Monthly Archives: November 2018

Clever Ways to Make Customer Support Less Annoying

As business owners, brand managers, and people with an investment in the companies that we work for, it’s sometimes hard to think about our customer service as being ineffective or annoying to customers. It seems that long gone are the days of formality and robotic phone tree interactions – customers today have different expectations for what customer service should be that involve more personalization and better access.

If you’ve noticed that your customer support strategy is lacking or slowly falling behind expectations, you’re certainly not alone. In fact, one of the reasons we even started Zingtree was to find a solution to our customer service annoyances. As we navigate the changing environment of customer service, it’s important to address the most widely recognized sources of ineffective support, playing on the habits and preferences of the largest groups of customers today.

We’re taking a look at some of the most common problems that many businesses face when addressing customer service expectations, offering solutions that won’t put a big dent in your budget.

Problem: Customers hate talking on the phone.

Solution: Offer online support options that are actually helpful.

While customers in many generational groups still like to hop on the phone and give you a call to sort things out, the number of people who don’t want to talk on the phone with customer service is rapidly growing. Millennials dominate this group at the time, with a fairly resounding trait of hating to talk on the phone. Additionally, McKinsey reports that 86% of B2B executives prefer using self-service tools for reordering, over talking to a sales representative.

With the vast majority of customers today going online to find answers and more, it’s imperative that you have information ready to go at any notice. Decision trees are one such platform that makes it spectacularly simple to offer self-service support options online, including FAQs, interactive tutorials, and more.

Problem: Customers use their mobile devices more than computers.

Solution: Make sure your most important information is mobile-friendly.

It should be no surprise that customers in many demographic groups today expect a mobile experience to be available, anytime and anyplace. For B2B and B2C businesses operating online, a mobile-friendly website with full support is no longer a “nice-to-have.” Seamless customer service across all platforms with a mobile-responsive design is simply what customers expect!

According to WOW Local Marketing, 52% of customers are less likely to engage with the company because of a bad mobile experience. We’ve made it a special priority to build our decision tree tool to be entirely mobile-friendly, so every interactive troubleshooter, user guide, or FAQ is fun to use on any smartphone or tablet.

Problem: Customers expect experiences to be engaging and easy to access.

Solution: Implement a support strategy that operates interactively.

If your website and support pages are still displayed on a clunky design from the 2000s, you’re not doing enough for your customers. The moment that someone lands on your site to get some support and something about the platform, design, or process doesn’t appeal to them, they’re far more likely to just close the browser tab. In 2018 and beyond, customers have a clear expectation for online support experiences that are easy to find, navigate, and that ultimately answer their questions.

In fact, about 50% of customers think it’s important to solve product or service issues themselves and an enormous 70% expect a company’s website to include a self-service application – this is the new standard for support. At Zingtree, we aimed to create a support tool that’s as easy to access as it is engaging to use, with fully guided support experiences that help customers find the solutions they are looking for in an interactive format.

Problem: Customers have specific expectations for support agents.

Solution: Identify what those expectations are and optimize to meet them.

Have you ever been on a call with a support rep and felt unheard, annoyed, or like you didn’t quite get the answers you were looking for? Along with evolving needs and expectations for how to get support in more friendly and accessible ways, those customers who interact with customers support agents hold serious expectations for how they should be providing service. Among these expectations are that support agents should: already have the customer’s key information on-hand, have access to previous communications, and have some level of personalization.

Separate from customer-facing decision trees, Zingtree’s interactive and online platform is also perfectly suited for agents to use in their interactions with customers. With interactive call scripts that integrate directly with CRM tools, it’s easy to track performance, make adjustments to calls, and optimize along the way to build the most perfect experience possible.

With our powerful, flexible, and fully-interactive decision tree platform for customer support, your customers in every demographic will have their customer support expectations met – even exceeded! Below, take a look at a few of our decision tree examples for customer support that can help you get on your customers’ good side.

 

 

View more decision tree examples for customer support here

Ready to optimize your entire customer support strategy with decision trees? Sign up for a free trial today, or get in touch with our leadership team to talk shop. 

This Year, Give Your Customers the Gift Of Great Holiday Support

Holiday Support

Customer service can be particularly demanding during the holiday season. From November all the way through the New Year, businesses selling goods and services to consumers see a dramatic uptick in the number of people requesting help. A typically busy time of year for most people out there, these raised stress levels can directly translate into how the customer experience is perceived.

In addition to this, many customer service agents and other company reps are feeling that same stress, both from those they are serving and their own holiday experiences. So, what can we do to offer the same exceptional customer service and support during these particularly anxiety and stress-inducing times? The best place to begin is always to streamline, scale, and focus on self-service.

Tips for Handling Holiday Customer Support

In a recent blog post from Intercom, the team offers up some tips and best practices for dealing with customers during the holidays so everyone stays happy! Here are a few of our favorite tips from the article:

1. Automatically answer common holiday questions

Chatbots let you deliver fast answers 24/7 to the questions your customers are asking frequently – the ones that might be preventing them from making a purchase. For instance, studies have shown that shipping and delivery time influences 87% of shoppers’ purchase decision

2. Proactively help customers on pages where they experience friction, like the Checkout page

A study of more than 18 million eCommerce sessions found that nearly 74% of US online shopping carts were abandoned last holiday season. One of the best ways to help customers complete their order is by triggering a targeted, proactive message on the Checkout page, including the option to chat live with your support team.

3. Empower customers to resolve their own holiday issues with self-service

Today’s customers overwhelmingly prefer self-service. In turn, this lets you reduce time spent on simple issues and improve your holiday bottom line. For a B2C business, the cost of a self-service transaction can be measured in pennies, while the average cost of a live service interaction (phone, email or web chat) totals more than $7.

Read the rest of the tips on the Intercom blog. 

How to Get Set Up with Self-Service Holiday Support

Our friends at Zendesk provide the most succinct response to why self-service is so important during the holiday season, stating that “offering self-service is the new baseline for customer service and it’s also a key predictor of how effectively you’ll be able to contain costs as your business grows.” Additionally, “more than 20% of agent time is spent looking for info, but having a good knowledge base of content can aid agents with the information they need to better serve customers.”

With Zingtree, the process of creating, customizing, and hosting self-service support options for your customers and agent scripts during the holidays (and beyond) is incredibly easy.

Self-Service Decision Trees:

Pairing your existing FAQ and live chat with interactive decision trees is the best way to cover customer service during the holidays. By anticipating questions ahead of time and building a simple how-to or troubleshooter, you can help solve seasonal problems without the back-and-forth.

Learn more about self-service decision trees.

Agent Scripting Tools:

By preparing support agents with tried-and-tested interactive scripts and giving them the confidence to make judgment calls, every rep will be ready to address any customer concern, question, and issue during the holiday season with ease. Plus, Zingtree scripts link directly with Zendesk, Freshdesk, and other CRM platforms, so you can easily share session data to improve the customer service process.

Learn more about custom agent scripts.

Contact us to learn more or get started today!

Configuring Okta Single Sign-on

Okta Single Sign-on

If you’re looking for a way to get started with securing access to your trees via Single Sign-on, you’ll first need to have an Identity Provider to manage your logins. Okta is a great service – it’s easy to set up, and very popular.  This article will show you how to get Okta and Zingtree working together.

Set Up Overview

Configuring SSO requires Okta and Zingtree to share information with each other:

  1. Okta needs information about Zingtree.
  2. Zingtree needs information about Okta.

Once you have Zingtree and Okta successfully working together, you can limit access for authors and/or employees or agents.

For the setup, we recommend keeping two browser tabs open – one in Okta, and one in Zingtree.

Configuring Okta

To start, in the Zingtree top menu, go to Account, Single-Sign-on. You’ll see something like this:

 

You can switch between setup for Agents or Authors. Switch to Author setup by clicking this:

Switch back to Agent setup by clicking:

In the above screenshot, you can see the parameters (specific to your organization) to share with Okta. Let’s use this information to set up the Okta side:

  1. If you haven’t already created a free Okta account, do it now.
  2. Go to the Okta Dashboard.
  3. Click Add Applications under Shortcuts.
  4. Click Create New App.
  5. Choose SAML 2.0 as the sign-on method, and click Create.
  6. In the General Settings, give your application a name (like “Zingtree”), and click Next.
  7. Under SAML Settings, configure it as shown below.  For the Single Sign-on URL, use Zingtree’s Login URL. For the Audience URI, use Zingtree’s Entity ID.

  8. Click Next to finish the SAML setup.

Configuring Zingtree

Now, let’s get some information from Okta:

  1. In Okta, click Applications from the top menu, and go to Applications.
  2. Click the new Zingtree application we created.
  3. Click Sign on, then View Setup Instructions. Keep this page open in a browser tab.
  4. Now go back to the Zingtree tab, and click Edit Identity Provider Data.
  5. For the Zingtree Entity ID, use the Okta Identity Provider Issuer.
  6. For the Zingtree Login URL, use the Okta Identity Provider Single Sign-On URL.
  7. Copy the Okta certificate into the Zingtree certificate field.
  8. Click Save Identity Provider Settings.

OKTA Setup for Embedding

If you’re embedding trees in another page, or using an integration via Zendesk, Salesforce, Freshdesk or other apps, you may also need to tell OKTA allow for CORS requests. OKTA describes this here.

Here’s how to setup CORS:

  1. In your OKTA admin, go to Security, API:

  2. Go to Trusted Origins, and click Add Origin:

  3. Set the origin URL to https://zingtree.com, and tick both Type options.

  4. Click Save.

Testing Your SSO Setup

Once you’ve set up your Identity Provider and Zingtree for SSO, you can test from Zingtree as follows:

  1. In Zingtree, go to Account, Single Sign-on.
  2. Click the orange Test Agent Login or Test Author Login button at the lower right of the page.

From here. you can test logging into Okta from Zingtree.  If you’re already logged in, the test will just return your email or another identifier from Okta.  If you’re not yet logged in, the Okta’s login screen will appear, and then you will be returned to the Zingtree SSO test page after logging in.

Enabling SSO for Agents/End-Users

Once everything is working, in Zingtree go to Account, Single Sign-on. Click Enable Agents:

Next,  you need to restrict access to each tree as follows:

  1. Go to My Trees, and select the tree that you want to require SSO login.
  2. Click the Settings tool, and you’ll see something like this:

  3. Check Require Single Sign-on (SSO) Login to Access.
  4. Click Update Settings.

Note: Once SSO is set up, any new trees created will have SSO required by default.

Enabling SSO for Authors

Once SSO for authors is set up and working, you’ll need to enable it as follows:

  1. Go to Account, Single Sign-on.
  2. Click Switch to SSO for Authors.
  3. Make sure Enable Authors is checked.

One More Step: You also need to add authors to your organization via Account, My Authors. They will not be required to use a Zingtree login to gain access, but this also validates them as a person who has access to your organization’s trees.

Configuring Okta for Embedding or Pop-up Overlays

By default, Okta doesn’t allow logins from iFrames. You can override this as follows:

  1. In Okta, select Settings, Customization.
  2. Make sure Allow iFrame Embedding is selected.

Any questions? Don’t hesitate to reach out

This article was originally published in 2017 and has been updated for accuracy. 

How to Embed a Decision Tree on Your Website

Interactive decision trees are most helpful and easily available to those who need them when included directly in your website. We made it easy to complete that ideal flow of customer interaction and self-help with options to embed your Zingtree decision trees wherever you may need them.

1. Embed Zingtrees into any web page

– Log in to your Zingtree account and go to My Trees.

– Tap on the decision tree you want to be embedded, then Publish.

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 9.44.04 AM

– You’ll see a few options for publishing your tree, including an embed code that you can paste directly into any web page, like this one below.

– Go to Advanced Embed Options to see how your Zingtrees look with different options in real-time, such as buttons vs. panels.

2. Add a pop-up decision tree as a clickable button.

You can also include decision trees on your site with a button, called a pop-up overlay.” You can easily customize the button color, text, and look of the trees, and include multiple trees on one page. Here’s just a few examples:

    
 

3. Use the Zingtree plugin for WordPress

Simply download and install the plugin to your WordPress account to quickly add Zingtrees to your website anytime!

Examples:

To embed a Zingtree into your web page, enter a short code like this with the ID of your tree:

[ zingtree id=”148196706″ ]

To display in “panels” style and add persistent buttons to the bottom of each page:

[ zingtree id=”148196706″ style=”panels” persist_names=”Restart|Submit Ticket” persist_node_ids=”1|5″ ]

To hide the name of the tree, and the back button:

[ zingtree id=”148196706″ hide_title=”yes” hide_back_button=”yes” ]

You can visit our FAQ for more information on embedding and available short code parameters.

Need more help? Just ask our resident experts!

 
This article has been updated to include pop-up overlays.

Freshdesk Agent Scripting App

Freshdesk

If you’re running live support or a contact center with Freshdesk, you’ll want to use the latest Zingtree Freshdesk app for Agent Scripting. This update supports the new Freshdesk Mint interface and helps guide live agents to solve problems and follow processes.

With a single button click, your decision trees appear like this in Freshdesk:

 

Get Started

Install this custom app from the Freshdesk App Marketplace as follows:

  1. Go to your Freshdesk Admin, and click on Apps (under Helpdesk productivity).
  2. Click Get More Apps.
  3. Search for Zingtree, and click the Zingtree App.
  4. Click Install.

Freshdesk may take up to 30 minutes for your app to be available.

Configure your App

There are two settings for your app:

  • The tree ID of the tree you want to appear first (required). The default just shows all the data variables passed into Zingtree.
  • An option to send data from your Freshdesk ticket to Zingtree. If you enable this, you’ll be able to show information from the ticket in your decision tree or do automatic branching using Logic Nodes.

Using the Agent Scripting App

When viewing a ticket, click the Zingtree button at the top:

The decision tree you configured will appear:

Features

Zingtree decision trees are easy for anyone to use immediately. But there are a couple of bonuses under the hood you will appreciate:

  • Pause and Resume: When you reload a ticket and click the app button, the decision tree will return to the last place visited. In addition, you can click the History link to see what transpired previously. This is really helpful if a call is dropped, or if a ticket is transferred to a new agent.

  • Agent Feedback: At the bottom right, you’ll see the Agent Feedback button:

    Your agents can click this to send comments back to the authors of the tree. This is a great way to continue to improve your knowledge base, and also involve your agents in the publishing process.

 

 

Streamlining HR with More Automated Business Processes

The global shift into utilizing automated processes in business is well underway; optimizing procedures for every department of your business is a highly critical factor of success. Streamlining business processes in a way that can reduce steps, lessen mistakes, and help guide employees on the correct path every single time is an investment that’s well worth it – this is exactly why we created our own Task Manager tool to help enhance these daily, repetitive business processes.

Human Resources is one such department within organizations that should always be included in the shift to greater, more involved automation. Because these roles so heavily rely on following strict procedures, enacting the correct protocols, and ensuring that every detail is in place, HR is the perfect candidate for benefitting from a more streamlined way of doing things. In this article from Forbes, the author dives into how automation and streamlining of business processes can solve some of HR’s biggest challenges today.

Attracting and retaining top-notch talent is one of the top factors influencing success for organizations in the 21st century. As a result, HR has become your most important departments, and it’s crucial to ensure that it’s properly resourced. Unfortunately, most business can neither afford nor find a well-staffed HR department.

The fact is that most HR processes are still very manual and document-driven, and HR specialists waste too much time on administrative paperwork. By automating these processes, streamlining operations, optimizing workflows and cutting out waste, your HR employees can spend more time focusing on what they’re passionate about: people.

The good news is that with its administrative processes like employee onboarding and time tracking, HR is particularly ripe for automation.

The main idea we’re trying to emphasize here, with help from this piece, is that HR is a perfect department to be optimized through more automated and streamlined processes via interactive decision trees. With repeated tasks like onboarding new hires, time-tracking, approvals, and more, almost every facet of the job can be improved.

There are several main benefits of automating these business processes for HR, as explained in the article, such as:

  1. Driving better employee engagement
  2. Reducing paper
  3. Closing communication gaps
  4. Collaborating to enhance productivity
  5. Reducing manual work
  6. Reducing email for speedier approvals
  7. Increasing focus on what matters — people

Attracting and retaining top-notch talent is a critical HR challenge in today’s workplace. HR automation has a lot to offer, yet many organizations have been too slow to adopt it. Will your HR department in 2020 still be mired in paper-intensive, error-prone and time-consuming manual processes? Or, will you use modern, low-cost platforms to automate and free the HR department to focus on what’s important: talent?

Read the rest of the article on Forbes. 

We’ve been providing HR, customer support, and other key organizational departments with the interactive tools needed to streamline procedures. With Zingtree decision trees for internal uses, teams can follow the most standardized and perfected processes in order to get more done with less energy, money, and zero error. And, with Zingtree task manager, you can streamline every repetitive process and task within one easy-to-use platform.

Try a working version of the Task Manager here and check out our demo video right here to see exactly how it works:

More articles about how to streamline and automate business processes:

Any questions? Get in touch with our team anytime!