Zingtree Tags: nodes

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, brainstorm a strategy, and whip out the perfect outline for getting started? It’s 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’re continuously updating the decision tree examples present in our Gallery. Here you’ll find a huge variety of pre-made decision trees for various use cases and industry-specific needs that you can edit, adjust, and customize to fit your needs. 

Simply click the “Examine button to take a closer look, and the “Copy” button within that to create a replicated version that you can adjust as needed.

3. Use the Right Building Tool

We all know that there are different styles of learning, creating, coding and strategizing — for this reason, we’ve equipped Zingtree with a robust set of tools fit for everyone.

Visual Designer allows for a “white board” to create nodes, connections, and truly see the decision tree as it’s being built. Some Zingtree builders only use this mode as a way of aesthetically assembling decision trees.

Importing from spreadsheets lets you start the process in Excel or Google Sheets and then upload it all into Zingtree. A perfect solution for spreadsheet lovers!

The Wizard tool is ideal for anyone who likes simple question-and-answer style forms and will get you up-and-running after collecting some key information.

Learn more about how to create a decision tree using our methods here.

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. Use Sub-Trees for More Complexities

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!

 

6. 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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7. Try Logic Nodes for Test, Questionnaires & More

Moving from A-to-B as easily as possible is our most base-level goal. Going a bit deeper, however, many businesses, educators, and other types of users benefit from having logic steps involved to quickly jump end-users to where they need to be, collect values associated with each selection, and more.

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.

8. Customize and Personalize Away!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — customization is key. That’s why we make it easy to add in color and style wherever it’s needed! Need a pop of branded personality or just want to showcase your information in a visually-stunning way? No problem. With options to insert custom CSS files, adjust the appearance of buttons, and add videos, GIFs and other types of media, you can get as customized as you want.


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

This article was originally published in 2015 and has been updated for relevancy. 

Integrating a Decision Tree Transcript into CRM (and Other Apps)

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Beyond troubleshooting and support, Zingtree makes a handy interactive front-end for getting people to the right page on your website. We consistently see our customers building trees for sales prospecting, medical appointments, loan qualification, hiring and other environments where a little bit of automated filtering goes a long way. Plus, Zingtrees are a great means for information gathering, too!

We also get requests for integrating Zingtree within various back-end platforms – most notably, CRM. Often, when a customer’s data gets imported into another system, you’ll want the Q&A transcript of their Zingtree session attached.

We’ve created a Simple Sales Funnel demo tree and a basic back-end script in the Zingtree Gallery so you can see a working example.

Here’s how to pass a Zingtree Q&A transcript along to ANY system:

1. From your tree, create a link node to your contact form (i.e. contact_form.php), with a URL like this:

contact_form.php?session_id=#session#

2. In contact_form.php, add this JavaScript right above the ending </body> tag:

<script
id="zingtree_field_id"
value="session_data"
src="//zingtree.com/api/add-session-data-to-form.js">
</script>

3. In the form itself, add a hidden field with an id of “session_data”. The name can be whatever you like. Example:

<input id="session_data" name="zingtree_stuff" type="hidden" value="" />

That’s it!

Under the hood: When the form is loaded, the add-session-data-to-form.js script reads the session_id parameter, then loads the session transcript into the hidden field with the id=”session_data”.


BONUS:

Rather than having a field that must have an id of “session_data”, you can also specify the ID of the field that you want to insert Zingtree data into. This is especially helpful for Salesforce or other CRM apps that generate forms for you.

For example, if you added a multi-line text field to your CRM system form with an ID of “my_data_field”, you could use this piece of code instead:

<script
id="zingtree_field_id"
value="my_data_field"
src="//zingtree.com/api/add-session-data-to-form.js">
</script>

 

This article was originally published October 5, 2016.

Decision Tree Analytics: About Node Popularity Reports

Zingtree has powerful built-in analytics. In this series, we’re taking a closer look at some of these in-depth reports and how they help you learn even more about how customers use your trees. 


Node Popularity Reports

Much like its name implies, the Node Popularity Report shows you the overall popularity of every one of the nodes in your decision tree, ultimately letting you see how often each one is visited. More than just seeing which nodes are getting the most love, this report also allows you to find out where users are getting stuck as well, as you can take note of trends in node drop-off.

To access this report, go to Overview > Reports and select Node Popularity Report from the drop-down menu. You can specify an exact date range to pull the stats from before clicking “Show Report.”

Once the report is built, you can quickly scroll through a break down of each decision tree node, the node’s name, and the number of visits to each one.

Keep your node View as Page Titles, or choose to show the questions and answers.

Plus, click into each node detail for additional information on the time a node was selected, duration of time spent on a node, and even the source.

See a live example of this report on the Zingtree Gallery.


Learn more about our powerful reports and analytics:

Reach out to us any time with questions!

Updates: Reorder Nodes, Efficient Forms, Tree Content Search and More

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The holiday spirit never quits here at Zingtree, as we’ve added some cool new features for some of our best customers.

Reordering Nodes in Overview

Tom K. (and a few other people) asked if we could reorder the nodes in the Simple Overview. And now you can! Just drag any node up or down, and it will stay in that position forever.

Some caveats:

  • The root node always appears at the top of the list. If you drag a node over the root, it will appear in position #2 the next time.
  • Some people asked about automatically re-numbering nodes.  For now, we’ve decided to keep the node numbers permanent, as there are cases where node numbers are used in links and URLs outside of Zingtree, and any renumbering would break these links.

Tree Content Node Search

Abner J. asked if we could extend our search forms to include ALL trees in the account, not just the current tree.  So we added a new form type you can insert from the content editor in Edit Node: a Tree Content Search Form:

If you have multiple trees, and you want your end-users to be able to search all nodes in those trees, this is what you can use.

Placeholders vs. Labels in Forms

Tom K. asked if we could make our form layouts more concise by offering an option to eliminate the labels in forms, and put “placeholders” in the fields instead. Done!

Here’s how a form with labels appears:

And here’s one with placeholders:

Sending Multiple Emails

For Alok: Email nodes, and the email-session-info link now can send multiple emails.  Just enter email addresses separated by commas.

Got something special on your wish list? Send it along, and our elves will start working on it!

Need-to-Know Tricks for Building Effective Decision Trees

We built a great tool to make things easy-as-pie for your users, but also understand that the creation side of things can sometimes be a little more complex. To start off on the right foot when building your decision trees, here are some of the top guidelines we like to follow:

Start with a goal, then make a plan.

Every great decision tree begins with a goal; figuring out what exactly what you want to accomplish with your Zingtrees. Is the purpose to guide employees through training or customers through a troubleshooting process? Help navigate patients through enrollment or students select a program?

No matter the purpose, it’s important to identify right off the bat – from there, you’ll better be able to break down a plan of action. Putting an outline together will make building and connecting your nodes much easier and more efficient.

Use the method that works best for your needs.

Once plans are set, you can explore the Zingtree Gallery to gather inspiration from existing decision trees, and even copy the structure. We also supply you with a few distinct methods of creation to suit everyone’s preferences:

Writing and phrasing are incredibly important.

Think very carefully about what you need to communicate to your user before drafting the first round of content. When writing out your message, keep things concise so as to not confuse your user; if they can’t understand what your nodes are asking, they certainly won’t be able to move forward.

Consider inserting your own company or organization’s personality into the mix, too. Is your brand fun and light-hearted? Professional and cordial? Keeping your writing in line with your own company “tone” is a great way to extend the brand right into your decision trees.

Get feedback and continue to improve.

For Call Center usage, we built a handy feature that can be embedded into every decision tree allowing you to gather feedback directly from your support agents.

With Zingtree comment bubbles integrated into every page, your agents can quickly and easily send you notes regarding the process so you can continually improve your decision trees. .


We love hearing about tricks and tips for getting started with Zingtree. Please share yours over on our Facebook page!

Update: Decision Tree Search

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Our customers building a large library of decision trees have asked for an easy way to find trees or individual nodes. Live Support Agents also need this capability, so we built a powerful new Tree Search capability.

Here’s how it looks:

tree search

With Tree Search, you can easily search tree titles and tags, or specific content from nodes within your trees.

How it Works: For Authors

Go to My Trees, and click the Search button. This opens the search dialog above. The search results let you view a tree, view a node, or edit a node.

Note: If the search button is disabled, select an Organization first.

How it Works: For Agents 

Agents using your trees can use a search button at the bottom right of any tree.

agent-tree-search

As an author, when publishing a tree, the Advanced Hosting Options has a selection for Search All Trees button. This adds to the publishing URL so that the green Search button appears for your agents.

You can also add this code to any URL to make the search button appear:
&search_all=1

Thanks to Travis and his team for the inspiration!

The Best Way to Write Question & Answer Nodes

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Poorly written questions in your Zingtree decision trees can often lead to confused customers and incomplete results. A truly effective node will guide your user through a self-service experience that results in solving their problem or finding the correct answer to a question.

We break down some of the top ways to write powerful, practical questions that will help guide your customers through your decision trees, resulting in a positive and helpful experience for everyone!

1. Keep your questions simple and focused.

It’s important to avoid writing leading or loaded questions that could potentially steer your audience in a new path, or evoke an emotional response that could affect their answer selection. Additionally, long drawn out questions with unusual sentence constructions, and those with double-negatives, can often confuse your customer and lead to misinterpretation.

Keep your decision tree questions as simple as possible by focusing one one subject at a time, and structuring them in an easy-to-absorb way.

Bad: If our customer support knowledge base was not helpful for you, would you, or would you not, consider switching providers to solve your question or issue?

Good: Would you consider another service if you could not self-solve your problem using our FAQ?

2. Speak your audience’s language.

Every customer that goes through your decision tree should be able to easily understand the questions involved and select an answer that makes sense to them.

It’s always smart to avoid industry-specific or too-technical jargon to keep things as clear as possible. This sounds easy enough, but it can take some serious planning to reduce the messaging in your questions to speak the language of your customer while still conveying the general meaning.

Bad: What problems are you currently experiencing with our service or your account?

Good: How can we help you? Please select an option below. 

3. Write with an active voice.

Active voice is a direct, concise way to craft decision tree question and answer nodes. This style of writing clearly identifies the action and who is performing that action so that you can avoid wordy questions, and sounds stronger and more direct than a passive voice.

Active voice most closely resembles how people actually speak, which makes it much simpler for your customers to read through and understand.

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

Good: Follow our recommended guidelines below to solve your issue!


 

Taking the time to construct simple, concise, helpful question and answer nodes in decision trees will open up new opportunities for your audience to self-solve and connect with your brand.

Check out the Zingtree Gallery for live examples of decision trees with quality questions and answers!

How To Measure Results of Your Decision Trees

Our customers often ask us how to go about measuring the performance of a Zingtree decision tree. This is an important part of your relationship with Zingtree, since everybody wants to see how effective trees are at saving time and money.

Here’s how measuring results works:

  • Each node in the tree can be categorized with success, failure, or an unknown result.
  • The result for the entire session uses the category for the last node visited.

For example, if the last node visited is an “I need help” node, categorized as “failure”, then the overall session result is failure. If the last node visited proposed a solution to a problem, and was categorized as “success”, then the session is a success.

How to categorize nodes to track results:

1. Go to the decision tree you wish to analyze, and open the Overview or Designer.

2. Make sure that each node in your tree is categorized properly. Use Edit Node to categorize your success and failure nodes,, using the “Categorize this node’s result”.  Here are your menu options:

3. When you want to see how well your trees are performing, go to Usage Reports.

4. Select the Results report, enter the desired date range, and you can see how your tree performed:

results-report

Cool feature alert: Results reporting updates in real time when you change the category of any node.

That’s it! Any more questions? Feel free to contact us at any time. 

The Feedback Loop: Getting Comments From End-Users and Agents

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One new feature super-user Travis suggested to us was the ability for people using trees to send notes back to the authors. For Travis’s company, they wanted a way for their Call Center agents to easily comment on any node, and have that feedback reach the authors of the tree. This seemed like such an obviously beneficial idea that we re-prioritized to make it happen.

The result is a subtle comment bubble, which can appear at the bottom right-hand-side of any tree: 

This quick video shows how it works:

How the Feedback Loop Works

Both Zingtree hosted end-user trees and internal agent (Call Center) trees can use this feedback feature. To illustrate, we’ll use the Zingtree Agent Portal as an example.

Here’s how a tree appears, showing the comment bubble:

 

When an agent clicks the comment bubble, they get a simple pop-up feedback form:

When feedback is sent, all authors get an email notification:

You can see all nodes with comments from Overview. They have an icon like this: 

Example:

Finally, when you Edit a Node, you can see and delete all comments, like this:

Comments for End-User Support Trees

This feature is not limited to Call Centers. If you’re using Zingtree for end-user support, you can enable the comment bubble in Zingtree-hosted trees. Use the Advanced Hosting Options from Publish, Zingtree Hosting, or simply add this to the URL for your tree:

&feedback=1

Updates: Tree Search, Node Printing, and Better Internationalization

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This Thanksgiving Week’s updates cover a variety of things, all inspired by people like you.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Email nodes now display in French, Dutch and Spanish, depending upon the preferred browser language setting (h/t Théophile).
  • Published trees: Back button just shows an arrow for non-English users.
  • Agent portal: Added search box to locate trees matching title or tags (h/t Tom S. and others).
  • New Tree Search API
  • Now properly saves non-English characters in Edit Node (h/t Ksenia)
  • New: Print node option in Overview.

Also, Ben C. helped us find and fix a rare error in recovering snapshots.

We’re thankful for our great customers who continue to help us make Zingtree better and better. Thanks guys!