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.
February 22, 2018 | Categories: Zingtree News |
by Debbie McCormick
We understand how key well-laid out process flows are for mapping each stage of the business processes our customers deal with every day. Traditionally crafted up using expensive software or other somewhat clunky online formats, process flows should be a core practice within any industry in order to better standardize every phase and minute detail of how your business is run.
Interactive decision trees are quickly becoming a preferred solution for improving process flows, providing a powerful, yet simple platform for building and running through any process, click-by-click. Below we’ve outlined some of the biggest ways that decision trees can improve process flows in many major departments or areas of focus for your business.
3 Uses of Decision Trees for Process Flows
1. Streamlined Scheduling
Whether you’re referring to scheduling patients or customers for an appointment, internal meetings, or production planning, an interactive environment is one that can do it all. Already a comprehensive platform for clicking through predefined paths, decision trees allow businesses and organizations to schedule and collect any associated data needed.
In the case of Spokane ENT (a specialty medical practice in Washington), decision trees for scheduling have enabled them to optimize scheduling, help agents intelligently pre-diagnose patients and collect key medical information in a secure environment, and ultimately eliminate unnecessary appointments.
Procurement is another process that, when well-defined and executed internally, helps keep business operations purring away soundly. However, procurement is an intensely in-depth, complex business function that requires a lot of careful planning and powerful technology in order to perfect. Improving procurement can mean a myriad of things – chiefly that your organization will save money, grow revenue and business opportunity, and create a more sustainable environment for managing purchases and delays.
For PMI, utilizing decision trees to improve the procurement process flow has been an incredible asset, as they allow employees to be guided through complicated purchasing journeys effortlessly. PMI’s decision trees have automated process flows with a standardized approach to ensure one set of procedures are being followed for every purchasing decision.
Pro Tip: Use logic nodes in decision trees to assign a series of rules based on specific conditions being met.
3. Better Communications
CRM and other communication systems are the ideal way to guide potential new customers, manage and maintain relationships, and communicate directly about important or relevant company updates – this is one business process flow that should never be left cooling down on the backburner. One of the most straightforward ways to improve existing CRMs (like Zendesk, Freshdesk, etc.) is to integrate its features with decision trees.
Interactive decision trees connect seamlessly with any CRM system to simplify complicated processes, help customers find solutions and navigate complicated forms, and more. For companies using an email communication tool to get in touch with new, existing, or old customers, Zingtree decision trees can also be linked up with MailChimp in order to make the steps from entering an email address to add any information collected during a session into an email list.
Having a firm grasp on your businesses processes and a well-ironed out process flow for each main area will only help to make your company that much stronger. Armed with decision trees that can simplify, streamline, and reduce friction within many process flows, any area of focus – from customer service to procurement management – can be vastly improved on.
We’re incredibly invested in the customer support industry, its processes, and all of the other key business functions that affect it. Customer retention is one such area that is directly intertwined with that of customer support – so much so that these strategies should be intertwined as well. The vast majority of customers will abandon loyalties and switch brands or providers due to poor customer service; to manage retention and reduce churn, customer support efforts need to be a top priority.
The customer relationship is far from over after they make a purchase, and strategic businesses are aware that retaining a happy customer in the long-term is much more valuable than getting a one-time buy. NGData used their resources to reach out to dozens of the industry’s top-ranking customer retention experts to gain more insight into what businesses can do to foster these long-lasting customer relationships.
“What’s the #1 way organizations can improve customer retention?”
Create a good experience, that’s consistent and predictable, and you have a shot at customer retention.
The root of retention and loyalty comes service, which actually starts at the top, with the leadership determining if they want a customer-focused culture. That culture is what drives the customer experience. The way leadership treats employees drives the customer experience. The way employees treat each other drives the customer experience. In short, what is happening on the inside of an organization is felt by the customers on the outside. It’s on the inside of the company where customer retention begins.
– Shep Hyken, Shepard Presentations
Hire the right employees.
How can you retain top notch customers if you can’t retain top notch employees? It’s infinitely more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep an existing customer happy. The best way to keep a customer with you is to hire (and retain) the right Customer Service Representatives to provide a consistent level of five-star service and support.
If employees are trained to truly listen to the customer and give them what they want and or need, organizations would see a measurable improvement in their customer loyalty numbers.
In an effort to reduce costs and to deal with a large number of customers (with minimal staff), organizations have tended to streamline their processes and train their customer service staff to give customers a pre-determined or “canned” response. There are companies who actually limit the amount of time a customer service representative can spend with a customer, regardless is the problem has been resolved or not.
– Janet Boulter, Center Consulting Group
Customer retention is a mixture of art and science.
On the art side, you need to be able to create and foster a meaningful relationship with all of your customers individually (in a B2B setting), putting in the required time and effort to go above and beyond what the customer’s expectations are.
On the science side, it’s important for sales to coordinate closely with marketing to provide automatic follow up with the customer. Having consistent, useful communication with the customer is vital to establishing trust in your brand and guaranteeing continued business.
– Raphael Ventura, The Expert Institute
Simply care about the customer as a person, not a sales generating object.
It is business 101, but organizations have a tenancy to think about customers as data and widgets in the technology age. When you ask the question “how do I want customers to talk about my company in a year?” it forces you to see them as a human with actual thoughts and as a long term relationship to care about.
Irasema G. Jeffers, Online Amiga
To foster better relationships with their customers by providing:
a frictionless user experience, and
actionable insights for three transaction criteria: recency, frequency, and value.
– Zach Goldstein, Thanx
Through the carefully combined efforts of better personalization, ongoing communication, high-quality employee training, and a customer-centered strategy, customer retention is one business metric that can steadily be improved. Businesses who are looking to boost up their customer support and customer retention strategies can try out powerful technologies and tools that can be used to streamline these processes. Perfect for contact centers, eCommerce businesses, and startups of all sizes, interactive decision trees are the most flexible, easy-to-customize solution for providing personalized customer experiences.
This post was updated on February 19, 2018, to include a quote from Patrick Clark, Hyrell.
The hectic holiday season means a stressful time for customers, business, and support representatives at all levels. While we have our own great tips for how to improve the functionality and flow of support during the holiday season, we thought we’d round up some high-level communications to help navigate some of the trickier situations.
Before the thick of the holidays are upon us, take a quick interactive course on how to deal with some of the most common scenarios where a customer could become upset, angry, or frustrated. Good luck!
Want to see more amazing user-generated decision trees? Check out the Zingtree Gallery!