Zingtree Tags: troubleshooter

Building Troubleshooters for Complex Products & Tools

interactive troubleshooter

Interactive troubleshooters are becoming a more frequent way to solve problems involving complex, technical products.  Since most complex equipment for industries like manufacturing, videography, and hardware/software have fewer “expert technicians,” the need for more intelligent support systems has risen. Where issues and complicated instructions run rampant, the fastest way to find the solution to a problem is with interactive troubleshooters.

Caterpillar, the US manufacturer of construction and farm equipment, is using Zingtree troubleshooters in their manufacturing plant. Likewise, IT Works, the most relied-on resource for collecting information on living environments. We even got our own start by building troubleshooters for another software company, Applian Technologies.

Self-Solving with Troubleshooters

With complicated products and tools, troubleshooters aim to help find the area of the problem by narrowing down other contextual factors. By offering an interactive format to simplify the issue, you have solved part of the problem already.

For highly-specialized or complex products, it can take a while to get fixed or for the right person in the right location to come and fix it, in many cases. Troubleshooting solutions make it easier for expert technicians to judge the issue and solve accordingly, and for less-than-expert level folks to figure things out.

Success Stories: Troubleshooters in Practice

For the U.S.-based manufacturing company, Caterpillar, this rings especially true. With an array of complex (and often large) manufacturing tools in use, equipment operators across the country needed an easier way to help work through issues and find answers anywhere. When an error code comes up, operators and technicians are able to assess the problem and find a way to fix it.

The decisions behind Applian’s customer support are also powered by our troubleshooters. The results? The company saved over $30,000 on resources per year and 15 hours of support time per week.

Here’s one of the Applian troubleshooters you can take a look at:

 

 

Building an Interactive Experience

Instructions are easier to follow from an interactive decision tree if the user is being guided by easy-to-follow, bite-sized directions. With complex products and tools, there is generally a lot of important information to cover – with no real understanding of your user’s experience level, it’s better to be as user-friendly as you can. You can even include videos, images and other types of media within your troubleshooter to make things even more easy to digest.

We have heaps of information on how to get started building troubleshooters right away – there’s a method that fits just about everyone! For more ideas, tips, and inspiration, we recommend having a look at our troubleshooters on display in the Gallery, as well as checking the blog for a catalog of best tips for building. There’s something in there for every industry!

After creating your in-depth, intuitive decision tree, end users will be delighted with the ease of providing a faster solution. Ready to start your revolutionary, problem-solving troubleshooter? Take a shot, or reach out to us if you need some expert advice.

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!

How to Make a Decision Tree


A decision tree is the ultimate tool for streamlining internal processes, customer communications, and various problem-solving or support methods. When presented in a custom, interactive environment, the potential for decision trees to really make an impact becomes much greater.

Strategy Matters

What is the purpose of your decision tree? You can utilize them for a variety of functions, including:

Once you identify your goal, it’s important to put together an in-depth outline to make building and connecting your decision tree nodes much easier.

How to Make a Decision Tree

Creating a decision tree is a snap with the right tools. Zingtree’s toolkit makes building decision trees accessible to anyone, offering 3 unique and easy-to-use options for creation.

The Wizard

With the Wizard, you’ll be prompted with a simple form-based approach to generate your tree. The interface walks you through the decision tree building process while you provide the questions (and answers) that your end-users will see and navigate through.

The Designer

Another option is to use the Designer tool to draw out a decision tree in an easy-to-digest, “white board” style. On just one screen, you’ll be able to create the nodes for your decision tree, along with all of their connections, to see exactly how the tree will flow and function.

Overview

Overview is a “built from scratch” form-based option for creating decision trees one node at a time. The editor consists of amazing tools for refining your decision trees – perfect for content-heavy decision trees and those who really know what they’re doing.

More Helpful Tips

  1. Use the Zingtree Gallery to tap into a wide range of existing decision trees and agent scripts. All of these live examples can be previewed and examined closely to see how they were built, as well as duplicated completely for a simple way to get started or gather inspiration
  2. Keep your writing style and language in mind when making a decision tree, and adapt your strategy based on what kind of information is being gathered or presented. For instance, getting good data is dependent on decision tree questions that take a quantitative approach.
  3. It’s important to always keep track of the health of your decision trees with Analytics & Reporting features. Additionally, you can receive direct feedback from end-users; these tools together make it easy to continually optimize for best performance.
  4. When in doubt, A/B testing using Logic Nodes in Zingtree is incredibly helpful for trying out different messages or offers, to see which performs the best.

Zingtree makes it easy to build question & answer style troubleshooters, scripts, sales filters and more to satisfy your customers, your agents and your business needs. Contact us to learn more or get started today!