Tag Archives: customer support tools

Must-Have Support Tools for a Successful Startup

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Often strapped for time and funding, small businesses and startups can be faced with a difficult decision — how do we spend our resources and manpower on our product, website, marketing, and customer relationships equally? Having a well-rounded customer support strategy isn’t always easy to keep up with. However, taking the time to make the right optimizations to your support system will help you retain customers, gather more helpful feedback for your growing company, and keep everyone happy.

Who says startups can’t offer an exceptional customer service experience? Here are our favorite customer support tools to help you make the most of your service.

Intercom

Having a live chat support functionality built into your website is an incredibly useful way to connect with customers who have any questions or issues to address. As a small business ourselves, we love using Intercom because it allows us to automatically track both chat and email interactions with each customer, as well as provide completely personalized one-on-one support.

The convenience factor can be huge in a customers’ decision to either get help or quit using your product/service. Intercom allows small businesses and startups of all sizes to engage with customers quickly and directly, without taking out a lot of time in the normal work day.

Bonus Tip: Link up Intercom with Zingtree to get background information from your customers before you start a live chat.

Zendesk

Everyone’s favorite support software earned the title for good reason. Zendesk provides a cloud-based customer service platform that’s been specifically designed to bring businesses and customers together, having all conversations and support requests centralized, searchable and totally organized.

There’s often not a lot of time in a day for startup workers to evaluate new software, but finding the right kind of CRM is important to scale. Developing a hyper-efficient CRM process can take a little time to prepare, but is guaranteed to help you build and maintain great relationships with people.

Bonus Tip: Integrate Zendesk with Zingtree to give customers a decision tree for self-solving, or allow them to submit a Zendesk ticket with their full tree history if they can’t find a solution.

Zingtree

Online knowledge bases and FAQs are a must-have for any startup or small business. But, customers searching for specific answers or step-by-step solutions to a technical issue, these knowledge bases of articles can be intimidating and frustrating. Zingtree allows you to create customized, interactive decision trees and troubleshooters to provide always-available, guided help to your customers.

Our platform lets you add visuals like GIFs and videos to provide more context, and has publishing tools to let you embed your trees into WordPress or any other website page for seamless integration with your existing online presence. Plus, you can gather feedback through comments to make optimizations even easier.

Bonus Tip: We integrate with a ton of other helpful tools and apps for startups and small businesses, so you can easily link up and share information between platforms.

Twitter

More than just a social media platform or means of distributing your business’ content, Twitter is an incredibly helpful medium for basic support communications. So many consumers are turning to the ease and accessibility of social media to share issues and ask questions, and startups can offer up ultra-fast, bite-sized responses to solve problems through replies and more lengthy direct messages.

Not just for the youngsters anymore, adults of many ages are now using Twitter to keep up with their interests, as well as brands they love. It’s free, fast, personalized enough to please consumers, and simple enough for even the smallest of startups to lend resources to.

Bonus Tip: We’re also on Twitter – follow us and ask us anything!

Grasshopper

Sometimes customers just want a direct line, straight to the source of the information. For startups working with the elderly, those with poorly-functioning Internet, or otherwise technically-challenged customers, having a phone can be a huge benefit. Grasshopper allows you to make a new business-only line from your own personal cell phone, so you can easily field questions anywhere, anytime.

Perfect for startups with remote (or distributed) teams like us, Grasshopper is a cool way to stay in contact with customers while keeping your existing number, and even allows you to send texts through your business number to work through things with clients and customers on-the-go.


Ready to help make your startup even more customer-friendly? Get a free Zingtree account today

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Zingtree: 8 Hacks For Success

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Our interactive decision tree tool is a must-have for any business looking to skyrocket their customer service through self-help, organizations hoping to logically deliver answers, and even contact centers to guide their customer-facing agents through how-tos and support.

No matter what you use Zingtree for, getting your first tree deployed can be daunting for some. So have no fear, here are our top tips for breaking into the awesomely helpful world of Zingtrees:

1. Sketch Out a Roadmap

Remember in school when you’d sit down and brainstorm out a strategy? Just like that! Whether it’s in list, mind map or spreadsheet form, getting down the touchstones you need your tree to cover before you start building your tree is crucial and will make building your nodes and connecting them in a flow much easier. Compiling an outline is essential and will make the creation much more streamlined.

2. Go With What’s Already Been Built

We’ve expanded (and promise to keep expanding) our Gallery. In here you will find a handful of pre-made Trees that you can edit and customize to fit your needs. Simply click the “Copy” button to create a replicate version. Also, see the top navigation to filter by your specific need. Check out our examples, and hopefully one will be great inspiration for you to start your own!

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3. Start With The Visual Designer

We all know that there are different styles to learning, creating, coding and strategizing. For this reason, we’ve equipped Zingtree with a robust Visual Designer that allows for a “white board” to create nodes, connections, and truly see the Tree as it’s being built. Some Zingtree builders only use this mode as a way of aesthetically assembling their decision trees. Visually, however, it can get confusing for large, complex trees – but for getting started, it’s perfect!

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4. Use Placeholders When Undecided

When you’re on a roll mapping out your decision tree you’re bound to run into a speed bump here or there, especially when dealing with conditional node flows. In practice, this means if you need two nodes connected you need to create both nodes before you create the connection between them.

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If you’re stumped on the additional nodes, we recommend that you create simple untitled / undefined nodes to help you continue through the process. You can always go back to that node and edit appropriately as needed.

5. Go Back With Snapshots

A very helpful feature we’ve built into Zingtree is Snapshots. Snapshots allow you to review edits and go back to previous versions of your tree – helpful when creating trees with multiple revisions. To find this tool, select More Tools > Snapshots. You can see any other team members’ work and revisions, not to mention, recover that past version.

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6. Make A Backup As You Go

If you’re ever nervous about losing your place or the data within your Zingtree, we recommend exporting the tree to a file on your PC or Mac. This also works well if you’re making a whole new round of edits that you’re not 100% sure about.

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Backups are a great way to not only save your work but also collaborate on different versions of the same idea, especially for teams working with multiple versions for reference and cross-examination. To find the Exporting feature, select More Tools > Export.

7. Big Copy Edits With Exporting

Another exporting trick! If you have large, bulk changes that you need to make with the text within your tree (say, a URL throughout that’s totally changed or an updated product name), simply export and open it with a text editor platform. Using the “Find & Replace” tool within the text editor, swap out the old text portion with the new.

8. Sub-Trees for Even Bigger Zingtrees

If you know you’re going to have a large project ahead of you,  prepare more than one Zingtree to ease the pain in constructing one whole decision tree. In fact, when you’re in the planning stages, you will find these sub-trees occur naturally in complex decision trees. By containing themes and varying elements in different trees, and then later, linking them up into one final tree using Tree Links, you can concentrate on one element at a time!


We’d love to hear your tricks and tips for starting a Zingtree. Feel free to share on our Facebook Page!

8 Call Center Technologies to Improve Your First Call Resolution

Is your call center using the most up-to-date software and tools to improve KPI’s? Zingtree was recently featured in TechSee‘s list of the best technologies to improve first call resolution, among other important customer service stats.

Here’s an excerpt from the article:

“First call or first contact resolution (FCR) is the golden lariat of the customer service sphere. Handling your customers’ problems the first time they call in, and making sure they remain satisfied, loyal customers has to be the defacto aim for customer support and retention teams. 

There are many significant metrics which contact centers need to monitor: Average Handling Time, Abandon Rate, Customer Satisfaction and other operational performance metrics need to be factored in when measuring your customer service performance. 

But, FCR is the most important and only KPI that addresses both ends of your contact center functionality in a single measure. First Call Resolution measures both productivity (getting the problem solved) and customer experience (solving it in the most efficient way for the customer). It’s this KPI that connects the dots in your organization.”

Read the full article on TechSee.me >>

Updates: New Button Click Traffic Report, Designer Enhancements and More

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This latest Zingtree update is once again powered by our clever customers. We just take the ball and run with it.

Here’s what’s new this week:

New Traffic (Button Clicks) Report

For each node, you can see how often each button is clicked for any date range.  Also, you can walk through your tree and see clicks for the next node. Thanks to Elise M. and Matthew S. for the suggestion.

Designer Updates

We’ve made the color palette better, and the root node is now a unique dark shade of green.  Thanks to Corey D. for the inspiration.

Also New and Notable

  • Fix: Mobile output looks better due to a meta tag scaling fix
  • Update: Reports list ordered by popularity
  • Fix: Super user status not always recognized in My Trees (h/t Trey H.)
  • Update: Added content-question and content-answer classes to tree output for more CSS control over question and content areas. (h/t Kolja W.)
  • Fix: Breadcrumbs links went back one step too far. Fixed. (Cris M.)
  • Update: Session Notes now turn red if there’s a previous note, shows previous note. Also appears in Session List, Session Data reports. (h/t Florent N.).
  • Update: Added API for Session Notes extraction
  • New: Settings now has a Language option to ensure Back button and Email Node fields are localized properly (h/t Mike H.)

Got a great idea? Send it to us, and watch it magically appear in the next update!

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!

How to Include a Search Form in Your Trees

Your troubleshooters and FAQ-style decision trees are chock-full of answers, insight and other information just waiting to be discovered. In addition to guiding people to find answers step-by-step, you can also insert a Search Form into your decision tree.

With the functionality of a Search Form, your customers can quickly and easily search for text in the current tree, and then jump directly to that section.

Why Use a Search Form?

Our clients pointed out that, while decision trees are built for customers to navigate through, it’s often much faster to directly locate a specific piece of content. Search Form queries match text within your decision tree nodes or titles, making it easy to search for specific information in a tree.

Note: This is different from Tree Search Forms, which lets you search through all the trees in your organization. 

How to Insert Search Forms

Placing this type of form is as easy as clicking a button while creating your decision tree…

Open your decision tree of choice and navigate to Overview. Next, open “Edit” for the node you want to place it in, then select Templates in the Content Editor to insert your Search Form.

There you have it! Now your customers, employees or anyone else using your decision tree will quickly and easily be able to search for the solution they are looking for.

Ready to get started? Log in or sign up to launch your own decision trees with search capabilities today. 

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!

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

Adding Call Scripts to Desk.com

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Besides being a well designed, elegant, simple-to-use help desk system that is easy to learn and configure, Desk.com is also great for Call Center use – both inbound and outbound – and is a natural platform for launching Interactive Agent Scripts created with Zingtree.

Using Agent Scripts in Desk.com

Within Desk.com you can load a script from any Case using the Integration Links at the top of the page.

This loads your custom Zingtree Agent Script in a new browser tab.

Cool feature: One of the best things about using Zingtree with Desk.com is that the last viewed page and the history of the interactions with the script are saved with each ticket.  So if a customer calls back, or a call is transferred to another agent, the script will be in the same place as it was left previously.

Please note: This is only available in the Next Gen interface in Desk.com.

How to Set Up Zingtree Call Scripts in Desk.com

You will need to create a custom Integration URL within Desk.com as follows:

  1. Create a tree in Zingtree, and note the nine digit Tree ID. (You can use 628045351 as a demo.)
  2. Log into desk.com, or create a free account if you haven’t yet done so.
  3. Go to the Admin dashboard.
  4. Click Cases, Integration URLs.
  5. Enter “Zingtree” as the Name, and select New Browser Window as the Open Location.
  6. Add a URL like this, substituting the Tree ID into both places with #########:
    https://zingtree.com/host.php?style=panels&tree_id=#########&session_id=#########-{{case.id}}&agent_mode=1&show_history=1&source={{case.active_user.name}}

  7. Make sure Enabled is active.
  8. Click Add.


Advanced Uses

Displaying Session History in Case Details

You can use a Standard iFrame Integration URL to show the Q&A History from your script next to the ticket, like this:

You will need to create an iFrame Integration URL. Use this URL (substituting ######### with your Tree ID):

https://zingtree.com/api/get-qa-data.php?nototal=1&session_id=#########-{{case.id}}

This article explains how to set up an iFrame Integration URL.


Inserting Desk.com Fields into Scripts

You can include fields from the Desk.com case into your Zingtree scripts using Merge Variables.  These are added to the Integration URL.

For example, to add the customer’s first name and company, add these parameters to the URL:

&variables=NAME|COMPANY&values={{customer.first_name}}|{{customer.company}}

In your Zingtree scripts, enter #NAME# and #COMPANY# wherever you want the name and company to appear.


Advanced Display Options

When using the Publish tool in Zingtree, go to the Advanced Hosting Options under Have Zingtree Host your Tree. You can experiment with adding different styles and button options to the URL you will use with Desk.com.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to include these options at the end of the URL:

&session_id=#########-{{case.id}}&agent_mode=1&show_history=1&source={{case.active_user.name}}


Automatically Choosing a Script from a Custom Field

You can  make different scripts appear based upon the value of a custom field. The key is to match a Zingtree tree tag with the custom field value. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In Zingtree, tag your trees with the value of the custom field to match.  This article has more on tagging.
  2. Use an integration URL like this:
    http://zingtree.com/host-trees.php?jump=1&key=APIKEY&type=treetag-any&agent_mode=1&show_history=1&search={{case.custom_FIELDNAME}}&source={{case.active_user.name}}&session_id=DESK-SUBDOMAIN-{{case.id}}
  3. Substitute APIKEY with your API Key. (You can find it here.)
  4. Substitute FIELDNAME with the name of your custom field.
  5. Substitute SUBDOMAIN with your Desk.com subdomain.  For example, if you use mysupport.desk.com, use “mysupport” as the subdomain.

 

Infographic: How People Use Zingtree Decision Trees

Below is a brand new infographic we created for our customers. We wanted to share how others are using Zingtree decision trees. If you’ve spent any time with Zingtree you’ll find it interesting.

Since sprouting in late 2013, we’ve helped over 7,500 organizations everywhere engage with customers, streamline support and business processes, build powerful sales funnels and more.

There’s a virtual forest of Zingtrees out there, and it’s growing every day. Have you planted your tree yet?