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!

Industry Leaders Weigh In: Here are the Top Strategies for Customer Retention

We’re incredibly invested in the customer support industry, its processes, and all of the other key business functions that affect it. Customer retention is one such area that is directly intertwined with that of customer support – so much so that these strategies should be intertwined as well. The vast majority of customers will abandon loyalties and switch brands or providers due to poor customer service; to manage retention and reduce churn, customer support efforts need to be a top priority.

The customer relationship is far from over after they make a purchase, and strategic businesses are aware that retaining a happy customer in the long-term is much more valuable than getting a one-time buy. NGData used their resources to reach out to dozens of the industry’s top-ranking customer retention experts to gain more insight into what businesses can do to foster these long-lasting customer relationships.

“What’s the #1 way organizations can improve customer retention?”

Create a good experience, that’s consistent and predictable, and you have a shot at customer retention.

The root of retention and loyalty comes service, which actually starts at the top, with the leadership determining if they want a customer-focused culture. That culture is what drives the customer experience. The way leadership treats employees drives the customer experience. The way employees treat each other drives the customer experience. In short, what is happening on the inside of an organization is felt by the customers on the outside. It’s on the inside of the company where customer retention begins.

– Shep Hyken, Shepard Presentations

 

Hire the right employees.

Employee satisfaction is reflected among your customers. Continue ongoing training efforts with employees to keep them engaged and constantly learning how to better themselves at the workplace to create a better experience for your customers. Customer service begins with engaging your employees, and engaged employees have shown reduced turnover rates in about 70 percent of our customers.

– Michelle Burke, WyckWyre

 

Be responsive.

If employees are trained to truly listen to the customer and give them what they want and or need, organizations would see a measurable improvement in their customer loyalty numbers.

In an effort to reduce costs and to deal with a large number of customers (with minimal staff), organizations have tended to streamline their processes and train their customer service staff to give customers a pre-determined or “canned” response. There are companies who actually limit the amount of time a customer service representative can spend with a customer, regardless is the problem has been resolved or not.

– Janet Boulter, Center Consulting Group

 

Customer retention is a mixture of art and science.

On the art side, you need to be able to create and foster a meaningful relationship with all of your customers individually (in a B2B setting), putting in the required time and effort to go above and beyond what the customer’s expectations are.

On the science side, it’s important for sales to coordinate closely with marketing to provide automatic follow up with the customer. Having consistent, useful communication with the customer is vital to establishing trust in your brand and guaranteeing continued business.

– Raphael Ventura, The Expert Institute

 

Simply care about the customer as a person, not a sales generating object.

It is business 101, but organizations have a tenancy to think about customers as data and widgets in the technology age. When you ask the question “how do I want customers to talk about my company in a year?” it forces you to see them as a human with actual thoughts and as a long term relationship to care about.

Irasema G. Jeffers, Online Amiga

 

To foster better relationships with their customers by providing:

  • a frictionless user experience, and
  • actionable insights for three transaction criteria: recency, frequency, and value.

– Zach Goldstein, Thanx

 

Through the carefully combined efforts of better personalization, ongoing communication, high-quality employee training, and a customer-centered strategy, customer retention is one business metric that can steadily be improved. Businesses who are looking to boost up their customer support and customer retention strategies can try out powerful technologies and tools that can be used to streamline these processes. Perfect for contact centers, eCommerce businesses, and startups of all sizes, interactive decision trees are the most flexible, easy-to-customize solution for providing personalized customer experiences.

Decision Tree Improvements – January 2018 Updates

This past month’s updates include some new security and access restriction features, performance enhancements, interface improvements, and a variety of small bug fixes. Here are the details:

New Features

  • New Change Log report to show what authors have done. Also exportable to CSV.
  • New Hidden Field data entry type (for Ted B, Others)
  • New API calls for agent_add, agent_remove. (These are no-login agents.)
  • Google sign-in authentication for agents (for Benjamin)
  • Push Live tool
  • Server updates and extra capacity
  • Performance enhancements with smarter file caching. Added cache_tree URL parameter option.
  • Different Single Sign-on Identity Providers for authors and agents.
  • Internally logging security events (logins, failed logins, email sends, tree changes)
  • Single Sign-on logins for agent portal (Lynne H.)
  • ##include_url: ## template macro for loading data from 3rd party URLs
  • Agent Portal now has #agent_first_name# variable. (Craig S.)
  • Can now pass new merge variables into a pause-and-resume session (Geoff)

Updates

  • Updated Zendesk Agent Scripting App. New agent_tags variable included in URL, no more flashing when going between tickets.
  • Session summary from Zendesk app now shows which agent did which click (Sonny R.)
  • Add Agent can now use a no-login option.
  • Max video upload size is now 150 MB (from 50 Mb) (Darryl )
  • Session Info cookie is now protected by https.
  • Agent portal node search now includes node tags (Jonathan B)

Interface Enhancements

  • Reordered Add Node selections based upon popularity.
  • Reordered node icons in Designer by popularity.
  • New Tutorials and Videos.
  • Easier-to-use Edit Content Node. Now uses tabs to surface advanced options.
  • Pop-up editors in Designer now use more screen space.
  • Easier-to-navigate Settings tool uses tabs.
  • Tools pages and drop-down tools menu reorganized.
  • Consistent tree info display across tools.
  • Formatting of default hosted link on Publishing Tools page – removed extra spaces at front.
  • No more weird message when viewing gallery trees in Designer.
  • Node editor – Data entry fields no longer appear by default in question nodes.
  • Node editor – switching between question and answer types now keeps tabs straight.
  • Node editor – Dragging to reorder buttons or data entry fields now positions items properly in range of editor.
  • Reordering nodes in Simple Overview now shows node being moved in proper position.
  • Simple Overview no longer shows empty “Variables: “
  • Session Details no longer unnecessarily shows tree name from starting tree in each step.
  • Node editor no longer flashes a bunch of blank buttons when first loading.

Fixes

  • Archiving Development version of a tree also archives the live version (Vlad).
  • No longer showing button class overrides (i.e. .btn-red) in front of History (Tal D.)
  • Designer no longer adds “score” variable to new nodes.
  • Zapier interface handles newlines in data entry variables properly (i.e. Session History variable) (Gabe L.)
  • Importing session_history variable into a pause and resume session no longer causes a JS error (John H.)
  • #agent# now gets used as a variable in Agent Portal (Ted B.)
  • Space character in agent login no longer makes agent portal tree viewing fail (Gordon S.)
  • Cleaned up tree search tool for Live vs. Development trees.
  • Nodes with tree search forms now locate live or development versions depending on live/dev status of the originating tree.
  • Tree search nodes no longer always return results where page title had “search” in it. Also didn’t properly look for page titles.
  • FAQ and end-user tree searches no longer return every node when searching keywords “title”, “span”, and other HTML elements.
  • Zapier authentication no longer ignores fields that were once empty (Josh D).
  • Zendesk Agent App: Newline in Zendesk custom field or merge variable value caused no session to be saved.
  • Session Matrix report uses faster queries, no longer displays button formatting overrides.
  • Responsive image selection now works properly for all image insert operations.
  • Compare Trees tool no longer shows “Return to previous tree” as an option.
  • Data Entry Fields: Required markers for placeholders now appear on the same line as input control for small display widths (Jay H.).
  • Data entry fields no longer have extra line space between them in small display widths (Jay H.).
  • Address auto-complete and validation no longer fails when a pre-existing address is in the form (Jay H.).
  • No longer tries to validate empty phone numbers (Jay H.).
  • “Add another” for repeating form entries is now working properly on all browsers.
  • Ill-formed include_url blocks no longer reload this tree, causing a propagation of buttons.
  • “Sorry, but you don’t belong to organization…” endless login loop message no longer when organization no longer accessible.
  • Clicking tree search results didn’t always change the page.
  • Clicking search results should now always change the page.
  • IPV6 addresses now work for getting location data (Raj).
  • Changing email address in login info now goes to proper logout page.
  • Copying or moving trees to new organizations also copies webhooks. (Raj)

Credits

Thanks to all of our customers who contacted us with great suggestions and astute observations.

If you have a suggestion for us or see something that you think could be done better – please let us know!

Business Changing Technology: 5 of the Best Customer Success Stories

Any business operation can expect to have a variety of customers. Regardless of industry, no matter how big or small, every customer is different. Emotions can take the reins of your customer service strategy; the way to achieve customer success is dependant on how you apply your communication and understanding throughout the customer journey. This process is successful when singularly achieving positive acceptance, feedback, tools, and exit surveys.

Automation is an essential tool that companies are now relying on as a part of a larger technology integration to quickly improve customer service, process management, troubleshooting, and other key functions of a business. Many companies in the last several years have made strides in improving customer success, with the help of powerful automation tools and other technologies. We’re taking a look at just a few of their stories.

Evernote & Craftsman And Wolves

Evernote is a highly integrated, universal inbox where you can store just about anything imaginable; many businesses use Evernote as a notetaker in forms of PDF, to-do or pocket notebooks. Craftsman and Wolves is a one shop contemporary pâtisserie specializing in breakfast pastries, cakes, breads, and confections.

How Evernote Helps Craftsman And Wolves

Craftsman and Wolves are proud of pursuing their craft when facing numerous challenges – the main one is to achieve the expected standard for every item they make. They catalog menus, put market lists together, use to-do lists and execute lists for maintenance. Thanks to Evernote, they can update everything in real-time, so they’re in line with staff, communication is consistent, and no task will be missed. 

They say that because of their regular changes and the ability to adapt with Evernote, they are able to consistently apply their high turnover of pasty crafts and pass along their savings and time to their customers. 

View the case study. 

Shopify & Mindzai

Shopify is an eCommerce solution enabling businesses to organize and customize a personal storefront where all payment systems, tracking, and communication is at the click of a button. Mindzai uses blank products as an alternative to painting canvases where artists can create something more fun and unique.

How Shopify Helps Mindzai

Shopify provided the perfect platform for Mindzai to run their online business as easy as possible. They needed a website that was fully flexible and mobile-appropriate, so they didn’t have to deal with any eCommerce task themselves and could purely focus on their customer’s journey and overall success. With Shopify freeing their time, they could focus on their development, and most importantly, connecting more with customers.

View the case study.

Zingtree & Spokane ENT

Spokane ENT is a certified division of the Columbia Surgical Specialists. With a background of 20 years in professional ear, nose and throat care, they offer a service to enhance patients ease of life through their services. Zingtree is an interactive decision tree model for businesses that save time and money for every purpose. The powerful toolkit allows companies and call centers to build, customize, and publish personalized troubleshooters, agent scripts, process guides, and more.

How Zingtree Helps Spokane ENT

Spokane ENT has a large practice with multiple specialties in various locations, therefore they needed a system to handle their sporadic scheduling. Along the way of booking appointments, they realized they needed a more intelligent way of gathering patient information and assigning the proper specialist. Zingree’s interactive decision trees allow schedulers to easily guide customers through pre-diagnostics, and accurately classify and route patients to the correct department,  eliminating unnecessary visits.

This simplified process enables Spokane ENT to collect patient symptoms and quickly schedule them to accompany their testing. Zingtree decision trees save their customers and doctors time while offering easily accessible information.

View the case study.

Hubspot & Parlor Skis

HubSpot is an all-in-one inbound marketing and sales software that companies use for visitor attraction and lead conversion. Parlor Skis is a personalized service for ski equipment that offers an experience over service – due to their range of materials, designs, and customizations.

How Hubspot Helps Parlor Skis

Before HubSpot, Parlor Skis had issues with CRM and excessive email threads where orders would get lost and the production and sales had been affected. HubSpot’s software allowed a smoother service where Parlor Skis were able to categorize and track orders right through production, and deliver thanks to their “intuitive and simple to use product.” With an elaborate feature for personalization, Hubspot enabled Parlor Skis to categorize orders which effectively enhanced their success for customer communication.

View the case study.

Freshbooks & Milieu Interior Design

Freshbooks is an accounting software designed for small businesses, making expenses, invoicing and time tracking, being simple and secure to use. Sarah is an Architectural and Interior Designer who runs her own sole proprietorship, Milieu Interior Design, who needed more flexibility and control due to family commitments. 

How Freshbooks Helps Milieu Interior Design

Before Freshbooks, Sarah of Milieu Interior Design used separate spreadsheets for all business activity which became far too complicated to manage by herself. Freshbooks now saves Sarah a lot of time due to its simple capabilities, compared to inputting separate data under various spreadsheets. Now, she can also use the same platform to record hours and invoices together, saving a lot of time that can be turned into valuable face-time with clients and customers. 

View the case study.

 

When technology is integrated within business functions, it’s proven to be an invaluable asset for productivity, budgeting, customer service, and so much more. Decision trees are one such tool that can help organizations of all shapes and sizes to improve across these areas – with a robust online builder, examples for every industry, easy publishing, and analytics, it’s a completely comprehensive solution.

To find out how Zingtree can be integrated into your business functions and help to improve customer success, check out our gallery and see examples of where decision tree models can be used. If you want to test it out, ask us a question or jump in and sign up for our free 30 day trial, our tutorials can guide you all the way.

How AI & Automation are Powering Retail Customer Experience

2017 was a year that defined a whole new wave of evolution for user experience in the retail and eCommerce industry. AI and automation are true drivers of change in this new era of forward-thinking customer experience, and retailers and online businesses are having to change their approaches to keep up with this standard.

Gartner predicts that by 2020 85% of customer interactions will be managed by AIwhich doesn’t leave a lot of time for brands to embrace AI and automation, and iron out any challenges associated with the technology. Additionally, Forrester expects that AI will drive faster business decisions in marketing, eCommerce, product management, and other areas of the business by helping close the gap from insights to action.

Automated systems and AI, while different inherently, serve similar and complementary functions for eCommerce businesses. With the retail trends for 2018 and beyond leaning more and more toward streamlined user experiences, simple product selection, and easy-to-access customer service, AI and automation can be put in place to better optimize, satisfy, and convert customers.

The Effects of AI & Automation Within eCommerce

Internet Retailing recently found that seven in ten consumers want artificial intelligence to transform their experiences. Additionally, 67% of businesses believe that using AI technology is a priority. Here are a few specific examples of how AI is being used in eCommerce today:

  • Improving the Accessibility of Data

There are two forms of data that retailers have easy access to – behavioral and personal. Shoppers are fueling this accessibility when they use email addresses or social media accounts to log in, communicate across other platforms about the related products or engage with an article that might have some influence on product knowledge. This is the degree of interest to cope with as a business in real-time or at an individual level.

  • Mimicking AI for Brick-and-Mortar

While the use of artificial intelligence itself is increasing in popularity, so too is the use of retail business functions and automations that can mimic AI in person. By mimicking the use of AI in eCommerce pure-plays, brick-and-mortars can implement similar levels of personalization. AI can be used to provide personalized websites, tailored product recommendations, more relevant product search results, as well as immediate and useful customer service.

  • Generating Reviews with Bots

A famous benefit of marketing new products is known in the form of generating fictional feedback to boost their ratings. This contributes to a growing number of reviews on websites which result in a higher overall number of interactions, along with more sales. The term “crowdturfing” has been created due to the high level of reviews that can be made on product profiles.

Currently, AI is powering leads, sales assistance, personalization, all the way up to payment services and returns. For example, the platform Conversica is a sales assistant software that allows automation to enhance the sales process by conversing with other internet leads which have already been identified. They already claim an average engagement rate of 35%, due to a customizable software which can also be used to re-engage or cross-sell.

 

Automation is equally being used in eCommerce, as a method of personalization, fast-response, self-help, and product selection, which contributes to the overall experience of any shopper. Here are a few specific examples of how automation is being used in eCommerce today:

  • Simplifying Product Finders

The journey to success is being able to guide a customer to the point of purchase. While strategies will vary, automation has features that will assist this guidance. Introducing guided decision trees that are embedded directly in an eCommerce website is a proven automation for improving the journey from discovery to purchase. Allowing customers to quickly navigate and find what they want or need is critical to a positive customer experience. 

Phoenix Bats is one such company that has integrated these custom product finders, helping them to streamline the product-selection process and cut back on the product or inventory-related support questions.

  • Providing Interactive Knowledge Bases

Interactive knowledge bases are the very foundation of support that allows customers to troubleshoot quickly, solve any type of issue, and find the answer to any question. Armed with guided instructions that are compacted into smaller, more digestible pieces, interactive knowledge bases save eCommerce and retail businesses a ton of time, money, and expended energy on support-related tasks. With the trends leaning more and more toward customers wanting self-service support, it’s an ideal solution. 

  • Personalizing and Streamlining Experiences

As standards are continuing to increase across customer experiences, it’s critical to have a personalized and streamlined error-free experience open to your customers; it’s the best possible way to improve both sales and conversion ratesNowadays there is a greater demand for businesses to operate at higher standards while also personalizing the experience in a user-friendly way. Decision trees are an essential tool for streamlining the kinds of experiences that customers have previously gotten hung up with – everything from product selection to questions about sizing or pricing.

The focus of AI and automation has become a necessity for the retail industry, and eCommerce companies are looking more deeply into expanding their uses of powerful technology in order to have a more competitive edge. These automated and AI-driven processes are making more positive customer experiences, helping to collect more valuable purchasing behavior data, and improving sales and conversion rates.

Zingtree‘s decision tree toolkit was designed with both the business and the customer in mind. A platform for creating, customizing, publishing, and managing interactive decision trees, Zingtree is able to deliver answers at the click of a button. Want to see how it works? Explore our Gallery to showcase plenty of examples and inspiration for your business.

5 Trends in Contact Center Training to Pay Attention To

Contact Center trends

The training systems and programs put in place at contact centers have everything to do with the overall success, productivity, and effectiveness of the agents it employs. As technology rapidly improves and the industry continues to evolve, it’s important for contact center managers and the like to consider the types of trends, techniques, and tools that companies can easily implement.

A recent ICMI article goes into depth on some industry changes, trends, and expectations that will be key to a contact center’s performance this year. Right off the bat, we’re seeing a lot of similarities between what contact center agents find most important and helpful in a training session compared to what customers are coming to expect in daily consumer experiences. The biggest areas of focus? Streamlined and customized experiences, digestible information, and easy communication.

1. Streamlined Training

“Teams need to adapt to create and provide training that reflects these changes quickly and efficiently. The ability to adapt and provide productive learning about new info, products, procedures, and services defines call center success. These changes are never-ending, and contact center agents need to know how to sell and support them.”

2. Customized Experiences

“Every employee is on a unique journey and brings individual goals, strengths, and opportunities for their call center team. Customized training paths that focus on both onboarding and ongoing training will drive higher employee engagement and better business outcomes than ever before.”

3. Bite-Sized Information

““Microlearning” is a new buzzword in the training dictionary. It provides training that is broken down into bite-sized pieces in order to educate agents without requiring a vast time investment. These training sessions are focused on a single subject and typically range from five to 15-minute increments.”

4.  Social Learning Know-How

“Social learning aids training by making it a shared activity among contact center agents. Adaptive technologies such as chat boxes, forums, and Slack can reinforce critical learning concepts for agents while on the job. This is also key because employees tend to be more successful when they work and learn in group settings.”

5. Augmented and Virtual Reality

“These cutting-edge technologies provide useful applications in educational training sessions, especially for contact center agents. Instead of watching videos, or listening to a recorded interaction, leaders can place agents in roleplay situations where they gain hands-on-experience and practice their skills.”

 

Contact centers that are able to provide these levels of improved experience, social knowledge, ease-of-use, and personalized information within training systems, as well as everyday customer communication practices, will be in great shape for 2018 and beyond. Zingtree interactive decision trees are the only tool out there that can address every one of these critical trends for contact center training and customer experience.

Employee training programs, when executed well, can turn around the most effective, productive, and happy staff a business has ever seen. By setting up an interactive training program using online decision trees, you’ll provide a powerful platform for staff to learn from anywhere, and much more easily. Have any questions or want to see a custom demo on getting set up with Zingtree decision trees for training purposes? Get in touch with us at any time. 

Verifying Agents using Google Sign-in

Besides using Single Sign-on to limit access to your Zingtree decision trees, a simpler way to do this is to leverage Google Sign-in to verify the identity of agents or employees using your trees. This is incredibly easy to implement. In short:

  1. Add a list of authorized agents to your organization using the My Agents tool.
  2. Enable Google Sign-in Verification in Zingtree.
  3. Make sure each agent is logged into their Google accounts.

For example, if you have added an agent identified as joe@gmail.com, if Joe is logged into his Google account as joe@gmail.com, he will have access to your trees. If Joe is not logged into his Google account, he will be prompted to do so.

Setup Details – Step by Step

Each agent must have their own Google account.

The Zingtree setup is all done from the My Agents area:

First of all, add your agents to your account as follows:

  1. Go to Account, My Agents.
  2. Click Add One New Agent or Add Multiple Agents.
  3. Finish the prompts to add agents. The agent logins must match their Google logins.

Next, click the Enable Google Sign-in Verification button.

When all is set up properly, your My Agents page will have a list of agents, and look like this:

Agent Portal Link

If your agents are using the Zingtree Agent Portal, a special link to the portal will appear at the bottom of the My Agents page like so:

Give this link to all agents using the Agent Portal.

Other Means of Access

If agents are using trees embedded into linked from a web page or CRM,  the login process will happen automatically.  There’s nothing else to set up!

Adding Agents via the Zingtree API

If your company has a central area to provision agents, you can add and remove programmatically them using the Zingtree API. See the agent_add and agent_remove calls.

 

 

Push Live: A Simple Decision Tree Publishing and Approval Process

Some of our larger customers have asked for a simple process for managing changes to their decision trees. When there are multiple people involved in making edits, and the final versions need approval, the Zingtree Push Live tool makes this procedure a breeze.

Push Live lets you have two versions of a tree – a development version and a live version. Your team makes changes to the development version, and when these changes are ready to go live, an administrator approves these changes by invoking the Push Live tool to update the live version of the tree.

Using Push Live is optional, and can be implemented at any time.

Overview

Here’s how Push Live organizes the publishing process:

  1. An author or authors make changes to a tree.
  2. Once the new tree is approved for release, an adminmistrator invokes a Push Live so that the new tree is available to end-users and agents.
  3. All changes and push events are tracked through the Snapshots tool.

Setup

Here’s how to set up a tree for Push Live:

  1. Select your tree from My Trees.
  2. Go to the Settings tool, click the Push Live tab, and check Enable Push Live.

  3. Make sure to click Update All Settings next.

Managing Live and Development Versions

You can switch between the development and live version of your tree from the main Tree Tools screen. Go to My Trees, and select a tree, or use the All Tools option in the Tools drop-down on every page.

Select Development or Live from the Version selector:


IMPORTANT: Use Live Publishing Links

The live version of a tree has different links than the development version. Make sure you are using the Publishing Links code for the live version of your tree by switching to the live version before using the Publishing Links tool.

The tree ID for the live version of a tree is the same as the development version, except that it adds 000 to the end of the ID. For example: If your tree ID is 123456789, the ID of the live version is 123456789000. So you’ll need to use different publishing links when making the live version of your tree available to others.

Pushing Changes Live

In order to update the live tree, you need to have Administrator rights on that tree.

Once you’re ready to “go live”, invoke the Push Live tool from the main Tools page, or the Tools drop-down. You’ll be asked for update notes on this version, which makes it easy to track what changed.

You can see the history of changes (with the update notes) for each update of the live version using the Snapshots tool (under More Tools).

Using Tree Nodes with Live Versions

If you have several trees under the Push Live process, and you are using tree nodes to link them together, Zingtree will ensure the proper development or live version is linked. When editing in the development version, use tree nodes that reference the development versions for your other trees. When you push live, those tree nodes will go the live versions of the other trees if they exist.

Here are the rules:

  • Tree nodes in the development version go to development versions of other trees.
  • When you push live, tree nodes in the live version go to live versions of those trees.
  • If a live version of a tree node doesn’t yet exist, the development version is used instead.

Give Us Feedback!

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Health Insurance Decision Trees: How Blue Shield of California Uses Zingtree


Operating within a large call center for healthcare insurance is a complex process. Healthcare specialties aside, any type of insurance is complicated both in discussion and when put into practice – agents working in insurance call centers need to be well-trained for every conversation. For Blue Shield of California, these difficult healthcare insurance processes are a constant occurrence.

“We are a call center in the health insurance field that takes member and provider calls in regards to eligibility, benefits, and claims processing. We have so many written documents to guide our representatives through processes which can be quite long when written out in a step action method.”

Improving Call Center Processes with Interactive Decision Trees

For insurance call centers, documentation and standardization of processes can be a source of stress for employees. However, with the right techniques and tools in place, keeping up with written materials and standardizing support workflows and call scripts can lead to a profound improvement in customer experience, support, and overall productivity.

Agent scripts and decision trees for insurance are one solution that has simplified and streamlined the types of insurance processes that Blue Shield of CA (and many other healthcare and insurance organizations) handle every day. Traditional call scripts and knowledge bases of information are quickly being upgraded to interactive decision trees that are far more effective, easy to build, and simple to navigate.

Interactive decision trees and agent scripts for insurance make it easy to follow processes, select products or other options, and collect critical customer data. In Blue Shield’s case, they have “begun implementing Zingtree to bring the written process to a more interactive state” in order to truly optimize and improve the process of customers receiving the answers they need.

“Zingtree has allowed us to make these step action tables more interactive and simplifying the process. A representative now, because of Zingtree, can get to their answer in 3 steps instead of 10 steps because we are able to frame the questions to get to the exact situation first.”

Cutting back on the time spent during each interaction leaves customers more satisfied, provides them with answers more quickly, and ultimately saves organizations valuable time and money on communications. Leading businesses and call centers worldwide use interactive decision trees to streamline and simplify every detail – meaning more people helped, more money saved, and more consistently-positive experiences.

Want to learn more about interactive decision trees and agent scripts for insurance? Discover our in-depth catalog of blogs and articles, or contact our demo team to see how decision trees can help.