started today!

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. 

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

Zingtree Terminology: Understanding Your Decision Trees Pt. 2

Understanding how our Zingtree interactive decision trees work on a fundamental level can help you generate more effective trees to fit your needs. If you’re new to Zingtree, or just have a curious mind, our glossary of basic terms will help you understand how our system works.


Analytics

Zingtree Analytics includes data on your custom decision trees’ outcomes, traffic, location breakdowns and more. You’ll get detailed insights into how your trees are being used to guide product, service and process optimizations.

Authors

Authors are the individuals that have created a Zingtree decision tree, along with those who have access to view and edit. You can also refer to your Authors as “collaborators.” With various Zingtree plans, you can add anywhere from 1 to 50 different Authors to contribute to and collaborate on your decision trees; ideal for call centers and other companies with large teams.

End-User Sessions

In the digital world, an end-user is simply the person who is using your product and navigating through your decision tree. An end-user session refers to a person outside your company (not an employee or call center agent) interacting with your tree.

Zingtree’s pricing for support, troubleshooting, and other external applications works by counting these end-user sessions, meaning that you only get charged when a person clicks a button in your tree. Whether they use one click or 100, the cost remains the same.

Scoring

Zingtree’s Scoring feature allows you to assign a numeric value to each answered question, along with actions based on the running total score. Scoring with an Evaluation tree is ideal for generating interactive online tests, quizzes, assessments, training simulations and more.

As the user goes through your decision tree, Zingtree keeps a running total of the score values of all the clicked buttons. When you’re ready to act upon the total score, create a new “Score Branch Node,” where you can specify a range of score values to redirect to specific nodes.

Scripts

Much like in learning your lines for a play, a script is used as a guide for customer service agents to follow along with. Scripts are written in the company’s tone of voice, and adhere’s to its personalized standards, making it easier for agents to portray the correct information and provide help to the customers.

Zingtree offers a powerful call center agent scripting solution that lets you quickly create and deploy custom scripts, and then analyze them per session and view performance summaries.

Snapshots

Snapshots are a handy feature within Zingtree that collects and data that has changed from one decision tree version to another. With Snapshots, you can recover old versions of your trees, view your teammates’ edits, and compare revisions to the current tree you’re working on, and more.

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Snapshots are very helpful when creating trees with multiple revisions or working with a team. To find this tool, select More Tools, then Snapshots in your Zingtree account.

Tagging

Tagging lets you add a list of category tags to both nodes and trees, making it easier to organize nodes in large trees, as well as organize large libraries of trees.

If you’re working from your nodes and searching for a specific type, you can add one or more tags to each node, then use the Overview to show only those nodes that include a certain tag. You can also add one or more tags to each tree from the My Trees page, allowing you filter your list of trees based upon those tags.


Stay tuned for Part 3 of our Zingtree Terminology series coming soon, and check out Part 1 right here. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact the team!

Adding Confirmation Messages to Call Center Scripts

Another recent goodie in the Zingtree arsenal of Call Center Agent tools is the new Require Confirmation to Continue option. If you’ve ever been on a call, and the agent says “This call may be recorded for quality assurance purposes”, then you can see how this is helpful.

Agent’s View

On the agent side, they will see this:

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Clicking the checkbox will activate the Continue button, and the agent can proceed with the script.

Author’s View

On the publishing side, when in Overview, Edit Node, any question node will show this Require Confirmation to Continue option:

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Click the checkbox, and a message option appears:

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The message appears as a part of the agent script, and it must be clicked upon for the agent to proceed. Pretty handy, eh?

If you have any questions, please reach out to us!