Tag Archives: agent scripts

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!

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!