Category Archives: Business

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!

How Decision Trees for Insurance Can Simplify Policies & Procedures

decision trees for insurance

Having exceptional customer service isn’t reserved for typical B2C companies. In such a tumultuous and often scary industry (for consumers, at least), insurance companies and agents must also take a close look at how their customers are perceiving the assistance they are getting. Understanding is also a huge part of this customer experience. Why? Because insurance is complicated.

Improving Insurance Call with Decision Tree Scripts

For many insurance companies, automation is an angle that’s gaining traction for providing more streamlined and consistent customer service. Our partnership with EasyInsuranceScripts.com is a great example of how decision trees are being used to simplify.

Simply put, Ted Baker, the Founder of EasyInsuranceScripts.com, envisioned a more streamlined way to improve how independent insurance agents were being trained, guided through complicated conversations and policy selections, and processing claims. In an industry with so many small, yet important, details to be understood, these conversations and processes can become intimidating very quickly.

With our own knowledge and experience in simplifying the complex, we knew decision trees would be an ideal fit. Joining forces between Zingtree and EasyInsuranceScripts.com has allowed Ted’s services to offer the most comprehensive set of resources for independent insurance agents as a result.

“It’s amazing that I’m able to automate all of this for independent insurers,” says Ted. “For me, the ROI of decision trees is immediate. Introducing standardized decision tree scripts for insurance has allowed the insurers in my network to really thrive. With scripts for guiding conversations, interactive trees to train new agents, and the reporting that comes along with it, agents are able to provide a better customer experience that’s consistent and informative.“

Hard Numbers: Where the Data Fits In

While each insurance agent or organization may have varying experiences, industry knowledge is key in understanding how much this kind of customer service and care matters for insurance. McKinsey recently published an article on how focusing on improving customer experience has a direct effect on growth and profit in the insurance industry:

McKinsey’s global research across industries shows that improving the customer experience can do far more to drive profitable growth than raising advertising spending or lowering prices. Some executives may still see insurance as a low-engagement, disintermediated category, but analytics prove that in an industry where profits are highly concentrated, leading carriers are delivering customer experiences that inspire loyalty and attract new customers frustrated by their experiences with their current carriers.

Here’s a handy chart that helps to summarize how insurers must improve the customer journey:

 

A typical insurance carrier today delivers customer experiences via separate functions (marketing, distribution, underwriting, claims), using a website, sales call center, service department, and so on, most managed by different executives with different goals and metrics. This structure may have its purposes, but it overlooks the fact that from the customer perspective, the experience is often a single journey.

Real-World Example: Decision Tree for Insurance

Here’s a sample tree, derived from one of the Easy Insurance Scripts trees:

 

 

Have any questions? You can learn more about how to simplify insurance products and processes on our site or feel free to reach out directly.

This article was originally published on October 13, 2017.

5 Reasons Why Shoppers Might Hate Navigating Your Website

navigating website

Your customer-facing website is meant to be an environment that welcomes, informs, engages, supports, and converts. So why is it that most users only stay on the webpage they landed on for less than 59 seconds?

Everywhere you look online, you can find examples of websites and eCommerce stores that don’t necessarily meet today’s standards of customer ease-of-use. And, while a site visitor could have gotten their answer or information they were seeking within that single webpage in 59 seconds, it’s far more likely that something just isn’t working for your target audience. With eCommerce expected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021 (Statista) and consumers’ risings expectations for flawless, seamless web experiences to browse and purchase your products or services, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to where your site may be lacking.

There could be any number or combination of reasons why customers might not enjoy navigating your website. We’re shedding some light on a few of the most common issues that eCommerce sites run into.

1. Your products and services are hard-to-find

Poorly-designed menus, hidden information, and clunky sub-categories are responsible for a huge amount of customer dread when it comes to navigating eCommerce sites. A whopping 41% of online shoppers cite this as being a reason for disliking a website; jumping through digital hoops to find what they’re looking for just doesn’t cut it.

Having a well-organized menu of web pages and easy-to-use product finders are a fantastic method for helping customers to help themselves and find just what they need. From selecting a pair of sunglasses to figuring out the best type of bike, Zingtree product finders are the easiest way to locate specifics among a robust product offering.

2. You have poor search functionality

Search is at the core of every eCommerce website’s ability to convert customers quickly and easily. Incredibly basic search functions that don’t even use filters to refine the results can be a frustrating experience. With a poor system fleshed out for searching products, support information, and other FAQs, customers will feel lost in your website and be much quicker to abandon ship.

The more complex your product or service offering, the more advanced your search functionality should be in order to keep up with customer needs. eCommerce search tools that are efficient and effective have shown to prolong a customer’s visit to your website and is far more likely to encourage a sale.

3. You haven’t optimized your site for mobile

It’s safe to say that mobile shoppers are now officially outnumbering desktop-only online shoppers. Mobile eCommerce sales account for 34.5% of total eCommerce sales in 2017, and that number is growing still. If your mobile eCommerce site leaves something to be desired, or if it’s completely non-functional, it’s time to make it a priority.

If a customer on a smartphone opens up your website to find and purchase a product, and that mobile site is difficult to navigate, loading slowly, or clearly not set up to support such dimensions, they will leave immediately and not come back. When making final purchases and using online bill pay, this becomes even more important to remain competitive.

Image via UserZoom

4. Your design leaves something to be desired

While we may teach not to judge a book by its cover, the look and feel of your eCommerce site means absolutely everything. In fact, many consumers won’t even make a purchase from a website they don’t feel has a trustworthy appearance. If your customers type in your URL and get launched into a UI from the early 2000’s, the urge to find somewhere more visually pleasing to do their shopping is inevitable.

Website design directly correlates with how customers determine whether they believe you to be a reliable, professional company. 95% of users indicated that a positive user experience is the most important factor when they visit a website (Econsultancy). In addition, Forrester has reported that your website’s conversion rate could increase by 200 to 400% with a well-designed interface.

5. You don’t have an FAQ

When any type of purchase is involved, customers will consistently have questions about shipping, returns, manufacturing, and other specific details of your business and its products. Having a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that’s easy to locate, scan through, and find what you need saves your customer valuable time and improves your eCommerce site’s conversion rates.

Interactive FAQs and customer support decision trees were designed with this in mind, offering a powerful platform for customizing and publishing an in-depth, yet concise knowledge base of information. With an interactive element that’s simple to search through and find just what’s needed, customers feel empowered to solve their own problems without getting in touch with your eCommerce business directly.

 

Ready to learn about how Zingtree’s powerful toolkit can help you create interactive FAQs and product finders that will keep customers happy, engaged, and converting? Get in touch, be sure to check out our example decision trees, and read up about our solutions for eCommerce and retail businesses. 

8 Stats That Prove You Need A Knowledge Management System

Knowledge Management System

A knowledge base – also called a knowledge management system (KMS) – is the repository of information that customers and/or staff need to use your product or service, from basics to getting the most out of your product. The content comes from the subject matter experts (usually the creators and top support staff), and is expanded and improved over time.

Employees, especially new employees, will use the KMS to familiarize themselves with the product, and customers will often use the knowledge base themselves rather than call in for support. It takes an investment of time and money to create a proper knowledge base, but you will absolutely get more out of it than you put in, especially if it is interactive. Here’s why:

1) 40% of Customer Interactions Are Now Only On the Web

Customers today are calling customer service on the phone less and less than they used to. A recent survey of CRM managers and professionals by DestinationCRM found that 40% of customer interactions were over the internet, including mobile web and apps. Of those companies, 45% reported “measurable reductions” in phone inquiries. That means less time that employers have to pay support staff to answer the phone, and more of the time they do spend is on more advanced programs; this also leads to less employee burnout.

2) Solve Customer Issues For Just $0.25

I just mentioned that fewer customers will call in and require a live agent. Here is a more clear breakdown of those costs. A 2010 study by Forrester research on the benefits of click-to-call and click-to-chat showed that chats can cost a company up to $5 per customer interaction, and phone calls can cost as much as twice that. Automation brings that down even further, because rather than paying for staff to help, once the base is up and running, you’re essentially paying for the cost of running the server. One KMS provider, Hubspot, estimates that cost is a meager 25 cents per interaction.

3) 47% of Companies That Have a KMS Report Increased Sales

According to the same DestinationCRM survey, 47% of those surveyed reported an increase in sales through self-service and 54% reported an increase in web traffic, compared to before deploying a knowledge base. This is in part because a knowledge base answers many technical support questions before the buyer even makes a purchase. Your customer is more informed and more confident, which brings down purchasing resistance. In other words, once you set it up, the KMS is working for you!

4) Save $1,000 by Keeping Employees Happy

Onboarding a new employee is expensive. In order to train the new employee, existing staff have to take time from their tasks and spend it with the newbie, so youre paying twice over. According to a 2014 study by Training Mag, the training expenditure per learner for a small or midsize business was in the range of $819-$1,238; lets round that to $1,000. Thats $1,000 per employee, and if theres a high rate of churn, its money down the drain. By having a knowledge base, it empowers the new employee to learn at his or her own rate without having to interrupt the trainer for every small question, and can even brush up at home.

5) Every 1% Improvement in FCR Means 1% Higher Customer Satisfaction

The best way to reduce the cost of a new employee is to keep the ones you already have happy. According to 3CLogic, for every 1% improvement in first call resolution rate, contact centers will see a 1% improvement in customer satisfaction rates and a 1-5% improvement in employee satisfaction. Repetition is also a reason for burnout, and with a proper KMS, they will see lower zero level solution calls in the first place. The KMS also is an opportunity for collaboration between team members that can foster connections within a company.  

6) Your Existing Customers Will Help You For Zero Dollars

A knowledge base is written by your team members, but as customers ask questions, and, if you let them, answer them, it becomes a become a curated but crowd-sourced source of information. Its possible that customers will even figure out solutions that you havent, and you can add those great ideas to your own training. In addition, your customers are your real-time bug detectors and product developers. They may find a mistake or oversight that you didnt, and your KMS is the first place theyll look to figure out the problem. Similarly, if theyre looking for how to do something your product or service doesnt do, thats an instant suggestion box.  

7) 78% of Millennial Customers May Not Give You A “Second” Chance

Here is some bad news: According to a Salesforce study, although 89% of millennials use a search engine to find customer service, 78% of millennial customers have moved their business somewhere else after one single poor customer service experience. The importance of first-call resolution is higher than ever. Your best bet for keeping younger customers is to let them help themselves with a knowledge management system. It isnt just millennials, 40% of customers, according to Forbes, would rather skip human contact altogether in favor of self-service.

8) 5% Growth in Retention Can Increase Profits by 95%

According to a study by Bain and Company, having only a 5% growth in retention can increase profits by 25-95%. This is because compared to the cost and effort required to get a customers first purchase, many companies dont even break on that first one. It often can take several purchases for the retailer to be ahead. In their example, a customer who purchased from an online apparel retailer once was likely to refer three friends, but a customer who made seven purchases was likely to recommend the store to ten friends. In other words, customer loyalty is tough to earn, but if you are able to satisfy the customers, you will see significant growth over time.

The Final Word

Building a proper knowledge base requires time and effort. It will be continually updated with new information as your customers use your product and you, in turn, improve it. Thats why its called an investment. We at GetVoIP are always in favor of spending the necessary capital expenditure for long-term lower operational spending. A knowledge base will save your employees time and help retain customers, which in turn will both keep and put more money in your pocket. That is the very definition of a worthy investment.


About the Author:

Reuben Yonatan is the CEO @ GetVoIP, a leading VoIP systems comparison guide that connects shoppers with relevant providers.

 

How Do You Measure Success in BPO Call Centers?

BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) is an industry experiencing rapid growth, with predictions that it’ll reach $3 billion in the next few years. Rather than host a call center in-house, a BPO can take over many tasks for larger organizations, at a fraction of the cost. BPO’s allow for organizations with call centers to be more flexible, available, and more.

While there are many advantages for businesses, a BPO call center needs to perform a few key functions, like fast onboarding, agent monitoring, and data measuring, in order to truly be effective. BPO call centers using Zingtree experience the benefit of rapid training and onboarding of new agents, a consistent customer experience, active performance tracking, and analytics and reports that help to identify success and failure points. But, what else should an outsourced call center be keeping in mind?

A recent article from Call Centre Helper dives into the four critical measurements that should be monitored and analyzed consistently in order to determine the effectiveness of a BPO call center.

1. Service Level

As any contact center manager knows, service level is a metric composed of a pair of numbers: a percentage value and a time value in seconds. While many BPOs adopt an 80/20 service level (as somewhat of an industry standard), a Folono post on finding the right service level suggests that management should think otherwise.

2. Agent Turnover

Statistics show agent attrition rates can be as high as 20–30% annually. While the outsourced contact center can reduce agent turnover (by virtue of customer service representatives being able to work from home), it’s nonetheless important for managers to keep an eye on attrition rates. Since agents are on the front lines interacting with customers, it’s also important for managers to consider the ways agents will represent the company, motivate other agents, and regularly strive to improve their performance.

3. Performance

Getting agents to address a particular area of weakness (e.g., script compliance, product knowledge, etc.) is one thing. But the question is: How can BPOs motivate agent teams to improve their performance on an ongoing basis? A big part of this comes down to managers growing and supporting the team over time, helping them to cultivate skills, identify and execute professional development opportunities, and more.

4. Process Adherence

Today’s customers are busy and, when they encounter problems, they want them resolved quickly. So what can BPOs do to ensure that agents are handling customer concerns as swiftly and efficiently as possible? It all comes down to process.

 

Read the rest of the article on Call Centre Helper’s website here.

When you consider these key success measurements, customers will receive the best experience possible and agents will see marked improvements in performance. Companies and BPO call centers using Zingtree decision trees, agent scripts, and interactive process guides have seen a dramatically positive shift in training, onboarding, performance, and improving key call center metrics.

Ready to get more from your call center BPO? Sign up or log in and build your first interactive call center agent script!

 

Decision Trees for Business Processes – The Zingtree Task Manager Tool

Business Process Management with Zingtree

Overview

One of the more common, interesting uses for interactive decision trees is as an online task management tool for streamlining recurring business processes. These are standardized workflows that have a series of repeatable steps, which may need to involve handoffs to different people on a team or even in another department. For example, your company may have an approval process for:

  • making purchases
  • approving project budgets
  • hiring or firing employees
  • creating blog posts (like this one!)
  • and any other repetitive tasks or processes your business uses

The Zingtree Task Manager is a dashboard for guiding your coworkers through decision-tree-based processes created using the Zingtree tools.  This makes it easy for everyone to be held accountable, and to follow standard operating procedures.

Here’s a diagram of a simple purchasing process:

In this case, if the item is under $100, then the request is approved automatically. Otherwise, a manager needs to approve the order.

Set Up

Creating your first business process with interactive decision trees is not complicated. It involves these steps:

  1. Enter your “agents” – the people who act upon your processes – and assign them to groups.
  2. Create a decision tree, and assign each node (step of the process) to one of your Agent Groups.
  3. Assign your tree(s) to various Agent Groups. Only people in those groups will be allowed to start or kill a project.

This article has full details on how to set up your first business process.

The Task Manager

The Zingtree Task Manager was built with full-team functionality in mind. Anyone involved in a work process can use standardized decision tree workflows to navigate through the procedure. Certain steps can only be completed by specific people, and once you reach a step where it’s no longer your responsibility, that task is assigned to someone else.

This article has a video and full reference for the Zingtree Task Manager.

For example, in the procurement process diagrammed above, an employee creates the purchase request and a manager approves or declines it if over $100.

Here’s how the Task Manager could appear for an individual:

When someone Takes or Resumes a task, it looks like this:

Groups

Each person involved in a process (an “agent”) can belong to one or more groups. You can configure people and groups via Account > My Agents. So for example, a small team with two employees and one manager is set up like this:

Note that “Bill Zing” belongs to both the manager and employee groups.

When creating your process trees, you can tag each tree with the groups that are allowed to start the process.

Assigning Steps in the Process using Tags

Each node of your business process tree needs to include the Agent Group(s) allowed to act on that step of the process. You can see how our procurement process tree’s groups (outlined in red) are set up here:

 

The initial request step (node #1) is tagged with “employee”, so only people in the employee group can initiate a request. Node #6 – the Manager approval step – is tagged as “manager”, so only a manager can approve the purchase.

Assigning Agent Groups to a node is done using the Groups tab when editing a node. Here’s how node #1 is set up for an employee group:

 

Project Status: Success, Failure or In-Progress

At the end of a workflow, a project is either successful or a failure. When building your process tree, you can assign a result to each node in the node editor – like this:

Once a node is reached with a success or failure result, the process has ended.

Notifications

A notification can be sent when any node (process step) is reached so that the next person can be alerted and step in for their task. Notifications can be sent in a few different ways, including:

  • A text message
  • A simple email notification
  • A Slack notification
  • A customized email (using an email node)

Task Manager Operations

Your agents – people involved in your processes – can perform the following operations on each task:

  • Start: Begin a new task, and assign it a name.
  • Take: Take over the next step of a task. Only one person at a time can move a task to the next step.
  • Release: Release a task so another person can complete the step.
  • Resume: Continue with a task that you have previously taken.
  • Revisit: Go back to a previous step in the task you have permissions to act upon.
  • Reclaim: Take back a task from someone who has taken it.
  • Kill: End a task early, without following all the steps to completion.

Go here for a full reference on the Task Manager


Got questions about using Zingtree for streamlining your repetitive business processes? Reach out to our team!

How to Setup Zingtree Decision Trees for Business Processes

Business Process Management with Zingtree

Getting your organization ready to use business process decision trees via the Zingtree Task Manager is relatively simple.

Here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Setup your organization to use the Task Manager.
  2. Create your “agents”, and assign them to one or more Agent Groups.
  3. Create your decision trees for the workflows your agents will follow.
  4. Assign decision trees to your Agent Groups.
  5. Assign the steps in your workflows to your Agent Groups.
  6. End the workflows with Success or Failure.

Setting Up Agents and Task Manager

To enable your organization top use Task Manager, start by going to Account > My Agents. Select Task Manager for agent logins, like this:

Next, you’ll need to add agent logins – one for each person who will be using the system. Click Add One New Agent, the enter the agent’s name, a login (usually their email), a password, and what groups they are assigned to, like this:

The groups will be used later to determine who is allowed to act on each step of the workflow. In the above example, Joe Smith is assigned to the employee group.

Assigning Decision Trees for Agent Groups

Each tree you create can be assigned to one or more groups. Any agent in the assigned group can start a new project using that tree as a business process workflow. This is done via the Settings tool.

For example, if we want Joe Smith to be able to run a procurement process decision tree, we would assign that tree to the employee group, as follows:

  1. Select the tree from My Trees.
  2. Open the Settings tool.
  3. Under the Groups tab, enter the group or groups to assign to this tree.

Here we entered the employee group:

Be sure to click Update All Settings when finished!

Assigning Nodes to Agent groups

Each step in the business process workflow corresponds to a node in your decision tree. And just like trees, you can assign nodes to agent groups. This has the effect that only agents in that group can act upon a specific node.

Here’s how to assign a group or groups to a node:

  1. Edit the node.
  2. Go to the Groups tab, and enter the group or groups that are allowed to act on this node.

It will look like this:

Click Save Changes when finished.

Now, repeat this for the other nodes in your tree.

Setting Endpoints

A project ends when you reach a node that has a “success” or “failure” result on it. You can set the result of the node as follows:

  1. Edit the node.
  2. Set the Result to Success or Failure, from here:

Handy Tips

Tip #1: The name of the current task can be used as a variable in your tree. Just enter #task_name# where you want the name of the task to appear.

Tip #2: You can see the results and the groups for every node in a tree from the Simple Overview tool. Here’s a procurement tree with the Results and Groups highlighted:

Tip #3: For all your trees, you can see the Agent Groups allowed to start a project via My Trees. Like this:

See more about our online task management tool for streamlining business processes

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.

How Zingtree Uses Automations To Be More Productive

automations

Long gone are the days of doing it all by hand and double-checking your work along the way. For businesses in all industries, it’s becoming easier to get ahead, stay ahead, and improve internal processes using automation. From the more advanced automations to more simple and straightforward ones, there are easy ways to use technology to your benefit.

Automations can require different levels of technical expertise, and most expose an API for programmers. In many cases, tools like Zapier and Calendly don’t require any programming knowledge. But for more advanced uses, being able to tap into an API gives you an extra level of power. APIs are some of our closest friends at Zingtree, allowing our decision tree toolkit and call scripting software to work together, enabling the automation of certain process possible, and making our customers’ lives even easier.

This article on Inc.com summarizes it well, saying:

“Automation is the future. The development of the cloud allows you to stitch together all of your cloud applications–from email to CRMs–something that was unfathomable merely 10 years ago. As a result, you can make more sense of your data–and unify your business processes into simpler dashboards that don’t require a computer science degree to use.”

There are hundreds of applications built with efficiency and value in mind – all here to help your organization achieve its objectives and deliver value to its customers. But, with so many solutions out there, it can be difficult to know what’s right for your workflow.

At Zingtree, we make every effort to automate our processes – this gives us more time to better serve our customers and focus on improving our service. Here’s a breakdown of some of the incredible, powerful automations that we have put in place to make Zingtree a more efficient and effective company.

Marketing + Communications

We like to stay in touch with our customers on a regular basis. Whether it be to communicate some new product fixes, new features & updates, integrations, newsletters, blog posts, or other quick tips, setting up personal automated emails, drip campaigns, and messages is big for us.

We use Intercom to build, customize, and launch most of these automated product and marketing messages. With just a few simple steps, we’re able to keep our customers in the loop on the latest in the world of Zingtree. We have Intercom chat integrated within our website, and by using the Intercom API, we are able to open a customer record in our back-end from any Intercom conversation with a single click.

Check out our Intercom integration here. 

Business Operations

Business processes come in all shapes and sizes, but all of them have one thing in common: they take valuable resources to optimize and maintain. We use our own interactive decision trees for improving and automating business processes because they provide a robust, yet simple way to run through any type of process. For us, this means enabling automations for:

Along with ourselves, one of the largest organizations around the world – Philip Morris International – uses decision trees to automate and improve their procurement process. With these interactive, automated processes in place, PMI enables its employees to be guided through purchasing journeys in a consistent way. PMI’s decision trees have automated process flows with a standardized approach, making sure that the correct set of procedures are being followed every time.

Scheduling + Demos

One of the process issues we’ve faced as a company is the amount of time it takes to schedule online demos for new customers. If only there was a way to intelligently gather background information from each prospective customer, and then route the requests to the proper team… oh, wait! Zingtree can do that. If you request a demo, you’ll launch a decision tree that determines what sort of customer you are, gathers relevant background information, and then opens a scheduler built with Calendly. With this tool, you can set up individuals or teams and the software accesses their Outlook/Google calendar to show available times for each person or group.

Calendly also lets you pre-fill custom forms; besides name and email, we create a backgrounder using Zingtree data entry fields and button click variables for each meeting request. Not only do we make it convenient for the customer to provide this information to us, but also this helps us prepare properly for each meeting. You can see how this scheduling decision tree is built here.

Check out our Calendly integration here.

Customer Support

Our most fully-integrated use of automation comes with our own decision tree platform – providing automated customer support! Offering up decision trees as complete knowledge bases, FAQs, and tutorials, Zingtree enables us to automate the support process through self-service. There’s no technical know-how required to start using decision trees for support, and they can be embedded directly into any website using just a small piece of code. We also use Zingtree internally to manage our knowledge base of information, as well as set up demo requests and even provide automated, end-to-end technical support!

Other helpful automated systems that Zingtree provides include:

Customer service, business process, and communications-based automations – while highly advanced – can only grow and evolve into more useful ways for businesses over time. At Zingtree, we’re looking forward to continuing to provide a versatile platform that allows companies to automate customer service, support, and the overall experience even further, without sacrificing personalization or ease-of-use.

Have any questions about how we use automations, or how to get set up with the Zingtree API? Contact us anytime!

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.