Agent Update Alerts for Call Scripting

Several contact center clients have asked for a way to display one-time notifications to agents when critical parts of an interactive decision tree have changed. This is easily accomplished using Zingtree’s Agent Update Alerts.


An agent alert appears like this:

Some key points about Agent Alerts:

  • The agent cannot continue to use the tree until they dismiss the alert.
  • Once the alert is shown to an agent, he/she will see it just once.
  • Alerts can appear on subtrees (trees launched via tree nodes), or the starting tree.
  • You can add and manage alerts from Account, My Agents, Agent Alerts.
  • Alerts are tied to specific trees. Currently, there are no universal alerts.
  • The Push Live mechanism has an easy way to optionally add an alert.
  • If you have multiple alerts set, they will be combined into a single alert message, rather than showing one-by-one.

Managing Agent Alerts

Alerts can be added, deleted or modified from a single place. Here’s how to manage them:

  1. Go to Account, My Agents.
  2. Click the red Agent Alerts button. The Alert Manager appears:

This page shows all active alerts for every tree in your organization. You can see alerts for specific trees by choosing the tree from the drop-down.

  • To add an alert, click the  Create New Alert button.
  • To delete an alert, click the delete icon next to an alert
  • To change the alert text, click the edit icon next to the alert.

Push Live Shortcut

If you’re using the Push Live tool, you can add an alert when you do a push.

Alerts created in this fashion can still be maintained using the Agent Alerts manager.

Alert us
if you find this feature useful, or have a suggestion to make it even better!


Making Your Knowledge Base Interactive with Decision Trees

A knowledge base of articles and resources is often at the very heart of a customer support strategy. An effective knowledge base will house materials that can help customers self-solve, troubleshoot issues, and better understand the details about products/services without the hassle of calling up your company on the phone or waiting for someone to get back to you via email.

Your typical customer support knowledge base includes categories of articles, tutorials, guides, how-tos and other helpful materials that can help to break down your products and services, and other important processes. Presenting this kind of information as readily available, bite-sized pieces, consumers are better able to help themselves; and, in turn, become more loyal to your company. In fact, stud­ies show that self-service support is considered a good, useful idea to 75% of con­sumers – 91% of those said that they would use an online knowl­edge base if it were easy to find, con­ve­nient to use, and (most importantly) applic­a­ble to their needs.

Why Interactive is Better

Decision trees are the ultimate tool for creating interactive knowledge bases that can serve internal or external purposes. Set in an interactive environment that can be embedded into any website or page, decision trees are an ideal way to help customers without the need for live agents or long support articles. Interactive knowledge bases allow you to:

  • Make content more engaging and easy to absorb
  • Support frictionless data collection
  • Automate support efforts to save time and money

For companies who have deployed Zingtree, like Applian Technologies, an interactive knowledge base is saving an incredible amount of time and money on support efforts – in their case, implementing a decision tree-based knowledge base saves over 15 hours every week on support communications and $30,000 of valuable human resources.

Our own Zingtree knowledge base is fully-interactive and built within our decision tree platform. Take a look at it here, or a quick peek below:

Our Best Tips for Building a Knowlege Base

Getting up-and-running with an interactive knowledge base shouldn’t be a huge project if you already have basic support articles written out already. There are a few key tips we like to share with support teams to get them started with an effective, highly-optimized knowledge base.

  1. Take what’s already out there and make it even better. We built a complete Gallery of decision tree examples, including many FAQ and troubleshooters, to help businesses adapt and create the best trees they can. You can also take a look at our own interactive knowledge base for some helpful notes, and those of our successful customers.
  2. Keep things as simple as possible, and provide concise questions and short answers. The short-and-sweet approach is largely appreciated by customers of all types, so it’s important to keep their time in mind when you craft up the copy for every support piece.
    Here’s an example of how not to write something:
    Q: Would you like to receive help on registration or product support?
    A1: I need help with Registration
    A2: I need help in Support.Here’s an example of how to clean it up for simplicity:
    Q: How can I help?
    A1: Registration
    A2: Support
  3. Use visuals, videos, diagrams, GIFs, and other types of media where it would be helpful for customers. Using photo-based media and adding relevant videos to your questions is a great system for communicating more with limited space.
  4. Collect customer data and feedback where it makes sense. With our decision tree platform, you can easily analyze where your customers are navigating to most on your knowledge base, where they are getting stuck, and even collect feedback on specific trees to make them better over time.


Want to see some first-hand, real-world examples of interactive knowledge bases (and other types of decision trees) on the Zingtree Gallery

Insights Success Interview: The 10 Most Innovative Contact Center Solution Providers 2018

Insights Success is “The Best Business Magazine” in the world for enterprises. Being a platform, it focuses distinctively on emerging as well as leading fastest growing companies, their confrontational style of doing businesses and the way of delivering effective and collaborative solutions to strengthen market share.

Zingtree was recently featured in the Insights Success roundup of the most innovative contact center solution providers of 2018, where our co-founder and CEO, Bill Dettering, was able to share some of the ideas and momentum behind Zingtree, as well as what makes it such a powerful tool. Here’s just a portion of the article below:

The Incredible change that led to the Birth of their Flagship Online Toolkit 

Zingtree was initially borne by an existing consumer software company that Bill had founded in the early 2000’s. While looking at ways to address the rising cost of customer support and repetitive tickets that were delivered on a daily basis, the company decided to hard code decision tree troubleshooters as part of its online support process.

What happened next was an incredible change and improvement in the support efforts; immediately, they saw a 25–30% reduction in the number of tickets received. This drastic reduction led them to the conclusion that many customers preferred to self-solve their inquiries and issues at any time, provided a guided online solution. This “Aha” moment initiated the development process of a simple-touse toolkit that allowed anyone to build their customized decision trees.

Easy-to-Use Characteristic to soar its Popularity 

Coming from a consumer background, Zingtree focused on developing a platform that does not require IT involvement. With its online-toolkit, content, and support, managers can easily build and manage their decision trees and agent scripts without the need of back-end developers and technical knowledge. Zingtree has received numerous comments from customers as to how fun and easy Zingtree’s solution is for creating, customizing, publishing, and managing decision trees online. From the initial launch of Zingtree, they discovered very quickly that customers had many and varied customer support needs that could ultimately be streamlined, simplified, and improved.

The idea of interactive troubleshooter-style trees for selfhelp technical support quickly expanded into other exciting areas. Call center companies started engaging with Zingtree for building, and testing guided agent scripts for their teams. Currently, 50% of the Zingtree customers are either call center companies or businesses that have employees who specifically use Zingtree for agent scripting purposes. As businesses see the benefits of a script as a guide for their agents, as well as an excellent tool for training and onboarding, they delve a little deeper into the use of customer-facing decision trees. This theme has become more common as companies are looking to streamline all organizational processes including the ability to provide immediate and unattended answers for self-solving.

Pick up the latest Insights Success to for more, or read the full article on their website here. 

Ready to get started with your own decision tree? Sign up or log in here.

4 Customizations to Make Self-Service Support More User-Friendly

When developing a customer-facing decision tree, an important piece is to add some personality, brand identity, and industry-relevant knowledge to allow end-users a more user-friendly customer support experience.

Implementing a personalized or branded color scheme, along with icons that relate to your company, will keep an easy-to-follow and digest structure throughout your support process. An interactive decision tree is the easiest way to help a user with visuals, where they can follow the trees effortlessly while being able to really learn from the guided instructions.

We’ve detailed each customizable element – and examples of how to use them correctly – to make your end-users even happier about their customer service experience!

1. CSS & Personal Style Customizations

Colors and icon choices communicate in subtle ways and can reinforce your brand and mission. Here are some ways to manage these:

Custom colors

We made it easier to adapt your decision tree to your personality or brand when customizing so your tree can fit your desired color, custom CSS files being the main one. Once you have created your ideal profile, you can simply add it to your decision tree product finder which will help reveal your true brand identity.

Animated themes

We had feedback from our users suggesting that it would be more user-friendly if we included a feature of animated themes, including colors but remaining easy-to-use. Our design team and engineers set out to create this recommendation with the main goal of making tree color customizations easy.

See the endless possibilities in this quick, fun video:

Color buttons and icons

Here’s the feature that will allow you to build your own personalized color buttons, icon imagery or even to include emojis within your page titles and buttons. To customize the style of your buttons, all you need to do is prefix the button text with special classes. For example, for your color buttons, choose:

  • .btn-blue
  • .btn-yellow
  • .btn-sky
  • .btn-purple
  • .btn-pink

To add an icon that helps guide your customer but also helps reveal your brand personality, add one or more of these classes:

  • .btn-yes
  • .btn-careful
  • .btn-arrow
  • .btn-thumbs-up
  • .btn-question

2. Visual Features for Creative Support

Video content is shaping user satisfaction across the internet. And with many uses and forms, this is something that more people are demanding, which is why video is the best way to improve your user experience. GIFs are also actively being incorporated into decision trees making the user experience more rewarding. A short clip of a difficult instruction, being repeated several times after 3 seconds or so makes the process of self-service a lot easier to follow.

When including still imagery, diagrams or other graphics into your customization, you are allowing the customer to be at the same pace when working towards a solution. Having reminders follow your tree also makes the service more user-friendly.

There are two main features when using visual aids with a decision tree, one is the effectiveness and the second is interactiveness. It’s so easily done, you can add it to any node you want.

3. Easy Data Collection and Presentation

The use of document nodes can be used for specific types of customized documentation that prove highly beneficial to the self-service aspect of support. Documentation can include building legal agreements, generating purchase orders or even a lead to a returns label that the user has personally generated. 

4. Messaging & Translations for Understanding

When publishing across multiple languages, creating a decision tree that works interactively for these can become complicated. With the translation customization, you can reach a larger user base who need the language localized. With localization management software, along with other custom support features, your users will find your platform much easier to follow. You can follow our instructions here on how to translate your decision trees.

It all starts with a good base of messaging, however. When communicating throughout your decision tree, you should write well and use industry language that is helpful and informative. For nodes with poorly descriptive language, it creates confusion and incomplete results. Here are some of the basics of writing effective nodes that will help you write informative questions that lead to a better, more personal experience. 

Make questions concise by focusing on one subject at a time and structuring to an easily absorbed manner.

What not to do:

If our system of tutorials and articles hasn’t been helpful, do you think you would consider switching service providers?

What to do:

Would you consider another provider if you were not able to self-solve using our knowledge base?

Use the right language so that every user can navigate through your tree knowing the subject and words being used. 

What not to do:

What kind of issue or problem is happening with your account? 

What to do:

How can we help? Please select a category.

Focus on an active voice so you can communicate areas appropriately that identify awareness of the issue within that action. 

What not to do:

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

What to do:

Follow our recommended guidelines below to solve your issue!

When navigating through the creation of your decision tree, have the customer at the forefront of your mind, and keep questioning the end user experience. If you need any other assistance, reach out to us so we can assist you with the best self-service solutions.


This article was originally published on November 14, 2017, and has been updated for accuracy. 

Customer Service Automation: How Far is Too Far?

Customer service automation

Customer service automation isn’t your average trend – quickly and surely, the use of automation tools are changing the way customer support teams and companies operate, communicate, and learn about customers over time. Specialized support software that allows organizations to build custom chatbots, launch interactive knowledge bases, trigger segmented emails, and many more automated services, have become as widely used around the world in order to improve customer service and experience.

A recent article from Harvard Business Review dives into the areas of customer service that are paving the way for future automation innovations, as well as ones that should remain untouched by automation. As some of their most innovative examples of automation in customer service today:

Various Silicon Valley startups have deployed robots that make pizzas, craft salads, and assemble artistic bistro sandwiches. In Boston, a robot works with labor nurses to schedule baby deliveries. Waiterless restaurants in China permit customers to order and pay through the WeChat app and feature robot servers that dispatch trays of food to the appropriate tables. In Japan, a robot named “Pepper,” that was conceived in part as a companion for the elderly, has honed its skills in a variety of service roles, ranging from retail assistant, to waiter, to Buddhist priest.

While these benefits are well-known and can be attributed to many improvements in customer satisfaction, experience, and personalization, there is always a point at which automation simply cannot do what a person can. The real question is: how much automation in your customer service strategy is too much? The experts at HBR have recognized in their article that:

For starters, the economics of service automation aren’t universally rosy. When a nationwide retail bank introduced online banking, customers who adopted it increased their total transaction volume and began visiting and calling the bank more, increasing costs and decreasing overall profitability. Similar dynamics can be observed in health care. Patients who adopted e-visits, for example, actually began showing up at the doctor’s office twice as often. One explanation for this pattern is that current technology is functionally limited, requiring people to seek out in-person help in addition to using automated services. But as innovation progresses, functional limitations are bound to fall by the wayside.

So, what is a company to do? First, it’s important to pay attention to the areas of successful innovation that customer service automation provides.

1. Automating transactional interactions, while facilitating human connections.

2. Supporting employees without getting in their way.

3. Enhancing customer and employee engagement.

4. Engaging customers in ways that won’t make human service providers cringe.

Read the full article on Harvard Business Review here


Customer service automation – while highly advanced – can only grow and evolve into more useful ways. At Zingtree, we’re looking forward to continuing to provide a versatile platform that allows companies to automate customer service, support, and the overall experience even further, without sacrificing personalization or ease-of-use.

Call Center Agent Scripts with Salesforce Lightning

Salesforce Lightning is the new, modern rewrite of Salesforce Classic, and can work well for Call Scripting. And as Lightning evolves, it is getting better at interfacing with pop-up applications like Zingtree, although it still lags behind the capabilities of Salesforce Classic. Here’s what can be done as of March, 2018.

Agent Experience

Here’s a quick video showing how the agent experience works. Unfortunately, Lightning doesn’t let you launch a new pop-up window like Classic does. It has to open in a new tab, and only after clicking a “confirm”.


Within your Salesforce setup, you can create a new custom button or link.

  1. In Lightning, go to Setup, Object Manager, Case, and create a new Detail Page Button or Detail Page Link:

  2. For the URL, make it look like this (substituting the tree ID of your script for #########):{!Case.OwnerEmail}&session_id=SF#########-{!Case.CaseNumber}
  3. Now add the button or link to your Case Page Layout. Go to Setup, Object Manager, Case, Case Page Layouts and select Case Layout.

  4. If you’re adding a Custom Button, click Buttons, and drag the button we created called “Agent Script” into the Custom Buttons area.

    If you’re including a link, click Custom Links, and drag the link we created called  “Call Script” into the Custom Links area.


We expect Lightning to get better as time goes on. Got any tips or updates for us? Please share!

3 Massive Ways Decision Trees Are Improving Process Flows

We understand how key well-laid out process flows are for mapping each stage of the business processes our customers deal with every day. Traditionally crafted up using expensive software or other somewhat clunky online formats, process flows should be a core practice within any industry in order to better standardize every phase and minute detail of how your business is run.

Interactive decision trees are quickly becoming a preferred solution for improving process flows, providing a powerful, yet simple platform for building and running through any process, click-by-click.  Below we’ve outlined some of the biggest ways that decision trees can improve process flows in many major departments or areas of focus for your business.

3 Uses of Decision Trees for Process Flows

1. Streamlined Scheduling

Whether you’re referring to scheduling patients or customers for an appointment, internal meetings, or production planning, an interactive environment is one that can do it all. Already a comprehensive platform for clicking through predefined paths, decision trees allow businesses and organizations to schedule and collect any associated data needed.

In the case of Spokane ENT (a specialty medical practice in Washington), decision trees for scheduling have enabled them to optimize scheduling, help agents intelligently pre-diagnose patients and collect key medical information in a secure environment, and ultimately eliminate unnecessary appointments.

Pro Tip: Integrate decision trees with Calendly to make scheduling simpler.

2. Improved Procurement

Procurement is another process that, when well-defined and executed internally, helps keep business operations purring away soundly. However, procurement is an intensely in-depth, complex business function that requires a lot of careful planning and powerful technology in order to perfect. Improving procurement can mean a myriad of things – chiefly that your organization will save money, grow revenue and business opportunity, and create a more sustainable environment for managing purchases and delays.

For PMI, utilizing decision trees to improve the procurement process flow has been an incredible asset, as they allow employees to be guided through complicated purchasing journeys effortlessly. PMI’s decision trees have automated process flows with a standardized approach to ensure one set of procedures are being followed for every purchasing decision.

Pro Tip: Use logic nodes in decision trees to assign a series of rules based on specific conditions being met. 

3. Better Communications

CRM and other communication systems are the ideal way to guide potential new customers, manage and maintain relationships, and communicate directly about important or relevant company updates – this is one business process flow that should never be left cooling down on the backburner. One of the most straightforward ways to improve existing CRMs (like Zendesk, Freshdesk, etc.) is to integrate its features with decision trees.

Interactive decision trees connect seamlessly with any CRM system to simplify complicated processes, help customers find solutions and navigate complicated forms, and more. For companies using an email communication tool to get in touch with new, existing, or old customers, Zingtree decision trees can also be linked up with MailChimp in order to make the steps from entering an email address to add any information collected during a session into an email list.

Pro Tip: Create a master tree to link all individual trees to one centralized location.  


Having a firm grasp on your businesses processes and a well-ironed out process flow for each main area will only help to make your company that much stronger. Armed with decision trees that can simplify, streamline, and reduce friction within many process flows, any area of focus – from customer service to procurement management – can be vastly improved on.

Ready to improve process flows within your business or organization? Please get in touch with us!

The Visual Designer: Drawing Out Your Decision Tree

Everyone prefers their own way of creating, and it can come in many forms. To address this, we built Zingtree with a few different ways to design and construct an interactive decision tree (as well as some great ways to publish them!). For the more visual learner, the Zingtree Visual Designer allows you to draw out your decision tree.

This “whiteboard” style lets users create nodes, along with their connections, and see the nitty gritty details of how the tree functions all on one screen. In terms of ease-of-use and full-scale layout views, Visual Designer really can’t be beaten.

Here’s how to get started with the Visual Designer:

1. Once you log in to your Zingtree account and start Designer, you’ll see a screen that looks like the one shown below, with one node already in place as a green box. This is the very first node your users will see and interact with.

2. Double-click on the Node you’d like to change and an edit window will pop up conveniently to dig into. You can edit the Title, Question and main Content segments to your liking, as well as add in any Data Entry fields.

3. Drag new nodes into the design area – these correspond to the pages in your decision tree. Again, select the green box to edit each node’s Question, Content, etc.

4. Add a Final Answer Node and edit to fit your needs, when you’re ready. These will appear in blue, to differentiate from your green Question Nodes.

5. Continue dragging new nodes into the design area to create these Questions & Answer Nodes, and then connect them using labeled arrows. The connecting arrows represent the button selections from each node.

6. Finish linking all of your nodes using this method, and you’ll end up with a finished product that looks something like this image below. You can click on any node or button/arrow to highlight connections and see more detail.

Please keep in mind that things can get confusing for more complex trees that require more nodes. 

BONUS TIP! Automatically re-arrange the nodes in your decision tree visually with just a single click, so you can more easily see every node and connection without constantly opening each one.


For a more in-depth tutorial, watch this video to see how to build the example tree above using Zingtree Designer:


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


This article was originally published on Jan 30, 2016, and has been updated for accuracy. 

3 Simple Ways to Show Customers That You (Really) Care

While February is typically reserved for the romantics of the world and sharing appreciation to those in our lives, we believe the practice of showing people that you care should be a year-round effort. For businesses in industries from retail to technology and everywhere in between, customer appreciation and true customer care are vastly important to long-term successes.

From a purely bottom-line perspective, happy and loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase on average. From a more human point of view, happy and loyal customers are more informed about the product, satisfied with the results or experience, and get far more use out of a purchase. So, what are some simple ways to insert more customer care into your over-arching customer support strategy?

1. Pay attention to their feedback (and make it easy for them to provide it).

Customer feedback is golden – for every customer who complains about a product or service you’re offering, 26 other customers remain silent. Every part of customer feedback should be carefully considered, analyzed internally, and taken into action when needed in order to really show that you are listening to what your customers have to say. To show your customers that you are really listening would be to:

  • Ask for their ideas. Find a way to kickstart a discussion and open up their ideas with clever questions that can open the feedback they provide.
  • Reward their suggestions. No one incentive is ever recommended, as it largely depends on the type of company in question. Some offer cash, vouchers, discounts, or other value-based incentives.
  • Send them a ‘thanks.’ Always send a thank you! Your thanks will show your customers that you care about how they’re enjoying the product or service and thank them for choosing you.

With the right tools and platforms in place to collect this valuable data – like an embedded feedback form or survey – you’ll be able to take the guesswork and manual effort out of the gathering, analyzing, and taking action on customer feedback.

2. Personalize and humanize the service they’re getting.

When providing a service, you should always make the customer feel as if it is personal to them. This can be as simple as using their name during contact or through online communications; it’s about going the extra mile to make sure they know they’re being heard. This can be adapted and worked into customer service training programs, used when crafting your customer-facing newsletters, and tapped into during any other customer interaction that may be had.

Going hand-in-hand with personalization is the concept of being human – at no point should the customer feel like they’re talking to a robot when on the line with your customer service team. If you have one basic call script and a team of agents reading from the same one, but no one includes any personalization or humanity into the interaction, the customer will likely walk away feeling disconnected. 

3. Always ask, never assume.

Rather than assuming what your customer might expect from you, it’s far more effective and engaging (and less risky) to ask them. Research shows that businesses are wrong more than 50% of the time due to assumptions, which will easily result in an annoying customer experience that could have easily been dealt with from the very start of any interaction.

Ask questions, gently nudge for more information, and listen intently to the response. If you reach out for further help with new product ideas and other suggestions and actually put those into practice, customers will know that you care and that they have an impact on (and direct connection to) your business. The real way to show customers you care about them is to take action to improve their experiences; show gratitude by proving you’re listening, and take the feedback to your advantage to work toward a better future.

Many of our own customers have submitted feature requests, brand new use cases, and incredibly helpful suggestions that we’ve taken to heart and implemented over the course of many, many decision tree updates over the years – it’s been a win-win situation for ourselves as a growing and evolving product, and them as customers gaining more value every day out of what we offer.

If you’re looking for an easier way to personalize the customer experience or allow your employees to connect and collect better data, see how a decision tree gives you full flexibility in the way your customers are being cared for. If you need more guidance, our team is more than happy to assist you – reach out to us for more advice!

What Kind of Valentine’s Card Should I Give?

Valentine’s Day is back yet again! Whether you’re searching for last-minute ideas for your significant other, mom and dad, or other VIP’s in your life, the simple and sincere Valentine’s card is a staple of the season that shouldn’t be forgotten.

Rather than going to your neighborhood pharmacy and grabbing a generic option last-minute or sketching up something on your own, our custom decision tree will help you find the perfect Valentine’s Day card online that you can download, print, and customize.



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