Category Archives: How To

How-to and tutorial articles.

Decision Trees with Logic Nodes

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

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

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

Here’s How Logic Nodes Work

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

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

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

About Variables

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

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

Editing Rules

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

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

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

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

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

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 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!

Push Live: A Simple Decision Tree Publishing and Approval Process

Some of our larger customers have asked for a simple process for managing changes to their decision trees. When there are multiple people involved in making edits, and the final versions need approval, the Zingtree Push Live tool makes this procedure a breeze.

Push Live lets you have two versions of a tree – a development version and a live version. Your team makes changes to the development version, and when these changes are ready to go live, an administrator approves these changes by invoking the Push Live tool to update the live version of the tree.

Using Push Live is optional, and can be implemented at any time.

Overview

Here’s how Push Live organizes the publishing process:

  1. An author or authors make changes to a tree.
  2. Once the new tree is approved for release, an adminmistrator invokes a Push Live so that the new tree is available to end-users and agents.
  3. All changes and push events are tracked through the Snapshots tool.

Setup

Here’s how to set up a tree for Push Live:

  1. Select your tree from My Trees.
  2. Go to the Settings tool, click the Push Live tab, and check Enable Push Live.

  3. Make sure to click Update All Settings next.

Managing Live and Development Versions

You can switch between the development and live version of your tree from the main Tree Tools screen. Go to My Trees, and select a tree, or use the All Tools option in the Tools drop-down on every page.

Select Development or Live from the Version selector:


IMPORTANT: Use Live Publishing Links

The live version of a tree has different links than the development version. Make sure you are using the Publishing Links code for the live version of your tree by switching to the live version before using the Publishing Links tool.

The tree ID for the live version of a tree is the same as the development version, except that it adds 000 to the end of the ID. For example: If your tree ID is 123456789, the ID of the live version is 123456789000. So you’ll need to use different publishing links when making the live version of your tree available to others.

Pushing Changes Live

In order to update the live tree, you need to have Administrator rights on that tree.

Once you’re ready to “go live”, invoke the Push Live tool from the main Tools page, or the Tools drop-down. You’ll be asked for update notes on this version, which makes it easy to track what changed.

You can see the history of changes (with the update notes) for each update of the live version using the Snapshots tool (under More Tools).

Using Tree Nodes with Live Versions

If you have several trees under the Push Live process, and you are using tree nodes to link them together, Zingtree will ensure the proper development or live version is linked. When editing in the development version, use tree nodes that reference the development versions for your other trees. When you push live, those tree nodes will go the live versions of the other trees if they exist.

Here are the rules:

  • Tree nodes in the development version go to development versions of other trees.
  • When you push live, tree nodes in the live version go to live versions of those trees.
  • If a live version of a tree node doesn’t yet exist, the development version is used instead.

Give Us Feedback!

Is this Push Live feature useful to you? Do you have any suggestions to make this process work even better for you? Let us know!

 

This article was originally published on January 16, 2018.

Zapier Decision Tree Integrations with Zingtree

zingtree zapier integration

Our Zapier app makes it easy to send data collected during each Zingtree session to 1000+ applications supported by Zapier. In case you haven’t heard of it, Zapier is a tool that simplifies data exchange between various web applications. We’re big fans.

Here are some cool things you can do with Zingtree and Zapier:

  • Send data collected in a Zingtree session to Salesforce, Zoho, Highrise, or any other CRM.
  • Add an email address entered into a tree into Mailchimp.
  • Send yourself an email or SMS message when a customer reaches a critical node in a tree.
  • Save new customer information in a Google Sheets row.
  • Create Trello cards from trees, and include customer notes and session data.
  • And tons more!

When using Zapier, you create “Zaps.” A Zap has a “trigger,” which is the source of the data, and an “action,” which is where the data gets sent. Most of our customers want to send data from Zingtree to another app, so we’ll demonstrate how this is done here.

Before starting, you may want to examine a demo tree from our Gallery that gathers data and sends it to Zapier, or copy it to your account.

How to Set up Zapier for Zingtree

The Zingtree Zapier app is currently invite-only. But if you’re reading this article, you’re invited!

  1. Create a free Zapier account at Zapier.com.
  2. Go here to accept an invitation to use the Zingtree app. The invitation appears:

    Accept the invite.
  3. You’ll be prompted to make a new Zap:
    Click Make a new Zap.
  4. You’ll be asked to choose a Trigger App, which is the source of the data exchange.
    Search for Zingtree, and select Zingtree (Beta).
  5. You’ll be asked to choose a single trigger.
    Click Save + Continue.
  6. Next, you’ll need to connect your Zingtree account and a tree to Zapier.
    Click Connect a New Account.
  7. You’ll be asked for your Zingtree API Key, which you can find here. Also, enter the Tree ID that will be sending data to Zapier.
    Click Continue when finished.
  8. Change the name of the account, then click Test.

    You should see “success.” Click Save + Continue.
  9. Next, Zapier will attempt to retrieve any variables or sample data from your tree. If this is a new tree, you may want to run through it once and gather some data.
    Click Fetch & Continue.
  10. You’ll see some of the stock data that Zingtree always provides, as well as any custom data for your tree. Again, if you don’t see all the data you expect, do a test run through your tree, and enter some data at least once. This will make the rest of the process easier.
    Click Continue.

Set up the Action App – Email Example

So now you’re done with the Zingtree part. Congratulations! Next, you need to set up an Action App, which will receive data from Zingtree. Let’s set up email delivery as an action, as follows:

  1. Search for email, and choose Email by Zapier as an action app.
    Select Email by Zapier.
  2. This app has just one action.
    Click Save + Continue.
  3. Fill in details for the outbound email. You can insert fields from Zingtree in the body of the email as well.Click Continue when the email is set up correctly.
  4. You’ll see  a preview of what to expect.
    Click Create & Continue to save the action and send a test email.
  5. You should see another “success” screen.
    Click Finish when the email appears as you like.
  6. Name your Zap Zingtree to Email, and turn it on!

Your Zapier Zap is all set.

Making Zingtree Send Data

The final step is to tell Zingtree when to send all the data collected in a session to Zapier. This can be triggered from one or more nodes, when they are seen by the end-user of your tree.

  1. From Overview, Edit Node, edit the node that you want to trigger sending data to Zapier.
  2. Go to Send Message to, and pick Zapier: Zingtree to Email. This is the new Zap you created.
  3. Click Save.
  4. Now try a test from Zingtree. Using Preview or the Publish tool, navigate your tree, and when you reach the node that triggers the send, you should see something in your inbox. IMPORTANT: Make sure to use https in your published Zingtree URL when using Zapier.

Once you get your first Zap done, it becomes easy and addictive to hook Zingtree to the other applications that your business depends upon. So keep going!

Have any questions? Contact us anytime!

Decision Tree Creator: How to Make Great Interactive Knowledge Bases

Decision Tree Creator

For businesses in fields like eCommerce, technology, and insurance, building your own decision tree creator from scratch is costly and time-consuming. That’s why we created Zingtree, so non-technical people can build and maintain their own custom interactive decision trees to function as troubleshooters, call center scripts, product finders, interactive flowcharts, lead qualifiers, process flows, or other procedure-based knowledge. Managing this type of interactive content doesn’t require a developer or extensive technical know-how.

It’s helpful to understand what makes a well-designed decision tree. At Zingtree, we define a well-built decision tree as being:

  • Informative
  • Engaging
  • Visual
  • Intuitive
  • Useful
  • Concise

Zingtree is the leading decision tree creator tool, making the process of building, customizing, and deploying guided decision trees super simple. That being said, there are some general rules and best practices to keep in mind when using our decision tree creator.

1. Have a purpose, and define it well.

Every great project begins with a solid goal, and your decision tree is no exception. Using a decision tree creator without realizing the purpose of putting one together is an aimless task that can leave you confused and your decision tree over-complicated; it’s very important to lay out WHY you are creating the tree in the first place.

Are you trying to simplify an internal business process to promote best practices?

Are you revamping your whole customer support knowledge base system?

Do you need a platform for gathering key customer or client feedback?

These are all credible use cases that can require different specifics to be added into your decision tree, so it’s always good to figure this out first. For instance, an organization that is setting up an interactive knowledge base would need to consider how to link different decision trees together (using master trees), while one that is focusing on troubleshooting complex products would need to think about where screenshots, videos or diagrams come into play.

2. Outline your questions and answers.

Once you have your purpose defined, having a basic idea of the structure of your questions and answers is a natural next step that allows you to finesse the main flow of your decision tree. Just as you would do for an upcoming press release, how-to article, or internal memo, jotting down what you need to cover first will ensure that you don’t miss any important information in the final version.

A good tip for outlining here is to not forget about visuals. Any helpful media (including video, GIFs, photos, and illustrations) can be inserted into the Zingtree decision tree creation tools in order to convey more information in less space, so keep them in mind as you write up the copy for your tree. With our decision tree creator, you can also conveniently use Excel or Google Sheets to draft up what your questions and answers will be, then import them directly into Zingtree to clean up and launch.

3. Consider color psychology.

The world doesn’t exist in black and white, and neither should your interactive decision trees. What colors you choose to use for your final decision tree really does matter to the end-user – certain shades and tones can convey certain feelings and emotions, and evoke different responses from people. For example, studies have shown that some people looking at the color red saw an increased heart rate, which leads to more adrenaline being pumped into the bloodstream. On the other hand, cooler colors like blue and purple have shown to bring on feelings of calmness.

While we hope that you’ve done some testing to figure out what your current audience thinks and feels about your own branding and color schemes already, it’s still important to mention the science behind it all. Our decision tree creator comes fully-loaded with configurable Themes, the ability to upload custom CSS, and other customizations so that you can integrate brand elements, as well as influence the thought patterns of some of your end-users using the power of color.

4. Try not to over-complicate.

The purpose of an interactive decision tree in many use cases is to make things concise, easy, and straightforward. As such, it’s important that when using a decision tree creator you do your best to keep things simple. Drafting up perfect questions and answers in your outline is a great start for this, as you can use the time to cut down on copy and simplify the text as much as possible, without losing meaning or context. The decision tree creator tool provides several foolproof ways to help out so that you don’t over-complicate things:

  • If you have a lot of sub-processes, use a Master Tree to link to separate, discrete decision trees.
  • Shorter question and answers are easier for end-users to navigate, and they also make your reports more manageable.
  • Make use of the content area to explain things. This helps to make shorter questions and answers.
  • Add in icons, images, and other types of media to help point end-users in the right direction with ease.

5. Revisit and improve over time.

One huge factor in what makes a decision tree go from “usable” to “amazingly helpful” is the use of data and feedback to go back and make it every better. Our decision tree creator makes it easy to optimize your guided experiences over time, so you continually get the most from the platform. For instance, using Logic Nodes you can quickly set up A/B tests for experimenting with different messages, flowchart structures, and other offers to see which performs the best, and then optimize accordingly. Additionally, you can get set up to receive direct feedback from end-users on how useful your decision tree is, as well as always keep track of the activity patterns of your decision trees with in-depth reports.

When you follow some of our tried-and-true rules for how to best use a decision tree creator tool, you’ll be able to produce some incredibly powerful interactive decision trees which will delight your end-users. You can always take a look at our industry pages for Retail, Insurance, Customer Support, and more to find out just exactly how the Zingtree decision tree creator will work for you, or take a look at some real-live decision trees in the decision tree example Gallery.

Any questions along the way? We’re always here to help you make the most out of Zingtree for any use case. 

How to Create a Master Decision Tree

Many of our customers with large decision tree systems in place ask for guidance on how to make a “master tree” which links to individual trees for troubleshooting or other processes. This is especially helpful for organizations that use Zingtree to build and publish completely interactive FAQs. In this article, we’ll discuss how it’s done.

Building a Master Tree

Creating a Master Tree is a simple, yet powerful process that consists of two over-arching steps:

  1. Build the individual decision trees.
  2. Build a Master Tree with one node, using a “blank starter tree.”

After building your individual trees and troubleshooters, there are a couple of distinct ways to build a Master Tree. We’ve created an example Master Tree for a few of our Gallery product finders.

Method #1 – Using Tree Tag Lists

1. Use the Settings tool to add tags to the trees you want to include in the Master Tree. For this example, we added the tag “master_finder” to our product finder decision trees.

2. Create a new decision tree to act as your Master Tree.

3. In the Master Tree root node’s content area, include a tree tag list. For our example, we tagged our trees with “master_finder,” so the tree tag list looks like this:

#‌#treetaglist-any: master_finder##


Method #2 – Using Tree Nodes

1. In the Master Tree, add tree nodes for each tree to link to.

2. In the root node of the Master Tree, create a button for each tree node. This will allow an end-user or customer to quickly jump to any other relevant decision tree from the Master Tree.

Example Master Tree

Here’s a look at our Master Tree in action:

 

Want more tips? Our blog is chock-full of them. Any questions? We’re always here to help

 

This article was originally published on Nov 7, 2017, but is just as accurate as ever!

Agent Update Alerts for Call Scripting

Several contact center clients have asked for a way to display one-time notifications to agents when critical parts of an interactive decision tree have changed. This is easily accomplished using Zingtree’s Agent Update Alerts.

Overview

An agent alert appears like this:

Some key points about Agent Alerts:

  • The agent cannot continue to use the tree until they dismiss the alert.
  • Once the alert is shown to an agent, he/she will see it just once.
  • Alerts can appear on subtrees (trees launched via tree nodes), or the starting tree.
  • You can add and manage alerts from Account, My Agents, Agent Alerts.
  • Alerts are tied to specific trees. Currently, there are no universal alerts.
  • The Push Live mechanism has an easy way to optionally add an alert.
  • If you have multiple alerts set, they will be combined into a single alert message, rather than showing one-by-one.

Managing Agent Alerts

Alerts can be added, deleted or modified from a single place. Here’s how to manage them:

  1. Go to Account, My Agents.
  2. Click the red Agent Alerts button. The Alert Manager appears:

This page shows all active alerts for every tree in your organization. You can see alerts for specific trees by choosing the tree from the drop-down.

  • To add an alert, click the  Create New Alert button.
  • To delete an alert, click the delete icon next to an alert
  • To change the alert text, click the edit icon next to the alert.

Push Live Shortcut

If you’re using the Push Live tool, you can add an alert when you do a push.

Alerts created in this fashion can still be maintained using the Agent Alerts manager.


Alert us
if you find this feature useful, or have a suggestion to make it even better!

 

4 Customizations to Make Self-Service Support More User-Friendly

When developing a customer-facing decision tree, an important piece is to add some personality, brand identity, and industry-relevant knowledge to allow end-users a more user-friendly customer support experience.

Implementing a personalized or branded color scheme, along with icons that relate to your company, will keep an easy-to-follow and digest structure throughout your support process. An interactive decision tree is the easiest way to help a user with visuals, where they can follow the trees effortlessly while being able to really learn from the guided instructions.

We’ve detailed each customizable element – and examples of how to use them correctly – to make your end-users even happier about their customer service experience!

1. CSS & Personal Style Customizations

Colors and icon choices communicate in subtle ways and can reinforce your brand and mission. Here are some ways to manage these:

Custom colors

We made it easier to adapt your decision tree to your personality or brand when customizing so your tree can fit your desired color, custom CSS files being the main one. Once you have created your ideal profile, you can simply add it to your decision tree product finder which will help reveal your true brand identity.

Animated themes

We had feedback from our users suggesting that it would be more user-friendly if we included a feature of animated themes, including colors but remaining easy-to-use. Our design team and engineers set out to create this recommendation with the main goal of making tree color customizations easy.

See the endless possibilities in this quick, fun video:

Color buttons and icons

Here’s the feature that will allow you to build your own personalized color buttons, icon imagery or even to include emojis within your page titles and buttons. To customize the style of your buttons, all you need to do is prefix the button text with special classes. For example, for your color buttons, choose:

  • .btn-blue
  • .btn-yellow
  • .btn-sky
  • .btn-purple
  • .btn-pink

To add an icon that helps guide your customer but also helps reveal your brand personality, add one or more of these classes:

  • .btn-yes
  • .btn-careful
  • .btn-arrow
  • .btn-thumbs-up
  • .btn-question

2. Visual Features for Creative Support

Video content is shaping user satisfaction across the internet. And with many uses and forms, this is something that more people are demanding, which is why video is the best way to improve your user experience. GIFs are also actively being incorporated into decision trees making the user experience more rewarding. A short clip of a difficult instruction, being repeated several times after 3 seconds or so makes the process of self-service a lot easier to follow.

When including still imagery, diagrams or other graphics into your customization, you are allowing the customer to be at the same pace when working towards a solution. Having reminders follow your tree also makes the service more user-friendly.

There are two main features when using visual aids with a decision tree, one is the effectiveness and the second is interactiveness. It’s so easily done, you can add it to any node you want.

3. Easy Data Collection and Presentation

The use of document nodes can be used for specific types of customized documentation that prove highly beneficial to the self-service aspect of support. Documentation can include building legal agreements, generating purchase orders or even a lead to a returns label that the user has personally generated. 

4. Messaging & Translations for Understanding

When publishing across multiple languages, creating a decision tree that works interactively for these can become complicated. With the translation customization, you can reach a larger user base who need the language localized. With localization management software, along with other custom support features, your users will find your platform much easier to follow. You can follow our instructions here on how to translate your decision trees.

It all starts with a good base of messaging, however. When communicating throughout your decision tree, you should write well and use industry language that is helpful and informative. For nodes with poorly descriptive language, it creates confusion and incomplete results. Here are some of the basics of writing effective nodes that will help you write informative questions that lead to a better, more personal experience. 

Make questions concise by focusing on one subject at a time and structuring to an easily absorbed manner.

What not to do:

If our system of tutorials and articles hasn’t been helpful, do you think you would consider switching service providers?

What to do:

Would you consider another provider if you were not able to self-solve using our knowledge base?

Use the right language so that every user can navigate through your tree knowing the subject and words being used. 

What not to do:

What kind of issue or problem is happening with your account? 

What to do:

How can we help? Please select a category.

Focus on an active voice so you can communicate areas appropriately that identify awareness of the issue within that action. 

What not to do:

Our recommended guidelines and instructions for solving your issue should be followed as written below.

What to do:

Follow our recommended guidelines below to solve your issue!

When navigating through the creation of your decision tree, have the customer at the forefront of your mind, and keep questioning the end user experience. If you need any other assistance, reach out to us so we can assist you with the best self-service solutions.

 

This article was originally published on November 14, 2017, and has been updated for accuracy. 

Call Center Agent Scripts with Salesforce Lightning

Salesforce Lightning is the new, modern rewrite of Salesforce Classic, and can work well for Call Scripting. And as Lightning evolves, it is getting better at interfacing with pop-up applications like Zingtree, although it still lags behind the capabilities of Salesforce Classic. Here’s what can be done as of March, 2018.

Agent Experience

Here’s a quick video showing how the agent experience works. Unfortunately, Lightning doesn’t let you launch a new pop-up window like Classic does. It has to open in a new tab, and only after clicking a “confirm”.

Setup

Within your Salesforce setup, you can create a new custom button or link.

  1. In Lightning, go to Setup, Object Manager, Case, and create a new Detail Page Button or Detail Page Link:

  2. For the URL, make it look like this (substituting the tree ID of your script for #########):
    https://zingtree.com/host.php?tree_id=#########&style=panels&show_history=1&persist_names=Restart&persist_node_ids=1&agent_mode=1&nopermalink=1&source={!Case.OwnerEmail}&session_id=SF#########-{!Case.CaseNumber}
  3. Now add the button or link to your Case Page Layout. Go to Setup, Object Manager, Case, Case Page Layouts and select Case Layout.

  4. If you’re adding a Custom Button, click Buttons, and drag the button we created called “Agent Script” into the Custom Buttons area.

    If you’re including a link, click Custom Links, and drag the link we created called  “Call Script” into the Custom Links area.

 

We expect Lightning to get better as time goes on. Got any tips or updates for us? Please share!