Tag Archives: support tools

IT Support Software: Better Self-Solving for Happier Customers

IT support software

Having an amazing product or service out in the market is one thing, but offering customers something beyond the standard can go much, much farther.

After much evolution behind the concept of the customer over the years, the era of “customer service first” is well upon us. Today’s modern customer craves genuine connection, as well as easy access to the products, services, answers, and the service they need; needs that are met with advanced IT support software. Abinash Tripathy, CEO of Helpshift, summarizes this well:

“Customer service was the step child, the focus was on sales. Fast forward to today and better networks, the entry of apps and real=time data has made every enterprise wanting to focus on understanding their customers and consumers to serve them better. Otherwise, brands will die if they do not adapt to this changing world”

For businesses today, there is really nothing more important that the customer. We’re big on improving how businesses help their customers and have helped numerous companies in all industries make their IT support systems as flawless and seamless as possible.

Self-Help Solutions & Troubleshooters

The vast majority of customers today have preferences when it comes to how and when they can access support (as they should!). In fact, 72% of people think that self-service support is preferable as a fast and easy way to handle support issues, and 91% would regularly utilize an online, self-service support center if it was tailored to their needs (Desk.com).

Using the help of bite-sized, customized self-help support tools like troubleshooter decision trees can solve customer problems without the traditional help from a support agent, leaving them far more self-sufficient and pleased with the information your business has available. When YouMail needed a better IT support system for their customer, they relied on our help to create fully-functional self-support and troubleshooter decision trees.

“Zingtree has been a great help with providing our customers efficient and immediate assistance. The step by step process allows us to provide multiple solutions to some of our most common problems.” — Adnan Rahman, Customer Service Analyst

Happy Customers = Loyal Customers

Happy customers are the goal of every support department, and its must easier to achieve than one might think – fulfill the needs that they have, whether it be product/service related, or related to their questions, comments, and concerns. Having freedom of choice, a memorable brand, and easy access to assistance when needed can turn a business into a customer-centric company with hugely happy and loyal repeat customers.

There are a few great ways to make your customers happier, and it all starts with a solid IT support software system or CRM. By engaging with your customers regularly and giving them on-demand access to self-help support, everyone will be much happier.

IT Support Software: What Should It Accomplish?

Before considering an IT support software or CRM system to integrate into your daily operations, or if you’re re-evaluating your current system, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

1. Does it help to support customers in self-solving? An IT support software system in the modern age should always allow customers to self-solve in one way or another. With such a high percentage of customers preferring a self-service support method over more traditional IT support, it’s necessary to offer a channel of solo access in order to keep customers happy.

2. Does it provide multi-channel support coverage? Not all customers are comfortable with ticket-based support, so it’s key to offer multiple channels of support – live chat, troubleshooters, etc – to connect and ask questions. If the IT support system doesn’t provide multi-channel support in itself, an integration can be a helpful substitute.

3. Does it connect with other powerful apps and tools? No single IT support system or CRM platform will have 100% of the features and add-ons that your company could want. However, many of the best have application marketplaces and useful integrations (like our own customer support app for Zendesk) that extend the functionality of your whole support system.

4. Does it help organize and streamline support-related tasks? Every good piece of IT support software will have some kind of task-based organization, but the best ones will allow you to collaborate, plan, manage, track, and analyze every kind of support-related task (and sub-task) to help make support teams more efficient and effective.

Our Top Choices:

While there are many IT support software systems out there, we recommend a top few very highly, as they cover every important point mentioned above.

No matter your choice, interactive decision trees can integrate directly into your preferred IT support software, making it easy to provide constant, incredible customer support. Organizations that implement troubleshooters that gently guide customers toward the right solution have seen a 20% reduction in support costs. Easily integrated with email, live chat, CRM and other IT support software, Zingtree saves everyone (your business AND your customers) time and money.


How can IT support software benefit your business? Get in touch with us to learn more, or get started with your first interactive tech support decision tree.

3 Amazing Ways to Use Interactive Decision Trees With Your CRM

Zingtree-Banner-Startup-4

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.

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

Integrating Zingtree with Freshdesk

feshdesk call center scripts

Freshdesk is one of our most popular integrations, so we’ve made sure it’s easy to import Zingtree session transcripts into a Freshdesk ticket. With the integration in place, support staff can see all of the steps a customer went through in a decision tree before needing to ask for help – it’s a huge time-saver for agents!

When the integration is set up, agents will see a Zingtree transcript with each ticket, like this:

Requirements:

You will need the Estate or Forest plan from Freshdesk to accomplish this integration.

Overview:

You’ll first need Freshdesk Admin privileges to complete the process. This method will create a new field called Zingtree Session Datait gets hidden from the customer, but it appears for the agent answering the ticket. It includes the entire Q&A transcript of the user’s Zingtree session prior to opening a new ticket in Freshdesk.

Here’s how to set up the Freshdesk side:

  1. In Freshdesk, go to your Admin panel, and select Ticket Fields.
  2. Create a new “Multi Line Text”  ticket field named Zingtree Session Data. (This field must be set up as “display to customer” and “customer can edit”, but will be hidden from the end-user once you implement step #7 below. Trust us!) The properties will look like this:
  3. Click Done.
  4. Click Save to add the field.
  5. Next go to Admin, Portals, and click  Customize Portal next to the portal that will receive Zingtree data.
  6. Go to Layout and Pages, Portal Pages.
  7. Click New Ticket, then add this code to the new ticket edit area:
    <script src="//zingtree.com/api/freshdesk-new-ticket.js"></script>

    This is what it looks like (new code outlined in red):

  8. Click Save and Publish.

On the Zingtree side:

You see to make Link Nodes that go to your Freshdesk New Ticket form, and add ?session_id=#session# to the end of the URL. Example:

If this is the link to your ticket form:
http://support.mycompany.com/support/tickets/new

Use this URL within a Zingtree Link Node to go to the ticket form, and have the Zingtree session transcript transferred:

http://support.mycompany.com/support/tickets/new?session_id=#session#

We’ve set up a sample Gallery tree (“Freshdesk Integration example”) for you to examine here. You can copy this tree, and then change the URL link to point to your own Freshdesk domain.

Follow these steps and in 15 minutes or less you’ll have a powerful integration between Freshdesk and your Zingtrees.

Any questions? Reach out to us anytime.

Adding Call Scripts to Desk.com

salesforce desk call center scripts

Besides being a well designed, elegant, simple-to-use help desk system that is easy to learn and configure, Desk.com is also great for Call Center use – both inbound and outbound – and is a natural platform for launching Interactive Call Center Scripts created with Zingtree.

Using Agent Scripts in Desk.com

Within Desk.com you can load a script from any Case using the Integration Links at the top of the page.

This loads your custom Zingtree Agent Script in a new browser tab.

Cool feature: One of the best things about using Zingtree with Desk.com is that the last viewed page and the history of the interactions with the script are saved with each ticket.  So if a customer calls back, or a call is transferred to another agent, the script will be in the same place as it was left previously.

Please note: This is only available in the Next Gen interface in Desk.com.

How to Set Up Zingtree Call Center Scripts in Desk.com

You will need to create a custom Integration URL within Desk.com as follows:

  1. Create a tree in Zingtree, and note the nine digit Tree ID. (You can use 628045351 as a demo.)
  2. Log into desk.com, or create a free account if you haven’t yet done so.
  3. Go to the Admin dashboard.
  4. Click Cases, Integration URLs.
  5. Enter “Zingtree” as the Name, and select New Browser Window as the Open Location.
  6. Add a URL like this, substituting the Tree ID into both places with #########:
    https://zingtree.com/host.php?style=panels&tree_id=#########&session_id=#########-{{case.id}}&agent_mode=1&show_history=1&source={{case.active_user.name}}

  7. Make sure Enabled is active.
  8. Click Add.


Advanced Uses

Displaying Session History in Case Details

You can use a Standard iFrame Integration URL to show the Q&A History from your script next to the ticket, like this:

You will need to create an iFrame Integration URL. Use this URL (substituting ######### with your Tree ID):

https://zingtree.com/api/get-qa-data.php?nototal=1&session_id=#########-{{case.id}}

This article explains how to set up an iFrame Integration URL.


Inserting Desk.com Fields into Scripts

You can include fields from the Desk.com case into your Zingtree scripts using Merge Variables.  These are added to the Integration URL.

For example, to add the customer’s first name and company, add these parameters to the URL:

&variables=NAME|COMPANY&values={{customer.first_name}}|{{customer.company}}

In your Zingtree scripts, enter #NAME# and #COMPANY# wherever you want the name and company to appear.


Advanced Display Options

When using the Publish tool in Zingtree, go to the Advanced Hosting Options under Have Zingtree Host your Tree. You can experiment with adding different styles and button options to the URL you will use with Desk.com.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to include these options at the end of the URL:

&session_id=#########-{{case.id}}&agent_mode=1&show_history=1&source={{case.active_user.name}}


Automatically Choosing a Script from a Custom Field

You can  make different scripts appear based upon the value of a custom field. The key is to match a Zingtree tree tag with the custom field value. Here’s how to do it:

  1. In Zingtree, tag your trees with the value of the custom field to match.  This article has more on tagging.
  2. Use an integration URL like this:
    http://zingtree.com/host-trees.php?jump=1&key=APIKEY&type=treetag-any&agent_mode=1&show_history=1&search={{case.custom_FIELDNAME}}&source={{case.active_user.name}}&session_id=DESK-SUBDOMAIN-{{case.id}}
  3. Substitute APIKEY with your API Key. (You can find it here.)
  4. Substitute FIELDNAME with the name of your custom field.
  5. Substitute SUBDOMAIN with your Desk.com subdomain.  For example, if you use mysupport.desk.com, use “mysupport” as the subdomain.

 

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!

Zingtree Agent Portal for Contact Centers

blog-howto

Many of our Call Center customers have asked for a simple, standalone way for their agents to access interactive Zingtree scripts from their browser. To that end, we have created the Zingtree Agent Portal.

Overview

The Agent Portal is a one-stop location for your agents to access all of the scripts in your organization. Here’s how it looks:

When your agents click on a script name, their interactive script appears like this:

Accessing the Agent Portal

Everyone who wants access to the Zingtree Agent Portal for your organization needs to log in from zingtree.com. You can set up logins for all your agents, and use your own Zingtree account to gain access as well.

The first step is to add yourself as an agent:

  1. Log into your Zingtree account.
  2. Go to Account > My Agents.
  3. Click Add Myself as an Agent. Your name and login appears in the list of agents:

  4. Click Go to Agent Portal.

That’s it. You’re in!

Adding Agents to the Agent Portal

Once you’re happy with how the portal is working, you can give others access.

  1. Go to Account > My Agents.
  2. Click Add One New Agent. The Add Agent form appears:
  3. Enter the agent’s info, then click Create Agent.

You can also add multiple agents in bulk by using the Add Multiple Agents option in step 2 above. It looks like this:

Features of the Agent Portal

Besides the self-explanatory Back, Start again with this Customer, and Finished with this Customer, there are a few other goodies your agents will appreciate.

History

Agents can see all the steps they took with the customer by clicking the + icon next to History.

The ‘A’ button at the upper right makes just the answers appear.

Agent Feedback

If an agent sees a problem with a node in your script, they can send feedback directly to the tree’s authors using this button at the lower right of the screen:

Shrink Headers

For a more compressed view, have agents use the  button at the top right.

Inserting Agent Info into Scripts

You can personalize your scripts for each agent. When creating your tree, use these placeholders:

#agent_name# – inserts the name of the Agent into the script.

#agent# – inserts the Agent’s login into the script.

Hiding Scripts from Agent View

While you’re developing scripts, you may want to keep them out of the Agent Portal until they are ready and approved.  You can hide scripts as follows:

  1. Go to the tree you want to hide from the My Trees page.
  2. Go to the Settings tool.
  3. Select Hide from Agent Portal View.

 

Top 4 Most Important Soft Skills of Technical Agents

Tech and product support engineers who interface with customers are often hired and trained for their technical proficiency. As customers are offered self-service options, the nature of requests coming into Call Centers are becoming more complex; in order to address this, companies must train agents to help customers with these increasingly complicated issues – but technical proficiency only goes so far.

If the agent is inefficient or ineffective at communicating clearly, customer satisfaction will dwindle. When it comes to delivering a great customer experience, a good agent will possess both technical knowledge and what are called “soft skills.” These are some of the most important skills for technicians to hone so that excellent customer service can be delivered, no matter how technical the conversation.

1. Clear Communication

Translating technical jargon into understandable and relatable phrases is arguably the most important skill for technical and support agents. For those agents working directly with end users, the ability to communicate technical knowledge into plain English is paramount. Coming across as condescending is something to be avoided; specific agent training on tone of their voice and word choices is important for mastering this soft skill.

2. Idea Presentation

Technical agents aren’t limited to communicating only with customers; often, they are required to present their ideas/findings to upper management. Presentation skills dovetail with customer communication skills, but include more than just clear speaking. Planning, organization, and subject familiarity are all essential if successful presentations are to occur.Improvement on this

3. Company Collaboration

It can sometimes be a challenge for technical experts to successfully collaborate with their colleagues; more often, technicians work in isolation and don’t regularly engage with others. Just as excellent communication skills are required for customer service, they are also necessary for working within a team. And, technical agents with the skills to work well in team settings are more likely to enjoy promotions and creative projects along the way, as well as helping the health of the organization overall with their insider perspective of support and the issues customers face.

4. Complete Honesty

Technical agents should be straightforward with customers if the problem is too complex to address over the phone; if there is no quick fix; or if the problem is beyond the technician’s knowledge. Wanting to demonstrate one’s expertise when helping others is understandable, but if promises are given that can’t be satisfied, customers are likely to feel frustrated. Overall, customers are more forgiving if agents are honest and up front.


With self-service options continuing to become the norm, it is expected that Call Centers will be handling more technical calls than ever. Hiring employees with technical expertise is the first step in delivering great customer service, but rounding out these softer skills is vital to a holistic approach of customer care.

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

Friday Features: Zingtree Holiday Updates

NL-header-zing5

It’s really redundant to give ourselves a shout-out for giving new updates to our customers as a Holiday gift, since we do this throughout the year anyway. But every blog post needs a theme, so there you have it.

Here are the latest updates!

Some fixes for data entry forms:

  • Data entry fields now replace ALL occurrences of that variable in the tree, not just the first one. (h/t Christopher)
  • Passing data entry field variables to subtrees now works properly.
  • Identically named form fields in separate nodes caused data to be erased. We now only save data if it’s not blank.
  • Adds form data to email session transcripts (h/t Andrew).
  • Parent Actions can be used to pass Zingtree data to other systems.

And a smattering of other things:

  • Deleted trees no longer appear via publishing links (h/t Tess).
  • Bug fix: Tree with no nodes no longer crashes Designer (h/t Ben).
  • New Answers-only toggle for history display. Look for the [A] button at the top right of the History panel. (h/t William).

And finally, our Feedback page is making use of Zingtree’s recent Intercom chat integration, so if you have a suggestion, go over and tell us!

Zingtree Terminology: Understanding Your Decision Trees Pt. 2

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 to Zingtree, or just have a curious mind, our glossary of basic terms will help you understand how our system works.


Analytics

Zingtree Analytics includes data on your custom decision trees’ outcomes, traffic, location breakdowns and more. You’ll get detailed insights into how your trees are being used to guide product, service and process optimizations.

Authors

Authors are the individuals that have created a Zingtree decision tree, along with those who have access to view and edit. You can also refer to your Authors as “collaborators.” With various Zingtree plans, you can add anywhere from 1 to 50 different Authors to contribute to and collaborate on your decision trees; ideal for call centers and other companies with large teams.

End-User Sessions

In the digital world, an end-user is simply the person who is using your product and navigating through your decision tree. An end-user session refers to a person outside your company (not an employee or call center agent) interacting with your tree.

Zingtree’s pricing for support, troubleshooting, and other external applications works by counting these end-user sessions, meaning that you only get charged when a person clicks a button in your tree. Whether they use one click or 100, the cost remains the same.

Scoring

Zingtree’s Scoring feature allows you to assign a numeric value to each answered question, along with actions based on the running total score. Scoring with an Evaluation tree is ideal for generating interactive online tests, quizzes, assessments, training simulations and more.

As the user goes through your decision tree, Zingtree keeps a running total of the score values of all the clicked buttons. When you’re ready to act upon the total score, create a new “Score Branch Node,” where you can specify a range of score values to redirect to specific nodes.

Scripts

Much like in learning your lines for a play, a script is used as a guide for customer service agents to follow along with. Scripts are written in the company’s tone of voice, and adhere’s to its personalized standards, making it easier for agents to portray the correct information and provide help to the customers.

Zingtree offers a powerful call center agent scripting solution that lets you quickly create and deploy custom scripts, and then analyze them per session and view performance summaries.

Snapshots

Snapshots are a handy feature within Zingtree that collects and data that has changed from one decision tree version to another. With Snapshots, you can recover old versions of your trees, view your teammates’ edits, and compare revisions to the current tree you’re working on, and more.

Screen Shot 2015-12-09 at 2.10.34 PM

Snapshots are very helpful when creating trees with multiple revisions or working with a team. To find this tool, select More Tools, then Snapshots in your Zingtree account.

Tagging

Tagging lets you add a list of category tags to both nodes and trees, making it easier to organize nodes in large trees, as well as organize large libraries of trees.

If you’re working from your nodes and searching for a specific type, you can add one or more tags to each node, then use the Overview to show only those nodes that include a certain tag. You can also add one or more tags to each tree from the My Trees page, allowing you filter your list of trees based upon those tags.


Stay tuned for Part 3 of our Zingtree Terminology series coming soon, and check out Part 1 right here. If you have any questions in the meantime, please contact the team!