Tag Archives: decision tree examples

7 Tips for an Effective, Interactive Knowledge Base

Interactive Knowledge Base

These days, there are quite a few solutions for improving customer service and support in completely digital ways. Customer-friendly knowledge bases are one tried-and-true way to present every bit of important information, tutorials, and how-to’s in a completely categorized display. Your typical, traditional website knowledge base can’t compare to the power and effectiveness of a fully interactive knowledge base, however.

Armed with guided instructions that are compacted into smaller, more digestible pieces, interactive knowledge bases allow customers to quickly troubleshoot, find answers, and solve complex issues, all without calling your business up on the phone. Zingtree enables organizations and businesses of all sizes to create and integrate a customized, easy-to-use, interactive knowledge base into their support system, so every customer gets the answers they need. In fact, we host our own Zingtree FAQ on the Zingtree platform itself!

Here are just a few of our best tips for building the best interactive knowledge base you can.

1. Nail down your categories and main topics first.

Start with an outline of the topics you want to cover, as well as the categories of topics that they belong to. Having this thoroughly laid out before you set in will help you visualize your completed knowledge base, as well as make sure that you’re not missing any key topics, tutorials, or FAQs.

Here’s an example of how we have our own interactive knowledge base set up:

2. Always add a search bar.

The key to having a fully automated, interactive knowledge base is to make it as easy as possible for customers to direct themselves to the correct article or tutorial. Adding a search bar to the top of your knowledge base will prompt any unsure customers to see if they can quickly pull up the answers or information they need. It’s a simple tip, but one that your customers will absolutely appreciate!

3. Start with your favorite tool.

It’s important to work with the decision tree-building tool that works best for you, personally. We offer up a few different ways to get started:

  • Overview: Build your trees from scratch, piece by piece (or rather, node by node).
  • Visual Designer: Draw out every node, connection, and final result in one visual space.
  • Wizard: Quickly create by answering a series of questions and answers that ultimately build the final tree.
  • Spreadsheets: Start creating in Excel or Google Sheets and import for refinement.

4. Word everything carefully and concisely.

Beyond the general advice to keep wording (especially complex wording) to a minimum, it’s important to carefully craft each question, how-to, or other information to be perfectly clear, and never use phrasing that could steer customers down the wrong path. Keeping the decision tree questions and information presented in your interactive knowledge base as simple as possible and structuring them in an easy-to-absorb way is the best way to help customers get the help they need.

5. Use videos and animated GIFs strategically.

Visuals are proven to aid in information retention, plus they are fun to look at and are easy for customers to save to their respective desktops for future use! An interactive knowledge base built with decision trees allow for businesses to embed documentation and/or visual media to help convey information better. Using photos, graphics, and GIFs, and adding relevant videos to your questions is a hugely productive way to communicate instructions within limited space.

Here’s an example GIF that clearly shows how to connect nodes in our Visual Designer:

6. Link to more in-depth information where it’s needed.

There’s a lot to be said about going with a more streamlined, bite-sized approach to your support articles – something that our decision trees help a lot of businesses with. When in doubt, it’s always better to keep things short and to the point while linking out to further information or details when needed. Our decision trees allow you to use what we call “link nodes” to easily open up into a new window.

7. Integrate with CRM systems and other platforms.

One of our best tips for building a great interactive knowledge base is to make sure that it’s all linked up to CRM. Zingtree decision trees integrate directly with Freshdesk, Salesforce, Zendesk, and just about every other CRM out there to make the sharing of information fast and easy. With these integrations in place, support staff will have a much better look at where customers are getting held up, and can quickly send a full decision tree transcript over to their CRM for fast access.


Head over to the Zingtree FAQ to see how we set up our own interactive knowledge base with decision trees, or check out the Gallery to get inspiration for your trees!

Anything else? We’re always here to help you get started, offer advice, and answer any questions. 

Need a Creative Boost? Our Top Decision Tree Examples

Interactive decision trees can be incredibly powerful tools for technical support, troubleshooting, call centers, corporate procurement, purchasing and processing, scheduling, and so much more. The possibilities are endless for businesses, and even individuals, but it can often be a little difficult gathering the right inspiration to get started.

Our blog, gallery, website, and tutorials are full of decision tree examples to help you start off on the right path. In fact, we built our Gallery for exactly this purpose: To arm you with all of the tools and examples you might need. With the gallery, you can explore and examine decision trees to see how they are built for different functions, test out different themes and styles, and even duplicate existing decision trees so you don’t have to start from scratch.

We’ve hand-picked a few favorites to show just how dynamic these trees can be. Plus, we offer up some tips on customizing and personalizing decision trees to make them look and feel exactly how you want.

Great Decision Tree Examples

Basic Support Example

Click here to examine this decision tree example. 

Content Marketing Example

Click here to examine this decision tree example. 

HR Questionnaire Example

Click here to examine this decision tree example.

Personality Test Example

Click here to examine this decision tree example.

Appointment Scheduler Example

Click here to examine this decision tree example. 

Customizing Your Decision Trees

Personalizing and customizing decision trees is a fun way to inject a little character into your interactive experience. Once you’ve got those creative juices flowing, give some of these custom tweaks a try:

1. Use a Zingtree theme to mix and match different styles and colors.

2. Insert your own custom CSS to perfectly match your business or organization’s branding.

3. Add video, GIFs, and images to help support your questions, and add new visual elements to your decision trees.

4. Include icons (or even emojis) in your page titles and buttons.


Ready to get started? 

Check out the Zingtree Gallery for even more creative inspiration, and log in to work on your own. 

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!

How to Use Existing Login Credentials to Restrict Access to Decision Trees

security-blog

Some of our customers have asked for an extra level of security for their trees, such that only people authenticated via a corporate intranet can access it. This article shows how it’s done, for ANY login system on ANY intranet.

Universally restricting access is accomplished by having an internal server access the tree via a server-side include, rather than via a user’s browser via embedded code in the page. This means that all accesses of the tree come from a single corporate IP address or range. Zingtree has an IP filtering option for any tree, so it’s easy to restrict access and use whatever authentication processes are already in place on the corporate intranet.

The method described here can work with organizations using SSO (Single Sign On), or any other login system.

Here are the basics:

  1. Restrict access to your tree to just the IP address of your server(s). This is done via Zingtree’s Settings tool.
  2. Create a web page for the tree to display on your internal server. This page will include the necessary JS and CSS files to show the tree. Load your tree using a server-side call, instead of embedding it into an iFrame or linking to a URL hosted at Zingtree.com.

Examples

Here’s PHP source code for a simple server-side include.

See how this page appears.

Technical Details

The example above is written using PHP, but any server-side scripting language can be used.  Our demo is a template around which a URL for a tree can be loaded. This template contains all the CSS and JS files needed to display a functioning Zingtree decision tree.

Zingtree is built on top of Bootstrap 3, so the basic Bootstrap files are loaded.  There are a few custom controls as well included in the template.

You can swap out the PHP with Python, Ruby, Perl, or any other scripting language you choose.
Have any questions or comments about making your trees more secure? Talk to us!

How To Use One Tree for End-Users and Employees/Agents

updates-blog

We’ve had requests to make it easy to use one tree for both end-user support and internal agent usage. Rather than maintaining two separate trees, being able to have one source of content and show (or hide) parts between agents and end-users can be extremely helpful. So, we’ve introduced two new template tags that allow this to happen.

Demo

The Dual Use Agent and End-User Example Tree from the Zingtree Gallery shows how this type of tree is built and operated. You can switch between End-User and Agent views by opening the Show More Display Options link.

Creating Agent-Only or End-User Only Buttons

The first node in the demo has a button labelled “Other Options for Agents only”.  This button only appears when agents are viewing the tree, but not for end-users.  Here’s how this magic is done:

  • If you prefix the button label with AGENT_ , only agents will see that button.
  • Prefix a button with USER_ to show it to just end-users.

Creating Nodes with Dual Content

In the content area for any node, you can insert special tags that make the text visible to just agents, or just end-users.

To show content for agents only:

Surround the content with [[AGENT-ONLY]] and [[/AGENT-ONLY]].

To show content for end-users only:

Surround the content with [[USER-ONLY]] and [[/USER-ONLY]].

You can access these template tags from the content editor in any node:


Example

If your node content area looks like this…

This is the content for a node.

[[AGENT-ONLY]]Agent stuff shows here[[/AGENT-ONLY]]

[[USER-ONLY]]User content shows here[[/USER-ONLY]]

An end user will see this…

This is the content for a node.

User content shows here

And your agents will see this…

This is the content for a node.

Agent stuff shows here

How to Preview

The updated Preview tool lets you see content views for agents or end-users:

Implementation

Your agent-only content will appear in trees accessed via the Zingtree Agent Portal. You can also make this content appear by adding the following parameters to the URL for Zingtree hosted or embedded trees:

&agent_mode=1&apikey=YOUR_API_KEY

Substitute your API key for YOUR_API_KEY in the URL. You can find the API Key from the API page, or if you have multiple organizations at the bottom of the Organizations and Billing page.


Do you like this new feature? Or have any other comments? Please share with us!

Procurement Case Study: Philip Morris International

Philip Morris International + Zingtree

Streamlining complex operations processes in an interactive environment

Philip Morris International is the world’s leading global tobacco company, representing six of the world’s top international brands that span more than 180 markets. Largely focused on Research & Development, the company employs over 400 dedicated scientists, engineers, and technicians who work to develop less harmful alternatives to cigarettes.

P.M.I.’s Challenge

With the highly-regulated environment of R&D, strict guidelines for every process is necessary to mitigate risk and reduce error. PMI recognized a need to have clear, guided solution to ensure that every procurement was handled efficiently and accurately, without implementing a cumbersome system for employees to navigate.

Zingtree’s Solution

Interactive decision trees have allowed PMI to automate complicated procurement processes that follow stringent company regulations. By using standardized trees, the organization has minimized the risk of error while at the same time streamlining efficiency and reducing stress for their employees.

“Structured decision trees lead to increased efficiency, avoid constant repetition of efforts and also lead the users to increased autonomy and consciousness,” says Olivier Raffi, R&D Manager at Philip Morris International. “This type of automation allows free time and extended availability to deal with complex conditions with less time stressed support teams.”

About Zingtree

Zingtree is the most user-friendly, business-ready platform for creating and implementing interactive decision trees that deliver answers faster. Quickly create a decision tree that your site visitors, leads, trainees and/or customers navigate by clicking buttons to answer questions, and receive detailed analytics on how trees are being used. Zingtree makes it easy to guide anyone through complicated processes – there’s no better way to help people get answers and solve problems.

View the full Philip Morris International + Zingtree case study and download the PDF here


Want to see more? Explore the Zingtree Gallery for examples of how our decision trees and interactive solutions provide value for businesses!

Educational Decision Tree Case Study: Lego League + Zingtree

FIRST LEGO League Team “Loading…” + Zingtree

Grade school students use decision trees to bring science to life with LEGO

Each year, FIRST LEGO League releases a challenge based on a real-world scientific topic. Teams of up to ten children, with at least one adult coach, participate by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field, developing a solution to a problem they have identified all guided by the FIRST LEGO League Core Values.

Teams may then attend an official tournament to compete on a regional level – it’s one of the most creative and tech-friendly events that exists for kids today.

The Challenge

This year’s theme was “Animal Allies,” wherein the students sought to find a way to help animals and humans live better together. The innovative Loading… FLL Team from Minneapolis, comprised of six amazing child-engineers and two helpful adults, tackled the problem of owners not being able to care for their pet before they commit to the well-being of adopting an animal.

Zingtree’s Solution

Creating an interactive decision tree provided Loading… with the perfect platform to guide potential pet owners through the process of adopting an animal, and what pet would be the right fit.

“Zingtree had setup tutorials as well, which made making a pet decision tree all the much easier. We found that it was an easy to use, easy to edit decision maker that allowed many options. Overall, Zingtree was a great tool that made our app making successful and fast.”  

The Loading… team took their hands-on science efforts to tournament this year, thanks to their very own FIRST LEGO League decision tree.


About Zingtree

Zingtree is the most user-friendly platform for creating and implementing interactive decision trees that deliver answers faster. Quickly create a decision tree that your site visitors, leads, trainees and/or customers navigate by clicking buttons to answer questions, and receive detailed analytics on how trees are being used. Zingtree makes it easy to guide anyone through complicated processes – there’s no better way to help people get answers and solve problems.

View the full Lego League + Zingtree case study and download the PDF here


Want to see more? Explore the Zingtree Gallery for examples of how our decision trees and interactive solutions provide value for businesses!

New Auto-Arrange Tool: Creating Nice Visual Layouts for Decision Trees

autoarrange-blog

When using the Zingtree Wizard, or the Excel or Google Sheets Import tools, one of the drawbacks is that when you view those trees in Designer, there is no initial data for the visual representation of your tree. We’ve been working on making sure the Traffic Map report and Designer views look good when you first open a tree not created with Designer, and now we finally have a solution: the Auto-Arrange Tool.

Auto-Arrange uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence and the laws of physics to come up with an optimal layout for your tree. It turns out that this is a difficult problem to solve, and while we feel it can be improved, this solution will save you a lot of time from manually rearranging the layout of your trees – especially really big ones.

One of the fun things about Auto-Arrange is that you can watch it working as it rearranges and repositions nodes in real-time.

auto-arrange-1

When you first open the Traffic Map report or Designer tool, you’ll be offered a chance to use Auto-Arrange. Next, Auto-Arrange will attempt to organize your decision tree in a tree-like fashion. If that doesn’t work, it will switch to a “network” view, which is less hierarchical. You can also switch views manually, and play with some of the parameters used to render the tree layout.

Here’s how our Pet Rock demo appears in Tree view (scaled down):

Here’s how the same tree looks in a Network display:

Once you are done playing with Auto-Arrange, you can proceed to Designer and your new layout will automatically become a part of the design.

Want to try it out? You can access Auto-Arrange from within Designer.

Is this new tool helpful? Fun? Let us know!