Tag Archives: how to make a decision tree

The Most Simple Ways to Build an Interactive Decision Tree

Zingtree’s decision tree platform makes it easy to offer your end-users an interactive way to find answers, optimize workflows, and a whole lot more. Below, we’ll walk you through how to make a basic decision tree using our most popular methods of creation in order to help you get a closer, step-by-step look at how it’s all done.

How to Use the Wizard

The Wizard is our most-used creation tool, offering simple prompts to build your tree, question by question (and answer by answer). It’s one of the easiest ways to work through an accurate flow for your customers or users.

1. Log in to your Zingtree account, go to My Trees and select Create New Tree. Choose the option to fill out forms with the Zingtree Wizard.

2. After naming your decision tree, choosing your ideal display style and providing a description, just click the Create Tree button to move on to the next step.

3. Once you start the Wizard, you’ll see an entry screen that will prompt your first question and answer options, along with some body content to give users context.

You’ll also be able to see a live preview of what the decision tree will look like, off to the right:

When you’re finished setting up your first question, click Save and Continue.

4. You’ll next be asked to fill out an unfinished part of your decision tree. Click to Offer a Solution, and fill out the form presented to you. Since this is a solution node, you won’t need to ask any other questions.

Click Save and Continue again when you’re finished.

5. Next, you’ll continue to fill out more questions and answers to reach the end paths of your decision tree. For greater selection, try providing more answer choices.

6, Next, you’ll see a page with an overview of the sequence you’re building. In this case, choose to Offer a Solution. This will be the end of one of the paths in your decision tree for your end-user.

7. Continue to complete the rest of the forms that the Wizard prompts. When you’re all done with the interactive building process, the Overview page will appear to show you every node and path in an easy-to-digest way.

Watch our tutorial video for more information about the Zingtree Wizard. 

How to Use the Designer

The Designer tool is another great way to create decision trees in a more visual way. Presented in a white board-style screen, you can easily build out every node, connection and pathway, while being able to see a high level overview the whole time.

1. Log in to your Zingtree account, go to My Trees and select Create New Tree. Choose the option to visually draw out your decision tree with the Zingtree Designer.

2. Once you start Designer, you’ll see the white board-style screen like the one shown below. Click on the green box for Node #1. This will be your starting node – the very first page your end-users will see.

2. Next, you’ll see an edit window appear on the right hand side. Change the Title, Question and Content areas to fit your tree needs.

Next, add another question by dragging a New Question node into the drawing area. Click the green box for the new question node, and edit it like the first time.

3. Drag a Final Answer node answer node into the drawing area, and edit it.

After adding your first questions and a Final Answer node, the Designer area will show everything like this:

You can drag as many question and Final Answer nodes into the Designer drawing area as it makes sense for your needs, and label them respectively.

5. After adding the question and answer nodes to your decision tree, it’s time to link them together. Hover over node #1 until you see a large dot appear, then drag it over to its connecting node.

After finishing linking all of your nodes correctly, it’ll look something like this:

6. The next step is to create the buttons your end-users will click, by editing the connecting arrows. Click the connector – in our example, titled “Check the Weather” – and an edit form will appear. Change it to look like the form below:

After you connect the rest of the choices in your tree, and relabel the connecting arrows, your decision tree will look something like this one:

Watch our tutorial video for more information about the Zingtree Designer. 

The Finished Decision Tree

No matter the route you take to get there, you’ll end up with the same stunning, super-powerful decision tree. Click through our demo tree below, and examine it within the Gallery to check out even more.

 


Have any questions about getting started with Zingtree decision trees? We’d love to speak with you anytime!

 

This article was originally published on September 14, 2016. 

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

Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Zingtree: 8 Hacks For Success

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Our interactive decision tree tool is a must-have for any business looking to skyrocket their customer service through self-help, organizations hoping to logically deliver answers, and even contact centers to guide their customer-facing agents through how-tos and support.

No matter what you use Zingtree for, getting your first tree deployed can be daunting for some. So have no fear, here are our top tips for breaking into the awesomely helpful world of Zingtrees:

1. Sketch Out a Roadmap

Remember in school when you’d sit down and brainstorm out a strategy? Just like that! Whether it’s in list, mind map or spreadsheet form, getting down the touchstones you need your tree to cover before you start building your tree is crucial and will make building your nodes and connecting them in a flow much easier. Compiling an outline is essential and will make the creation much more streamlined.

2. Go With What’s Already Been Built

We’ve expanded (and promise to keep expanding) our Gallery. In here you will find a handful of pre-made Trees that you can edit and customize to fit your needs. Simply click the “Copy” button to create a replicate version. Also, see the top navigation to filter by your specific need. Check out our examples, and hopefully one will be great inspiration for you to start your own!

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3. Start With The Visual Designer

We all know that there are different styles to learning, creating, coding and strategizing. For this reason, we’ve equipped Zingtree with a robust Visual Designer that allows for a “white board” to create nodes, connections, and truly see the Tree as it’s being built. Some Zingtree builders only use this mode as a way of aesthetically assembling their decision trees. Visually, however, it can get confusing for large, complex trees – but for getting started, it’s perfect!

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4. Use Placeholders When Undecided

When you’re on a roll mapping out your decision tree you’re bound to run into a speed bump here or there, especially when dealing with conditional node flows. In practice, this means if you need two nodes connected you need to create both nodes before you create the connection between them.

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If you’re stumped on the additional nodes, we recommend that you create simple untitled / undefined nodes to help you continue through the process. You can always go back to that node and edit appropriately as needed.

5. Go Back With Snapshots

A very helpful feature we’ve built into Zingtree is Snapshots. Snapshots allow you to review edits and go back to previous versions of your tree – helpful when creating trees with multiple revisions. To find this tool, select More Tools > Snapshots. You can see any other team members’ work and revisions, not to mention, recover that past version.

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6. Make A Backup As You Go

If you’re ever nervous about losing your place or the data within your Zingtree, we recommend exporting the tree to a file on your PC or Mac. This also works well if you’re making a whole new round of edits that you’re not 100% sure about.

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Backups are a great way to not only save your work but also collaborate on different versions of the same idea, especially for teams working with multiple versions for reference and cross-examination. To find the Exporting feature, select More Tools > Export.

7. Big Copy Edits With Exporting

Another exporting trick! If you have large, bulk changes that you need to make with the text within your tree (say, a URL throughout that’s totally changed or an updated product name), simply export and open it with a text editor platform. Using the “Find & Replace” tool within the text editor, swap out the old text portion with the new.

8. Sub-Trees for Even Bigger Zingtrees

If you know you’re going to have a large project ahead of you,  prepare more than one Zingtree to ease the pain in constructing one whole decision tree. In fact, when you’re in the planning stages, you will find these sub-trees occur naturally in complex decision trees. By containing themes and varying elements in different trees, and then later, linking them up into one final tree using Tree Links, you can concentrate on one element at a time!


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

It’s All About Context: Seeing More with History & Breadcrumbs

Making sure you are seeing the full context is best for complete understanding. Our interactive decision trees come with advanced hosting/publishing capabilities that allow your customers and end-users to easily see, and then understand, where they are in the process.

History: See Every Step

Our History feature allows your customers to view every step taken while using your decision tree. With this publishing option, users can easily click on a link and go back to any previous node visited.

When implemented, it will display the path history information like this:

history

Breadcrumbs: Your Tree’s Flow

Our Breadcrumbs feature shows the exact progression of nodes that appeared during your customer’s journey through your tree. With this publishing option, users can also click on any link and automatically jump back to another point in their decision tree journey.

When implemented, it will display the sequence information like this:

breadcrumbs

Setting Up History & Breadcrumbs

1. Login to your Zingtree account, go to My Trees and head to the decision tree you want to publish with history and/or breadcrumbs shown.

2. Click to open Publish.

3. Select the tabbed “Have Zingtree host your Tree” option, then click on the Advanced Hosting Options button shown below.

4. Select Show History and/or Show Breadcrumbs, depending on the information you’d like to display.

That’s it! Your customers and end-users will now see their decision tree history and breadcrumbs, and be able to easily identify where they are (and where they’ve been) in your tree.


Any questions? Please reach out anytime!

Please Note: History is available only for Zingtree-hosted trees and the Agent Portal. Breadcrumbs are for Zingtree-hosted trees only.

How to Use the Decision Tree Gallery

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Interactive Decision Trees can be utilized for all kinds of specific requirements, whether they concern customer support, business and marketing, training simulations, medical triage or any other use case. The difficult part isn’t figuring out what your end-goal or purpose is, it’s knowing how to get started and present information in the best way possible.

The Zingtree Gallery is our go-to resource for seeing how others build decision trees that may be similar to your application. You can copy these trees into your account to modify them, view them to see how an end-user would interact with them, and examine how they are built.  The Gallery is also a great way to explore Zingtree if you haven’t yet set up an account.

Deep Dive Into Decision Trees

The existing decision trees in the Gallery have all been created from scratch by Zingtree users. Anyone is free to examine any of these decision trees from every angle, so you can see exactly how it’s all done.

Click around to see how different types of trees look and feel, or you can use the top navigation to filter decision trees by your specific use case.

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Once you open the Zingtree Gallery, it’s easy to find the type of decision tree you’re looking for. Click the blue Play button to see the end-user experience. Or, click the orange Examine button in order to see how it’s built with the Designer or Wizard tools, check out the overview of nodes, and much more.

Copy & Customize for Any Need

While just diving in is a great way to get started, you’re also welcome to make an exact copy of any decision tree in the Gallery to modify to your liking. Once you have a free Zingtree account and are logged in, the brown Copy button adds a copy of the tree to your account.

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Submit Your Own

We made it simple to submit your favorite, most popular, or most interesting decision tree for all to see! To add your own Zingtree to the Gallery, select My Trees, navigate to the decision tree you want to submit, then select More Tools. Click to Submit to Gallery, read and accept the rules, and finally fill out the short application form to submit.


Check out the Zingtree Gallery here! Need more help or inspiration? Read out to our team today.

How to Include a Search Form in Your Trees

Your troubleshooters and FAQ-style decision trees are chock-full of answers, insight and other information just waiting to be discovered. In addition to guiding people to find answers step-by-step, you can also insert a Search Form into your decision tree.

With the functionality of a Search Form, your customers can quickly and easily search for text in the current tree, and then jump directly to that section.

Why Use a Search Form?

Our clients pointed out that, while decision trees are built for customers to navigate through, it’s often much faster to directly locate a specific piece of content. Search Form queries match text within your decision tree nodes or titles, making it easy to search for specific information in a tree.

Note: This is different from Tree Search Forms, which lets you search through all the trees in your organization. 

How to Insert Search Forms

Placing this type of form is as easy as clicking a button while creating your decision tree…

Open your decision tree of choice and navigate to Overview. Next, open “Edit” for the node you want to place it in, then select Templates in the Content Editor to insert your Search Form.

There you have it! Now your customers, employees or anyone else using your decision tree will quickly and easily be able to search for the solution they are looking for.

Ready to get started? Log in or sign up to launch your own decision trees with search capabilities today. 

Updates: HTTPS Security, Email Attachments and Better Forms

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Usually we have a common theme around our weekly updates, but this week it’s a smattering of great suggestions from our customers.

Enhanced HTTPS Security

Dave T. pointed out that his company restricts any information being sent insecurely, especially the content of their decision trees. To address this, we ensured that every page on zingtree.com is redirected to https protocol; now all of your information is encrypted end-to-end from your browser to our servers.

Email Nodes with Attachments

Eve B. is building an application whereby their field reps use Zingtree decision trees to go through a returns process. At the end of the process, they wanted to generate an email with a photograph of the damaged item. With the new Attachments capability, any email node can include a file delivered with the email, including documents, images, or anything else.

Better Forms

Tom K. made a suggestion to simplify how the Zingtree content editor creates radio button and list box forms.  Now, there’s rarely a need to modify the underlying HTML when creating these form fields – we ask for the result values up-front, and the form is generated right away. Thanks Tom!


Want to experience the thrill of being a product designer without having to program anything? Send us an idea or a suggestion to make Zingtree even better!

Best Tips for Building Helpful, Informative Troubleshooters

Decision trees are an amazing, interactive tool for guiding customers toward a likely solution to their problem, or answer to their question. Building troubleshooter-style trees for your visitors that are customized with your brand in mind is a great way to solve problems and make customers more satisfied.

We’ve helped a lot of small businesses, large companies and even solo entrepreneurs set up helpful decision trees that are efficient and effective. Take a look at some of our top tips for building the absolute best decision tree troubleshooter possible.

Write your questions like a person would read them.

Within a troubleshooting – or otherwise more technical – decision tree, it might seem like a good plan to lay things out as specifically as you possibly can. However, using a more natural style of language makes it much easier for the average person to understand the process at hand.

One helpful thing to do is to take a step back and think about how someone you know might read through your decision tree. Would your father, your neighbor or your aunt understand what you’re saying? This can often be a good benchmark for writing content within your tree.

Use visuals and videos when appropriate.

We’ve found that there is nothing more effective than adding a short and sweet how-to, tutorial or guide video to make your point with less text. Using visuals like photos, graphics and GIFs, and adding relevant videos to your decision tree nodes is a great way to communicate a lot within a little space.

Along with providing more clear instructions or information to your users, using visuals, videos and other customizations is a great way to extend your brand and make a good impression on customers.

Take advantage of existing tools to work out the complexities.

Some decision tree troubleshooters can be larger projects to assemble than others. If you have a complex tree to build, a good tip is to prepare more than one at the same time. By containing elements in different decision trees — called sub-trees — and then linking them up into one final decision tree later, you can concentrate on one piece at a time.

When you’re mapping out your decision tree troubleshooter, you’re bound to run into a hiccup or two. If you need to connect two nodes together and get stumped, you can create a plain, undefined placeholder node to help you continue through the process; you can always go back in later and fix it up!

Grab your data before moving forward. 

It’s a best practice in any industry to collect data, and analyze it, before making any next steps in a project. Without understanding the stats behind how your troubleshooter is used, you won’t be able to make it better.

With Scoring Nodes, you can A/B test different messages, structures and offers to see which performs the best, and then optimize accordingly. Additionally, you can receive direct feedback from end-users using comments, as well as always keep track of the activity and health of your decision trees with in-depth Analytics & Reporting features.


Zingtree makes it easy to build completely custom, data-gathering question & answer style troubleshooters to satisfy your customers (and your business). Contact us to learn more or get started today!

Updates: Manage Collaborators in Batches (and More)

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This week’s Zingtree update focuses on making it a little bit easier to manage the Collaborators on your trees. Rather than changing one tree at a time, you can now add and delete Collaborators on ALL decision trees for which you have Administrator rights, as well as change permissions for an Author.

To add a collaborator to all of your decision trees, select the “Add Collaborator to ALL My Trees” option:

To update your Collaborators, select the “Update ALL My Tree” option:

Thanks to Andrew and Elise for the suggestion!

Other updates this week include:

  • Fix: Theme URLs are now https and will show in any embed scenario. (h/t Tom K.)
  • Update: Added number of Authors to My Trees view.
  • Update: Now supports responsive video options, different sizes in Content editor and Tree output (h/t Trey).
  • Update: Improved FAQ with simplified layout.
  • Update: Only Administrators or editors can delete sessions. (h/t Dave T.)

Interested in becoming one of our favorite collaborators? Contact us here and suggest an improvement or feature you’d like to see in Zingtree!

3 Ways to Take Advantage of Decision Trees in Business

Decision trees for business can address a variety of problem-solving use cases. Since the beginning of Zingtree, we’ve helped 7,500+ organizations spanning geographic locations and industries to improve support and internal business processes, build powerful sales funnels and enhance productivity in a number of ways.

The intuitive question-and-answer style of a decision tree makes it simple for companies to improve efficiency, train new hires and evaluate staff, qualify the best leads, deliver amazing support experiences, and much more. Here are just some of the ways that taking advantage of intuitive decision trees can help businesses.

1. Lead Qualification

A business can’t grow, or succeed long-term, without continued interest from leads that are the most qualified for the market they serve; this is a well-known fact. After generating new leads for your business, it’s important to carefully select the cream of the crop, according to what your company is looking for in an ideal lead.

By putting these new leads into a decision tree based on the main characteristics of your ideal customer, any business can easily make sure that the most qualified leads are sent along to the right person. After all, the faster you can follow-up, the more potential for new business! For a decision tree to qualify leads, you should include a flow for proper sales distribution, content and promotions to best serve them, and more.

See an example in the Zingtree Gallery.

2. Training and Evaluation

Because Zingtree is such a powerful interactive tool, it is a prime resource for building and implementing training programs, simulations and evaluations. As with all training and evaluation programs, yours should be relevant to your company or the position, easily digestible, and appropriate to the employee involved – this is important if the training is to be integrated into workplace practices.

Once training is completed, it’s just as important to keep up with how they are doing, using evaluations to tap into their knowledge, progress and comfort levels. We’ve used Zingtree’s robust logic with a scoring system that can perform detailed evaluations, allowing you to add a value to each answer and later act upon the total weighted score. Explore our Gallery examples to preview existing decision trees for training and evaluations.

See an example in the Zingtree Gallery.

3. Customer Support

Interactive decision tree troubleshooters customized to fit your business needs are one of the most important extensions of your brand that can be implemented. Troubleshooter decision trees allow customers to follow a path of questions and answers that lead them to the most-likely solution, and are even more helpful for technical issues.

Companies that build interactive troubleshooters and FAQs into their customer service processes have seen an average of a 20% overall reduction in support costs!

See an example in the Zingtree Gallery.


Ready to improve your key business processes?

Get started with Zingtree!