Category Archives: Business

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. 

5 Massive Time-Saving Benefits of Interactive Decision Trees

Decision trees can be great time-saving tools when implemented well. In any industry use case, fleshing out a complex process into a simplified and easy-to-understand version of itself is, by far, one of the best ways to save valuable resources. Because there’s no coding necessary to get up-and-running, decision trees save even more time for businesses, retailers, and call centers looking to streamline everyday processes. When put into practice, decision trees help to cut down on time spent navigating:

  • call center conversations
  • customer support efforts
  • internal processes
  • finding products on eCommerce sites
  • and more

While the scenarios vary, the results are similarly incredible. We created Zingtree decision trees ourselves in order to reduce the time spent on our own internal processes and support efforts. After implementing decision trees for customer support, we saw way fewer support tickets (about 25% less), spent about 15 hours less every week answering support tickets, and customer satisfaction markedly improved as well. Over time, this has lead to a savings of around $30,000/year.

We’re not here to focus on the savings in terms of money this time, however important it may be. Where the real savings truly lies is within TIME; and as we all know, saving time is saving money. Here are a few of some of the major ways that our online decision trees save organizations incredible amounts of time.

1. Providing self-help.

Consumers young and experienced alike have spoken: self-help solutions are the preferred solutions. While your standard phone and email communications are still incredibly important to offer, providing platforms to customers that allow them to self-solve problems and answer their own questions goes a long way where time-savings is concerned. Not only do the end-users or customers save time by being able to quickly route themselves where they need to go without waiting in a digital line, this interactive format saves businesses time that would have otherwise been spent helping that customer out. Interactive decision trees make self-help incredibly simple. You can create custom knowledge base materials, troubleshooters, interactive FAQ pages, tutorials, and more to embed directly on-site so customers can get the answers they need quickly.

2. Reducing back and forth.

Where emailing back-and-forth or playing phone tag with a customer for hours (or days!) used to be the norm, customers and businesses alike have started to value their own time more. Decision trees are an amazing tool for reducing – even eliminating – the back-and-forth typically found in service-based or consumer-facing industries. Because you can create an entire guided experience with active tracking and data collection, decision trees allow you to always be caught up without any manual effort. For example, if a customer can’t self-solve a support question using an FAQ decision tree, the information is automatically passed into a complete transcript for a support agent or team member to address. You can even share this transcripted customer info with any CRM tool that your company uses (Salesforce, Zendesk, etc.) to save time importing and sharing.

3. Finding answers faster.

Did we mention that saving time also relates to finding the information you need quickly? For customers in any industry, easy access is key. Interactive decision trees allow you to surface what customers need at a particular time, effectively cutting back on time otherwise spent searching around for the right answer. Introducing guided trees directly into an online site or eCommerce store is a proven way to enhance the customer’s journey from product/service discovery to final purchase. Allowing end-users online to quickly navigate to what they need improves the customer experience and helps to promote even more sales.

4. Collecting data securely.

Being able to collect customer information and other critical data in a secure way online is everything these days. With so many new rules and regulations surrounding data privacy, interactive decision trees remain a perfectly streamlined and secure way to collect and analyze data. Decision trees provide an easier, faster way to get information directly from customers, using data entry forms, feedback, and other methods of tracking. With integrations that make it possible to collect information and validate it all at once (for email, phone, and USPS address), our decision trees are a safe and simple option for gathering pertinent customer stats.

5. Generating powerful reports.

We’re firm believers in following the numbers; when a process is actually simplified and optimized, you can take notice using performance data. A full Analytics & Reports section in our decision tree toolkit makes it possible to generate actionable, value-driven reports on critical areas. In these various reports, you’ll be able to see the effectiveness of your decision trees and quickly locate common issues, making products and services even better over time.

With accurate analytics on-hand, you can see exactly how decision trees are being used and where areas of improvement may lie, so you can continuously optimize to save even more time. Other important reports include:

  • Results — measure how effective your decision trees are
  • Session List — see how long end-users are actively using your decision trees
  • Traffic Map (shown above) — view a breakdown of traffic to each part of your decision tree
  • Node Popularity — see the most frequently visited and clicked on nodes of each tree
  • Data Totals — access a full summary of data collected from a decision tree

 

When you implement internal and customer-facing processes that are easy-to-use, understand, and improve upon over time, the time-saving benefits come naturally. Hundreds of companies around the world are already using Zingtree decision trees to save time, money, and other valuable resources while providing a user-friendly platform – even us! Check out our gallery of decision tree examples to see more real-life use cases on how decision trees are the perfect time-saving solution for businesses.

Amazon’s Annual Report – What Growing Business Can Learn From It

Amazon recently released its Annual Report for the past fiscal year, effectively making piles and piles of useful data and findings available to the public in one convenient package. Along with obvious growth, there were also some marked difficulties during the year that made an impact on the company’s current and future operations.

As Zingtree continues to grow, we’re always looking out for the best ways to optimize what we’re doing – often using our own decision tree toolkit. And, while our company may not be raking in billions of dollars like Amazon (yet), their key takeaways are something that any business can (and should) learn from.

Amazon Risk Factors and Obstacles in 2018

1. Channel expansion and high-growth pains.

Scaling and diversifying can present issues of complexity in a business’ operations. According to the report, “This expansion increases the complexity of our business and places a significant strain on our management, personnel, operations, systems, technical performance, financial resources, and internal financial control and reporting functions.”

2. The risks of international operations.

Expanding into new international markets is an exciting step, especially when revenue trends start pointing in the right direction. However, factors such as business licensing, regulations on eCommerce, cultural barriers, currency, and access to the internet can cause hurdles and risks during growth.

3. Optimization of data & fulfillment centers.

Properly housing and protecting data is a hot topic for good reason. As more data is being collected, its storage and privacy are more important (and more threatened) than ever. According to the report, “If we do not adequately predict customer demand or otherwise optimize and operate our fulfillment network and data centers successfully, it could result in excess or insufficient fulfillment or data center capacity, or result in increased costs, impairment charges, or both, or harm our business in other ways.”

4. Seasonality and holiday strain.

Certain seasons always see more booming business than others, and it’s not just Amazon that feels it – in the United States especially, that season just so happens to be around the year-end holidays. During this time, demand is up, up, up, along with the amount of shipping, site traffic, and extra customer service and support staff that’s often needed. Planning well ahead to better forecast issues around the holidays is the best way to tackle this.

5. Rapidly evolving business model.

Growth is always a great thing, but growing too rapidly comes with its own set of challenges that even Amazon has faced recently. The need for increased and more efficient technology, maintaining and growing stock value, and improving the way customers discover and research products, are all huge factors to keep in mind during growth.

6. Government regulation.

Legislation has its hand to play in how businesses operate, and eCommerce companies like Amazon in particular need to take consideration in every facet of their organization. This includes making sure you’re following the rules when it comes to data protection (i.e. GDPR), energy consumption, taxation, and online payments – all necessary regulations to enforce.

Read the full Amazon Annual Report here.

Check out a great summary of the report on BigCommerce here.

As Zingtree continues to grow as a company and product, we’re looking forward to discovering new uses of our toolkit to streamline internal workflows, improve customer service strains, adhere to governmental regulations, enhance data collection, and optimize business processes. Interactive decision trees are an amazing, versatile tool that has allowed us to minimize growing pains while always providing customer support when it’s needed.

Take a look at our decision tree examples to see what amazing use-cases can help to improve your company during growth! Have any questions? Our team is here to help any time you need it.

Mapping Out Lean Process Flows with Interactive Decision Trees

Lean Process Flows

Adopting lean process flows for a business is all about simplification. No matter the area of focus, moving from step to step throughout a process in a frictionless and efficient way is essential for business operations and customer satisfaction – whether in customer support, manufacturing, inbound sales, etc.

A lean process is a smooth process, after all; one that requires getting rid of waste and only leaving the most mission-critical information in order to streamline each step. As big proponents for making things easy and streamlined, lean processes are a big part of how we run Zingtree efficiently and provide more value to our customers. We use our own interactive decision trees for improving lean process flows because they provide a robust, yet straightforward way to build and run through any type of process flow. For us, this means setting up streamlined systems for:

Implementing these lean process flows in various areas of our business have been helpful both internally and to our customers.

When you can identify and eliminate flow bottlenecks, you make the whole process easier. Imagine, for example, a construction crew working on a busy section of freeway, closing some key lanes. In this case, the process’ capacity (the number of people who can continue to drive on through) for successful interactions are blocked by equipment, workers, and a horde of other cars, keeping anxious drivers moving slowly through. By making a process flow lean and mean, you’re effectively opening those closed lanes back up, removing the equipment, cars and other complications, making way for a smooth ride.

Lean Goals to Live By

Pointing out flow issues when you’re dealing with traffic is simple, but it can be more difficult to identify those process flows in your business or place of work that can be improved on. While you’re thinking about all of the various processes that occur in your organization, here are some general goals and questions to ask yourself when choosing a process flow to make leaner:

1. Will it reduce cost?

2. Will it simplify the process?

3. Will it improve the quality of the process?

4. Will it make it easy to follow standard operating procedures?

These always help us to quickly go through a list and identify which processes can be improved on – if it’s not cheaper, simpler, higher-quality, and more intuitive, it’s not being made lean.

Mapping Process Flows with Decision Trees

Typical diagrams and hand-drawn or digital flowcharts simply can’t do as much as decision trees can when it comes to simplifying processes. While a traditional way to help wrap your head around where the bottlenecks COULD be, these systems are designed to only identify the issue, not solve it.

Decision trees for lean process flows are a live, functioning tool that’s designed to help you identify the issue AND be a platform to present that information; in other words, you can simultaneously build your process flow chart and customize it for immediate internal/external use. You can even gather data on if it’s all working up to standards and make optimizations along the way.

How a decision tree looks when you’re building with the Visual Designer.

Check out this article on how to create a lean process flow with a decision tree.

Decision Tree-Created Lean Process Flows in the Wild

Here are just a couple of examples of Zingtree customers that have created more lean process flows using decision trees:

Spokane ENT

A specialty medical practice in Washington, Spokane ENT says that decision trees for scheduling have enabled them to optimize scheduling, help schedulers intelligently pre-diagnose patients, and collect key medical information in a secure environment. This ultimately eliminates any unnecessary appointments from being scheduled, and speeds up the steps between picking up the phone and confirming the appointment.

Take a look at the Spokane ENT case study here.

Philip Morris

One of the largest organizations around the world, Philip Morris International utilizes decision trees to improve their system of procurement, a cost-saving lean process flow. With these interactive process flows in place, PMI allows its employees to be guided through complicated purchasing journeys without issue; a standardized approach that ensures every step is followed perfectly to reduce time, cost, and stress.

Take a look at the PMI process flow case study here.

 

Want to learn more about building lean process flows using interactive decision trees? Reach out to our team on our Feedback page, or get in touch by clicking on the chat box on our main site

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.

Insights Success Interview: The 10 Most Innovative Contact Center Solution Providers 2018

Insights Success is “The Best Business Magazine” in the world for enterprises. Being a platform, it focuses distinctively on emerging as well as leading fastest growing companies, their confrontational style of doing businesses and the way of delivering effective and collaborative solutions to strengthen market share.

Zingtree was recently featured in the Insights Success roundup of the most innovative contact center solution providers of 2018, where our co-founder and CEO, Bill Dettering, was able to share some of the ideas and momentum behind Zingtree, as well as what makes it such a powerful tool. Here’s just a portion of the article below:


The Incredible change that led to the Birth of their Flagship Online Toolkit 

Zingtree was initially borne by an existing consumer software company that Bill had founded in the early 2000’s. While looking at ways to address the rising cost of customer support and repetitive tickets that were delivered on a daily basis, the company decided to hard code decision tree troubleshooters as part of its online support process.

What happened next was an incredible change and improvement in the support efforts; immediately, they saw a 25–30% reduction in the number of tickets received. This drastic reduction led them to the conclusion that many customers preferred to self-solve their inquiries and issues at any time, provided a guided online solution. This “Aha” moment initiated the development process of a simple-touse toolkit that allowed anyone to build their customized decision trees.

Easy-to-Use Characteristic to soar its Popularity 

Coming from a consumer background, Zingtree focused on developing a platform that does not require IT involvement. With its online-toolkit, content, and support, managers can easily build and manage their decision trees and agent scripts without the need of back-end developers and technical knowledge. Zingtree has received numerous comments from customers as to how fun and easy Zingtree’s solution is for creating, customizing, publishing, and managing decision trees online. From the initial launch of Zingtree, they discovered very quickly that customers had many and varied customer support needs that could ultimately be streamlined, simplified, and improved.

The idea of interactive troubleshooter-style trees for selfhelp technical support quickly expanded into other exciting areas. Call center companies started engaging with Zingtree for building, and testing guided agent scripts for their teams. Currently, 50% of the Zingtree customers are either call center companies or businesses that have employees who specifically use Zingtree for agent scripting purposes. As businesses see the benefits of a script as a guide for their agents, as well as an excellent tool for training and onboarding, they delve a little deeper into the use of customer-facing decision trees. This theme has become more common as companies are looking to streamline all organizational processes including the ability to provide immediate and unattended answers for self-solving.

Pick up the latest Insights Success to for more, or read the full article on their website here. 

Ready to get started with your own decision tree? Sign up or log in here.

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.

How to Use Process Flows to Build Mailchimp Lists

As end-users are using your Zingtree decision trees, you can add any information collected during the session into a MailChimp mailing list. Zingtree has a handy MailChimp App for just this purpose.

Here’s how to add data from Zingtree to a MailChimp list.

  1. In Zingtree, go to Account, My Apps, and click add Add MailChimp. The MailChimp configuration screen appears:

  2. Enter a name for this App. For example: “Add to Mailing List”.
  3. Enter the MailChimp API Key. To find your API Key, log into MailChimp, and select Account, Extra, API Keys. Generate an API key if you haven’t done so already.
  4. Enter your MailChimp List ID into the configuration. In MailChimp, click Lists, then select Settings from the drop-down next to your list. The List ID will be at the bottom of the page.
  5. Click Add MailChimp App when finished.
  6. Edit the node where you want to add to a MailChimp list. Look under Show Advanced Options, Send Message To App. Pick the name of the app you just created: “MailChimp: Add to Mailing List”.

  7. Important: The field names you are using in Zingtree must match the merge tag names in MailChimp. So if you have merge tags NAME and ADDRESS in MailChimp, you would use variables named NAME and ADDRESS in Zingtree. You can find the merge tags for each field in MailChimp from List, Settings under List fields and *|MERGE|* tags. They will appear like this:

  8. In Zingtree, the email address of the end user should be a variable named either EMAIL or email.

Once the end-user reaches the node you built in step 6, MailChimp will receive the information collected by Zingtree and add all matching fields to the list for email.

Do you have a cool application for this feature? Let us know on our Feedback page.

Industry Report: Here’s How to Improve Customer Support & Sales on Black Friday

Whether you’re an online retailer or consumer, Black Friday is a crazy time of the year. For customer support teams, in particular, the stress and demand can seem neverending – it’s not a question of if a customer will have an issue or question, but when. Adding extra layers of employees needing (and deserving) time off of work around these times and generally higher stress levels, startups and small businesses especially can feel the tension around customer support.

Black Friday On-Demand: Salesforce Industry Report

To be frank, mobile and on-demand options truly reign supreme. Customers today expect a smooth purchasing experience, fast shipping, and even faster customer support.

Salesforce combined the insights on the activity of over 500 million global shoppers and billions of transactions, millions of public social media conversations, and data from Salesforce’s annual Connected Shoppers Report to give retailers and online businesses the intelligence they need keep moving forward this holiday season.

Here’s what VP of Industry Insights, Salesforce Commerce Cloud, Rob Garf, had to say:

“Just like watching television, holiday shopping has moved from an appointment based activity to an on-demand activity. Salesforce expects to see continued growth not only in mobile orders and website visits, but also in newer technologies such as mobile payments and artificial intelligence. It’s not too late for retailers to make adjustments today in order to meet consumer expectations and better compete this holiday season.”

You can read the full report and insights here.

A Better System of Customer Support for the Holidays

So, how does an online business truly prepare for holiday shopping? A new trend in customer support: self-service.

Interactive decision trees allow customers to quickly and easily navigate through processes, products, troubleshooting, and more. Setting up a completely automated, information-filled FAQ or knowledge base, simple-to-use product finder, or digestible problem-solving can solve a myriad of internal issues (and your customer’s, too!).

Our retail customers are able to solve problems and answer questions outside of regular and holiday office hours, as well as encourage more sales and truly streamline the customer support process. Take a look at some of our own resources for improving customer support here, and stop by our own decision tree-built knowledge base here.

Ready to start streamlining retail customer support for your eCommerce business? Get in touch with us, or sign up for an account. 

Building Troubleshooters for Complex Products & Tools

interactive troubleshooter

Interactive troubleshooters are becoming a more frequent way to solve problems involving complex, technical products.  Since most complex equipment for industries like manufacturing, videography, and hardware/software have fewer “expert technicians,” the need for more intelligent support systems has risen. Where issues and complicated instructions run rampant, the fastest way to find the solution to a problem is with interactive troubleshooters.

Caterpillar, the US manufacturer of construction and farm equipment, is using Zingtree troubleshooters in their manufacturing plant. Likewise, IT Works, the most relied-on resource for collecting information on living environments. We even got our own start by building troubleshooters for another software company, Applian Technologies.

Self-Solving with Troubleshooters

With complicated products and tools, troubleshooters aim to help find the area of the problem by narrowing down other contextual factors. By offering an interactive format to simplify the issue, you have solved part of the problem already.

For highly-specialized or complex products, it can take a while to get fixed or for the right person in the right location to come and fix it, in many cases. Troubleshooting solutions make it easier for expert technicians to judge the issue and solve accordingly, and for less-than-expert level folks to figure things out.

Success Stories: Troubleshooters in Practice

For the U.S.-based manufacturing company, Caterpillar, this rings especially true. With an array of complex (and often large) manufacturing tools in use, equipment operators across the country needed an easier way to help work through issues and find answers anywhere. When an error code comes up, operators and technicians are able to assess the problem and find a way to fix it.

The decisions behind Applian’s customer support are also powered by our troubleshooters. The results? The company saved over $30,000 on resources per year and 15 hours of support time per week.

Here’s one of the Applian troubleshooters you can take a look at:

 

 

Building an Interactive Experience

Instructions are easier to follow from an interactive decision tree if the user is being guided by easy-to-follow, bite-sized directions. With complex products and tools, there is generally a lot of important information to cover – with no real understanding of your user’s experience level, it’s better to be as user-friendly as you can. You can even include videos, images and other types of media within your troubleshooter to make things even more easy to digest.

We have heaps of information on how to get started building troubleshooters right away – there’s a method that fits just about everyone! For more ideas, tips, and inspiration, we recommend having a look at our troubleshooters on display in the Gallery, as well as checking the blog for a catalog of best tips for building. There’s something in there for every industry!

After creating your in-depth, intuitive decision tree, end users will be delighted with the ease of providing a faster solution. Ready to start your revolutionary, problem-solving troubleshooter? Take a shot, or reach out to us if you need some expert advice.