Tag Archives: interactive decision tree

What Kind of Valentine’s Card Should I Give?

Get ready – Valentine’s Day is just a few days away!

Whether you’re searching for ideas for your significant other, mom and dad, or other VIP’s in your life, the Valentine’s card is a staple of the season and shouldn’t be forgotten. Rather than going to your neighborhood pharmacy and grabbing a generic option last-minute, our custom decision tree will help you find the perfect Valentine’s Day card.

Want to see more amazing user-generated decision trees? Check out the Zingtree Gallery!

Create Decision Trees using Google Sheets

sheets-blog

Did you know that Google Sheets can be used as a decision tree building tool? Using a specific layout, you can easily import any Sheets document into Zingtree, and turn it into a fully functional interactive decision tree.

Once you’ve successfully imported your tree, you can enhance it using Zingtree’s editing tools, which offer a lot more decision tree related functionality than Google Sheets.

Here’s how our example tree used in the tutorials appears in Sheets:

You can get started now by copying this example and modifying it:

Get Example from Google Sheets

 

Overview

Zingtree can create decision trees from Google Sheets, or any similarly formatted tabular source. Your spreadsheets just need to be set up in a specific way for this to work.

Here are the rules:

  1. The first row is for column headings. This is important, as it tells Zingtree what type of data is in each column. Make sure to use the column headings as described below.
  2. Column A is for the node number. Usually this is sequential. It’s required. The heading must say “Node“.
  3. Column B is for the title of a node. Your trees will be easier to read if each node has a descriptive title. The heading must say “Title“.
  4. Column C is for any content that appears in the content area.  This is imported as plain text, but you can add formatting, images, and videos later using the Zingtree editing tools. The heading must read “Content“.
  5. Column D is the question that is being asked. You can leave this blank if you want an answer node. The heading must be “Question“.
  6. If you want to include node tags in your tree, insert a column with a heading of “Tags“. This is optional.
  7. The last columns are for the button choices.  The heading over the first button column must be “Buttons“. You can have several columns of buttons.
  8. For the button columns, you can make them link to other nodes by adding the node number in square brackets.  In the above example, cell F2 has a button labelled “Yes” that links to node #2.  ( Yes[2]  )
  9. If you want to add a comment to any node, insert a cell on the right that starts with an exclamation point character (!).

Note: Columns can be in any order, but the column headings must contain the proper text like “Node”, “Question” etc.

You can also make Link Nodes and Tree Nodes with special text in the content column:

  • Example: To make a Link Node that goes to Google, the content area looks like this (see cell C8 in the example):
    LINK: http://google.com
  • Example: To make Tree Node that opens tree ID #123456789, the content area is this (see cell C7 in the example):
    TREE: 123456789

Once you’ve finished your tree, it needs to be exported as a TSV file. This is also known as tab-separated values, or tab delimited CSV.

You can also just copy and paste cells from Sheets into Zingtree. Sheets copies tab delimited data to the clipboard automatically.

Build Your Tree

To start, open this file in Sheets, and make a copy for your personal use. This is an enhanced demo from our “what to wear” example.

Now start modifying it.  Make sure to keep top row column headings in place. Keep questions in the question column, content in the content column, etc.

When you’re done, you can import your work into Zingteee via copy and paste, or by exporting to a tab delimited (TSV) file.

Import via Copy and Paste

This is the easiest way to import your decision tree into Zingtree:

  1. In Sheets, select the entire range of cells for your tree, and copy to the clipboard (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C).
  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import via Copy and Paste tool.  (You can also get there via My Trees, Create Tree, then select Import from Google Sheets.) A screen like this appears:

  3. Choose Google Sheets as the source.
  4. Enter a name for your tree
  5. Paste the data copied from step 1 into the data area. (Use Ctrl+V or Cmd+V).
  6. Click Import and Create Tree.

You’ll see your new tree in the Zingtree overview.

Import via a TSV file

For larger trees, you may find it better to upload a file instead of copying and pasting. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. In Sheets, go to File, Download As, and select Tab-separated values (.tsv, current sheet).

  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import File tool. (You can also get there from My Trees, Create Tree, and then choosing Import from Google Sheets.)

  3. If you want to overwrite an existing tree, select it via Replace Tree. Otherwise a new tree will be created.
  4. Click Import File, and locate the file you created in step 1.
  5. The new tree will appear in Zingtree.

Notes:

  • You can use this process to import files from any tab delimited CSV format.

Any questions? Reach out to us anytime. 

Create Decision Trees using Microsoft Excel

excel-blog

If you’re comfortable using Microsoft Excel, you can build the first draft of your Zingtree decision trees using a spreadsheet and then easily import them into Zingtree.

Once you’ve successfully imported your tree, you can modify it and enhance it using Zingtree’s editing tools, which offer a lot more decision tree related functionality than Excel.

Here’s how our example tree used in the tutorials appears in Excel:

Overview

Zingtree can create decision trees from Excel, or any similarly formatted tabular source. Your spreadsheets just need to be set up in a specific way for this to work.

Start now by downloading and modifying this example .XLS file:

Download Example for Excel

Here are the rules:

  1. The first row is for column headings. This is important, as it tells Zingtree what type of data is in each column. Make sure to use the column headings as described below.
  2. Column A is for the node number. Usually this is sequential. It’s required. The heading must say “Node“.
  3. Column B is for the title of a node. Your trees will be easier to read if each node has a descriptive title. The heading must say “Title“.
  4. Column C is the question that is being asked. You can leave this blank if you want an answer node. The heading must be “Question“.
  5. Column D is for any content that appears in the content area.  This is imported as plain text, but you can add formatting, images, and videos later using the Zingtree editing tools. The heading must read “Content“.
  6. If you want to include node tags in your tree, insert a column with a heading of “Tags“. This is optional.
  7. The last columns are for the button choices.  The heading over the first button column must be “Buttons“. You can have several columns of buttons.
  8. For the button columns, you can make them link to other nodes by adding the node number in square brackets.  In the above example, cell F2 has a button labelled “Yes” that links to node #2.  ( Yes[2]  )
  9. If you want to add a comment to any node, insert a cell on the right that starts with an exclamation point character (!).

Note: Columns can be in any order, but the column headings must contain the proper text like “Node”, “Question” etc.

You can also make Link Nodes and Tree Nodes with special text in the content column:

  • Example: To make a Link Node that goes to Google, the content area looks like this (see cell D9 in the example):
    LINK: http://google.com
  • Example: To make Tree Node that opens tree ID #123456789, the content area is this (see cell D8 in the example):
    TREE: 123456789

Once you’ve finished your tree, it needs to be exported as a TXT file. This is also known as a tab delimited CSV.

You can also just copy and paste cells from your Excel document into Zingtree. Excel copies tab delimited CSV data to the clipboard automatically.

Build Your Tree

To start, download our “what to wear” example tree, as an Excel .XLS file.

Open this file in Excel, and start modifying it.  Make sure to keep top row column headings in place. Keep questions in the question column, content in the content column, etc.

When you’re done, you can import it into Zingteee via copy and paste, or by exporting to a TXT file.

Import via Copy and Paste

This is the easiest way to bring your decision tree into Zingtree:

  1. In Excel, select the entire range of cells for your tree, and copy to the clipboard (Ctrl+C or Cmd+C).
  2. In Zingtree, go to the Import via Copy and Paste tool.  (You can also get there via My Trees, Create Tree, then select Import from Microsoft Excel.) A screen like this appears:

  3. Choose Microsoft Excel as the source.
  4. Enter a name for your tree
  5. Paste the data copied from step 1 into the data area. (Use Ctrl+V or Cmd+V).
  6. Click Import and Create Tree.

You’ll see your new tree in the Zingtree overview.

Import via a TXT file

For larger trees, you may find it better to upload a file instead of copying and pasting. Here’s how it’s done:

  1. In Excel, go to File, Save As, and select Text (Tab Delimited) as the type.

  2. The file name will become the name of your tree. Click Save when finished.
  3. In Zingtree, go to the Import File tool. (You can also get there from My Trees, Create Tree, and then choosing Import from Excel.)

  4. If you want to overwrite an existing tree, select it via Replace Tree. Otherwise a new tree will be created.
  5. Click Import File, and locate the file you created in steps 1 and 2.
  6. The new tree will appear in Zingtree.

Notes:

  • You can use this process to import files from any tab delimited CSV format.

Any questions? Reach out to us anytime. 

How To: Creating Decision Trees With the Wizard

Interactive decision trees can be an extremely simple, fun way to navigate through your information, find answers to questions and more. The Zingtree Wizard tool is one such way to build out decision trees in a clean, step-by-step process.

With the Wizard, you’ll be prompted to fill out easy forms in order to generate your tree, providing the questions and answers your end-users will see. It’s one of the most straight-forward ways to generate a Zingtree!

Here’s how to use Zingtree Wizard:

1. Sign in and click My Trees > Create New Tree.

2. Select the option to fill out simple forms, and then give your tree a name and description.

3. Once in the Wizard, fill out some body text to get started with your tree.

4. Write out your first question, then fill the Answer Options section with every answer you’d like provided. You can see a live preview appear to the right of the screen as you move forward.

5. Continue to write out the appropriate questions, answers and final path solutions until every connection in your decision tree is made.

6. When you’re finished making the nodes and connections between them, you can take a full look at your finished decision tree in Overview.

Voila! Your masterpiece is complete, interactive and highly-intelligent. You can also watch this video for a guided tutorial on how to use the Wizard tool:

To view more ways of building your decision trees, check out our Zingtree Design Tutorials.

8 Easy Ways to Improve Your Customer Support Game

Your support team is the first (and often only) point of contact between you and your customers. In reality, they hold one of the most important roles in your entire business. The bottom line is that a positive customer experience is defined by the skill, quality and knowledge of the support they receive.

So, how can you strengthen support efforts and improve your business overall? Here are some of our best tips for boosting how you serve your customers, and improving your internal customer support in the long-term.

1. Help Customers Help Themselves

It’s proven that people today aren’t thrilled with more traditional support methods, like calling your company up on the phone or sending in an email. Creating and maintaining an up-to-date knowledge base of information online, along with tutorials, FAQs and other valuable resources, allows your customers to proactively search for answers to the questions they may have and effectively self-serve their own needs.

2. Create Active Communities

In many cases, businesses are finding that creating actual communities online has been a powerful way to engage customers. By providing them with exclusive resources, updates, sneak peeks and contests, you’ll build up better rapport with your active community members, allow customers to communicate with each other to solve problems, and help improve your presence online.

3. Communicate Like People

Even though digital is really the way to go, at the end of the day your customers want to feel like they have access to real people, too. Offer up easy ways to get in contact, whether it be through email, phone or live chat capabilities. Social media is also a valuable tool to keep in touch with customers, help answer questions, and share updates on your business (and the people within it!) in general.

4. Take Advantage of Helpful Visuals

Words can sometimes get in the way, especially when dealing with visual learners and more complicated issues. Using the help of annotated screenshots, tutorial videos, how-to GIFs and other images to communicate a message makes things easier for everyone. Not only are visuals nice to look at, they are experts at conveying information, directions and context to a customer better than text alone.

5. Start Engaging Employees

If you’re running a business with a staff of employees at hand, be sure you’re paying them enough attention. You can have the best skills and support training in the industry, but if your agents aren’t happy or motivated, it won’t mean a lot. Getting your support staff energized and engaged with their role (and with helping others) is a great way to make sure customers have positive experiences all around!

6. Build Personalized Experiences

Your main support channels, like your support staff, are extensions of your company and brand as a whole. Having a support experience that feels out of place in association with your core message, product or service offering can throw customers off. Make sure that your knowledge base and other channels of information are customized and personalized to make your customers feel right at home.

7. Give Agents Custom Scripts

Once you find your magic formula for customer phone calls, you will be amazed what it can do to improve the effectiveness of your support staff and the happiness of your customers. Standardized agent scripts are a super easy way to guide reps through a natural, productive conversation and make sure customers are feeling heard, getting help and leaving the interaction worry-free. And management can see the various pathways that agents take through these scripts too.

8. Offer Always-On Access

In the digital age, it’s possible to give 24/7 support access to your customers without paying staff for any overtime. Building interactive, customer support decision trees and troubleshooters based on knowledge base data makes it incredibly easy to provide help to your customers across any or all areas of your business, even when no one is available to help one-on-one.

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 number of tickets coming in.

Ready to improve your customer support efforts? Get started with Zingtree today!

How to Use the Decision Tree Gallery

Zingtree-Gallery

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.

1

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.

2

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. 

Terminology: Understanding Your Decision Trees Pt. 4

Understanding how our Zingtree interactive decision trees work on a fundamental level can help you generate more effective trees to fit your needs. If you’re new, or just curious, our glossary of basic terms and phrases will help you understand how Zingtree works.


A/B Testing

Split testing different messages, offers and more is critical to any online sales system (including contact centers), and can be incredibly helpful for other departments and teams (including marketing). We developed a way to use Scoring Nodes in Zingtree to perform powerful A/B testing that helps you optimize your trees continuously.

Agent Portal

The Zingtree Agent Portal is a one-stop location for your Contact Center agents to access all of the customized, interactive support scripts in your organization. From the Portal, support agents can also see script and communication histories, send direct feedback based on specific decision trees / nodes, and more.

Breadcrumbs

In the same family as our History feature, Breadcrumbs show the sequence of node titles that appeared throughout the entire exploration of the decision tree. With both options, you can simply click on a link and it will lead you back to any previous node.

Exporting

We understand that our users want complete control of the input and output of information in their decision trees. For this reason, we allowed easy exporting directly from your account so that you can save decision trees as an XML file on your computer. Just go to My Trees and select the tree, then More Tools, then Export to File.

History

The small, but mighty History feature allows you to see every single step you, or your end-user, took while navigating through your decision tree. This is incredibly helpful for any type of Zingtree user to see an overview of the journey itself. 

Integrations

We built Zingtree to play nicely with other useful tools to allow you to be as flexible as possible with your decision trees, as well as the information that is collected from them. You can check out all of our apps, plugins and integrations from the Zingtree Integrations page on our website, including: Slack, WordPress, Salesforce, Freshdesk, Zopim and more.

IP Filtering

Using CIDR notation, Zingtree allows you to add a series of IP addresses as restricted “white lists” for security purposes. This means that any request coming from outside the range you designate will be denied access to your decision tree. If you opt-out of restricting access, anyone can easily view your tree. 

Webhooks

Zingtree’s data exchange feature makes use of Webhooks with JSON formatted data to to send and receive certain data from your decision trees.

Once you add the webhook you want to your organization’s apps and include a call to the webhook in a node within your decision tree, the call is executed when that node is visited. Any JSON variables that are returned by the call automatically become Zingtree variables.


Stay tuned for Part 5 of our Terminology series and check out previous posts right here. If you have any questions, please contact the team!

Embeddable Decision Trees for WordPress

There’s no getting around it – we love WordPress! As a powerful piece of software that enables people around the world to spread and share ideas, build amazing websites and more, we understand the need to be as integrative with this ever-popular tool.

Zingtree’s robust toolkit allows WordPress users to directly embed interactive decision trees into any web page needed, making it easy for customers and end-users to navigate through any process on your site in a simple question-and-answer flow.

Many of our amazing customers are already taking advantage of this plugin, by hosting powerful, customized decision trees directly on their respective websites! See if you could survive in the wild with this interactive journey built by Live Out There, then check out a robust and helpful troubleshooter decision tree from Screen Time.

Here’s how to get started with your own WordPress-hosted decision tree:

1. Download the plugin and install it into WordPress.

2. Use your Zingtree decision tree’s specific short code (which will appear like this) in your post:

[ zingtree id=”851580502″ ]

Hint: To locate your short code, login to Zingtree and go to My Trees. The ID number to the left of the decision tree title is your code.

Installation Video

Some more examples: 

To customize with a persistent button that will immediately take the user to whichever node you’d like while displayed in “panels” style, enter a short code like this:

[ zingtree id=”148196706″ style=”panels” persist_names=”Restart|Submit Ticket” persist_node_ids=”1|5″ ]

To hide the name of the decision tree, as well as the “back” button, enter a short code like this:

[ zingtree id=”148196706″ hide_title=”yes” hide_back_button=”yes” ]

Get the WordPress Plugin!

Don’t want to embed into WordPress? Zingtree can host your decision trees for you! Learn more here or contact us today.

How to Print Out Your Decision Trees

We created Zingtree to be a powerful, interactive tool to be used to help navigate users through a complicated process. We also understand that sometimes a physical, tangible copy of that decision tree can be just as useful, if not more so depending on your specific needs.

After building your perfect decision tree, teachers, marketers, contact centers and support staff can all benefit from the ability to convert that digitized flowchart into something that anyone can easily flip through and understand. For these reasons, we made it simple to print out your Zingtrees straight from the platform itself!

How to print your decision trees:

1. Sign in and select My Trees, then pick the tree you wish to print out.

2. From the menu shown below and on your Zingtree account, click Print.

3. On the right hand side, select the style you wish your decision tree to be displayed in when printed – you can choose either Panels or Buttons.

4. Click the Print Tree button above your style selection. The print window will appear, along with a preview of what your printed decision tree will look like.

5. When you’re ready, select Print – your full decision tree will be translated perfectly into physical form.

Need more help? Just ask our resident decision tree experts!