Category Archives: Customer Support

7 Tips for an Effective, Interactive Knowledge Base

Interactive Knowledge Base

These days, there are quite a few solutions for improving customer service and support in completely digital ways. Customer-friendly knowledge bases are one tried-and-true way to present every bit of important information, tutorials, and how-to’s in a completely categorized display. Your typical, traditional website knowledge base can’t compare to the power and effectiveness of a fully interactive knowledge base, however.

Armed with guided instructions that are compacted into smaller, more digestible pieces, interactive knowledge bases allow customers to quickly troubleshoot, find answers, and solve complex issues, all without calling your business up on the phone. Zingtree enables organizations and businesses of all sizes to create and integrate a customized, easy-to-use, interactive knowledge base into their support system, so every customer gets the answers they need. In fact, we host our own Zingtree FAQ on the Zingtree platform itself!

Here are just a few of our best tips for building the best interactive knowledge base you can.

1. Nail down your categories and main topics first.

Start with an outline of the topics you want to cover, as well as the categories of topics that they belong to. Having this thoroughly laid out before you set in will help you visualize your completed knowledge base, as well as make sure that you’re not missing any key topics, tutorials, or FAQs.

Here’s an example of how we have our own interactive knowledge base set up:

2. Always add a search bar.

The key to having a fully automated, interactive knowledge base is to make it as easy as possible for customers to direct themselves to the correct article or tutorial. Adding a search bar to the top of your knowledge base will prompt any unsure customers to see if they can quickly pull up the answers or information they need. It’s a simple tip, but one that your customers will absolutely appreciate!

3. Start with your favorite tool.

It’s important to work with the decision tree-building tool that works best for you, personally. We offer up a few different ways to get started:

  • Overview: Build your trees from scratch, piece by piece (or rather, node by node).
  • Visual Designer: Draw out every node, connection, and final result in one visual space.
  • Wizard: Quickly create by answering a series of questions and answers that ultimately build the final tree.
  • Spreadsheets: Start creating in Excel or Google Sheets and import for refinement.

4. Word everything carefully and concisely.

Beyond the general advice to keep wording (especially complex wording) to a minimum, it’s important to carefully craft each question, how-to, or other information to be perfectly clear, and never use phrasing that could steer customers down the wrong path. Keeping the decision tree questions and information presented in your interactive knowledge base as simple as possible and structuring them in an easy-to-absorb way is the best way to help customers get the help they need.

5. Use videos and animated GIFs strategically.

Visuals are proven to aid in information retention, plus they are fun to look at and are easy for customers to save to their respective desktops for future use! An interactive knowledge base built with decision trees allow for businesses to embed documentation and/or visual media to help convey information better. Using photos, graphics, and GIFs, and adding relevant videos to your questions is a hugely productive way to communicate instructions within limited space.

Here’s an example GIF that clearly shows how to connect nodes in our Visual Designer:

6. Link to more in-depth information where it’s needed.

There’s a lot to be said about going with a more streamlined, bite-sized approach to your support articles – something that our decision trees help a lot of businesses with. When in doubt, it’s always better to keep things short and to the point while linking out to further information or details when needed. Our decision trees allow you to use what we call “link nodes” to easily open up into a new window.

7. Integrate with CRM systems and other platforms.

One of our best tips for building a great interactive knowledge base is to make sure that it’s all linked up to CRM. Zingtree decision trees integrate directly with Freshdesk, Salesforce, Zendesk, and just about every other CRM out there to make the sharing of information fast and easy. With these integrations in place, support staff will have a much better look at where customers are getting held up, and can quickly send a full decision tree transcript over to their CRM for fast access.


Head over to the Zingtree FAQ to see how we set up our own interactive knowledge base with decision trees, or check out the Gallery to get inspiration for your trees!

Anything else? We’re always here to help you get started, offer advice, and answer any questions. 

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!

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. 

Create Freshdesk Tickets from Zingtree Decision Trees

Does your company use Freshdesk to manage technical support?

If so, you can use Zingtree decision trees to reduce your technical support team’s workload. Customers can either self-solve their issue, or you can get a new ticket in your Freshdesk that includes all the information from their decision tree session. By effortlessly gathering background information from the customer via the decision tree, you save a lot of time by reducing back-and-forth messages.

Here’s how a ticket generated by Zingtree appears in Freshdesk:

Note how the ticket includes a transcript of the Zingtree session.

Click the button below if you’d like to try a demo tree that generates a ticket in our Freshdesk sandbox:

Setup Overview

It’s easy to set this up – here’s an overview of the process:

  1. Add a new Application to Zingtree for creating Freshdesk Tickets.
  2. Create a “Ticket Submitted” node.
  3. Create a “New Ticket” node to obtain the customer’s name, email, a ticket subject, a description, and optional custom fields.

Add a new Application to Zingtree for creating Freshdesk Tickets.

A Zingtree application can be called from any node. You’ll need to add the Freshdesk App first as follows:

  1. Log into your Zingtree account.
  2. Go to Account > My Apps.
  3. Select the Freshdesk: New Ticket App.
  4. Enter your Freshdesk API key and domain name. (Instructions are on the page.)

  5. Click Add Freshdesk App to save the new App.

Create a “Ticket Submitted” Node

When this node appears, a new ticket is added to your Freshdesk installation. This is the end result of pressing a “Submit Ticket” button inside the decision tree. You can create this node as follows:

  1. Go to Tools > Add Node.
  2. Add a new Content Node.
  3. Give the node a title, and any text you want to appear in the content area – like “Thanks for submitting a ticket” etc.
  4. Click the Apps/Webhooks tab.
  5. Click Add App/Webhook.
  6. Select the Freshdesk App you just created. You should see something like this:

  7. Click Save Changes to save this node.

Now we’re ready to link a ticket entry page to this “Ticket Submitted” node.

Create a “New Ticket” node

After your customer goes through the troubleshooting session, if they haven’t been able to resolve the issue, you can direct them to a node which collects the following info:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Subject for the Ticket
  • Description of the problem.

You use Zingtree’s Data Entry Fields to get this info. The field variables need to be named as follows:

name = fd_name
email = fd_email
subject = fd_subject
description = fd_description

  1. Edit the node where you want the customer to submit the ticket.
  2. Click the Data Entry Fields tab.
  3. Add fields for fd_name, fd_email, fd_subject, fd_description. When you are done, your Data Entry Fields will look something like this:

  4. You can also optionally add Custom Fields into the ticket. In the above example, we have a custom field named product in our Freshdesk installation. So the Zingtree equivalent is fd_cf_product.
  5. If you want to set the status and priority, you can also get variables named fd_status and fd_priority. This is optional.
  6. Click the Action Buttons tab, and add a “Submit” button to go to your submit ticket page.
  7. Save the changes to this node.

Summary

Examine this tree from the Demo Gallery to see a real live setup.

That’s how easy it is to create Freshdesk Tickets from Zingtree. Any questions, comments or suggestions for improvement? Talk to us!

How to Send Email from Decision Trees

send email from trees

One of the most frequent requests we get from customers is about sending email. We’ve spent a lot of time to make this process as simple as possible.

With Zingtree, you can use Email Nodes to send email in two ways:

  • Automatically, with no end-user interaction.
  • Showing a pre-defined form for the end-user to enter a message.

Emails can include everything you need:

  • The Session transcript.
  • Variables entered during the session.
  • Images and formatted text.
  • Attachments.

Sending  Emails Automatically

Emails can be sent automatically, with no end-user interaction. Start by creating an Email Node as follows:

  1. Click Tools, then Add Node.
  2. Select Email Node as the node type. The Send Method should be set to Send Automatically.
  3. The Email Node editor appears.
  4. Add a Page Title (mostly for your reference when using the Zingtree editing tools)
  5. In Send Email to, enter the delivery email address. You can enter multiple recipient email addresses separated by commas.
  6. Enter a subject and a message. The message can include images, formatted text, or placeholders for variables. For example, if you collect a variable called name, just add #name# into the email body for it to appear.
  7. Check Include Session Data in Email to include the Q&A transcript, and any data collected in the email. You can also check “Securely deliver session data via Link”, which will provide a link to the session information, instead of including it in the email body.
  8. In After Sending, choose a node to go to next. Or, choose Go to URL, and enter a URL to launch instead, like this:
  9. Click Save Changes when finished.

How to Create an Email Form Node

Your end-users can be presented with a stock email form, which looks like this:

You can make a node that displays this form by creating an Email Node as follows:

  1. Click Tools, then Add Node.
  2. Select Email Node as the node type. The Email Node editor appears.
  3. IMPORTANT: For the Send Method, select Show Form Before Sending.
  4. Add a Page Title (mostly for your reference when using the Zingtree editing tools)
  5. Add text for the Send Message button.
  6. In Send Email to, enter the delivery email address. You can enter multiple recipient email addresses separated by commas.
  7. You can enter a default subject or message. These are pre-filled in the email form.
  8. Check Include Session Data in Email to include the Q&A transcript, and any data collected in the email. You can also check “Securely deliver session data via Link”, which will provide a link to the session information, instead of including it in the email body.
  9. In After Sending, choose a node to go to next. Or, choose Go to URL, and enter a URL to launch instead, like this:
  10. Click Save Changes when finished.

Summary

These two methods are the recommended ways to send an email and should be used in place of any other methods.

As always, if you have any ideas to share with us on this or any other features, please let us know!

This article was originally published on June 15, 2018, and has been updated for accuracy. 

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.

 

Generating Custom Documents Using Document Nodes

Updated August 19, 2018, with PDF Generation option.

We’ve had several requests to create a final, single page document based upon answers to decision tree questions. Zingtree’s Document Nodes makes this powerful document generation capability a reality.

With the help of Document Nodes, you can now complete tasks like:

  • Making custom sales brochures.
  • Building legal agreements.
  • Generating purchase orders.
  • Creating evaluations and assessments.

For a simple example, examine the What Computing Device Do I Need? decision tree from the Zingtree Gallery.

You can also provide PDF files as a download option, or as a link to include in an email.

This companion video illustrates how document nodes work, and how to create and edit them:

Document Nodes Overview

Document Nodes display the content from one or more content nodes on a single page, based upon variables and values. Variables can be from one of these sources:

  • Data Entry field values.
  • Scoring variables from button clicks.
  • Variables set from Data Entry field list boxes or radio buttons.
  • Variables introduced from calls to Webhooks.
  • Merge Variables passed into the session.

Here’s how it looks in the Document Node editor:

Building a Tree to Generate a Document

To build a decision tree that generates a document based on answers selected, we recommend these steps:

  1. Create your question nodes, and assign Button Click Variables to important responses.
  2. Create content nodes (with no button options) for all of the possible snippets of content you’ll want to show in the final document.
  3. Create a document node that pulls everything together.

Set Up: How to Create a Document Node

Here’s how to create a fully-functional Document Node, step-by-step:

  1. From Overview, click Add Node.
  2. Select New Document Node.
  3. Add the pieces of content you want to serve to your end-users.

Each piece of content is set up like the image shown below. In this example, if the variable phone_calls equals “Yes”, we add the contents of node #6 to the final document.

Using the Document Node Editor

Drag this to reorder the content:

Click this to delete the content from the document node:

Pick a variable to test:

Pick an operation:

Pick a value to test against:

Edit the contents of the included node:

Show the contents of the included node:

Try the Document Node editor with a demo page here.

Hint: Once the content a node is inserted in the document, it won’t be re-inserted again.

Continuing On After Creating a Document

You can add a “Next” button to the bottom of the document node, and have the end-user continue on to another node after viewing the generated document. Just configure your document node like you see here:

Debugging Tip

Use a node that shows your variables while you are testing. The What Computing Devices do I Need example tree uses Node #10 as an ending piece in the Document Node so you can see the value of all of your variables.

Making PDF Versions Available

You can provide PDF versions of a generated document in two ways:

  • As a “Download PDF” button when the document node appears.
  • As a document URL, uploaded to the Zingtree servers.

Please note that any PDF file generated is charged to you at $0.01 USD per 500 Kb.

Download PDF button option

Here’s how a document node can appear with a “Download PDF” button:

This can be configured in the Document Node editor like this:


PDF URL option

The other option is to have Zingtree generate a PDF file, upload it to a server, and create a link to the PDF as a Zingtree variable. Here’s how that’s set up in the Document Node editor:

You need to do these three steps:

  1. Select Generate PDF File and Continue.
  2. Enter a PDF URL variable. This variable will contain the URL for your PDF file.
  3. Select a node to go to once the PDF has been generated.

In the above example, the variable pdf_url will contain the URL of the PDF file generated by this document node. See this article to learn how to make links in emails or content nodes to a PDF document URL.

Note that in this setup, the end-user will not see their document node until they open the PDF URL.

PDF hint: Pagination

If you want to force a page break, add ##PDF Page## anywhere in the content area of a node.

Live Example

The What Computing Devices do I Need tree demonstrates a simple tree with a Document Node at the end.  This tree helps an end-user decide whether they need a phone, tablet or desktop PC, based on the answers to some questions.

Have any questions, comments, or suggestions on this feature? Talk to us on live chat or by email!

This article was originally published on November 29, 2016, and updated on August 19, 2018.

The Most Important Customer Support Stats for 2018

customer support stats

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

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

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

Salesforce has reported that: 

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

Deloitte has reported that:

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

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

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

Internet Retailer has reported that:

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

Zendesk has reported that:

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

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

In short, businesses this year need to:

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

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

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

This article was originally published on January 2, 2018.

Balancing the Digital & Human Experience in Customer Support

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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