Zingtree Tags: decision tree maker

4 Customizations to Make Self-Service Support More User-Friendly

When developing a customer-facing decision tree, an important piece is to add some personality, brand identity, and industry-relevant knowledge to allow end-users a more user-friendly customer support experience.

Implementing a personalized or branded color scheme, along with icons that relate to your company, will keep an easy-to-follow and digest structure throughout your support process. An interactive decision tree is the easiest way to help a user with visuals, where they can follow the trees effortlessly while being able to really learn from the guided instructions.

We’ve detailed each customizable element – and examples of how to use them correctly – to make your end-users even happier about their customer service experience!

1. CSS & Personal Style Customizations

Colors and icon choices communicate in subtle ways and can reinforce your brand and mission. Here are some ways to manage these:

Custom colors

We made it easier to adapt your decision tree to your personality or brand when customizing so your tree can fit your desired color, custom CSS files being the main one. Once you have created your ideal profile, you can simply add it to your decision tree product finder which will help reveal your true brand identity.

Animated themes

We had feedback from our users suggesting that it would be more user-friendly if we included a feature of animated themes, including colors but remaining easy-to-use. Our design team and engineers set out to create this recommendation with the main goal of making tree color customizations easy.

See the endless possibilities in this quick, fun video:

Color buttons and icons

Here’s the feature that will allow you to build your own personalized color buttons, icon imagery or even to include emojis within your page titles and buttons. To customize the style of your buttons, all you need to do is prefix the button text with special classes. For example, for your color buttons, choose:

  • .btn-blue
  • .btn-yellow
  • .btn-sky
  • .btn-purple
  • .btn-pink

To add an icon that helps guide your customer but also helps reveal your brand personality, add one or more of these classes:

  • .btn-yes
  • .btn-careful
  • .btn-arrow
  • .btn-thumbs-up
  • .btn-question

2. Visual Features for Creative Support

Video content is shaping user satisfaction across the internet. And with many uses and forms, this is something that more people are demanding, which is why video is the best way to improve your user experience. GIFs are also actively being incorporated into decision trees making the user experience more rewarding. A short clip of a difficult instruction, being repeated several times after 3 seconds or so makes the process of self-service a lot easier to follow.

When including still imagery, diagrams or other graphics into your customization, you are allowing the customer to be at the same pace when working towards a solution. Having reminders follow your tree also makes the service more user-friendly.

There are two main features when using visual aids with a decision tree, one is the effectiveness and the second is interactiveness. It’s so easily done, you can add it to any node you want.

3. Easy Data Collection and Presentation

The use of document nodes can be used for specific types of customized documentation that prove highly beneficial to the self-service aspect of support. Documentation can include building legal agreements, generating purchase orders or even a lead to a returns label that the user has personally generated. 

4. Messaging & Translations for Understanding

When publishing across multiple languages, creating a decision tree that works interactively for these can become complicated. With the translation customization, you can reach a larger user base who need the language localized. With localization management software, along with other custom support features, your users will find your platform much easier to follow. You can follow our instructions here on how to translate your decision trees.

It all starts with a good base of messaging, however. When communicating throughout your decision tree, you should write well and use industry language that is helpful and informative. For nodes with poorly descriptive language, it creates confusion and incomplete results. Here are some of the basics of writing effective nodes that will help you write informative questions that lead to a better, more personal experience. 

Make questions concise by focusing on one subject at a time and structuring to an easily absorbed manner.

What not to do:

If our system of tutorials and articles hasn’t been helpful, do you think you would consider switching service providers?

What to do:

Would you consider another provider if you were not able to self-solve using our knowledge base?

Use the right language so that every user can navigate through your tree knowing the subject and words being used. 

What not to do:

What kind of issue or problem is happening with your account? 

What to do:

How can we help? Please select a category.

Focus on an active voice so you can communicate areas appropriately that identify awareness of the issue within that action. 

What not to do:

Our recommended guidelines and instructions for solving your issue should be followed as written below.

What to do:

Follow our recommended guidelines below to solve your issue!

When navigating through the creation of your decision tree, have the customer at the forefront of your mind, and keep questioning the end user experience. If you need any other assistance, reach out to us so we can assist you with the best self-service solutions.

How to Create a Master Decision Tree

Many of our customers with large decision tree systems in place ask for guidance on how to make a “master tree” which links to individual trees for troubleshooting or other processes. This is especially helpful for organizations that use Zingtree to build and publish completely interactive FAQs. In this article, we’ll discuss how it’s done.

Building a Master Tree

Creating a Master Tree is a simple, yet powerful process that consists of two over-arching steps:

  1. Build the individual decision trees.
  2. Build a Master Tree with one node, using a “blank starter tree.”

After building your individual trees and troubleshooters, there are a couple of distinct ways to build a Master Tree. We’ve created an example Master Tree for a few of our Gallery product finders.

Method #1 – Using Tree Tag Lists

1. Use the Settings tool to add tags to the trees you want to include in the Master Tree. For this example, we added the tag “master_finder” to our product finder decision trees.

2. Create a new decision tree to act as your Master Tree.

3. In the Master Tree root node’s content area, include a tree tag list. For our example, we tagged our trees with “master_finder,” so the tree tag list looks like this:

#‌#treetaglist-any: master_finder##


Method #2 – Using Tree Nodes

1. In the Master Tree, add tree nodes for each tree to link to.

2. In the root node of the Master Tree, create a button for each tree node. This will allow an end-user or customer to quickly jump to any other relevant decision tree from the Master Tree.

Example Master Tree

Here’s a look at our Master Tree in action:

Want more tips? Our blog is chock-full of them. Any questions? We’re always here to help

Decision Trees with Logic Nodes

In order to make decision trees that can help solve real-world problems, sometimes you need the ability to do more than just choose a path based upon a finite set of choices. For these reasons, we’ve introduced Logic Nodes into Zingtree.

In addition, we’ve found that many of our customer’s integrations are passing data variables into Zingtree, and there are situations where they would like to act on the value of those variables. Logic Nodes make this easy.

If you’re an existing Zingtree author, Logic Nodes replace Scoring Nodes from previous versions. Any tree that is using Scoring Nodes is automatically migrated to this new system, without losing any functionality or you having to do any updating of your trees.

Here’s How Logic Nodes Work

When you edit or create a Logic Node, you’ll see something like this:

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. You can also assign a default node to jump to in case no rules apply.

In the example above, if the variable fruit equals banana, then Zingtree will open node #8, the “Banana” node. If fruit is watermelon, then the default “Something Else” node opens.

About Variables

Variables can be numeric or text, and the comparisons work for either data type. You can bring variables into your trees in several ways:

Note: Your choice of variables is shown in a drop-down list. If Zingtree hasn’t encountered a variable yet in one of the above scenarios, then it won’t appear as an option.

Editing Rules

When editing your Logic Nodes, you can edit your rules as follows:

  • Reorder rules by dragging them up and down with this tool: Reorder Logic test
  • Delete a rule by clicking on this: Delete logic test
  • Select any existing variable from the Variables drop-down.
  • Select an operator (=, ≠, <, >, ≤, ≥ ).
  • Enter a value to perform the test upon.

You must also enter a default node to jump to if no conditions are met.

Zingtree Logic Nodes give your decision trees a bonus option for adding extra intelligence to your processes and troubleshooters. Do you have a cool application for Logic Nodes you’d like to share with us? Reach out and tell us your story!

This article was originally published on May 8, 2017.

Yonyx Alternative – Better Guided Customer Interactions with Zingtree

We often get requests from companies that have deployed decision trees in the past with Yonyx and are looking to migrate to Zingtree. These occur for some of the following reasons:

  • Zingtree offers a better price with our pay-for-what-you-use model.
  • Zingtree tools are more modern, and easier to use.
  • Zingtrees present better. Customers have more options to create the look and feel they envision, choose custom colors and button styles, use effects and transitions, and better match their branding.
  • Customers like Zingtree’s integrations capabilities more – specifically the Webhook system and Zapier integration.
  • And more…

In response, we’ve created an import tool to make it easy to migrate your Yonyx trees to Zingtree. You can test out your Yonyx trees in Zingtree, tweak them, and see for yourself how they render and perform.

Here’s how to import Yonyx decision trees into the Zingtree alternative:

  1. Export your Yonyx tree into XML.
  2. In Zingtree go to My Trees, and click Import.
  3. Pick Import from Yonyx XML file.
  4. Select the Yonyx XML file to import. It will be uploaded and converted into a fully functional Zingtree decision tree.

Are you looking to move from Yonyx? Tell us your story!

Upload File Attachments into Decision Tree Sessions

Many customers have asked for a way to include file uploads as a part of a Zingtree decision tree session. Some use cases include:

  • Attaching a screenshot.
  • Including a photo.
  • Uploading a document.

Overview

Using Data Entry Fields, you can pick the File Upload field type. This allows you to include one or more files in the session data gathered by Zingtree. When the end-user uploads a file, here’s what happens:

  1. The file is copied from the end-user’s computer to a Zingtree file storage server.
  2. Zingtree assigns a variable to the URL where the new file resides.

Security note: Each file uploaded has a random 7 digit prefix or session ID attached to it, so that files with the same name aren’t overwritten, and the file names cannot easily be discovered by hackers.

How It Works

When the end-user reaches a node with a file upload, they will see something like this:

Clicking Upload Document File allows them to choose a file on their computer. Once a file is chosen, the button changes:

How to Set up File Uploads

When editing a node, do the following:

  1. Go to Data Entry Fields, and select Add:

  2. Choose File Upload as the field type, and enter a variable name and label for the upload button:

  3. Click Add Field.
  4. Now click Save Changes to save changes in the node you were editing.

It’s that simple! This gallery example shows how a simple file upload tree is built.

If this is useful for you, let us know. We love customer stories!

Tree Nodes: How to Automatically Return to a Previous Decision Tree

Tree Nodes are one of Zingtree’s most popular decision tree building features. By allowing one tree to launch another, you can better organize your work and use smaller components repeatedly as a part of larger processes.

For example, a hardware company that makes lots of products may have a specific troubleshooting process for power-on problems that are common to many trees. By linking to a subtree, this troubleshooter can be authored just once, and used from several different trees.

A common request when implementing tree nodes is to be able to automatically return to the original decision tree that launched the process – just like a return statement in any programming language. This is done using a special type of tree node that is labeled as “return to previous tree.”

Summary: Setting Up a Return to a Previous Tree

Setting up a return tree node requires these steps:

  • Create a tree node in the starting tree, and specify a node number to return to.
  • In the subtree, use a tree node selected as return to previous tree. When this node is reached, the return node in the calling tree appears next.

Setup: Step by Step

  1. Create your starting tree and the subtree that will be launched from the starting tree.
  2. In the starting tree, create a tree node. Include the tree to launch, as well as a node in the starting tree that you want to return to when the subtree is finished (highlighted in red below). It looks like this when editing a tree node:

  3. In the subtree, create a new tree node and specify it as “return to previous tree.” Like this:

When the “return to previous tree” node is reached in the subtree, the return node from the starting tree will appear.

Example

The Zingtree Gallery has an example, both the starting tree and the subtree.

Thanks for Shawn G. and others for the inspiration!

Summer Updates: Pop-Up Overlays, Predefined Webhooks and More

We’ve been busy this summer – so much so that we haven’t had a chance to share all the great updates we’ve done in the last couple of months! So here’s a list of all the latest improvements to Zingtree:

  • New: Popup overlay option
  • Fix: Webhooks now run when added to root node
  • New: Pre-defined webhooks (Session Summary, Timestamp, Send Custom Email)
  • Fix: Phone number field type can now be set as ‘required” (Boruch)
  • Fix: Preview now shows agent / end-user views properly (Boruch)
  • Update: Sessions List report now paginates at 500 per page (Roman)
  • New: Send secure session data link in email node also now includes a link to reopen the session (Boruch)
  • Fix: Zendesk app Q&A now shows all button clicks, even when going through subtrees (Phillip R.)
  • Fix: Session detail report now shows subtree jumps properly (Phillip R.)
  • Fix: PHP API call for tree_sessions now recognizes tree_sessions operation.
  • New: Repeating Forms
  • Fix: Designer now properly saves absolute button click values (i.e. =3)
  • Fix: Agent logins with trailing space characters now work in Agent Portal
  • Fix: Designer now always shows root node properly
  • New: Search Terms report
  • Update: Added Copy to Clipboard button for iFrame embed advanced options
  • New: Timestamp stock webhook (for Abe in Japan)
  • Update: Cleaned up API documentation so section titles and calls properly matched
  • Update: Layout of My Agents page improved
  • Fix: Phone number verification now treats numbers starting with 1 as International style. Allows for easy verification of USA numbers entered starting with 1.
  • Update: Made margins smaller for embeds in mobile device.
  • New: added email validation option, phone number validation (Tom K., Alok)
  • Fix: Verified badges for address lookups now align with input forms
  • Fix: Address verification now looks better on smaller screen displays
  • Fix: Copying trees now also properly copies checkbox score values in data entry forms (Ana)
  • New: Added CSV export to All Tree Stats report.
  • New: USA Address auto-complete and verification system in place
  • Update: Increased max form fields to 50 (Jonathan K)
  • Update: Scoring nodes can now call webhooks
  • Update: Webhooks and apps no longer run asynchronously, so webhook data is available immediately upon node launch
  • Fix: Recovering trees from snapshots no longer duplicates form fields
  • Fix: Copying a tree saves new copy as first entry in snapshots, labels the copy event properly
  • Update: All tree Stats report shows totals in the last row (Diana T.), lets you select an organization
  • Fix: Thin line at top of embedded trees no longer appears (Josh S)
  • Update: Agent portal “Done with Customer” button now logs that as a button click in session logs
  • Fix: Plus signs in email addresses now get transferred properly via email-session-info link nodes.
  • Fix: Embed options now always uses https by default.
  • Fix: Publishing links cleaned up for https always.
  • Update: Custom CSS URLs are now forced to be https in Settings tool.
  • New: Data Totals report
  • Fix: Saving layouts with unlinked nodes in Designer no longer gives weird error messages
  • Fix: “Default Browser” as browser type broke Zendesk agent scripting app for some people
  • Fix: Redirecting from http to https didn’t work for some really long URLs. Including Zendesk Agent Scripting app.
  • Fix: Webhooks now handle URLs with variables with spaces properly
  • Update: Now forces https for all URLs
  • New: Added zt_browser as an enhanced location variable
  • Fix: Pressing restart button reloads enhanced location variables, merge variables
  • Update: Question field length now 500 characters (Julie C.)
  • Fix: Updated location data for higher volume lookups
  • Fix: Resetting button click variables on the first click now works properly.
  • Update: Export to CSV buttons now at top of each report page (for Josh)
  • New: Option to switch between running total and fixed value for button click scoring

Whew! That’s a lot of updates over the last two months.

Whenever possible, we give credit to the customer who suggested an improvement. So if you have a brilliant idea, a suggestion, or a real need, let us know and we’ll do our best to make it part of the next update.

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. 

Address Auto-Complete and Verification in Decision Trees

Many of our call center customers are using Zingtree to collect data from their customers, and in a sales or shipping application, there’s always an address form or two to fill out. Our customer Tom K. asked us if there was a way to make this process faster, and also to verify addresses to eliminate costly shipping errors. The short answer? Yes! Zingtree has an automatic address auto-complete and verification capability available to you.

Note: There is an extra cost for each address verification lookup: two lookup credits, or $0.02 per lookup. And currently, this is for addresses in the USA only.

Here’s How It Works

As you start entering an address, Zingtree gives you selections on every possible match:

The more text you enter, the fewer matches appear:

Once you select a match, the city, state and zip code are filled in automatically, and the address is verified against the USPS database. If the address is valid, a “USPS Verified” tag will appear in the form:

Try a demo here

How to Set Up Address Auto-Complete and Verification

Setting up a form with address verification requires two parts:

  1. Enable the Verify USA Addresses option in the Tree’s Settings.
  2. Set up your address entry forms, using the new address 1, address 2, city, state and zip field types.

Step by step, here’s how to do it:

  1. Select your tree, and go to the Settings tool.
  2. Make sure Verify USA Addresses is checked. This will enable the special address field types.

  3. Click Update Settings.
  4. Now, go to Overview, and edit a question node where your address form resides.
  5. Locate the Data Entry Fields area, and click Add to add fields.

  6. Add the first line of address entry, using the field type Address 1:

  7. Add the second line of the address, using the Address 2 field type.
  8. Add a field for the city, using the City field type.
  9. Add a field for the state, using the State field type.
  10. Add a field for the zip code, using the Zip field type.
  11. When you’re done, the data entry fields summary will look something like this:

    Important: Make sure the field types are all set properly.

  12. Save your node by clicking Save Changes.

That’s it! If you like, you can copy our Gallery demo tree and modify it for your application. Or, just examine it to see how it’s built.

If you like this feature or have any ideas on how to make Zingtree even more useful, please send us a message.

Decision Tree Maker: Troubleshooting for Tech Support

Troubleshooting has been a key problem-solving technique used by technical support teams and agents for ages. For every type of product or service in existence, there are countless types of issues that can potentially occur; troubleshooting aims to help narrow down what that problem could be for each customer, based on other contextual factors.

Zingtree makes it easy to build custom, interactive troubleshooters for tech support that are simple and straightforward enough for anyone to use and understand. When YouMail, the leading provider of visual voicemail, realized that they needed to resolve their support inquiries more quickly, they looked to automated troubleshooters to help. Using a clever mix of our interactive troubleshooters and YouMail’s own technical support staff, the company was able to amp up their customer support efforts, and assist customers in a wider range of questions and issues – all while saving money.

Here’s how our interactive troubleshooters have allowed YouMail and other companies to streamline their tech support departments.

Improving Self-Solving for Customers

While traditional methods of customer support are still in practice today, the vast majority of customers (72%, in fact) prefer to use self-service support options before reaching out to a live agent to resolve their issue. Turning a complex interaction into a simple click-click-click provides an easy-to-digest platform for people to find solutions all on their own, at any time or place. Offering these types of avenues for customers to find answers, understand technical processes, and troubleshoot problems, will greatly improve how you serve your customers, and, in turn, how they will feel about your company.

Providing a Complete, Guided Path

Information is always easier to follow and retain when you’re being gently guided through bite-sized pieces of information. Interactive decision tree troubleshooters are a more user-friendly way than traditional troubleshooting methods to guide people through a series of in an interview-style way, which helps to keep the process moving along and customers more engaged with the information being presented. You can even add customizations and visuals like GIFs, videos, and photos to help display information in a more fun and engaging way.

Connecting with Existing CRM

Effective technical support strategies should integrate every method and means of customer communications in a centralized way. For most companies, this means having a built up knowledge base, FAQ, and live support that can share information with one another seamlessly.

Zingtree troubleshooters Integrate directly with Salesforce, Freshdesk, and any other CRM platform, making it easy to pass along proper information from the troubleshooter straight to an agent. If the troubleshooter doesn’t solve the problem, the entire Q&A session history is sent to you, or imported into your CRM, saving tech support from a lot of back-and-forths.

Here’s an example of how a Zingtree session transcript appears inside of Zendesk:

Optimizing with Reports & Analytics

With built-in, real-time analytics and powerful usage reports, businesses can view the direct impact of their interactive troubleshooters for tech support.

  • Performance/Results Report: see how your help system is performing.
  • Session List Report: see all the different customer sessions during a date range, and easily click for more details such as what parts of your troubleshooter they visited, their node-to-node path, and for how long they stayed on each node/question.
  • Traffic Map Report: quickly access a complete view of the content in your decision tree nodes, as well as a breakdown of the traffic to each, shown in both number of clicks and percentage of total traffic.

The Basics: How to Build a Troubleshooter

To get your troubleshooter up and running as quickly as possible, we recommend using the Zingtree Wizard tool.

Set up in a guided, form-based way, the Wizard allows you to supply every question, answer, and other pieces of content for each stage of the troubleshooting process. As you dive further into the creation of your troubleshooter, you can fill in more of the nitty-gritty details, and see a live preview of what the page will look like:


Companies that integrate Zingtree troubleshooters into their customer support processes have seen a 20% reduction in technical support costs on average, as well as improvements in the overall volume of incoming tickets. 

Get started with an interactive troubleshooter, check out our Gallery for more inspiration, or reach out to us with any questions!