One of the more common, interesting uses for interactive decision trees is as an online task management tool for streamlining recurring business processes. These are standardized workflows that have a series of repeatable steps, which may need to involve handoffs to different people on a team or even in another department. For example, your company may have an approval process for:
approving project budgets
hiring or firing employees
creating blog posts (like this one!)
and any other repetitive tasks or processes your business uses
The Zingtree Task Manager is a dashboard for guiding your coworkers through decision-tree-based processes created using the Zingtree tools. This makes it easy for everyone to be held accountable, and to follow standard operating procedures.
Here’s a diagram of a simple purchasing process:
In this case, if the item is under $100, then the request is approved automatically. Otherwise, a manager needs to approve the order.
Creating your first business process with interactive decision trees is not complicated. It involves these steps:
Enter your “agents” – the people who act upon your processes – and assign them to groups.
Create a decision tree, and assign each node (step of the process) to one of your Agent Groups.
Assign your tree(s) to various Agent Groups. Only people in those groups will be allowed to start or kill a project.
The Zingtree Task Manager was built with full-team functionality in mind. Anyone involved in a work process can use standardized decision tree workflows to navigate through the procedure. Certain steps can only be completed by specific people, and once you reach a step where it’s no longer your responsibility, that task is assigned to someone else.
For example, in the procurement process diagrammed above, an employee creates the purchase request and a manager approves or declines it if over $100.
Here’s how the Task Manager could appear for an individual:
When someone Takes or Resumes a task, it looks like this:
Each person involved in a process (an “agent”) can belong to one or more groups. You can configure people and groups via Account > My Agents. So for example, a small team with two employees and one manager is set up like this:
Note that “Bill Zing” belongs to both the manager and employee groups.
When creating your process trees, you can tag each tree with the groups that are allowed to start the process.
Assigning Steps in the Process using Tags
Each node of your business process tree needs to include the Agent Group(s) allowed to act on that step of the process. You can see how our procurement process tree’s groups (outlined in red) are set up here:
The initial request step (node #1) is tagged with “employee”, so only people in the employee group can initiate a request. Node #6 – the Manager approval step – is tagged as “manager”, so only a manager can approve the purchase.
Assigning Agent Groups to a node is done using the Groups tab when editing a node. Here’s how node #1 is set up for an employee group:
Project Status: Success, Failure or In-Progress
At the end of a workflow, a project is either successful or a failure. When building your process tree, you can assign a result to each node in the node editor – like this:
Once a node is reached with a success or failure result, the process has ended.
A notification can be sent when any node (process step) is reached so that the next person can be alerted and step in for their task. Notifications can be sent in a few different ways, including:
A text message
A simple email notification
A Slack notification
A customized email (using an email node)
Task Manager Operations
Your agents – people involved in your processes – can perform the following operations on each task:
Start: Begin a new task, and assign it a name.
Take: Take over the next step of a task. Only one person at a time can move a task to the next step.
Release: Release a task so another person can complete the step.
Resume: Continue with a task that you have previously taken.
Revisit: Go back to a previous step in the task you have permissions to act upon.
Reclaim: Take back a task from someone who has taken it.
Kill: End a task early, without following all the steps to completion.
Once you’ve been set up as an “agent”, you can log in and start using the Zingtree Task Manager. You can easily check for tasks that are awaiting your action, see other tasks of interest and revisit them.
Watch this video for a quick two-minute tour of Task Manager basics:
Click the Start button next to a business process workflow. The Start New Project screen appears:
Give the project a name, and click Start New Project.
You can now click through your task steps in the project.
Taking or Resuming a Task
The task manager shows you tasks which require your attention, under My Tasks Needing Action.
Click Take It to act upon the task. If you’ve already taken a task, you can click Resume to continue the task you’ve taken.
Releasing a Task
If you’ve previously taken a task, but now you want to let someone else in your group act upon it, you can Release it. In the above example, if you click Resume, your task screen will have the option to release the task via the orange Release Task button in the upper right:
Reclaiming a Task
If someone else has taken a task, and you want to act upon it and override them, you can use the Reclaim option. Here’s how to do it:
From Other Projects in Progress, click the info button to the right:
This opens the project info pop-over:
Click the Reclaim button to give yourself access to this task.
Killing a Project
Sometimes a task will get started, and it turned out to be a bad idea. Using the same process as above, you can click the red Kill button to kill a project.
Killed projects will appear under the Completed Projects tab in Task Manager.
Revisiting a Task
There may be times when you want to go back to a previous step in a project. For example, in the PC Purchase project, the manager may have declined a purchase and then changed her mind.
When a task is opened, the Task Progress accordion shows the steps taken previously. Click the brown Revisit button next to a step to go back to that part of the business process workflow.
Viewing the History of the Project
The Task Progress accordion also shows each step in the project, who acted upon it, and when (see above). You can get even more history by selecting Show Click Detail at the bottom of the Task progress area. This shows you EVERY operation on the project, not just the summary.
Getting your organization ready to use business process decision trees via the Zingtree Task Manager is relatively simple.
Here’s an overview of the process:
Setup your organization to use the Task Manager.
Create your “agents”, and assign them to one or more Agent Groups.
Create your decision trees for the workflows your agents will follow.
Assign decision trees to your Agent Groups.
Assign the steps in your workflows to your Agent Groups.
End the workflows with Success or Failure.
Setting Up Agents and Task Manager
To enable your organization top use Task Manager, start by going to Account > My Agents. Select Task Manager for agent logins, like this:
Next, you’ll need to add agent logins – one for each person who will be using the system. Click Add One New Agent, the enter the agent’s name, a login (usually their email), a password, and what groups they are assigned to, like this:
The groups will be used later to determine who is allowed to act on each step of the workflow. In the above example, Joe Smith is assigned to the employee group.
Assigning Decision Trees for Agent Groups
Each tree you create can be assigned to one or more groups. Any agent in the assigned group can start a new project using that tree as a business process workflow. This is done via the Settings tool.
For example, if we want Joe Smith to be able to run a procurement process decision tree, we would assign that tree to the employee group, as follows:
Select the tree from My Trees.
Open the Settings tool.
Under the Groups tab, enter the group or groups to assign to this tree.
Here we entered the employee group:
Be sure to click Update All Settings when finished!
Assigning Nodes to Agent groups
Each step in the business process workflow corresponds to a node in your decision tree. And just like trees, you can assign nodes to agent groups. This has the effect that only agents in that group can act upon a specific node.
Here’s how to assign a group or groups to a node:
Edit the node.
Go to the Groups tab, and enter the group or groups that are allowed to act on this node.
It will look like this:
Click Save Changes when finished.
Now, repeat this for the other nodes in your tree.
A project ends when you reach a node that has a “success” or “failure” result on it. You can set the result of the node as follows:
Edit the node.
Set the Result to Success or Failure, from here:
Tip #1: The name of the current task can be used as a variable in your tree. Just enter #task_name# where you want the name of the task to appear.
Tip #2: You can see the results and the groups for every node in a tree from the Simple Overview tool. Here’s a procurement tree with the Results and Groups highlighted:
Tip #3: For all your trees, you can see the Agent Groups allowed to start a project via My Trees. Like this:
Update: Question and Answer nodes are now just “Content” nodes.
Fix: Designer no longer shows things like ' in labels.
Fix: Designer no longer hangs with “contains” operation in logic nodes.
Update: Designer shows better symbols in logic branches
Update: Can now move logic node branches in Designer
Update: Designer has no more “save” button. Changes are saved automatically.
New: Pop-up editor can now be used to edit button links or logic nodes. Changes appear instantly in the Designer view.
Fix: Adding nodes now makes them appear in the proper display order when viewing the tree in Simple Overview.
Update: Designer pop-ups can now change the root node.
Update: Removed Undo/Redo buttons.
Fix: Designer PNG export crops unneeded whitespace from the image file.
Update: Designer loads 2x faster!
Update: Unlinked buttons appear as red arrows and buttons.
Update: “unlinked” node position can be moved and saved.
Update: New node icons. These also appear in hi-res for Retina displays.
Fix: Button labels no longer occasionally return after being turned off.
New Email Node option to automatically send email, and then continue to another node.
Creating email templates is much easier – no longer need to upload HTML files, or use a special link node.
You can customize the “Send Message” button for email forms.
After sending email, the next step can go to a new node instead of requiring a URL.
New: Document node now has a button option which can continue the session at another node.
Update: Document node content selector now shows just content nodes with no to/from links.
Zendesk Agent Scripting App (Version 12)
Fix: Now properly sets or unsets checkbox custom fields (Tim J.)
Fix: New tickets now works properly in all cases (Linus P.)
New: Zendesk App Theme.
Version 12 now in Zendesk App Marketplace.
Update: Question and Answer nodes are now just “Content” nodes.
Update: New icons for all node types.
Fix: Editing nodes where there are a lot of variables in content editor list now loads faster (Oliver).
Fix: “return to Tree” tree node no longer adds unwanted variables to the list of options in Logic Nodes.
Fix: Wizard now properly sets display order for node reordering.
Fix: Simple Overview no longer shows nodes used in document nodes in the incoming link count.
Fix: Setting scoring value to ‘=0’ now resets the value to zero (Jay H.)
Fix: Persistent button link nodes from within a subtree now work properly (Lasse)
Fix: When editing a node, “Assign button click variable” no longer sometimes ticked when no variable is present.
Update: Added search to Gallery.
Fix: treetaglist macro no longer shows duplicate live and dev versions of matching trees. DEV master shows dev versions only when duplicates are detected, LIVE master shows live versions when duplicates are detected (Lasse)
New: Added Bootstrap Table styles in content editor (hover, border, striped, condensed) (Kim M, Rachel V, Justin B)
Fix: Entering values for scoring uses running total without requiring ‘+’ in front of number, as per documentation (Lisa F., Chad Y.)
Fix: Prevents variable names from starting with a digit (Gabriele P.)
Fix: Fade transition no longer shows last node when “back” is selected (John H, John K.)
Fix: Fade Transitions work properly with logic nodes (Werner G.)
Fix: Fade transitions and breadcrumbs now work properly (Ben M.)
Fix: Persistent nodes clicked from a subtree now hide last node properly with transition/fade effect.
New: GDPR page at zingtree.com/gdpr
New: Can now drag and drop document files into the content editor to upload them to our servers (PDF/DOC, etc.) (Lucas K.)
Fix: Kustomer integration now adds tags properly when jumping to the root node of a tree via a tree node (Katie)
Update: Periods now allowed in tags (Amanda D.)
Fix: No longer sending “score=” in Webhook calls for an empty score (John H.)
Fix: Adding, editing or removing collaborators from DEV version sets proper access to Live version (Lasse)
Update: Date picker now has expanded year ranges (Ronnie L.)
New: Can add extra emails for billing notifications (Tom M.)
Fix: Button click values like ‘123ABC’ now store as strings, not ints (was saved as 123) (Mark C.)
Fix: Default Theme updated so link colors are set properly.
Fix: Logic nodes drop-down selections now work when related trees have no variables.
Update: Link control in editor and new link nodes now defaults to new tab (Jonathan B.)
Update: Content editor no longer shows link options for Google, Facebook
Update: Content editor link manager now has a tooltip option.
As always, if you have any ideas to share with us on this or any other features, please let us know!
If you’re a Zendesk user in a Contact Center environment, you’ll want to be using our Zendesk Agent Scripting app. This makes it easy to guide, train and onboard agents and is a huge productivity booster for everyone.
Version 12 gives you the option to show your script directly in the right-hand panel when viewing a ticket, like this:
Or you can use less sidebar space, and make it appear as a button in the right-hand panel:
Click Open Script, and you’ll see your decision tree in a larger pop-over like this:
Pause and Resume
This happens automatically: If another agent picks up a ticket, they return to the last viewed node, and can see each step taken previously by opening the History.
Benefits of the Zendesk Agent Scripting App
Standardization: Show a guided path for each ticket, so that Agents follow the proper operating policies or troubleshooting procedures.
Pause and Resume: If a ticket is transferred, the supervisor or new agent is taken to the last place in the script, and can see the history of the previous steps taken.
Automatic Script Selection: The Agent Scripting App can choose a script based on the Zendesk brand, Zendesk ticket tags, or the value of a custom field.
Agent Feedback: Agents can send feedback directly to the authors of the decision trees with a single button click. Feedback is delivered to each author’s email, and includes the tree ID and node number where the feedback was sent from.
Zendesk Ticket Data in your Scripts: Values in any custom field, the agent name, customer info, as well as Zendesk ticket tags and user tags, are transferred into your script so you can display them, or use these variables to branch via Logic Nodes.
Automatic Ticket Updating: Tags and custom fields in the ticket can be updated from actions in the script – either via buttons clicked in the script, or from data entry collected.
New Features in Version 12
If you’re using version 11 of the Zendesk Agent Scripting app, you may want to upgrade to take advantages of these new benefits:
Option to choose between Sidebar and Popover views
New customer information data variables sent from Zendesk: requester_name and requester_email
New Zendesk Theme to match Zendesk fonts and styling. This gives you a little more real estate for your content, especially in side-panel mode.
If you’re upgrading from version 10, these features are also new:
Toggle to share Zendesk data with Zingtree: Some customers don’t want ticket data shared with Zingtree. There’s now an option to disable data sharing.
Removed “Flash”: Some customers experienced a “flash” when moving from ticket to ticket in pop-over mode. This is now fixed with this update.
This two-minute video shows you how Agents interact with the Agent Scripting App:
Here are the basic steps to get up and running:
Build an interactive decision tree script with Zingtree (or use one of our demos to start).
In Zendesk, click the Admin icon and go to Apps > Manage.
Click Upload Private App.
The Upload App page appears.
Enter “Zingtree Agent Scripting” for the App Name.
For App File, locate the filezingtree-agent-scripting.zip you downloaded in step 1.
Click Upload, then confirm if necessary.
Configuring the App
Once you’ve uploaded the app, click App Configuration to see the configuration screen:
Here’s what each item does:
Tree ID: This is the default tree that appears when agents click “Open Script”. (You should always have a default tree.)
Show Tree in Side Panel: Select this option if you want to display the entire tree in the right-hand sidebar when a ticket is open. Uncheck this to use pop-over mode instead.
Hide Integration Setup Info: When you are setting up Agent Scripting for the first time, you may need some information about your Zendesk setup to take advantage of automatically updating ticket fields. An “Integration Setup Info” link appears by default when you first install the app, and ticking this option hides it.
Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Brand: If this option is checked, the subdomain of the selected brand will be matched to a Zingtree tree tag. Any matching tree or trees will appear. For example, if the brand subdomain is xyz.zendesk.com, any trees tagged as xyz (using the Zingtree Settings tool) will appear.
Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Ticket Tags: If checked, the values in the Zendesk ticket tags will be matched with your Zingtree tree tags (set via the Zingtree Settings tool) to show one or more matching scripts.
Match Tree Tags to values in a Custom field: If you want to use a custom field value to show matching scripts, enter the Zendesk custom field identifier here. The field name can be found using the Integration Setup Info link that first appears in the sidebar when you install the app.
Display Half-Height: In Popover mode, the popup view will cover half the height of the screen. This has no effect when using Sidebar mode.
Don’t share Zendesk Custom Fields with Zingtree: By default, the app sends custom field data from each Zendesk ticket to Zingtree so you can do more powerful automatic branching via logic nodes, as well as echoing customer information (like their name, for example). If your organization has data privacy concerns, you can check this option to disable data sharing.
Zingtree API key: Each organization in Zingtree has an API key, which is used to match scripts. If you’re using one of the tag matching options, this is required. Your API key can be found at zingtree.com under Resources, API.
Data Sent from Zendesk to Zingtree
Unless you select the Don’t share Zendesk Custom Fields with Zingtree configuration option, Zendesk will send the following variables to your Zingtree decision tree:
requester_name – The customer’s full name.
requester_email – The email of the customer.
zendesk_tags – Any tags in the ticket.
agent_tags – Any tags from the agent.
agent – The Agent’s full name.
agent_first_name – The Agent’s first name.
Any custom fields
To display one of these values, just surround the variable name with # characters. So to show the Agent’s first name in your script, enter #agent_first_name# in the content area of any node in your decision tree.
Tip: Add #ALL DATA# to the content area of any node in your own tree to see all the variables sent to your script.
Enabling Automatic Script Selection
Automatic Script Selection works by matching tree tags you set in Zingtree to values in the Brand, Tags, or a custom field in a Zendesk ticket. For example, if a tree is tagged with “astrology”, and the ticket tags include “astrology”, then that tree appears. If several trees match, then they will all appear, and the agent can choose one.
To open a script based on Brand:
Add tags to your trees for each brand you want to match. So if one of your brands is xyz.zendesk.com, use xyz as a tree tag in Zingtree for all the trees you want to show.
Make sure Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Brand is checked in the App Configuration.
To open a script based upon Zendesk ticket tags:
Add tags to your trees for each tag you want to match. So if one of your ticket tag possibilities is “billing”, use billing as a tree tag in Zingtree for all the trees you want to show.
Make sure Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Ticket Tags is checked in the App Configuration.
To open a script based upon a custom field:
Add tags to your trees for each possible custom field value you want to match. So if one of your custom field values is “billing”, use billing as a tree tag in Zingtree for all the trees you want to show.
Make sure the proper Zendesk field variable name is entered for Match Tree Tags to values in a Custom Field in the App Configuration.
Adding tags to a tree in Zingtree is done like this:
Select a tree from My Trees.
Go to the Settings tool.
Click the Tags tab.
Enter or select a tag from the Tree Tags field.
Click Update All Settings.
How to Configure to Update Ticket Fields
As agents navigate through your trees, their use of the decision tree scripts you create can automatically update any custom fields in that ticket. This can be done in two ways:
By clicking a button in a script
By entering data into Zingtree data entry fields.
The key is to use variable names in your Zingtree that match the ones used in Zendesk.
First of all, determine the names of the variables in Zendesk by clicking the Integration Setup Info link in the Agent Scripting app. You’ll see something like this:
You’ll see the label for the field as it appears in Zendesk’s ticket form and the Zendesk variable next to it. In the above example, the Product custom field variable is custom_field_22899289. This is a drop-down selector, and the Zendesk values for the field options are astrology and insurance.
For the rest of this example, we’ll use custom_field_22899289as the custom field variable.
To make a button selection update a custom field, you’ll set it up in your Zingtree as follows:
Go to the Overview tool, and edit the node whose button selections will update the ticket.
Click Edit Buttons (or Add Buttons if you don’t have any buttons defined). The button editor appears:
Make sure Assign Button Click Variable is checked. This makes the other options appear.
For the Button Click Variable, enter your custom field variable from Zendesk (custom_field_22899289 in the example).
For each button option, enter the value of the variable under Score/Value. If this is a drop-down list in your Zendesk ticket, you’ll need to make sure the Score/Value entered matches one of the drop-down option values as shown in the Integration Setup Info.
Click Save Changes when you’re done configuring buttons.
Bonus: Adding Tags via button clicks:
Button clicks can also add tags to a ticket. In the above example, clicking Something Else adds the tag other_tag to the ticket. Just include the tag name with two colons after the button text. So entering a button like Something Else::other_tag will add the tag other_tag to the ticket if this is clicked, but agents will only see Something Else as an option.
Using Zingtree Data Entry Fields to Update Tickets
Just like the above example, you can also use Zingtree for data entry and have that data automatically transferred to your ticket. The key is to use the same variable name in Zingtree as you used in Zendesk. The Integration Setup Info link in the sidebar will give you those Zendesk variable names.
Example: If you have a text entry field in Zingtree you want to update into the Zendesk field custom_field_1234, you would set up the variable name as follows:
Using Zingtree’s Zendesk CSS Theme
For the best user experience, we recommend using the Zendesk Apps theme in your trees that display inside of Zendesk. This will give you more room for your content (since the fonts are smaller), and also match the look and feel of the rest of the Zendesk experience.
Here’s how the theme looks in the two style options:
To include the Zendesk Agent Scripting App theme in your trees, do the following:
In Zingtree, open the Settings tool for your tree.
Click the Display tab.
Choose either Buttons or Panels as the Default Display Style.
Click Pick a Color Theme.
Choose Zendesk Agent Scripting as the theme.
Click Save Theme and Colors.
Click Update Settings.
Try It with Example Data
You can use trees from the Zingtree Gallery to see how the Agent Scripting app works.
This Zendesk Agent Scripting Demo shows how to implement some of the basic integration features. You can install it into your own Zendesk configuration by entering tree ID 350546744 in the App Configuration.
For multiple trees, see how a tree can be selected by tag by doing the following:
In the App Configuration, enter 6a103737e44e4aa6e1e4b6b0bcb46f83 as the API key. Also make sure Match Tree Tags to Zendesk Ticket Tagsis checked.
Try entering one or more of these tags into a ticket: “zingtree”, “astrology”, “pet_rock”.
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!
You’ll be prompted to make a new Zap:
Click Make a new Zap.
You’ll be asked to choose a Trigger App, which is the source of the data exchange.
Search for Zingtree, and select Zingtree (Beta).
You’ll be asked to choose a single trigger.
Click Save + Continue.
Next, you’ll need to connect your Zingtree account and a tree to Zapier.
Click Connect a New Account.
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.
Change the name of the account, then click Test.
You should see “success.” Click Save + Continue.
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.
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.
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:
Search for email, and choose Email by Zapier as an action app.
Select Email by Zapier.
This app has just one action.
Click Save + Continue.
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.
You’ll see a preview of what to expect.
Click Create & Continue to save the action and send a test email.
You should see another “success” screen.
Click Finish when the email appears as you like.
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.
From Overview, Edit Node, edit the node that you want to trigger sending data to Zapier.
Go to Send Message to, and pick Zapier: Zingtree to Email. This is the new Zap you created.
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!
We’re still getting a ton of great ideas from our customers, as well as the occasional “I can’t do this” message. The last couple month’s updates primarily focus on the little details that set Zingtree apart from any other solution, but there are a few new goodies as well.
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.
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:
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.
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:
To add an icon that helps guide your customer but also helps reveal your brand personality, add one or more of these classes:
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 soyou 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.
Customer service automation isn’t your average trend – quickly and surely, the use of automation tools are changing the way customer support teams and companies operate, communicate, and learn about customers over time. Specialized support software that allows organizations to build custom chatbots, launch interactive knowledge bases, trigger segmented emails, and many more automated services, have become as widely used around the world in order to improve customer service and experience.
A recent article from Harvard Business Review dives into the areas of customer service that are paving the way for future automation innovations, as well as ones that should remain untouched by automation. As some of their most innovative examples of automation in customer service today:
While these benefits are well-known and can be attributed to many improvements in customer satisfaction, experience, and personalization, there is always a point at which automation simply cannot do what a person can. The real question is: how much automation in your customer service strategy is too much? The experts at HBR have recognized in their article that:
For starters, the economics of service automation aren’t universally rosy. When a nationwide retail bank introduced online banking, customers who adopted it increased their total transaction volume and began visiting and calling the bank more, increasing costs and decreasing overall profitability. Similar dynamics can be observed in health care. Patients who adopted e-visits, for example, actually began showing up at the doctor’s office twice as often. One explanation for this pattern is that current technology is functionally limited, requiring people to seek out in-person help in addition to using automated services. But as innovation progresses, functional limitations are bound to fall by the wayside.
So, what is a company to do? First, it’s important to pay attention to the areas of successful innovation that customer service automation provides.
1. Automating transactional interactions, while facilitating human connections.
2. Supporting employees without getting in their way.
3. Enhancing customer and employee engagement.
4. Engaging customers in ways that won’t make human service providers cringe.
Customer service automation – while highly advanced – can only grow and evolve into more useful ways. At Zingtree, we’re looking forward to continuing to provide a versatile platform that allows companies to automate customer service, support, and the overall experience even further, without sacrificing personalization or ease-of-use.