Monthly Archives: January 2018

Business Changing Technology: 5 of the Best Customer Success Stories

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

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

Evernote & Craftsman And Wolves

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

How Evernote Helps Craftsman And Wolves

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

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

View the case study. 

Shopify & Mindzai

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

How Shopify Helps Mindzai

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

View the case study.

Zingtree & Spokane ENT

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

How Zingtree Helps Spokane ENT

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

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

View the case study.

Hubspot & Parlor Skis

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

How Hubspot Helps Parlor Skis

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

View the case study.

Freshbooks & Milieu Interior Design

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

How Freshbooks Helps Milieu Interior Design

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

View the case study.

 

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

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

How AI & Automation are Powering Retail Customer Experience

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

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

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

The Effects of AI & Automation Within eCommerce

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

  • Improving the Accessibility of Data

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

  • Mimicking AI for Brick-and-Mortar

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

  • Generating Reviews with Bots

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

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

 

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

  • Simplifying Product Finders

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

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

  • Providing Interactive Knowledge Bases

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

  • Personalizing and Streamlining Experiences

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

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

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

5 Trends in Contact Center Training to Pay Attention To

Contact Center trends

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

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

1. Streamlined Training

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

2. Customized Experiences

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

3. Bite-Sized Information

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

4.  Social Learning Know-How

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

5. Augmented and Virtual Reality

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

 

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

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

Verifying Agents using Google Sign-in

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

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

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

Setup Details – Step by Step

Each agent must have their own Google account.

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

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

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

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

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

Agent Portal Link

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

Give this link to all agents using the Agent Portal.

Other Means of Access

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

Adding Agents via the Zingtree API

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

 

 

Push Live: A Simple Decision Tree Publishing and Approval Process

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

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

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

Overview

Here’s how Push Live organizes the publishing process:

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

Setup

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

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

  3. Make sure to click Update All Settings next.

Managing Live and Development Versions

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

Select Development or Live from the Version selector:


IMPORTANT: Use Live Publishing Links

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

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

Pushing Changes Live

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

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

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

Using Tree Nodes with Live Versions

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

Here are the rules:

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

Give Us Feedback!

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!

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


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

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

Improving Call Center Processes with Interactive Decision Trees

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Most Important Customer Support Stats for 2018

customer support stats

Customer support has changed exponentially in the last few years. Better technology, more informed consumers, and higher expectations for fast access have all shaped how support is handled in businesses today. In the last year alone, the relationship between customer support and customer experience have become much closer, and have made a much larger impact.

According to a Walker study, by the year 2020 customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Companies and organizations will need to continue to adapt their support and experience strategies to keep customers engaged, informed, purchasing, and happy with the brand. Those who fail to do so will face more difficult competition in the market, as other brands are paving the way to success through positive customer experience. In fact, next year alone, it’s projected that 89% of businesses are soon expected to compete mainly on customer experience.

What’s to come is a direct reflection of what’s already been learned, and customer support is no different. Here are some of the most influential customer support stats of 2017 that will have an impact on what’s to come in 2018 and beyond.

Salesforce has reported that: 

  • 75% consumers expect a consistent experience wherever they engage (e.g., website, social media, mobile, in person).
  • 56% consumers willing to share data to receive faster and more convenient service
  • 70% of consumers say technology has made it easier than ever to take their business elsewhere.
  • 52% of consumers are likely to switch brands if a company doesn’t make an effort to personalize communications to them.

Deloitte has reported that:

  • 62% of companies view customer experience delivered by the contact centers as a competitive differentiator.

Gartner has stated that “companies that implement customer experience projects begin by focusing on ways they collect and analyze customer feedback. This is a great starting point for meeting your customers’ expectations.” They’ve reported that:

  • In 2018 more than 50% of organizations will redirect their investments to customer experience innovations.
  • By 2020 a customer will manage 85% of the relationship with an enterprise without interacting with a human, so make sure to give your customers the direction and tools they need to accomplish tasks themselves.

Internet Retailer has reported that:

  • Companies with the strongest omnichannel customer engagement strategies retain an average of 89% of their customers, as compared to 33% for companies with weak omnichannel strategies.

Zendesk has reported that:

  • 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves.

In 2018, companies should make it a top priority that their customers can easily find answers to their questions, and solve their issues through personalized, self-service support options. Organizations that take customer support and customer experience to heart and make a real effort will have more effective strategies in the marketplace and will stand out to consumers.

In short, businesses in 2018 need to:

  1. Get set up with personalization
  2. Offer self-service, multi-channel support
  3. Use smooth UX and UI to provide a pleasant experience
  4. Know and understand your customers

Zingtree decision trees help organizations of all shapes, sizes, and industries to improve their customer experience and support channels. Build online, interactive trees that allow customers to self-solve, are easy to customize and personalize, and offer businesses the ability to collect valuable information to better understand their customers.

Get a free trial started for 2018, or get in touch with our team to learn more about how we can help.