Zingtree Tags: customer support tools

5 Outdated Customer Support Tools You Need to Ditch

Customer service agents have always been at the heart of what makes companies, and their customer communications, so incredibly important to business success. However, certain resources aren’t always up to the job. Armed with only outdated customer support tools, it’s difficult for an agent or customer service representative to perform their tasks, and help people, to the best of their ability.

Thankfully, technology has done a great job of keeping up; there are dozens of amazing tools to help businesses small and large improve how they handle support and troubleshooting, customer interactions, and other key communications. If you’re still using an outdated tool or method like the ones mentioned here, now’s the time to make a change for the better.

Setting Up Spreadsheets to Track Issues

We’ll always love spreadsheets (heck, Zingtrees even connect with them for quick creation!), but using them as a means of manually tracking the details of tickets and inquiries is a definite resource-waster. The details of every customer call are important, so adopting a more automated way to enter key information during a call or via an online support ticket is vital to improving customer service goals. Don’t tackle it cell-by-cell. You waste precious time and this method is prone to errors.

Using Standard Email for Tickets

Using Outlook for support? Gmail? Yahoo? We certainly hope not, but if you are, there’s still time to make things right and upgrade to a real support system. A solid CRM tool like Zendesk or  Freshdesk isn’t as daunting or expensive as you might think, and can easily track and organize every incoming ticket. After getting started and connecting all of your communication channels, you can even integrate with decision trees for a completely holistic setup.

Sending Customers Through a Phone Tree

The most impersonal of all contact channels, a phone tree is as hard to set up as it is for customers to wait through. While still critical for some industries to offer in order to contact a live agent, others benefit from building a better system online and on mobile. Roughly 72% of people think self-service support is a preferred way to handle customer support, so using decision trees can help customers navigate for themselves, find answers, and contact the right department for more information.

Printing Out Call Scripts on Paper

Not only is printing bad for the environment, it’s cumbersome and unnecessary. While customer support and call center agents should be prepared with a script on hand, there’s always a technical way to make things more efficient. Taking the digital plunge and creating an online call center script for agent use will improve support KPIs, make it simple to streamline communication, and leave customers happier with every standardized, personalized interaction.


Any questions? We’re always here to help!

This article was originally published on April 13, 2017.

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, brainstorm a strategy, and whip out the perfect outline for getting started? It’s 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’re continuously updating the decision tree examples present in our Gallery. Here you’ll find a huge variety of pre-made decision trees for various use cases and industry-specific needs that you can edit, adjust, and customize to fit your needs. 

Simply click the “Examine button to take a closer look, and the “Copy” button within that to create a replicated version that you can adjust as needed.

3. Use the Right Building Tool

We all know that there are different styles of learning, creating, coding and strategizing — for this reason, we’ve equipped Zingtree with a robust set of tools fit for everyone.

Visual Designer allows for a “white board” to create nodes, connections, and truly see the decision tree as it’s being built. Some Zingtree builders only use this mode as a way of aesthetically assembling decision trees.

Importing from spreadsheets lets you start the process in Excel or Google Sheets and then upload it all into Zingtree. A perfect solution for spreadsheet lovers!

The Wizard tool is ideal for anyone who likes simple question-and-answer style forms and will get you up-and-running after collecting some key information.

Learn more about how to create a decision tree using our methods here.

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. Use Sub-Trees for More Complexities

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!

 

6. 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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7. Try Logic Nodes for Test, Questionnaires & More

Moving from A-to-B as easily as possible is our most base-level goal. Going a bit deeper, however, many businesses, educators, and other types of users benefit from having logic steps involved to quickly jump end-users to where they need to be, collect values associated with each selection, and more.

Logic Nodes test the value of your Zingtree variables with a series of rules and jump to a node when a condition is met. The rules are applied in order, so once a rule condition is met, the node assigned to the rule opens next.

8. Customize and Personalize Away!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — customization is key. That’s why we make it easy to add in color and style wherever it’s needed! Need a pop of branded personality or just want to showcase your information in a visually-stunning way? No problem. With options to insert custom CSS files, adjust the appearance of buttons, and add videos, GIFs and other types of media, you can get as customized as you want.


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

This article was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for relevancy. 

Infographic Update: How People Are Using Decision Trees

Last year, we introduced an interesting infographic to show just exactly how our customers are using their Zingtree decision trees. And, because new and updated information will always give a more accurate picture, we took the liberty of freshening it up a bit.

Since we initially “sprouted up” in late 2013, we’ve helped over 15,800 organizations everywhere to streamline support and business processes, build powerful sales funnels, help engage with customers, and a whole lot more. To put it in perspective, that’s more than double the number of organizations we had helped (to date) just last year.

Have you planted your tree yet?

Zendesk Decision Tree Support App: Version 4

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Travis A., who is implementing Zingtree for a video technology company, was keen on using Zingtree to try to reduce his team’s support ticket load. He also needed to import a synopsis of the Zingtree session data into his Zendesk tickets so his tech support people could get some time-saving background information.

Travis wanted to emphasize the condensed Q&A part of the session. Done!

Here’s the new look of the Zendesk Decision Tree Support app:

Here’s what’s new in the Zendesk Support App, version 4:

  • The Q&A view is now the default.
  • Any “back” or “restart” button clicks no longer show in Q&A view.
  • The answers clicked are highlighted, so it’s easy for a support person to see where the customer went at a glance.

You can download the latest Zingtree Decision Tree Support app for Zendesk here.

Need help installing the app? Instructions are here.

Travis' photo
This is Travis.

Thank you, Travis, for the awesome suggestions!

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

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!