Tag Archives: decision tree maker

How to Create a Survey with Decision Trees

By nature, decision trees are powerful tools to showcase each “decision” along with its potential outcome. While already a recognized and respected way to create interactive guides, how-tos, and troubleshooters, decision trees are also a skillful platform for building, publishing and collecting survey data from both customers and internal employees.

Why Use Decision Trees for Surveys?

The general goal of a survey is to classify a population (who you are surveying) into complete sets, depending on their recorded responses. In this light, you can both represent the survey as a descriptive or analytical tool using a decision tree platform — it’s all narrowed down to the framing of the language used and in-depth paths created.

Better than common or commercial survey platforms, decision trees are ideal for creating these complex paths in a simple-to-follow format, so you never get lost during the building process. Additionally, decision trees make it easy to:

1. Build and implement surveys for recurring needs. 

Collecting information early and often is key when it comes to improving a business or organization. Decision trees are perfect for recurring surveys:

  • HR and internal surveys
  • NPS and customer satisfaction surveys
  • Market research surveys
  • Customer feedback surveys

For example, we use decision tree surveys for gathering information in a technical support request, and for when customers request demos. A little bit of background information goes a long way.

2. Include key information and helpful media. 

Depending on the survey at hand, it can be useful to embed documentation and/or visual media to help convey information better. Using visuals like photos, graphics, and GIFs, and adding relevant videos to your survey questions is a great way to communicate clear instructions and background information within little space.

3. Use logic to jump around complex paths.

Decision trees were built to simplify complex situations, including the complicated logic jumps and survey paths that can arise when collecting information. Our multiple survey building tools (shown below) make it easy to create and visualize the survey paths, end-results, and any missed connections within the logic itself. Plus, you can start building in a spreadsheet if that’s easier to wrap your head around initially.

4. Perform A/B testing and optimize results. 

To get the most from your survey, you’ll need to perform A/B testing on areas such as how your survey questions are written, the medium from which the surveys are sent, and how many questions are included. Using Zingtree scoring nodes, you can easily A/B test surveys and determine which options are getting the most traction.

5. Customize with themes and branded CSS. 

Having a seamless look-and-feel with your own company or organization’s branding is important to how a survey is received by customers. Zingtree allows you to import your own custom CSS file to fit the design you want perfectly or choose from a selection of decision tree themes to mix and match color and style possibilities.

6. Embed surveys anywhere you need them.

Once you’ve created a survey using Zingtree, you can easily publish and distribute it through several ways. Have a web page or WordPress-hosted site you need a survey embedded on? You can do that. Need us to host a survey that you can quickly link your customers to? You can do that, too.

Getting Started: Building Your Survey

Creating a survey is easy with our toolkit, offering 3 easy-to-use options for creation.

The Wizard: The interface walks you through the decision tree building process while you provide the questions (and answers) that your end-users will see and navigate through.

The Designer: Draw out a decision tree on one screen, where you’ll be able to create the nodes and their connections to see exactly how the tree will flow.

Overview: A form-based option for creating one node at a time that consists of tools for refining your decision trees – perfect for content-heavy surveys.

Check out a real live decision tree example, showcasing a basic customer satisfaction survey template:


Zingtree makes it easy to build surveys, as well as question & answer style troubleshooters, scripts, sales filters and more to satisfy your customers, your agents and your business needs.

Contact us to learn more or get started today!

Zendesk Decision Tree Support App: Version 4

zendesk_zingtree-BLOG@2x

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!

Spring 2017 Decision Tree Updates

updates-blog2

In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been busy improving Zingtree over the past six weeks. Aside from the new Single Sign-on and Dual use tree features, here are the other more subtle updates we’ve recently added into Zingtree:

  • Fix: No longer allows multiple feedback clicks on submit feedback button (Katheryn P.).
  • Update: AGENT_ and USER_ prefixes on buttons only show them in agent mode or end-user mode (Travis A.).
  • Update: Tag matching on trees (host-trees) now saves state for each tree clicked, shows marker if a session was started with that tree (for Jenn V.).
  • Update: Added nochrome=1 option to host-trees to show minimal tag matching results.
  • Fix: Using a tree node to launch a tree with a webhook in the starting node now runs webhook (Chrissie).
  • Update: Reports are now in author’s local time.
  • Update: Zendesk app version V9B now manages merge variables properly.
  • Update: Zendesk app gets ticket’s list box values instead of tags as merge variables to insert into agent scripts.
  • Fix: Form data report items now syncs with session list report (Diana T).
  • Fix: Session Matrix report now uses last click time for date ranges.
  • Fix: Scoring nodes no longer occasionally add a zero to scoring variables.
  • Fix: email-session-info script updated to handle some timing issues causing missing form data.
  • Update: Data Entry radio button fields now render using entire width of node, not half of width.
  • Fix: Date picker for subtrees works properly (Chrissie).
  • New: Sessions List has options to show first click/last click (Ricardo).
  • New: Sessions list report shows total time spent.
  • Update: Added Agent Portal Parameters option to pass custom URL values into agent portal trees (Chrissie).
  • Update: My Agents page now hides advanced options by default.
  • New: Server-side include example page.
  • Fix: Last click time in session data now always accurate (Ricardo).
  • Fix: Session form data reloads are now more reliable – fixes edge cases on timing errors (Ricardo).
  • Fix: New lines in Agent Feedback Comments now appear in emails, comment review pages (Katheryn P).
  • New: Tree Nodes and Link Nodes can now have tags (Morgan).
  • New: find_tree_sessions API (Chris P.).
  • Fix: Double quotes in session variables (via Zendesk) caused state not to get properly set (Ricardo).
  • New: API added find_agent_sessions as equivalent to original find_sessions. Makes better language since we added new find_tree_sessions API.
  • Update: get_session_data API call now includes “seq” in the path as click number (Chris P.).
  • Update: Form data, Session List reports now based off of “last click time” during a session, instead of start time (Ricardo).
  • Update: Session List report now shows an icon if the session includes form data.
  • Added demo for embedding with breadcrumbs in the container.
  • New: Import from Oracle Service Cloud XML in Create Tree.
  • Fix: FontAwesome icons updated to version 4.7 for Preview, Deploy.
  • Fix: FormData report and Session List report now use same time starting criterion.
  • Update: Added date_format option to hosting or embedded URLs to allow custom date formats in date picker (Chrissie, Jane).
  • Fix: Properly sends ampersands in subject line for email-session-info link node (Alok).
  • New: Can now see all feedback comments for a tree by clicking on comments bubble in My Trees (Guil).
  • Update: Date picker now uses user’s locale to format dates and show proper month names.
  • Fix: Emails with apostrophes now are able to be added to MailChimp lists.
  • Fix: Validates Tree IDs on spreadsheet import for tree nodes.
  • Fix: Now gets root node for tree imports as first node in list, even if not #1 (Katie).
  • Update: Zendesk agent scripting: tags prefixed with “perm_” are never removed from Zendesk once added (Jamel).

Thanks to all of our hard-core authors for suggesting most of these updates.

Got a suggestion or a great idea?  Let us know!

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.

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!

Must-Have Support Tools for a Successful Startup

support tools for startups

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

The Ultimate Online Decision Tree Maker for Any Need

A decision tree maker is the best tool for simplifying complicated processes, including those frequently faced in customer support, technical troubleshooting, sales optimization, training, program enrollment, and communications, to name a few. Presented in a customized, standardized, and completely interactive environment, decision trees have the potential to make a huge impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of any business or organization.

Zingtree is an online decision tree maker that allows you to quickly build, customize and publish interactive decision trees online, and comes fully-loaded with real-time analytics and reports.

How to Use Zingtree’s Decision Tree Maker

Our powerful decision tree maker toolkit allows you to create trees in a few unique ways:

1. Start from Spreadsheets

Easily draft and import any Google Sheets or Excel document into Zingtree and turn it into a decision tree. Once imported, you can enhance using powerful editing tools that offer more decision tree-related functionality than spreadsheets alone.

2. Draw It out With Designer

Designer lets you easily “draw” a decision tree. On a single display, you’ll be able to view and create the nodes and pathways for your decision tree and see exactly how it’ll flow.

Watch the Designer tutorial video here.

3. Quickly Create Using Wizard

Wizard builds a tree through prompts, using a form-based approach. The tool walks you through how to make a decision tree, while you input the questions and answers.

Watch the Wizard tutorial video here.

4. Build From Scratch With Overview

Overview is a form-based option for creating trees node-by-node. The editor has tools for refining to perfection and is ideal for content-rich decision trees.

Watch the Overview tutorial video here.

No matter the method, here’s an example of how your decision tree will look:

Tips for Great Decision Trees

Basic decision trees can always get the job done, but with a little bit of added effort, you can gather amazing data, as well as really blend into your company brand or personality.

Need more help getting started? Have a question? Want more tips? We’re always here for you

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!