Tag Archives: decision trees

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!

3 Amazing Ways to Use Interactive Decision Trees With Your CRM

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Positive, effective customer support and relationships are key to building a solid business foundation in any industry or field. With the potency of today’s CRM systems and integrative technologies, almost anything is possible in the realm of streamlining customer-based operations.

Introducing interactive decision trees as a unified part of your CRM platform — like Salesforce, Desk, and Zendesk — is an effective way to simplify the customer support and relationship process, and their continued optimization. Zingtree provides powerful tools for agents, customers and the measurement of both.

1. Customized Agent Scripts

Agent scripting solutions allow support agents to have a live, customized script to use as a guide when communicating with a customer. They are written in the brand’s own voice and follow personalized standards that make it much simpler for agents to portray the correct information and provide help to the customers.

Scripts help agents deliver more consistently positive experiences with less training, using prompts to follow along with; new questions will be presented depending on the answers given. This type of organized conversation makes the customer feel (and know) that they are actually being heard and understood.

2. Interactive Self-Help Troubleshooters

Zingtree is a powerful tool for building custom interactive decision tree troubleshooters – these allow customers to follow a path of questions and answers that lead to a final most-likely solution, and are especially helpful for more technical issues or questions. Additionally, when a customer’s data is imported into the CRM platform, agents can attach the full Q&A transcript of their decision tree session to keep every piece of relevant information in one useful place — with the Zingtree API, this information retrieval is automatic.

For organizations taking advantage of live support chat systems, Zingtree integrates directly with chat platforms to allow simple extraction and presentation of data. Our software allows Zingtree to open a Zopim or Intercom.io chat with the customer, gather information before the chat begins, and include a full transcript of the decision tree session as a part of the chat so that agents are provided with a holistic picture of the customer’s issue.

Companies that integrate Zingtree troubleshooters into their customer support processes have seen, on average, a 20% overall reduction in support cost and a measurable improvement in the volume of tickets. Using support decision trees based on customer-facing knowledge base data makes it easy to provide help across a variety of areas, become more efficient and save resources, while in turn cultivating long-term customer relationships.

3. Analytics & Customer Data

At the end of the day, the numbers reveal all. With built-in, real-time analytics and powerful usage reports, organizations can view the direct impact of their implemented Zingtree decision trees.


By introducing decision trees based on company knowledge base and agent information, implementing customized agent scripts and continually measuring the data behind both, organizations will best utilize their CRM and other support processes to benefit the customer and company.

Any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact our trusty staff!

This article was originally posted on March 17, 2016, and has been updated for accuracy and freshness.

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

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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!

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

Why Millennials Want Independence in Customer Support

(Image via Gen HQ)

Customer service delivery preferences are rapidly changing. This is in part due to technological advances, but also the customers themselves —particularly millennial customers. This demographic cohort increasingly prefers to take CS employees out of the equation completely and simply do it themselves. Whether it’s purchasing groceries or other goods online, the millennial generation is antsy to self-serve.

As customer demands have evolved over the years, so too has self-service. Many businesses offer only limited self-service choices, which can quickly frustrate their millennial customer base. If your company’s self-serve options are restricted to general tasks, it’s time to explore how you can make this feature more comprehensive to meet the demands of millennials.

The Hard Facts of Millennial Customer Service

Numerous studies conducted by various firms have repeatedly shown that millennials prefer to self-serve and self-help rather than interact with a company representative, and the numbers really speak for themselves. In fact, in a comprehensive study, it was discovered that:

  • Nearly 70% of millennial females are comfortable resolving CS issues on their own, without having to interact with a company representative.
  • 64% of millennials prefer self-service, whereas only forty-seven percent of baby boomers do.
  • 56% of millennials moved their business elsewhere as a result of poor customer service.

One reason for the popularity of self-service in this demographic group is that they can remain in control of online purchasing and other habits. Millennials expect efficient, 24/7 access to any online support decision, whether it’s updating an account profile or making a purchase. Self-service in modern times is more than an FAQ; the future of customer service will be much more customizable, interactive, and will put the customer in the driver’s seat.

Contact Centers Still Matter

Providing more self-directed features doesn’t make a call center obsolete, but it does change its function. Contact centers will need to handle more sophisticated and technical inquiries and will have to hire, train and staff to address this need. If companies don’t adapt to meet current and future customer demands, they’ll likely frustrate customers and risk losing business.

Companies can no longer rest on the laurels of their brand, product or service; they must stay ahead of the curve and understand that how customers interact with them is often more important than the product itself. Self-service is looming large on the horizon of customer service delivery preferences – don’t fade into the sunset because you missed the boat on where the industry is headed! The future of customer service will be more self-controlled, but ready with agents to help guide customers to success.

This article was written by Tamara Irminger of MHI Global. Are you interested in submitting a guest blog post? Please contact us!

This article was originally posted on Jan 12, 2016.

Updates: Spreadsheet Import Enhancements and More

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When we launched our new feature that allows you to create decision trees from Excel and Google Sheets, we had no idea this feature would be as popular as it has become. Some of our bigger clients, in particular, have really run with this and suggested a lot of great improvements.

Here’s what’s new with spreadsheet decision tree imports:

  • Fix: Validates Tree IDs on spreadsheet import for tree nodes.
  • Fix: Importing and replacing a tree keeps the tree’s settings intact (Elliott).
  • Update: Spreadsheet import allows columns in any order (Elliott).
  • Update: Spreadsheet import allows for a Tags column (Jamel).
  • Fix: Errors in spreadsheet import won’t delete a previous tree if we’re replacing a tree.
  • Fix: Importing Excel with line breaks in cells now works properly, retains line breaks (Charlie).
  • Fix: Importing pasted spreadsheet data now saves the first iteration in Snapshots tool.
  • Update: Spreadsheet import can now include TREE and LINK nodes (Elliott).
  • Update: Exporting CSV tree from Overview/Simple now adds TREE and LINK node types into CSV data.
  • Fix: Importing trees with button links to non-existent nodes now sets the link to “unlinked” (Elliott).

We’ve also done some other tweaks outside of spreadsheet imports:

  • Update: Use “send_zendesk_button” as a node tag to send the button text to Zendesk as a tag instead. (Elliott)
  • Fix: Agent Portal now shows merge variables for agent_name (Craig).
  • Update: Added Agent List export to the My Agents page (Gene).
  • Update: Added more error checks to Add Multiple Agents input tool.
  • Update: Made show/hide tree name option more visible in iFrame Advanced Options.
  • Fix: Copying a Gallery tree into a new account works properly.
  • Update: Max attachment size in email nodes increased to 25 Mb (Dan B.).
  • Update: Merge variables now has an option to retain plus characters (Chris).
  • New: API call to delete session data from our servers for a particular session ID (Jay).
  • Fix: email-session-info occasionally failed when data was entered right before sending (Alok, Craig).

Phew!

Got a suggestion to make Zingtree better? Give us a holler.

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!

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

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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!

Decision Trees for Business: How to Streamline Procurement

Having a well-defined, charted procurement process is vital for company operations in any industry to run smoothly. The proper purchasing of necessary materials can often mean the difference between a successful company and one that ultimately falls due to unsustainable costs or purchasing delays.

For Zingtree customer Phillip Morris International (PMI), standardizing procurement with decision trees has helped keep costs in line and the process consistent for many disparate departments. Anyone buying anything at PMI can now adhere to the company-approved process. This results in employees getting the tools they need faster and more efficiently.

Optimizing the Procurement Process

Is procurement working effectively to support your company’s over-arching strategy?

Without the proper processes set in motion, your organization may be losing out on a lot of revenue and opportunity for growth. And, while the entire process of making an inefficient procurement system better may be complicated, and ultimately take time for decision-makers to come around to, there are platforms to help simplify and understand. After revisiting current processes and looping in the necessary departments, selecting the right kind of technology is key in the optimization process.

Without a mature, strategic procurement function to influence, control and report on organizational spending, it is impossible for a business to fully leverage its total purchasing power and create the value and service levels required from third party suppliers.” – PwC

Structure, sequence and regular analysis are crucial for an effective procurement process. For PMI, using Zingtree decision trees to guide the procurement process has proven to be an enormous help, allowing buyers to follow complicated processes in a lean, interactive environment that greatly reduces the risk of human error.

Balancing complexity and control with ease, PMI’s decision trees have automated processes with a clearly-defined and company-compliant approach. Plus, management now has real-time usage data to assist in further optimization. By utilizing a guided process of procurement internally, any business can standardize best practices to ensure that every purchase process is handled exactly the way it needs to be.

Ready to start streamlining your procurement, or other business processes? Please get in touch with us!