How to Send Email from Decision Trees

send email from trees

One of the most frequent requests we get from customers is about sending email. We’ve spent a lot of time to make this process as simple as possible.

With Zingtree, you can use Email Nodes to send email in two ways:

  • Automatically, with no end-user interaction.
  • Showing a pre-defined form for the end-user to enter a message.

Emails can include everything you need:

  • The Session transcript.
  • Variables entered during the session.
  • Images and formatted text.
  • Attachments.

Sending  Emails Automatically

Emails can be sent automatically, with no end-user interaction. Start by creating an Email Node as follows:

  1. Click Tools, then Add Node.
  2. Select Email Node as the node type. The Send Method should be set to Send Automatically.
  3. The Email Node editor appears.

  4. Add a Page Title (mostly for your reference when using the Zingtree editing tools)
  5. In Send Email to, enter the delivery email address. You can enter multiple recipient email addresses separated by commas.
  6. Enter a subject and a message. The message can include images, formatted text, or placeholders for variables. For example, if you collect a variable called name, just add #name# into the email body for it to appear.
  7. Check Include Session Data in Email to include the Q&A transcript, and any data collected in the email. You can also check “Securely deliver session data via Link”, which will provide a link to the session information, instead of including it in the email body.
  8. In After Sending, choose a node to go to next. Or, choose Go to URL, and enter a URL to launch instead, like this:
  9. Click Save Changes when finished.

How to Create an Email Form Node

Your end-users can be presented with a stock email form, which looks like this:

You can make a node that displays this form by creating an Email Node as follows:

  1. Click Tools, then Add Node.
  2. Select Email Node as the node type. The Email Node editor appears.

  3. IMPORTANT: For the Send Method, select Show Form Before Sending.
  4. Add a Page Title (mostly for your reference when using the Zingtree editing tools)
  5. Add text for the Send Message button.
  6. In Send Email to, enter the delivery email address. You can enter multiple recipient email addresses separated by commas.
  7. You can enter a default subject or message. These are pre-filled in the email form.
  8. Check Include Session Data in Email to include the Q&A transcript, and any data collected in the email. You can also check “Securely deliver session data via Link”, which will provide a link to the session information, instead of including it in the email body.
  9. In After Sending, choose a node to go to next. Or, choose Go to URL, and enter a URL to launch instead, like this:

  10. Click Save Changes when finished.

Summary

These two methods are the recommended ways to send email, and should be used in place of any other methods.

As always, if you have any ideas to share with us on this or any other features, please let us know!

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!

Is this Push Live feature useful to you? Do you have any suggestions to make this process work even better for you? Let us know!

 

This article was originally published on January 16, 2018.

How Do You Fix a Broken Process?

At Zingtree, we do our best to create well-thought-out processes in order to ensure that common tasks are getting done properly, consistently. But, what kind of damage can occur when a process no longer works or is somehow fated to fail from the beginning? This issue of broken processes is one that many organizations are faced with every day, which can be using Zingtree decision tree technology.

Our friends at ICMI recently covered this topic perfectly, diving into the topic of how businesses and call centers can fix broken processes that hurt organizations in the long-term. According to their definition, “broken processes are often exposed in missed KPIs, inefficiencies, bottlenecks, lack of trust, or complaints from customers and employees. Your employees may also feel like they are working harder than ever to accomplish a basic task. If you experience any of these things, chances are you have a broken process.”

Identifying a Broken Process

Knowing that you have process bottlenecks and other issues is one thing, but knowing how and when to act and find a solution is an entirely different venture. ICMI recommends that when a broken process is identified, it’s important to sit down with your team and take down some ideas based on some key brainstorming questions:

  1. What is the current process?
  2. What doesn’t work about this process?
  3. Do we have supporting data?
  4. What are some things that could make the process better?
  5. Are there tools or resources that might help with the resolution?
  6. What have we tried before that has worked?
  7. What have we tried before that hasn’t worked?
  8. What other alternatives exist?

Fixing a Broken Process

With the right questions being answered by everyone experiencing issues from your broken process, you’ll be able to move on to the next step: finding the right solution so that the process can be fixed. It’s important to find a fix that works for everyone affected, while having as few barriers in place as possible. When implementing a new tool or process, any change can be softened when everyone is on board.

We built Zingtree to be that all-encompassing solution that can fix a broken process in a standardized, easy-to-use, and quickly implemented way. Interactive decision trees are the perfect solution to make it easy for all employees to follow standard processes in a user-friendly manner. Plus, these processes can be updated and adjusted as needed by non-techncal people.

Our Zingtree customers have told us they like our solution because:

  • It’s a no-code-necessary tool that’s simple to get up-and-running with.
  • It’s effective for mapping out processes in a visual way, so you can truly SEE how a flow works.
  • It’s easy to include photos, videos, documents, and other types of media.
  • It’s flexible for integrating with CRM tools and embed into web pages.

As ICMI says, “mending broken processes takes time and focus on the short-term, the outcome will be more engaged employees who yield better results and more satisfied customers.” With the right tools to fix your broken or bottlenecked processes, you’ll be in great shape to tackle improving KPI’s, customer satisfaction, and other key areas of your organization.

Read the rest of the ICMI article on their website right here.

Check out some specific decision tree examples to see how call centers, retailers, and other organizations are using Zingtree to streamline and mend processes. 

5 Massive Time-Saving Benefits of Interactive Decision Trees

Decision trees can be great time-saving tools when implemented well. In any industry use case, fleshing out a complex process into a simplified and easy-to-understand version of itself is, by far, one of the best ways to save valuable resources. Because there’s no coding necessary to get up-and-running, decision trees save even more time for businesses, retailers, and call centers looking to streamline everyday processes. When put into practice, decision trees help to cut down on time spent navigating:

  • call center conversations
  • customer support efforts
  • internal processes
  • finding products on eCommerce sites
  • and more

While the scenarios vary, the results are similarly incredible. We created Zingtree decision trees ourselves in order to reduce the time spent on our own internal processes and support efforts. After implementing decision trees for customer support, we saw way fewer support tickets (about 25% less), spent about 15 hours less every week answering support tickets, and customer satisfaction markedly improved as well. Over time, this has lead to a savings of around $30,000/year.

We’re not here to focus on the savings in terms of money this time, however important it may be. Where the real savings truly lies is within TIME; and as we all know, saving time is saving money. Here are a few of some of the major ways that our online decision trees save organizations incredible amounts of time.

1. Providing self-help.

Consumers young and experienced alike have spoken: self-help solutions are the preferred solutions. While your standard phone and email communications are still incredibly important to offer, providing platforms to customers that allow them to self-solve problems and answer their own questions goes a long way where time-savings is concerned. Not only do the end-users or customers save time by being able to quickly route themselves where they need to go without waiting in a digital line, this interactive format saves businesses time that would have otherwise been spent helping that customer out. Interactive decision trees make self-help incredibly simple. You can create custom knowledge base materials, troubleshooters, interactive FAQ pages, tutorials, and more to embed directly on-site so customers can get the answers they need quickly.

2. Reducing back and forth.

Where emailing back-and-forth or playing phone tag with a customer for hours (or days!) used to be the norm, customers and businesses alike have started to value their own time more. Decision trees are an amazing tool for reducing – even eliminating – the back-and-forth typically found in service-based or consumer-facing industries. Because you can create an entire guided experience with active tracking and data collection, decision trees allow you to always be caught up without any manual effort. For example, if a customer can’t self-solve a support question using an FAQ decision tree, the information is automatically passed into a complete transcript for a support agent or team member to address. You can even share this transcripted customer info with any CRM tool that your company uses (Salesforce, Zendesk, etc.) to save time importing and sharing.

3. Finding answers faster.

Did we mention that saving time also relates to finding the information you need quickly? For customers in any industry, easy access is key. Interactive decision trees allow you to surface what customers need at a particular time, effectively cutting back on time otherwise spent searching around for the right answer. Introducing guided trees directly into an online site or eCommerce store is a proven way to enhance the customer’s journey from product/service discovery to final purchase. Allowing end-users online to quickly navigate to what they need improves the customer experience and helps to promote even more sales.

4. Collecting data securely.

Being able to collect customer information and other critical data in a secure way online is everything these days. With so many new rules and regulations surrounding data privacy, interactive decision trees remain a perfectly streamlined and secure way to collect and analyze data. Decision trees provide an easier, faster way to get information directly from customers, using data entry forms, feedback, and other methods of tracking. With integrations that make it possible to collect information and validate it all at once (for email, phone, and USPS address), our decision trees are a safe and simple option for gathering pertinent customer stats.

5. Generating powerful reports.

We’re firm believers in following the numbers; when a process is actually simplified and optimized, you can take notice using performance data. A full Analytics & Reports section in our decision tree toolkit makes it possible to generate actionable, value-driven reports on critical areas. In these various reports, you’ll be able to see the effectiveness of your decision trees and quickly locate common issues, making products and services even better over time.

With accurate analytics on-hand, you can see exactly how decision trees are being used and where areas of improvement may lie, so you can continuously optimize to save even more time. Other important reports include:

  • Results — measure how effective your decision trees are
  • Session List — see how long end-users are actively using your decision trees
  • Traffic Map (shown above) — view a breakdown of traffic to each part of your decision tree
  • Node Popularity — see the most frequently visited and clicked on nodes of each tree
  • Data Totals — access a full summary of data collected from a decision tree

 

When you implement internal and customer-facing processes that are easy-to-use, understand, and improve upon over time, the time-saving benefits come naturally. Hundreds of companies around the world are already using Zingtree decision trees to save time, money, and other valuable resources while providing a user-friendly platform – even us! Check out our gallery of decision tree examples to see more real-life use cases on how decision trees are the perfect time-saving solution for businesses.

Zendesk Agent Scripting App – Version 12

If you’re a Zendesk user in a Contact Center environment,  you’ll want to be using our Zendesk Agent Scripting app. This makes it easy to guide, train and onboard agents and is a huge productivity booster for everyone.

Contents of this Article

Overview: Sidebar and Popover views
Pause and Resume
Benefits of the Zendesk Agent Scripting App
New Features in Version 12
Demo Video
Getting Started
Installing the Agent Scripting App into Zendesk
Configuring the App
Enabling Automatic Script Selection
How to Configure to Update Ticket Fields
Using Zingtree Data Entry Fields to Update Tickets
Using Zingtree’s Zendesk CSS Theme
Try It with Example Data

Version 12 gives you the option to show your script directly in the right-hand panel when viewing a ticket, like this:

 

Or you can use less sidebar space, and make it appear as a button in the right-hand panel:

Click Open Script, and you’ll see your decision tree in a larger pop-over like this:

 

Pause and Resume

This happens automatically: If another agent picks up a ticket, they return to the last viewed node, and can see each step taken previously by opening the History.

 

Benefits of the Zendesk Agent Scripting App

  • Standardization: Show a guided path for each ticket, so that Agents follow the proper operating policies or troubleshooting procedures.
  • Pause and Resume: If a ticket is transferred, the supervisor or new agent is taken to the last place in the script, and can see the history of the previous steps taken.
  • Automatic Script Selection: The Agent Scripting App can choose a script based on the Zendesk brand, Zendesk ticket tags, or the value of a custom field.
  • Agent Feedback: Agents can send feedback directly to the authors of the decision trees with a single button click. Feedback is delivered to each author’s email, and includes the tree ID and node number where the feedback was sent from.
  • Zendesk Ticket Data in your Scripts: Values in any custom field, the agent name, customer info, as well as Zendesk ticket tags and user tags, are transferred into your script so you can display them, or use these variables to branch via Logic Nodes.
  • Automatic Ticket Updating: Tags and custom fields in the ticket can be updated from actions in the script – either via buttons clicked in the script, or from data entry collected.

New Features in Version 12

If  you’re using version 11 of the Zendesk Agent Scripting app, you may want to upgrade to take advantages of these new benefits:

  • Option to choose between Sidebar and Popover views
  • New customer information data variables sent from Zendesk: requester_name and requester_email
  • New Zendesk Theme to match Zendesk fonts and styling. This gives you a little more real estate for your content, especially in side-panel mode.

If you’re upgrading from version 10, these features are also new:

  • Toggle to share Zendesk data with Zingtree: Some customers don’t want ticket data shared with Zingtree. There’s now an option to disable data sharing.
  • Removed “Flash”: Some customers experienced a “flash” when moving from ticket to ticket in pop-over mode. This is now fixed with this update.

Demo Video

This two-minute video shows you how Agents interact with the Agent Scripting App:

Getting Started

Here are the basic steps to get up and running:

  1. Build an interactive decision tree script with Zingtree (or use one of our demos to start).
  2. Install the Agent Scripting App (version 12) into Zendesk.
  3. Configure the Agent Scripting app within Zendesk.
  4. If you want to have your decision tree scripts update your  Zendesk tickets, you’ll need to add variables and/or tags to your Zingtree tree to match your Zendesk setup.
  5. If you want to enable automatic script selection, you’ll need to add tags to your trees in Zingtree and configure the Zendesk Agent Scripting app properly.

Installing the Agent Scripting App into Zendesk

Download and configure the Zendesk Agent Scripting App version 12 like so:

  1. Download the Agent Scripting app Version 12 here.
  2. In Zendesk, click the Admin icon and go to Apps > Manage.

  3. Click Upload Private App.

  4. The Upload App page appears.

  5. Enter “Zingtree Agent Scripting” for the App Name.
  6. For App File, locate the file zingtree-agent-scripting.zip you downloaded in step 1.
  7. Click Upload, then confirm if necessary.

Configuring the App

Once you’ve uploaded the app, click App Configuration to see the configuration screen:

Here’s what each item does:

Tree ID: This is the default tree that appears when agents click “Open Script”.  (You should always have a default tree.)

Show Tree in Side Panel: Select this option if you want to display the entire tree in the right-hand sidebar when a ticket is open. Uncheck this to use pop-over mode instead.

Hide Integration Setup Info: When you are setting up Agent Scripting for the first time, you may need some information about your Zendesk setup to take advantage of automatically updating ticket fields. An “Integration Setup Info” link appears by default when you first install the app, and ticking this option hides it.

Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Brand: If this option is checked, the subdomain of the selected brand will be matched to a Zingtree tree tag.  Any matching tree or trees will appear.  For example, if the brand subdomain is xyz.zendesk.com, any trees tagged as xyz (using the Zingtree Settings tool) will appear.

Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Ticket Tags: If checked, the values in the Zendesk ticket tags will be matched with your Zingtree tree tags (set via the Zingtree Settings tool) to show one or more matching scripts.

Match Tree Tags to values in a Custom field: If you want to use a custom field value to show matching scripts, enter the Zendesk custom field identifier here. The field name can be found using the Integration Setup Info link that first appears in the sidebar when you install the app.

Display Half-Height: In Popover mode, the popup view will cover half the height of the screen. This has no effect when using Sidebar mode.

Don’t share Zendesk Custom Fields with Zingtree: By default, the app sends custom field data from each Zendesk ticket to Zingtree so you can do more powerful automatic branching via logic nodes, as well as echoing customer information (like their name, for example). If your organization has data privacy concerns, you can check this option to disable data sharing.

Zingtree API key: Each organization in Zingtree has an API key, which is used to match scripts. If you’re using one of the tag matching options, this is required. Your API key can be found at zingtree.com under Resources, API.

Data Sent from Zendesk to Zingtree

Unless you select the Don’t share Zendesk Custom Fields with Zingtree configuration option, Zendesk will send the following variables to your Zingtree decision tree:

  • requester_name – The customer’s full name.
  • requester_email – The email of the customer.
  • zendesk_tags – Any tags in the ticket.
  • agent_tags – Any tags from the agent.
  • agent – The Agent’s full name.
  • agent_first_name – The Agent’s first name.
  • Any custom fields

To display one of these values, just surround the variable name with # characters. So to show the Agent’s first name in your script, enter #agent_first_name# in the content area of any node in your decision tree.

Tip: Add #ALL DATA# to the content area of any node in your own tree to see all the variables sent to your script.

Enabling Automatic Script Selection

Automatic Script Selection works by matching tree tags you set in Zingtree to values in the Brand, Tags, or a custom field in a Zendesk ticket. For example, if a tree is tagged with “astrology”, and the ticket tags include “astrology”, then that tree appears. If several trees match, then they will all appear, and the agent can choose one.

To open a script based on Brand:

  • Add tags to your trees for each brand you want to match. So if one of your brands is xyz.zendesk.com, use xyz as a tree tag in Zingtree for all the trees you want to show.
  • Make sure Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Brand is checked in the App Configuration.

To open a script based upon Zendesk ticket tags:

  • Add tags to your trees for each tag you want to match. So if one of your ticket tag possibilities is “billing”, use billing as a tree tag in Zingtree for all the trees you want to show.
  • Make sure Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Ticket Tags is checked in the App Configuration.

To open a script based upon a custom field:

  • Add tags to your trees for each possible custom field value you want to match. So if one of your custom field values is “billing”, use billing as a tree tag in Zingtree for all the trees you want to show.
  • Make sure the proper Zendesk field variable name is entered for  Match Tree Tags to values in a Custom Field in the App Configuration.


Adding tags to a tree in Zingtree is done like this:

  1. Select a tree from My Trees.
  2. Go to the Settings tool.
  3. Click the Tags tab.
  4. Enter or select a tag from the Tree Tags field.

  5. Click Update All Settings.

How to Configure to Update Ticket Fields

As agents navigate through your trees, their use of the decision tree scripts you create can automatically update any custom fields in that ticket. This can be done in two ways:

  • By clicking a button in a script
  • By entering data into Zingtree data entry fields.

The key is to use variable names in your Zingtree that match the ones used in Zendesk.

First of all, determine the names of the variables in Zendesk by clicking the Integration Setup Info link in the Agent Scripting app. You’ll see something like this:

You’ll see the label for the field as it appears in Zendesk’s ticket form and the Zendesk variable next to it. In the above example, the Product custom field variable is custom_field_22899289. This is a drop-down selector, and the Zendesk values for the field options are astrology and insurance.

For the rest of this example, we’ll use custom_field_22899289 as the custom field variable.

To make a button selection update a custom field, you’ll set it up in your Zingtree as follows:

  1. Go to the Overview tool, and edit the node whose button selections will update the ticket.
  2. Click Edit Buttons (or Add Buttons if you don’t have any buttons defined). The button editor appears:

  3. Make sure Assign Button Click Variable is checked. This makes the other options appear.
  4. For the Button Click Variable, enter your custom field variable from Zendesk (custom_field_22899289 in the example).
  5. For each button option, enter the value of the variable under Score/Value. If this is a drop-down list in your Zendesk ticket, you’ll need to make sure the Score/Value entered matches one of the drop-down option values as shown in the Integration Setup Info.
  6. Click Save Changes when you’re done configuring buttons.

Bonus: Adding Tags via button clicks:

Button clicks can also add tags to a ticket. In the above example, clicking Something Else adds the tag other_tag to the ticket. Just include the tag name with two colons after the button text. So entering a button like Something Else::other_tag will add the tag other_tag to the ticket if this is clicked, but agents will only see Something Else as an option.

Using Zingtree Data Entry Fields to Update Tickets

Just like the above example, you can also use Zingtree for data entry and have that data automatically transferred to your ticket. The key is to use the same variable name in Zingtree as you used in Zendesk. The Integration Setup Info link in the sidebar will give you those Zendesk variable names.

Example: If you have a text entry field in Zingtree you want to update into the Zendesk field custom_field_1234, you would set up the variable name as follows:

Using Zingtree’s Zendesk CSS Theme

For the best user experience, we recommend using the Zendesk Apps theme in your trees that display inside of Zendesk. This will give you more room for your content (since the fonts are smaller), and also match the look and feel of the rest of the Zendesk experience.

Here’s how the theme looks in the two style options:

Buttons style:


 

Panels style:


 

 

To include the Zendesk Agent Scripting App theme in your trees, do the following:

  1. In Zingtree, open the Settings tool for your tree.
  2. Click the Display tab.
  3. Choose either Buttons or Panels as the Default Display Style.
  4. Click Pick a Color Theme.
  5. Choose Zendesk Agent Scripting as the theme.
  6. Click Save Theme and Colors.
  7. Click Update Settings.

 

Try It with Example Data

You can use trees from the Zingtree Gallery to see how the Agent Scripting app works.

This Zendesk Agent Scripting Demo shows how to implement some of the basic integration features. You can install it into your own Zendesk configuration by entering tree ID 350546744 in the App Configuration.

For multiple trees, see how a tree can be selected by tag by doing the following:

  1. In the App Configuration, enter 6a103737e44e4aa6e1e4b6b0bcb46f83 as the API key. Also make sure Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Ticket Tags is checked.
  2. Try entering one or more of these tags into a ticket: “zingtree”, “astrology”, “pet_rock”.

 

Any questions? We’re always here to help

Zapier Decision Tree Integrations with Zingtree

zingtree zapier integration

Our Zapier app makes it easy to send data collected during each Zingtree session to 1000+ applications supported by Zapier. In case you haven’t heard of it, Zapier is a tool that simplifies data exchange between various web applications. We’re big fans.

Here are some cool things you can do with Zingtree and Zapier:

  • Send data collected in a Zingtree session to Salesforce, Zoho, Highrise, or any other CRM.
  • Add an email address entered into a tree into Mailchimp.
  • Send yourself an email or SMS message when a customer reaches a critical node in a tree.
  • Save new customer information in a Google Sheets row.
  • Create Trello cards from trees, and include customer notes and session data.
  • And tons more!

When using Zapier, you create “Zaps.” A Zap has a “trigger,” which is the source of the data, and an “action,” which is where the data gets sent. Most of our customers want to send data from Zingtree to another app, so we’ll demonstrate how this is done here.

Before starting, you may want to examine a demo tree from our Gallery that gathers data and sends it to Zapier, or copy it to your account.

How to Set up Zapier for Zingtree

The Zingtree Zapier app is currently invite-only. But if you’re reading this article, you’re invited!

  1. Create a free Zapier account at Zapier.com.
  2. Go here to accept an invitation to use the Zingtree app. The invitation appears:

    Accept the invite.
  3. You’ll be prompted to make a new Zap:
    Click Make a new Zap.
  4. You’ll be asked to choose a Trigger App, which is the source of the data exchange.
    Search for Zingtree, and select Zingtree (Beta).
  5. You’ll be asked to choose a single trigger.
    Click Save + Continue.
  6. Next, you’ll need to connect your Zingtree account and a tree to Zapier.
    Click Connect a New Account.
  7. You’ll be asked for your Zingtree API Key, which you can find here. Also, enter the Tree ID that will be sending data to Zapier.
    Click Continue when finished.
  8. Change the name of the account, then click Test.

    You should see “success.” Click Save + Continue.
  9. Next, Zapier will attempt to retrieve any variables or sample data from your tree. If this is a new tree, you may want to run through it once and gather some data.
    Click Fetch & Continue.
  10. You’ll see some of the stock data that Zingtree always provides, as well as any custom data for your tree. Again, if you don’t see all the data you expect, do a test run through your tree, and enter some data at least once. This will make the rest of the process easier.
    Click Continue.

Set up the Action App – Email Example

So now you’re done with the Zingtree part. Congratulations! Next, you need to set up an Action App, which will receive data from Zingtree. Let’s set up email delivery as an action, as follows:

  1. Search for email, and choose Email by Zapier as an action app.
    Select Email by Zapier.
  2. This app has just one action.
    Click Save + Continue.
  3. Fill in details for the outbound email. You can insert fields from Zingtree in the body of the email as well.Click Continue when the email is set up correctly.
  4. You’ll see  a preview of what to expect.
    Click Create & Continue to save the action and send a test email.
  5. You should see another “success” screen.
    Click Finish when the email appears as you like.
  6. Name your Zap Zingtree to Email, and turn it on!

Your Zapier Zap is all set.

Making Zingtree Send Data

The final step is to tell Zingtree when to send all the data collected in a session to Zapier. This can be triggered from one or more nodes, when they are seen by the end-user of your tree.

  1. From Overview, Edit Node, edit the node that you want to trigger sending data to Zapier.
  2. Go to Send Message to, and pick Zapier: Zingtree to Email. This is the new Zap you created.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Now try a test from Zingtree. Using Preview or the Publish tool, navigate your tree, and when you reach the node that triggers the send, you should see something in your inbox. IMPORTANT: Make sure to use https in your published Zingtree URL when using Zapier.

Once you get your first Zap done, it becomes easy and addictive to hook Zingtree to the other applications that your business depends upon. So keep going!

Have any questions? Contact us anytime!

Amazon’s Annual Report – What Growing Business Can Learn From It

Amazon recently released its Annual Report for the past fiscal year, effectively making piles and piles of useful data and findings available to the public in one convenient package. Along with obvious growth, there were also some marked difficulties during the year that made an impact on the company’s current and future operations.

As Zingtree continues to grow, we’re always looking out for the best ways to optimize what we’re doing – often using our own decision tree toolkit. And, while our company may not be raking in billions of dollars like Amazon (yet), their key takeaways are something that any business can (and should) learn from.

Amazon Risk Factors and Obstacles in 2018

1. Channel expansion and high-growth pains.

Scaling and diversifying can present issues of complexity in a business’ operations. According to the report, “This expansion increases the complexity of our business and places a significant strain on our management, personnel, operations, systems, technical performance, financial resources, and internal financial control and reporting functions.”

2. The risks of international operations.

Expanding into new international markets is an exciting step, especially when revenue trends start pointing in the right direction. However, factors such as business licensing, regulations on eCommerce, cultural barriers, currency, and access to the internet can cause hurdles and risks during growth.

3. Optimization of data & fulfillment centers.

Properly housing and protecting data is a hot topic for good reason. As more data is being collected, its storage and privacy are more important (and more threatened) than ever. According to the report, “If we do not adequately predict customer demand or otherwise optimize and operate our fulfillment network and data centers successfully, it could result in excess or insufficient fulfillment or data center capacity, or result in increased costs, impairment charges, or both, or harm our business in other ways.”

4. Seasonality and holiday strain.

Certain seasons always see more booming business than others, and it’s not just Amazon that feels it – in the United States especially, that season just so happens to be around the year-end holidays. During this time, demand is up, up, up, along with the amount of shipping, site traffic, and extra customer service and support staff that’s often needed. Planning well ahead to better forecast issues around the holidays is the best way to tackle this.

5. Rapidly evolving business model.

Growth is always a great thing, but growing too rapidly comes with its own set of challenges that even Amazon has faced recently. The need for increased and more efficient technology, maintaining and growing stock value, and improving the way customers discover and research products, are all huge factors to keep in mind during growth.

6. Government regulation.

Legislation has its hand to play in how businesses operate, and eCommerce companies like Amazon in particular need to take consideration in every facet of their organization. This includes making sure you’re following the rules when it comes to data protection (i.e. GDPR), energy consumption, taxation, and online payments – all necessary regulations to enforce.

Read the full Amazon Annual Report here.

Check out a great summary of the report on BigCommerce here.

As Zingtree continues to grow as a company and product, we’re looking forward to discovering new uses of our toolkit to streamline internal workflows, improve customer service strains, adhere to governmental regulations, enhance data collection, and optimize business processes. Interactive decision trees are an amazing, versatile tool that has allowed us to minimize growing pains while always providing customer support when it’s needed.

Take a look at our decision tree examples to see what amazing use-cases can help to improve your company during growth! Have any questions? Our team is here to help any time you need it.

Mapping Out Lean Process Flows with Interactive Decision Trees

Lean Process Flows

Adopting lean process flows for a business is all about simplification. No matter the area of focus, moving from step to step throughout a process in a frictionless and efficient way is essential for business operations and customer satisfaction – whether in customer support, manufacturing, inbound sales, etc.

A lean process is a smooth process, after all; one that requires getting rid of waste and only leaving the most mission-critical information in order to streamline each step. As big proponents for making things easy and streamlined, lean processes are a big part of how we run Zingtree efficiently and provide more value to our customers. We use our own interactive decision trees for improving lean process flows because they provide a robust, yet straightforward way to build and run through any type of process flow. For us, this means setting up streamlined systems for:

Implementing these lean process flows in various areas of our business have been helpful both internally and to our customers.

When you can identify and eliminate flow bottlenecks, you make the whole process easier. Imagine, for example, a construction crew working on a busy section of freeway, closing some key lanes. In this case, the process’ capacity (the number of people who can continue to drive on through) for successful interactions are blocked by equipment, workers, and a horde of other cars, keeping anxious drivers moving slowly through. By making a process flow lean and mean, you’re effectively opening those closed lanes back up, removing the equipment, cars and other complications, making way for a smooth ride.

Lean Goals to Live By

Pointing out flow issues when you’re dealing with traffic is simple, but it can be more difficult to identify those process flows in your business or place of work that can be improved on. While you’re thinking about all of the various processes that occur in your organization, here are some general goals and questions to ask yourself when choosing a process flow to make leaner:

1. Will it reduce cost?

2. Will it simplify the process?

3. Will it improve the quality of the process?

4. Will it make it easy to follow standard operating procedures?

These always help us to quickly go through a list and identify which processes can be improved on – if it’s not cheaper, simpler, higher-quality, and more intuitive, it’s not being made lean.

Mapping Process Flows with Decision Trees

Typical diagrams and hand-drawn or digital flowcharts simply can’t do as much as decision trees can when it comes to simplifying processes. While a traditional way to help wrap your head around where the bottlenecks COULD be, these systems are designed to only identify the issue, not solve it.

Decision trees for lean process flows are a live, functioning tool that’s designed to help you identify the issue AND be a platform to present that information; in other words, you can simultaneously build your process flow chart and customize it for immediate internal/external use. You can even gather data on if it’s all working up to standards and make optimizations along the way.

How a decision tree looks when you’re building with the Visual Designer.

Check out this article on how to create a lean process flow with a decision tree.

Decision Tree-Created Lean Process Flows in the Wild

Here are just a couple of examples of Zingtree customers that have created more lean process flows using decision trees:

Spokane ENT

A specialty medical practice in Washington, Spokane ENT says that decision trees for scheduling have enabled them to optimize scheduling, help schedulers intelligently pre-diagnose patients, and collect key medical information in a secure environment. This ultimately eliminates any unnecessary appointments from being scheduled, and speeds up the steps between picking up the phone and confirming the appointment.

Take a look at the Spokane ENT case study here.

Philip Morris

One of the largest organizations around the world, Philip Morris International utilizes decision trees to improve their system of procurement, a cost-saving lean process flow. With these interactive process flows in place, PMI allows its employees to be guided through complicated purchasing journeys without issue; a standardized approach that ensures every step is followed perfectly to reduce time, cost, and stress.

Take a look at the PMI process flow case study here.

 

Want to learn more about building lean process flows using interactive decision trees? Reach out to our team on our Feedback page, or get in touch by clicking on the chat box on our main site

Zendesk Agent Scripting App – Version 11

Update: Version 12 is now available. Learn more and install it from here.

If you’re a Zendesk user in a Contact Center environment,  you’ll want to be using our Zendesk Agent Scripting app. This makes it easy to guide, train and onboard agents and is a huge productivity booster for everyone. The Agent Scripting app appears as a button in the right-hand panel:

Click Open Script, and you’ll see your decision tree in a pop-over like this:

If another agent picks up the ticket, they return to the last viewed node, and can see each step taken previously by opening the History:

Benefits of the Zendesk Agent Scripting App

  • Standardization: Show a guided path for each ticket, so that Agents follow the proper operating policies or troubleshooting procedures.
  • Pause and Resume: If a ticket is transferred, the supervisor or new agent is taken to the last place in the script, and can see the history of the previous steps taken.
  • Automatic Script Selection: The Agent Scripting App can choose a script based on the Zendesk brand, Zendesk ticket tags, or the value of a custom field.
  • Agent Feedback: Agents can send feedback directly to the authors of the decision trees with a single button click. Feedback is delivered to each author’s email, and includes the tree ID and node number where the feedback was sent from.
  • Zendesk Ticket Data in your Scripts: Values in any custom field, as well as Zendesk ticket tags and user tags, are transferred into your script so you can echo them, or use these variables to branch via Logic Nodes.
  • Automatic Ticket Updating: Tags and custom fields in the ticket can be updated from actions in the script – either via buttons clicked in the script, or from data entry collected.

New Features in Version 11

If  you’re using a version 10 of the Zendesk Agent Scripting app, you may want to upgrade to take advantages of these new benefits:

  • Toggle to share Zendesk data with Zingtree: Some customers don’t want ticket data shared with Zingtree. There’s now an option to disable data sharing.
  • Removed “Flash”: Some customers experienced a “flash” when moving from ticket to ticket. This is now fixed with this update.

Demo Video

This two-minute video shows you how Agents interact with the Agent Scripting App:

Getting Started

Here are the basic steps to get up and running:

  1. Build an interactive decision tree script with Zingtree (or use one of our demos to start).
  2. Install the Agent Scripting App (version 10) into Zendesk.
  3. Configure the Agent Scripting app within Zendesk.
  4. If you want to have your decision tree scripts update your  Zendesk tickets, you’ll need to add variables and/or tags to your Zingtree tree to match your Zendesk setup.
  5. If you want to enable automatic script selection, you’ll need to add tags to your trees in Zingtree and configure the Zendesk Agent Scripting app properly.

Installing the Agent Scripting App into Zendesk

Download and configure the Zendesk Agent Scripting App version 10 like so:

  1. Download the Agent Scripting app here.
  2. In Zendesk, click the Admin icon and go to Apps > Manage.

  3. Click Upload Private App.

  4. The Upload App page appears.

  5. Enter “Zingtree Agent Scripting” for the App Name.
  6. For App File, locate the file zingtree-agent-scripting-v10.zip you downloaded in step 1.
  7. Click Upload, then confirm if necessary.

Configuring the App

Once you’ve uploaded the app, click App Configuration to see the configuration screen:

Here’s what each item does:

Tree ID: This is the default tree that appears when agents click “Open Script”.  (You should always have a default tree.)

Hide Integration Setup Info: When you are setting up Agent Scripting for the first time, you may need some information about your Zendesk setup to take advantage of automatically updating ticket fields. An “Integration Setup Info” link appears by default when you first install the app, and ticking this option hides it.

Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Brand: If this option is checked, the subdomain of the selected brand will be matched to a Zingtree tree tag.  Any matching tree or trees will appear.  For example, if the brand subdomain is xyz.zendesk.com, any trees tagged as xyz (using the Zingtree Settings tool) will appear.

Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Ticket Tags: If checked, the values in the Zendesk ticket tags will be matched with your Zingtree tree tags (set via the Zingtree Settings tool) to show one or more matching scripts.

Match Tree Tags to values in a Custom field: If you want to use a custom field value to show matching scripts, enter the Zendesk custom field identifier here. The field name can be found using the Integration Setup Info link that first appears in the sidebar when you install the app.

Don’t share Zendesk Custom Fields with Zingtree: By default, the app sends custom field data from each Zendesk ticket to Zingtree so you can do more powerful automatic branching via logic nodes, as well as echoing customer information (like their name, for example). If your organization has data privacy concerns, you can check this option to disable data sharing.

Zingtree API key: Each organization in Zingtree has an API key, which is used to match scripts. If you’re using one of the tag matching options, this is required. Your API key can be found at zingtree.com under Help, API.

Enabling Automatic Script Selection

Automatic Script Selection works by matching tree tags you set in Zingtree to values in the Brand, Tags, or a custom field in a Zendesk ticket. For example, if a tree is tagged with “astrology”, and the ticket tags include “astrology”, then that tree appears. If several trees match, then they will all appear, and the agent can choose one.

To open a script based on Brand:

  • Add tags to your trees for each brand you want to match. So if one of your brands is xyz.zendesk.com, use xyz as a tree tag in Zingtree for all the trees you want to show.
  • Make sure Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Brand is checked in the App Configuration.

To open a script based upon Zendesk ticket tags:

  • Add tags to your trees for each tag you want to match. So if one of your ticket tag possibilities is “billing”, use billing as a tree tag in Zingtree for all the trees you want to show.
  • Make sure Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Ticket Tags is checked in the App Configuration.

To open a script based upon a custom field:

  • Add tags to your trees for each possible custom field value you want to match. So if one of your custom field values is “billing”, use billing as a tree tag in Zingtree for all the trees you want to show.
  • Make sure the proper Zendesk field variable name is entered for  Match Tree Tags to values in a Custom Field is checked in the App Configuration.


Adding tags to a tree in Zingtree is done like this:

  1. Select a tree from My Trees.
  2. Go to the Settings tool.
  3. Click the Organize tab.
  4. Enter or select a tag from the Tree Tags field.

  5. Click Update Settings.

How to Configure to Update Ticket Fields

As agents navigate through your trees, their use of the decision tree scripts you create can automatically update any custom fields in that ticket. This can be done in two ways:

  • By clicking a button in a script
  • By entering data into Zingtree data entry fields.

The key is to use variable names in your Zingtree that match the ones used in Zendesk.

First of all, determine the names of the variables in Zendesk by clicking the Integration Setup Info link in the Agent Scripting app. You’ll see something like this:

You’ll see the label for the field as it appears in Zendesk’s ticket form and the Zendesk variable next to it. In the above example, the Product custom field variable is custom_field_22899289. This is a drop-down selector, and the Zendesk values for the field options are astrology and insurance.

For the rest of this example, we’ll use custom_field_22899289 as the custom field variable.

To make a button selection update a custom field, you’ll set it up in your Zingtree as follows:

  1. Go to the Overview tool, and edit the node whose button selections will update the ticket.
  2. Click Edit Buttons (or Add Buttons if you don’t have any buttons defined). The button editor appears:

  3. Make sure Assign Button Click Variable is checked. This makes the other options appear.
  4. For the Button Click Variable, enter your custom field variable from Zendesk (custom_field_22899289 in the example).
  5. For each button option, enter the value of the variable under Score/Value. If this is a drop-down list in your Zendesk ticket, you’ll need to make sure the Score/Value entered matches one of the drop-down option values as shown in the Integration Setup Info.
  6. Click Save Changes when you’re done configuring buttons.

Bonus: Adding Tags via button clicks:

Button clicks can also add tags to a ticket. In the above example, clicking Something Else adds the tag other_tag to the ticket. Just include the tag name with two colons after the button text. So entering a button like Something Else::other_tag will add the tag other_tag to the ticket if this is clicked, but agents will only see Something Else as an option.

Using Zingtree Data Entry Fields to Update Tickets

Just like the above example, you can also use Zingtree for data entry and have that data automatically transferred to your ticket. The key is to use the same variable name in Zingtree as you used in Zendesk. The Integration Setup Info link in the sidebar will give you those Zendesk variable names.

Example: If you have a text entry field in Zingtree you want to update into the Zendesk field custom_field_1234, you would set up the variable name as follows:

Try It with Example Data

You can use trees from the Zingtree Gallery to see how the Agent Scripting app works.

For a single tree, enter ’14’ as the Tree ID. This will show an Astrology website troubleshooter example.

For multiple trees, see how a tree can be selected by tag by doing the following:

  1. Enter 6a103737e44e4aa6e1e4b6b0bcb46f83 as the API key.
  2. Make sure Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Ticket Tags is checked.
  3. Try entering one or more of these tags into a ticket: “zingtree”, “astrology”, “pet_rock”.

Any questions? We’re always here to help