An Interactive Guide for How to Deal With Angry Customers

The hectic holiday season means a stressful time for customers, business, and support representatives at all levels. While we have our own great tips for how to improve the functionality and flow of support during the holiday season, we thought we’d round up some high-level communications to help navigate some of the trickier situations.

Before the thick of the holidays are upon us, take a quick interactive course on how to deal with some of the most common scenarios where a customer could become upset, angry, or frustrated. Good luck!

 



 

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

Generating Custom Documents Using Document Nodes


We’ve had several requests to create a final, single page document based upon answers to decision tree questions. Zingtree’s Document Nodes makes this powerful document generation capability a reality.

With the help of Document Nodes, you can now complete tasks like:

  • Making custom sales brochures.
  • Building legal agreements.
  • Generating purchase orders.
  • Creating evaluations and assessments.

For a simple example, examine our What Computing Device Do I Need? decision tree from the Zingtree Gallery.

Document Nodes Overview

Document Nodes display the content from one or more answer nodes on a single page, based upon variables and values. Variables can be from one of these sources:

  • Data Entry field values.
  • Scoring variables from button clicks.
  • Scoring variables set from Data Entry field list boxes or radio buttons.
  • Variables introduced from calls to Webhooks.

Here’s how it looks in the Document Node editor:

Note that scoring variables are a running total.  So if you set variable v to 1 in one place, and to 2 in another, the value of v will be 1+2 = 3.

Building a Tree to Generate a Document

To build a decision tree that generates a document based on answers selected, we recommend these steps:

  1. Create your question nodes, and assign variables to your responses.
  2. Create answer nodes for all of the possible snippets of content you’ll want to show in the final document.
  3. Create a document node.

Set Up: How to Create a Document Node

Here’s how to create a fully-functional Document Node, step-by-step:

  1. From Overview, click Add Node.
  2. Select New Document Node.
  3. Add the pieces of content you want to serve to your end-users.

Each piece of content is set up like the image shown below. In this example, if the variable phone_calls equals “Yes”, we add the contents of node #6 to the final document.

Using the Document Node Editor

Drag this to reorder the content:

Click this to delete the content from the document node:

Pick a variable to test:

Pick an operation:

Pick a value to test against:

Edit the contents of the included node:

Show the contents of the included node:

Try the Document Node editor with a demo page here.

Hint: Once the content from an answer node is inserted, it won’t be inserted again.

Debugging Tip

Use a node that shows your variables while you are testing. The What Computing Devices do I Need example tree uses Node #10 as an ending piece in the Document Node so you can see the value of all of your variables.

Live Example

The What Computing Devices do I Need tree demonstrates a simple tree with a Document Node at the end.  This tree helps an end-user decide whether they need a phone, tablet or desktop PC, based on the answers to some questions.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions on this feature? Talk to us on live chat or by email!

This article was originally published on November 29, 2016. 

How to Use Process Flows to Build Mailchimp Lists

As end-users are using your Zingtree decision trees, you can add any information collected during the session into a MailChimp mailing list. Zingtree has a handy MailChimp App for just this purpose.

Here’s how to add data from Zingtree to a MailChimp list.

  1. In Zingtree, go to Account, My Apps, and click add Add MailChimp. The MailChimp configuration screen appears:

  2. Enter a name for this App. For example: “Add to Mailing List”.
  3. Enter the MailChimp API Key. To find your API Key, log into MailChimp, and select Account, Extra, API Keys. Generate an API key if you haven’t done so already.
  4. Enter your MailChimp List ID into the configuration. In MailChimp, click Lists, then select Settings from the drop-down next to your list. The List ID will be at the bottom of the page.
  5. Click Add MailChimp App when finished.
  6. Edit the node where you want to add to a MailChimp list. Look under Show Advanced Options, Send Message To App. Pick the name of the app you just created: “MailChimp: Add to Mailing List”.

  7. Important: The field names you are using in Zingtree must match the merge tag names in MailChimp. So if you have merge tags NAME and ADDRESS in MailChimp, you would use variables named NAME and ADDRESS in Zingtree. You can find the merge tags for each field in MailChimp from List, Settings under List fields and *|MERGE|* tags. They will appear like this:

  8. In Zingtree, the email address of the end user should be a variable named either EMAIL or email.

Once the end-user reaches the node you built in step 6, MailChimp will receive the information collected by Zingtree and add all matching fields to the list for email.

Do you have a cool application for this feature? Let us know on our Feedback page.

Managing Process Flows for Government CRM Systems

Government rules, regulations, and processes can be complicated. And while CRM systems can help manage interpersonal interactions, there’s no really good way to ensure that process flows are followed to ensure the public is getting the right information. Zingtree, combined with your CRM, can really help.

While adoption of government CRM has snowballed, the results and experiences are not as seamless as one might hope. With a lot of bureaucratic hold-ups, confidential information being passed along, and many complicated departments and processes, CRM systems can really only accomplish so much. According to a recent PC Quest article, these are the most common challenges currently facing government sectors using CRM:

  1. Stakeholder management
  2. Budget and profitability
  3. Complexity
  4. Data Management

Through these obstacles to overcome, government entities must also make sure that their CRM systems are up to par with what’s needed concerning efficiency, security, cost-effectiveness, and convenience. Unfortunately, most standalone CRM platforms can’t accomplish everything that bureaucratic systems genuinely need to manage relationships and help the people they serve.

Using Decision Trees with Government CRM

One of the most straightforward and simple ways to vastly improve existing CRMs is to integrate its features with that of a complementary tool. Decision trees connect seamlessly with any CRM system to simplify complicated processes, help citizens find solutions and navigate forms, manage data securely, and much more.

Zingtree decision trees for government are already assisting a variety of state, local and federal institutions as well as government contractors to streamline costly and confusing internal processes. Additionally, these advanced decision trees can be:

  • Embedded on any website, webpage, email, support knowledge base, and more.
  • Self-hosted on any government server to ensure that you comply with requirements for safeguarding confidential information.
  • Seamlessly integrated with tools already in use, like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Desk.com and more!

Watch our short video on how Zingtree decision trees help streamline technical support and other processes below:

Streamline Tech Support with Zingtree Interactive Troubleshooters from Zingtree on Vimeo.

You can learn more about getting started with dynamic decision trees on our blog, and see all of our CRMs and other integrations on our website.

Have any questions or want to see a personalized demo on getting set up with Zingtree decision trees? Get in touch with us at any time. 

How to Do Math Operations in Decision Trees

If you’re using Data Entry Fields or Merge Variables to bring data into your decision tree session, you may want to perform basic math operations on these variables. Zingtree offers a stock webhook option that lets you assign a new variable to the results of an addition, subtraction, multiplication or division operation. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Edit the node where you want the new variable (the result of the math operation) to be calculated.
  2. Click on Show Advanced Options.
  3. At Send message to app, choose Webhook: Zingtree Math.

  4. In the Message, you’ll need to provide the operation, the two variables or values to calculate, and a variable name for the result. In the example above, we’re assigning a variable named result to the sum of variables a and b. Variables must be enclosed in # characters.

Example Calculations

Here are some message examples:

&op=plus&a=5&b=3&result=c
Sets variable c to 5+3

&op=minus&a=#gross#&b=#expenses#&result=net
Sets variable net to the difference of variables gross and expenses.

&op=times&a=#weeks#&b=7&result=days
Sets variable days = weeks * 7.

&op=div&a=#days#&b=7&result=weeks
Sets variable weeks = days / 7.

 

Operations Reference

You can use the following in the op= parameter:

  • plus
  • minus
  • times
  • div

Demo

The Zingtree Demo gallery has an example. You can try it and examine it.

View Demo

Prepare Your Support Call Center for the Holiday Rush with Zingtree

call center scripts

The most chaotic season of the year is quickly approaching, and it’s more important than ever to prepare your call center staff for the impending holiday craziness. Beyond having helpful, well-trained agents at the ready, it’s smart to adopt technology to handle inquiries and get agents online faster.

Zingtree interactive decision trees and call center scripts are one way to avoid the headache of customer service disarray during the peak periods of November and December. With customers self-solving using customized decision trees and agents being guided with interactive scripts, your support team will have a happy holiday season instead of a hectic one.

Decision Trees for Customer Support

Happy customers lead to happy agent staff, and vice versa. Zingtree is an amazing tool for any customer support team, as it allows you to create custom troubleshooters to take customers, or agents, through the support flow step-by-step.

Organizations that deploy Zingtree troubleshooters have seen a 20% reduction in support costs on average. Customers are gently guided to answers, and, if a problem can’t be solved, your agents receive background information on the problem, saving time and resources. With no programming required, Zingtree decision trees and troubleshooters make it easy to build each step of the process so no important information is left behind.

With design customization and plugins to fit your integration needs, Zingtree can help you ramp up your support this season.

Agent Scripting Solutions

High-tech solutions can also empower your live support agents to be efficient and effective when communicating with customers. Agent Scripting is a robust tool for any company offering chat or phone support.

Scripts are easy to build using Zingtree’s tools, you’ll effectively reduce time and resources spent on holiday support. With powerful tracking and analytics, Zingtree agent scripts help companies collect useful data that can even be used to prepare for the holidays next year – we even have a direct integration with popular customer service platform, Zendesk!

Learn More

Remember – the holidays can be stressful, but with proper preparation for your call centers and support staff, you’ll make the load just a little bit lighter, and the season just a little more jolly!

Visit Zingtree.com to get started free for 30 days, and see how Zingtree will save you time and money.

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

Industry Report: Here’s How to Improve Customer Support & Sales on Black Friday

Whether you’re an online retailer or consumer, Black Friday is a crazy time of the year. For customer support teams, in particular, the stress and demand can seem neverending – it’s not a question of if a customer will have an issue or question, but when. Adding extra layers of employees needing (and deserving) time off of work around these times and generally higher stress levels, startups and small businesses especially can feel the tension around customer support.

Black Friday On-Demand: Salesforce Industry Report

To be frank, mobile and on-demand options truly reign supreme. Customers today expect a smooth purchasing experience, fast shipping, and even faster customer support.

Salesforce combined the insights on the activity of over 500 million global shoppers and billions of transactions, millions of public social media conversations, and data from Salesforce’s annual Connected Shoppers Report to give retailers and online businesses the intelligence they need keep moving forward this holiday season.

Here’s what VP of Industry Insights, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Rob Garf, had to say:

“Just like watching television, holiday shopping has moved from an appointment based activity to an on-demand activity. Salesforce expects to see continued growth not only in mobile orders and website visits, but also in newer technologies such as mobile payments and artificial intelligence. It’s not too late for retailers to make adjustments today in order to meet consumer expectations and better compete this holiday season.”

You can read the full report and insights here.

A Better System of Customer Support for the Holidays

So, how does an online business truly prepare for holiday shopping? A new trend in customer support: self-service.

Interactive decision trees allow customers to quickly and easily navigate through processes, products, troubleshooting, and more. Setting up a completely automated, information-filled FAQ or knowledge base, simple-to-use product finder, or digestible problem-solving can solve a myriad of internal issues (and your customer’s, too!).

Our retail customers are able to solve problems and answer questions outside of regular and holiday office hours, as well as encourage more sales and truly streamline the customer support process. Take a look at some of our own resources for improving customer support here, and stop by our own decision tree-built knowledge base here.

Ready to start streamlining retail customer support for your eCommerce business? Get in touch with us, or sign up for an account. 

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.

Using Decision Trees for Smart Scheduling with Calendly

One of the process issues we’ve faced as a company is the amount of time it takes to coordinate scheduling online demos for prospective new customers. If only there was a way to intelligently gather background information from each prospective customer, and then route the requests to the proper team… oh, wait! Zingtree can do that.

If you request a demo from our Contact Us page, you’ll launch a decision tree that determines what sort of customer you are, gathers relevant background information, and then opens a scheduler built with Calendly for the relevant team.

Calendly is really well designed, and about as easy to use as possible. You can set up individuals or teams, and Calendly accesses their Outlook or Google calendars so that the available times are shown for each person or group. Rather than having a ton of back-and-forth with every party involved, our customers can quickly see when we are available, and pick a time that works with their schedule.

Calendly also lets you pre-fill custom forms used in the scheduling process. So besides name and email, we create a backgrounder using Zingtree data entry fields and button click variables for each meeting request.  Our calendar entries include something like this:

name: Joe Customer
company: Acme Widgets
email: joe@acme.com
website: acme.com
Use_Case: Internal & External
Agents: up to 10
integrations: Zendesk
data_transfer: Send from Zingtree to another App
features: how to create trees
business: We manufacture widgets
how_help: save time in support

Not only do we make it convenient for the customer to provide this information to us, but also this helps us prepare properly for each meeting.

You can see how this scheduling decision tree is built here. Or…

 

 

Can you use this sort of system in your business? Let us know what you think! (And maybe even schedule a demo.)

How to Create a Master Decision Tree

Many of our customers with large decision tree systems in place ask for guidance on how to make a “master tree” which links to individual trees for troubleshooting or other processes. This is especially helpful for organizations that use Zingtree to build and publish completely interactive FAQs. In this article, we’ll discuss how it’s done.

Building a Master Tree

Creating a Master Tree is a simple, yet powerful process that consists of two over-arching steps:

  1. Build the individual decision trees.
  2. Build a Master Tree with one node, using a “blank starter tree.”

After building your individual trees and troubleshooters, there are a couple of distinct ways to build a Master Tree. We’ve created an example Master Tree for a few of our Gallery product finders.

Method #1 – Using Tree Tag Lists

1. Use the Settings tool to add tags to the trees you want to include in the Master Tree. For this example, we added the tag “master_finder” to our product finder decision trees.

2. Create a new decision tree to act as your Master Tree.

3. In the Master Tree root node’s content area, include a tree tag list. For our example, we tagged our trees with “master_finder,” so the tree tag list looks like this:

#‌#treetaglist-any: master_finder##


Method #2 – Using Tree Nodes

1. In the Master Tree, add tree nodes for each tree to link to.

2. In the root node of the Master Tree, create a button for each tree node. This will allow an end-user or customer to quickly jump to any other relevant decision tree from the Master Tree.

Example Master Tree

Here’s a look at our Master Tree in action:

Want more tips? Our blog is chock-full of them. Any questions? We’re always here to help