Monthly Archives: July 2018

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 this year 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 or get in touch with our team to learn more about how we can help.

This article was originally published on January 2, 2018.

Decision Trees with Logic Nodes

In order to make decision trees that can help solve real-world problems, sometimes you need the ability to do more than just choose a path based upon a finite set of choices. For these reasons, we’ve introduced Logic Nodes into Zingtree.

In addition, we’ve found that many of our customer’s integrations are passing data variables into Zingtree, and there are situations where they would like to act on the value of those variables. Logic Nodes make this easy.

If you’re an existing Zingtree author, Logic Nodes replace Scoring Nodes from previous versions. Any tree that is using Scoring Nodes is automatically migrated to this new system, without losing any functionality or you having to do any updating of your trees.

Here’s How Logic Nodes Work

When you edit or create a Logic Node, you’ll see something like this:

Logic Nodes test the value of your Zingtree variables with a series of rules and jump to a node when a condition is met. The rules are applied in order, so once a rule condition is met, the node assigned to the rule opens next. You can also assign a default node to jump to in case no rules apply.

In the example above, if the variable fruit equals banana, then Zingtree will open node #8, the “Banana” node. If fruit is watermelon, then the default “Something Else” node opens.

About Variables

Variables can be numeric or text, and the comparisons work for either data type. You can bring variables into your trees in several ways:

Note: Your choice of variables is shown in a drop-down list. If Zingtree hasn’t encountered a variable yet in one of the above scenarios, then it won’t appear as an option.

Editing Rules

When editing your Logic Nodes, you can edit your rules as follows:

  • Reorder rules by dragging them up and down with this tool: Reorder Logic test
  • Delete a rule by clicking on this: Delete logic test
  • Select any existing variable from the Variables drop-down.
  • Select an operator (=, ≠, <, >, ≤, ≥ ).
  • Enter a value to perform the test upon.

You must also enter a default node to jump to if no conditions are met.

Zingtree Logic Nodes give your decision trees a bonus option for adding extra intelligence to your processes and troubleshooters. Do you have a cool application for Logic Nodes you’d like to share with us? Reach out and tell us your story!

This article was originally published on May 8, 2017, but all the information is just as important and relevant.

Balancing the Digital & Human Experience in Customer Support

Technology has enabled us as business owners, operators, and supporters, to make huge strides of progress on many fronts – operations, management, research and development, and customer service included. With all of its great power and potential, going fully-digital in many senses still isn’t perfect, however. Additionally, people are at the heart of every great idea, project, and communication, but using strictly human labor isn’t cost-effective, productive, or a good use of resources.

Finding that perfect balance between digital and human experience in customer support (and beyond) enables companies like Zingtree to really optimize the customer experience. We came across a brief, yet thought-provoking article by customer service industry leader, Shep Hyken, that discusses this delicate balance between providing an efficient digital experience and a more connected human experience. In his piece for Customer Think, he explains a specific, yet commonly-found example of how the balance needs to be adjusted:

I was on a website looking for a camera for my notebook computer. The chat box popped up, asking if I needed help. I typed in a question about the camera and the response was about what computer I was interested in purchasing. I had no interest in buying a computer. The digital experience had gone awry.

As consumers today, we’ve all experienced a mishap as a result of poor customer experience implementation. Whether it’s being mistakenly routed to the wrong department or something as serious as processing a payment incorrectly, these digital-meets-human experiences tend to leave a bad taste in our mouths. On the other hand, adopting a wholly digital or human-based support system can’t really cover every base. In another example in his article, Shep Hyken discusses why this is:

If a customer needs support, a chatbot may not have all the answers. The best chatbots have been programmed to understand when it doesn’t have an answer or the customer is confused. At that point, the chatbot moves the customer from the digital experience to a human experience, as it seamlessly switches you to a human to continue the conversation. That’s the way it should work – just at the right point, moving to the human experience. That’s balance.

This type of balance is a big reason why we created (and use) decision trees for our own customer support and experience purposes; they help us take advantage of a best-of-both-worlds scenario. In fact, here’s a common scenario in our customer service efforts where the balance has been perfected:

  • Our customer heads to our website to get technical help.
  • A decision tree appears, asking for relevant background information. End-users simply click a few buttons.
  • Once the decision tree is finished, a chat box appears, which includes the Q&A from the decision tree session, and has all the details for their problem.
  • We talk with our customer directly in the chatbox to answer as many questions as possible.
  • We can send any related materials, helpful resources, and step-by-step instructions from our own knowledge base.
  • We are able to send a full transcript of that conversation directly to our preferred CRM tool.
  • An automatic reminder to follow-up with that customer can be set at any time.

Identifying points of friction in these customer-related processes is important. With this knowledge, we’re better able to strike the delicate balance between digital experience and human experience, allowing us to care for our customers in the most efficient, effective, and non-intrusive way possible.

Read the full article by Shep Hyken on the Customer Think blog here.

Any questions on how to find your perfect balance of digital and human efforts in your customer support experience? Get in touch with us anytime to talk shop – we’re always happy to help you find a way to better serve your customers, and save more time and money in the process.