Monthly Archives: February 2017

Can Agent Scripting Improve Your Call Center KPIs?

Call centers play a fundamental part in how efficient and effective a company can truly be, but it takes much more than just providing customer service to reach new heights as a business. Each call center will likely have variations on the same metrics to be tracking as key performance indicators (KPIs). Regardless, you should spend time figuring out which ones matter the most for your company’s overall goals and start tracking them if you aren’t already.

Zingtree Agent Scripting solutions provide a helpful platform for making improvements and optimizations in many practical areas for call center agents, including the following most commonly found call center metrics.

1. First Call Resolution

First Call Resolution (FCR) is a measurement of the number of customer calls that are resolved during that interaction, and do not require any follow-up for additional information. With agent scripts in place, call center representatives can quickly and easily match customers to the right problem and/or solution through an interactive guide, making the process of improvement infinitely smoother than other options.

2. Average Speed of Answer or Resolution

Average Speed of Answer (ASA) is the average amount of time it takes for an agent to answer calls during a specific time period. Agent scripts allow call center reps and customers can spend less time waiting and solving problems, and quickly identify end-results. The Session List report allows you to see which agents take the most time and which achieve the best results. You can also use customer-facing decision trees to help customers self-solve, as well as quickly gather background information to speed up resolution time.

3. Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a critical measurement for all organizations to keep at top-of-mind. For call centers, this metric is expressed as a percentage, with 100% representing complete customer satisfaction with the level of service provided. It’s been proven that spending less time on the phone or on chat dealing with a question/issue, and getting the right answer quickly, makes customers happier and more loyal. By implementing interactive agent scripts, every customer call is quickly routed where it needs to go, leading to faster answers and more satisfied customers.

4. Agent Performance

Agent Performance is a direct measure of how effective call center agents are; a necessary metric to keep an eye on in order for true improvements to occur (after all, your agents are at the front lines of every customer interaction!). With our Agent Scripting tool and, you can easily track each agent interaction and each customers’ reason for needing support, as well as access Session Matrix reports on how your script is being used by agents within a given date range.

5. Average Handle Time

Average Handle Time (AHT) of a customer inquiry measures the average duration of one customer interaction, including any hold time or other related tasks that follow the direct interaction. Tied directly to Customer Satisfaction, it’s imperative to improve both in tandem to achieve the best results for your call center. By using optimized, standardized agent scripts as a part of your day-to-day efforts, call center agents are able to effectively cut down on the time spent in each call by eliminating any inefficient questions or language.

Get Started with Agent Scripting

It’s easy to get started after signing up for a Zingtree account! Just select the Create New Tree button found under My Trees and select your preference for building an agent script. Let the Zingtree Wizard prompt you for the questions and answers, use Visual Designer to draw a flowchart, or even import from Google Sheets or Excel.

Follow our in-depth instructions for building your interactive agent script. Once your script is ready, you can:

  • Host on any web page or browser for easy access
  • Get complete analytics and reports for optimization
  • See full Q&A transcripts of every call for true understanding
  • Keep track of agent performance and improvement

Check out our short video to learn more about how Zingtree Agent Scripting can improve your call center:

Any questions? We’re always here to help!

Updates: Spreadsheet Import Enhancements and More

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When we launched our new feature that allows you to create decision trees from Excel and Google Sheets, we had no idea this feature would be as popular as it has become. Some of our bigger clients, in particular, have really run with this and suggested a lot of great improvements.

Here’s what’s new with spreadsheet decision tree imports:

  • Fix: Validates Tree IDs on spreadsheet import for tree nodes.
  • Fix: Importing and replacing a tree keeps the tree’s settings intact (Elliott).
  • Update: Spreadsheet import allows columns in any order (Elliott).
  • Update: Spreadsheet import allows for a Tags column (Jamel).
  • Fix: Errors in spreadsheet import won’t delete a previous tree if we’re replacing a tree.
  • Fix: Importing Excel with line breaks in cells now works properly, retains line breaks (Charlie).
  • Fix: Importing pasted spreadsheet data now saves the first iteration in Snapshots tool.
  • Update: Spreadsheet import can now include TREE and LINK nodes (Elliott).
  • Update: Exporting CSV tree from Overview/Simple now adds TREE and LINK node types into CSV data.
  • Fix: Importing trees with button links to non-existent nodes now sets the link to “unlinked” (Elliott).

We’ve also done some other tweaks outside of spreadsheet imports:

  • Update: Use “send_zendesk_button” as a node tag to send the button text to Zendesk as a tag instead. (Elliott)
  • Fix: Agent Portal now shows merge variables for agent_name (Craig).
  • Update: Added Agent List export to the My Agents page (Gene).
  • Update: Added more error checks to Add Multiple Agents input tool.
  • Update: Made show/hide tree name option more visible in iFrame Advanced Options.
  • Fix: Copying a Gallery tree into a new account works properly.
  • Update: Max attachment size in email nodes increased to 25 Mb (Dan B.).
  • Update: Merge variables now has an option to retain plus characters (Chris).
  • New: API call to delete session data from our servers for a particular session ID (Jay).
  • Fix: email-session-info occasionally failed when data was entered right before sending (Alok, Craig).

Phew!

Got a suggestion to make Zingtree better? Give us a holler.

Educational Decision Tree Case Study: Lego League + Zingtree

FIRST LEGO League Team “Loading…” + Zingtree

Grade school students use decision trees to bring science to life with LEGO

Each year, FIRST LEGO League releases a challenge based on a real-world scientific topic. Teams of up to ten children, with at least one adult coach, participate by programming an autonomous robot to score points on a themed playing field, developing a solution to a problem they have identified all guided by the FIRST LEGO League Core Values.

Teams may then attend an official tournament to compete on a regional level – it’s one of the most creative and tech-friendly events that exists for kids today.

The Challenge

This year’s theme was “Animal Allies,” wherein the students sought to find a way to help animals and humans live better together. The innovative Loading… FLL Team from Minneapolis, comprised of six amazing child-engineers and two helpful adults, tackled the problem of owners not being able to care for their pet before they commit to the well-being of adopting an animal.

Zingtree’s Solution

Creating an interactive decision tree provided Loading… with the perfect platform to guide potential pet owners through the process of adopting an animal, and what pet would be the right fit.

“Zingtree had setup tutorials as well, which made making a pet decision tree all the much easier. We found that it was an easy to use, easy to edit decision maker that allowed many options. Overall, Zingtree was a great tool that made our app making successful and fast.”  

The Loading… team took their hands-on science efforts to tournament this year, thanks to their very own FIRST LEGO League decision tree.


About Zingtree

Zingtree is the most user-friendly platform for creating and implementing interactive decision trees that deliver answers faster. Quickly create a decision tree that your site visitors, leads, trainees and/or customers navigate by clicking buttons to answer questions, and receive detailed analytics on how trees are being used. Zingtree makes it easy to guide anyone through complicated processes – there’s no better way to help people get answers and solve problems.

View the full Lego League + Zingtree case study and download the PDF here


Want to see more? Explore the Zingtree Gallery for examples of how our decision trees and interactive solutions provide value for businesses!

New Auto-Arrange Tool: Creating Nice Visual Layouts for Decision Trees

autoarrange-blog

When using the Zingtree Wizard, or the Excel or Google Sheets Import tools, one of the drawbacks is that when you view those trees in Designer, there is no initial data for the visual representation of your tree. We’ve been working on making sure the Traffic Map report and Designer views look good when you first open a tree not created with Designer, and now we finally have a solution: the Auto-Arrange Tool.

Auto-Arrange uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence and the laws of physics to come up with an optimal layout for your tree. It turns out that this is a difficult problem to solve, and while we feel it can be improved, this solution will save you a lot of time from manually rearranging the layout of your trees – especially really big ones.

One of the fun things about Auto-Arrange is that you can watch it working as it rearranges and repositions nodes in real-time.

auto-arrange-1

When you first open the Traffic Map report or Designer tool, you’ll be offered a chance to use Auto-Arrange. Next, Auto-Arrange will attempt to organize your decision tree in a tree-like fashion. If that doesn’t work, it will switch to a “network” view, which is less hierarchical. You can also switch views manually, and play with some of the parameters used to render the tree layout.

Here’s how our Pet Rock demo appears in Tree view (scaled down):

Here’s how the same tree looks in a Network display:

Once you are done playing with Auto-Arrange, you can proceed to Designer and your new layout will automatically become a part of the design.

Want to try it out? You can access Auto-Arrange from within Designer.

Is this new tool helpful? Fun? Let us know!

Decision Trees for Business: How to Streamline Procurement

Having a well-defined, charted procurement process is vital for company operations in any industry to run smoothly. The proper purchasing of necessary materials can often mean the difference between a successful company and one that ultimately falls due to unsustainable costs or purchasing delays.

For Zingtree customer Phillip Morris International (PMI), standardizing procurement with decision trees has helped keep costs in line and the process consistent for many disparate departments. Anyone buying anything at PMI can now adhere to the company-approved process. This results in employees getting the tools they need faster and more efficiently.

Optimizing the Procurement Process

Is procurement working effectively to support your company’s over-arching strategy?

Without the proper processes set in motion, your organization may be losing out on a lot of revenue and opportunity for growth. And, while the entire process of making an inefficient procurement system better may be complicated, and ultimately take time for decision-makers to come around to, there are platforms to help simplify and understand. After revisiting current processes and looping in the necessary departments, selecting the right kind of technology is key in the optimization process.

Without a mature, strategic procurement function to influence, control and report on organizational spending, it is impossible for a business to fully leverage its total purchasing power and create the value and service levels required from third party suppliers.” – PwC

Structure, sequence and regular analysis are crucial for an effective procurement process. For PMI, using Zingtree decision trees to guide the procurement process has proven to be an enormous help, allowing buyers to follow complicated processes in a lean, interactive environment that greatly reduces the risk of human error.

Balancing complexity and control with ease, PMI’s decision trees have automated processes with a clearly-defined and company-compliant approach. Plus, management now has real-time usage data to assist in further optimization. By utilizing a guided process of procurement internally, any business can standardize best practices to ensure that every purchase process is handled exactly the way it needs to be.

Ready to start streamlining your procurement, or other business processes? Please get in touch with us!

5 Traits You Need to Be a Great Customer Advocate

At Zingtree, we take the time to be available to customers on a daily basis, whether the interactions are about new feature suggestions, questions about the possibilities or limitations of decision trees, or even just to stay within easy reach. Understanding that providing the right kind of customer support can lead to incredible relationships, ideas and growth have been fundamental in developing Zingtree.

Customer advocacy involves using a totally customer-focused support strategy and is important because it ultimately transforms loyal customers into ambassadors for your brand. When your representatives act as true customer advocates, the effect of customers acting as advocates for your business in return grows organically. We’ve seen it time and time again; actively listening to and being engaged with customers, and taking their ideas and issues to heart, comes back around to businesses in a big way.

Our experience with support has taught us that, while it may not be difficult to switch gears to a more customer-focused strategy, it requires a lot of prioritization and attention to detail in the long-run. That said, here’s what we’ve learned over the years for how to be an incredible customer advocate.

1. Responsiveness

When your customers have a question or issue, being prompt in your response is always key to starting off with a positive interaction. While speed shouldn’t be the most critical customer service metric your business is tracking actively, it contributes to the customers’ perspective that their inquiry is important to you (because it is!). Being quick on the draw with helpful, accurate information allows customers to gain more confidence in your company, leading to a much greater likelihood of an ongoing relationship with your brand.

2. Composure

Being calm, collected and easy to talk to is something that seems like it should come naturally to many people in customer service, but, in reality, doesn’t always. When support agents are able to find a natural and relaxed level of conversation, it really shows; coupled with the ability to communicate highly technical phrases in an understandable way, agents become unstoppable. Standardized scripts set in place to guide support reps through everyday interactions are the perfect way to ensure that every agent knows just what to say, and when to say it, so that customers always feel heard, understood and helped.

3. Adaptability

In the customer service field, no two days are exactly the same. Preparation, excellent (and ongoing) training, and custom scripting solutions are all in place to set customer service agents up for success, but being adaptable in new situations can be an incredible asset in times of uncertainty. Did someone discover a nasty bug in your software before the tech team? Is a customer feeling impatient about an order or a discontinued promotion? It’s important that support agents feel empowered and comfortable enough in a support situation to adapt to new or foreign scenarios.

4. Knowledge 

Having a deep understanding and breadth of knowledge where your products, services, and interdepartmental functions are concerned is always valuable to a customer. Customer-facing agents should be thoroughly trained on every facet of the company’s products and inner workings in order to provide the most helpful service possible. It’s inefficient to have to tap on the shoulder of every other department head just to answer a quick question and can be incredibly frustrating for customers to have to jump from agent to agent.

5. Proactivity

Do something for your customers before they even realize they want or need it done! When your business implements a system of proactive customer service, you’re effectively keeping customers in the loop (well in advance) when problems and notable updates arise, and are staying ahead of potential customer service failures. While proactive communication may not be possible for every scenario, when you anticipate or identify what can potentially go wrong and notify the customer early on, you boost the confidence that a customer has with your company.

 

The Best Ways to Make Customer Support Profitable

To the untrained eye, customer support is merely a means of communication and troubleshooting. Experts and strategic decision-makers, however, have seen the incredible impact that customer service can have in all areas of business — including improving revenue.

Your success as an organization relies on providing an exceptional experience throughout the entire purchase and post-purchase process; it’s so much more than just offering a support system. At Zingtree, having great support has been key to our success. In spite of the fact we have lots of information in the form of decision trees, articles, and our FAQ, over 90% of our new customers have interacted with us via email, chat or voice.

What it takes to actually deliver excellent customer service is simple: put your customers at the center of your business initiatives and take them into consideration before any decision is made. Once you figure out how to implement this magic formula into your day-to-day processes, you’ll be well on your way to making customer support a major profit-generator.

The Real Value of Customer Support

Heard any customer support horror stories recently? Poor interactions with customers happen more often than you’d think, and they have a direct negative effect on your annual revenue. According to a Gartner study, as much as 86% of consumers quit doing business with a company completely because of a single bad customer experience, and 51% said they would only try to reach support once before giving up on a purchase. These statistics in mind, your margin of error is incredibly small.

On the positive side of things, however, great customer support leads to a direct increase in annual revenue. So, if you can focus on how to make customer service better (for both your customers and representatives), you’ll be opening your doors to even more potential sales. Research from the Harvard Business Review has shown that “not only it is possible to quantify the impact of customer experience — but the effects are huge.”

After looking at two separate companies with different revenue models, and comparing customer feedback with data on future spending by customers, HBR found that “after controlling for other factors that drive repeat purchases in the transaction-based business (for example, how often the customer needs the type of goods and services that the company sells), customers who had the best past experiences spend 140% more compared to those who had the poorest past experience.”

In our own experience working with industry-spanning organizations large and small, we’ve also seen the effect that amazing customer support can have in all other areas of business; in fact, it’s a big reason why we started Zingtree to streamline the support process. So now that you understand the possibilities, what are some simple ways to improve support and make customer service more profitable?

Show Empathy & Understanding

At the end of the day, your customers are humans. Showing compassion for their problems, and taking the time to really understand the areas of disconnect, can go miles for brand loyalty. Put the customer first always, and bend the rules when and if you can — your customer will give your company extra kudos for being flexible, and will more than likely come back again and again.

Display Multi-Channel Support

What kind of documentation do customers expect? Knowledge base articles, tutorial and demo videos, blog posts, and live agent chats are just a select few different channels of support that many people search for. Offering multiple channels of support is the only way to discover the channels you truly need, versus the ones that may be more of a “nice-to-have.” With this information under your belt, it’s easy to remain in contact with your customers, as well as to weed out and remove the unnecessary support channels to save time and money.

Have a Fast Response Time

If you have a complex product or service or don’t have all of the available knowledge base material available online, chances are that customers will want to get in touch. Self-service support can only go so far with certain issues, so it’s incredibly important to offer other ways to talk to a representative; be it through live chat, a phone call or simple back-and-forth email communication.

Hire the Best People (And Train Them Well)

It may seem obvious, but it’s worth repeating: amazing customer service agents with exceptional training is absolutely necessary for a successful customer support strategy. And, the better your representatives are at helping customers, the more likely those customers are to make additional purchases! By taking the time to hire great people, and training them with the proper technical and soft skills, you’ll set up your support department to bring in more revenue than you thought possible.


Ready to get more from your customer support? Sign up or log in and start your first interactive decision tree!