Zendesk Users: Meet Zingtree at the Zendesk Relate 2017 Conference

Our decision trees and agent scripts are hitting the road! The Zendesk Relate 2017 event hits New York City on October 23 – 25. As an official sponsor of the conference this year, we’re feeling a little extra excitement to be feet-on-the-ground with people and organizations that use Zendesk every day.

Here’s a little more about the event this year:

Relate by Zendesk is home to a diverse selection of expert content and deep thoughts from Zendesk. It connects the business side of what Zendesk does—create software for improving customer interactions—to the more general human desire for better relationships.

Zendesk is a platform built with ease of customer support and relationship-building in mind. Good communication means everything where customer interactions are concerned – no matter which industry you may be a part of.

The Relate Live conference series is designed to help businesses and entrepreneurs explore the complicated nature of customer relationships. It’s packed with training workshops, breakout sessions, and thought-provoking keynotes by industry leaders. Plus, there are wicked cool networking events.

Past presenters include Dr. Heidi Grant-Halvorson, author of No One Understands You and What to Do About It, Jon Ronson, writer of So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, and Davy Rothbart from This American Life.

As a company with Zendesk app solutions for streamlining customer support and improving agent-based communications, we can’t wait to meet other organizations looking into improving their own support strategies.

Will you be there? Come visit us at the Startup Pavilion.

Learn more information about Zendesk Relate 2017 here.

Take a look at our Zendesk Support app and Zendesk Agent Scripting app here.

How Decision Trees for Insurance Can Simplify Policies & Procedures

decision trees for insurance

Having exceptional customer service isn’t reserved for typical B2C companies. In such a tumultuous and often scary industry (for consumers, at least), insurance companies and agents must also take a close look at how their customers are perceiving the assistance they are getting. Understanding is also a huge part of this customer experience. Why? Because insurance is complicated.

Improving Insurance Call with Decision Tree Scripts

For many insurance companies, automation is an angle that’s gaining traction for providing more streamlined and consistent customer service. Our partnership with EasyInsuranceScripts.com is a great example of how decision trees are being used to simplify.

Simply put, Ted Baker, the Founder of EasyInsuranceScripts.com, envisioned a more streamlined way to improve how independent insurance agents were being trained, guided through complicated conversations and policy selections, and processing claims. In an industry with so many small, yet important, details to be understood, these conversations and processes can become intimidating very quickly.

With our own knowledge and experience in simplifying the complex, we knew decision trees would be an ideal fit. Joining forces between Zingtree and EasyInsuranceScripts.com has allowed Ted’s services to offer the most comprehensive set of resources for independent insurance agents as a result.

“It’s amazing that I’m able to automate all of this for independent insurers,” says Ted. “For me, the ROI of decision trees is immediate. Introducing standardized decision tree scripts for insurance has allowed the insurers in my network to really thrive. With scripts for guiding conversations, interactive trees to train new agents, and the reporting that comes along with it, agents are able to provide a better customer experience that’s consistent and informative.“

Hard Numbers: Where the Data Fits In

While each insurance agent or organization may have varying experiences, industry knowledge is key in understanding how much this kind of customer service and care matters for insurance. McKinsey recently published an article on how focusing on improving customer experience has a direct effect on growth and profit in the insurance industry:

McKinsey’s global research across industries shows that improving the customer experience can do far more to drive profitable growth than raising advertising spending or lowering prices. Some executives may still see insurance as a low-engagement, disintermediated category, but analytics prove that in an industry where profits are highly concentrated, leading carriers are delivering customer experiences that inspire loyalty and attract new customers frustrated by their experiences with their current carriers.

Here’s a handy chart that helps to summarize how insurers must improve the customer journey:

 

A typical insurance carrier today delivers customer experiences via separate functions (marketing, distribution, underwriting, claims), using a website, sales call center, service department, and so on, most managed by different executives with different goals and metrics. This structure may have its purposes, but it overlooks the fact that from the customer perspective, the experience is often a single journey.

Real-World Example: Decision Tree for Insurance

Here’s a sample tree, derived from one of the Easy Insurance Scripts trees:

 

 

Have any questions? You can learn more about how to simplify insurance products and processes on our site or feel free to reach out directly.

5 Outdated Customer Support Tools You Need to Ditch

Customer service agents have always been at the heart of what makes companies, and their customer communications, so incredibly important to business success. However, certain resources aren’t always up to the job. Armed with only outdated customer support tools, it’s difficult for an agent or customer service representative to perform their tasks, and help people, to the best of their ability.

Thankfully, technology has done a great job of keeping up; there are dozens of amazing tools to help businesses small and large improve how they handle support and troubleshooting, customer interactions, and other key communications. If you’re still using an outdated tool or method like the ones mentioned here, now’s the time to make a change for the better.

Setting Up Spreadsheets to Track Issues

We’ll always love spreadsheets (heck, Zingtrees even connect with them for quick creation!), but using them as a means of manually tracking the details of tickets and inquiries is a definite resource-waster. The details of every customer call are important, so adopting a more automated way to enter key information during a call or via an online support ticket is vital to improving customer service goals. Don’t tackle it cell-by-cell. You waste precious time and this method is prone to errors.

Using Standard Email for Tickets

Using Outlook for support? Gmail? Yahoo? We certainly hope not, but if you are, there’s still time to make things right and upgrade to a real support system. A solid CRM tool like Zendesk or  Freshdesk isn’t as daunting or expensive as you might think, and can easily track and organize every incoming ticket. After getting started and connecting all of your communication channels, you can even integrate with decision trees for a completely holistic setup.

Sending Customers Through a Phone Tree

The most impersonal of all contact channels, a phone tree is as hard to set up as it is for customers to wait through. While still critical for some industries to offer in order to contact a live agent, others benefit from building a better system online and on mobile. Roughly 72% of people think self-service support is a preferred way to handle customer support, so using decision trees can help customers navigate for themselves, find answers, and contact the right department for more information.

Printing Out Call Scripts on Paper

Not only is printing bad for the environment, it’s cumbersome and unnecessary. While customer support and call center agents should be prepared with a script on hand, there’s always a technical way to make things more efficient. Taking the digital plunge and creating an online call center script for agent use will improve support KPIs, make it simple to streamline communication, and leave customers happier with every standardized, personalized interaction.


Any questions? We’re always here to help!

This article was originally published on April 13, 2017.

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.

Summer 2017 – Decision Tree Updates

This summer has seen a lot of improvements to Zingtree – both new features and updates. As part of our commitment to transparency, here’s what’s been changed since our last updates post:

New Features

Updates and Bug Fixes:

  • Update: Simple Overview shows tree ID in tree nodes
  • Fix: Content Editor: Pasting images inside an ordered or unordered lists no longer creates a new list. (Mark W., Antonio J.)
  • Update: New Browser tab graphics.
  • Fix: Deleting nodes now properly deletes attached data entry fields, webhook calls. (Soren)
  • Fix: Reimporting trees over previous tree now removes data entry fields from previous version. (Soren)
  • Fix: Pressing ENTER in date form field (or other fields) no longer shows “no tree specified” error. (Jay H.)
  • Update: Clicks and Usage report now includes info buttons for “Sessions Started” and “Sessions Clicked”. Because people have asked about this.
  • Fix: Changing custom CSS theme no longer changes look of Overview Thumbnails buttons.
  • Update: Cleaned up Zendesk Support app renderings for Q&A, All Data.
  • Update: Search in a tree, then back, no longer fails in Zendesk Agent Scripting app.
  • Update: Does date validation for specific formats (mm/dd/yy and dd/mm/yy). (Jay H, David R.).
  • UI: Added Import button to My Trees, removed some import options from Create Tree.
  • UI: More Tools is now organized better.
  • Fix: Generating transaction receipt no longer fails if no time zone set.
  • Fix: Tabs in gathered data no longer mess up Form Data report CSV export. (Mesam)
  • Update: Added Copy Organization option. (Ted B.)
  • Fix: Session Detail edit links now go to proper subtrees. (Lynne H.)
  • Update: Cleaned up file upload UI in Edit Node.
  • Fix: deploy/session-detail.php now shows questions / titles properly. (Alok)
  • Fix: Add/ Edit/Delete Collaborators now only updates rights on trees in the current organization. (Ted B.)
  • Update: added Tree ID and Node # to bottom of Agent Portal. (Sasha D.)
  • Fix: Pasting images now locates images in clipboard. Works better with SnagIt.
  • Fix: Empty fields (from visited nodes) now show up in form data. (for Ted B.)
  • Fix: validating multiple emails or phone numbers in a single form now shows status just on proper entry. (Jay H.)
  • Fix: validation badges for email, phone in placeholder mode now align properly. (Jay H.)
  • Fix: Designer no longer shows new override classes in labels.
  • Fix: Designer no longer incorrectly changes labels incoming to logic nodes.
  • Fix: Send custom email stock webhook now sets the reply-to properly. (Ted B.)
  • Update: Send Custom Email webhook can now handle multiple emails in the “to” field. (Ted B.)
  • Fix: Phone (tel) and email field types now properly autoload values from merge variables. (Jay H.)
  • Fix: Required fields with placeholders now have red asterisk and data entry field on the same line. (Jay H.)
  • UI: Edit tree node hides start node, return node when tree selection is unspecified or “return to previous tree”.
  • Update: Tree Node editor can now select a node to return to from a list.
  • Update: WP plug-in version 4.0 now supports pop-up buttons, multiple embeds on a page, and fixes scrolling issues.
  • Update: Creating a new organization can now automatically tie billing to existing org owned by Billing Admin or Super User.
  • Update: Super User now can manage billing Admin tasks as well. (Marc)
  • Update: Customer’s credit usage report shows Lookup Credits used (if any used).
  • Fix: Address, city, state and zip field types now properly autoload values from merge variables. (Jay H.)
  • Fix: Popup Overlay options now works properly when button text includes an apostrophe. (Albert D.)
  • Fix: Send Custom Email technique now manages line breaks in multiline text forms properly. (Nicola)

Got any bugs or suggestions? Please let us know!

Decision Tree Customizations – Animated Themes and Custom Colors

One of the most common requests we have had from customers is to make it easier to make Zingtree decision trees look even more awesome. So our design team and engineers worked together to make new animated themes, some colorful static themes, and an easy-to-use mechanism to make tree color customizations easy.

You can try this now on one of your existing decision trees, by clicking Set Colors in the Settings tool. If you don’t have a tree built yet, try it using one of our Gallery trees.

Once you launch Set Colors, you can choose from various themes, and also customize the color scheme used in each theme. The control panel is easy to use – it looks like this:

This video shows some of the capabilities:

Here are a couple of examples of what your decision trees can look like:

Default View with Panels

Animated Radio Buttons View with Panels

Advanced Customization – Technical Details

Zingtree’s theme and color customization scheme works by generating a CSS file, which controls how your decision tree appears. If you want even more customization, you can:

  1. Extract the CSS file that Zingtree builds – this is in the Custom CSS URL field in Settings. (Just open that URL in your browser.)
  2. Modify the file in any text editor.
  3. Upload the modified file to your own server. (Note that this file must be accessible via an https URL. If needed, we can host it for you. Just ask!)
  4. Enter the URL of the new file in the Custom CSS URL field in the Settings tool.

Like this? Love this? Have a suggestion to make customizations even better? Let us know!

Credits: Iggy made the animated themes, and McDeb did some tweaks and cleanup to make them work with our customization scheme. Great stuff, people!

Frictionless Data Collection: The Easiest Way to Get Customer Information Online

We really can’t emphasize enough how important customer data is — for any company in any industry. Gathering data from customers should be easy for them, and it should lead to accurate information for you. Without collecting key information, you can never truly understand your current and potential customers and their desires. How long do you think your company could survive without good data?

Frictionless Data Gathering

Interactive decision trees simplify the process of collecting information on any web page that customers land on first. Just by prompting customers to click a button in a decision tree, you’re collecting data!

Once you get customers engaged with a decision tree, they’ll be hooked. You can then ask for name and contact information using data entry fields. This data is easily sent to you via email, viewed with Zingtree’s reports, or exported into any database or CRM system. Zingtree can validate this data as well.

Case Study: Zingtree

We use this technique ourselves – the Zingtree “Request a Demo” button on our Contact Us page is an example that asks some questions, and then leads to this form:

Before our potential customers see this form, they have clicked some buttons to answer a few basic questions. And at the end of the process, we get an email with all of their information and can schedule a demo with the right expert. It’s an awesome source of leads for us.

The emails we receive at the end of the process look like this:

XYZ Corp requested a demo

Zingtree session data:

Q: I would like to:
A:  Request  a Demo
Q: Next:
A: Continue
Q: How will you be using the Zingtree decisions trees you build?
A: External Use
Q: Are you looking to integrate Zingtree with other applications?
A: Yes
Q: Next:
A: Continue
Q: Are you interested in self-hosting Zingtree?
A: No
Q: Next
A: Continue
Q: Finish:
A: Send Demo Request

score: 0 
zt_browser_language: en 
zt_browser: IE 
zt_country: United States 
zt_regionName: California 
zt_city: San Diego 
zt_zip: 92121 
zt_ip: 208.87.212.000 
zt_isp: Surfer
zt_org: surfer.com 
name: Jane  
company: Customer 
email: jane@xyzcorp.com 
contact_number: 8882121000 
integrations: Looking to retrieve all data points and button elections in a spreadsheet  
send_out: 1


Step 1: Build a Tree, and add a  Data Collection Form

Ready to put this technique to use?

First, engage your customers with some questions answered as button clicks in an interactive decision tree, and at the end of the process ask for more info via a form. It’s easy for customers, and they are providing you fantastically helpful data.

What needs are you filling? Depending on the goal, you’ll want to be collecting different customer information. You can even automatically gather customer location, language, region, browser and more.

Step 2: Refine and Distribute Data

Before you send or publish any decision trees with forms, be sure to check your writing. It’s an often overlooked aspect of surveys, questionnaires and other means of data collection, but contributes greatly to the value of the information gathered.

Step 3: Analyze and Verify Collected Information

If you’re collecting certain information such as a customer’s shipping address, email, or phone number, validating that information before putting it to use can save you a lot of time and money. Bad information wastes valuable resources! Our interactive decision trees allow you to validate information using built-in data cleansing.

When all is said and done, Zingtree’s analytics and reports or API will help you collect and analyse key data directly from your customers themselves.

 

Take a look at the Gallery for a more in-depth look at how data entry forms work in different scenarios. Any questions? Reach out to us anytime.

Using Decision Tree Call Center Scripts to Make a Better BPO

call center scripts

Call centers are the epicenter of many customer service interactions, and many have hundreds of representatives who take customer calls and solve problems in real-time. However, not every company has the bandwidth, resources or infrastructure to run their own call center — that’s where BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) call center scripts become important.

BPOs perform all call center-related activities for another organization. For a BPO call center to be effective, it needs to onboard new agents quickly, and ensure that every agent is following the proper processes and procedures of the sourcing company. There’s an inherent disconnect when internal processes are outsourced, and that’s where Zingtree interactive call center scripts can prove invaluable.

1. Standardizing for Best Practices

Written in the company’s voice and adhering to its own processes, agent scripts make it easier for support reps to solve customer problems as effectively as possible. With standardized interactive decision tree scripts to guide a BPO call center agent through each conversation, every agent will know precisely what to say (and when to say it).

2. CRM & Help Desk Integration

Zingtree decision tree scripts are easily integrated with any CRM tool used by call center agents, including Salesforce, Desk.com, Zendesk, and others. By connecting agent scripts to a CRM platform and passing data using Merge Variables, BPO call center representatives can see customer information inside the script, and logic decisions can also be made depending upon data imported from the CRM. With Zingtree’s pause-and-resume feature, the most recent node and session history are saved with the ticket. This is handy if another agent takes over a ticket, or to see what happened during each call. All steps taken are clearly visible.

3. Rapid Training & On-Boarding

Getting agents up and running quickly, armed with the necessary knowledge, is an absolute requirement when outsourcing. Some BPOs use interactive scripts as a training aid, and others as a template to follow during each conversation. No matter how they are used, interactive scripts are an essential part of getting new agents online and scaling quickly.

4. Analyzing, Optimizing & Doing Even Better

After deploying a standardized agent script, reports and analytics can show how scripts are performing, and identify any areas of improvement. Interactive agent scripts allow you to automatically track each and every call center agent interaction and each customer’s reason for requiring support, as well as see how your script is being used (in aggregate or by individual agents). With these reports, the sourcing company and the BPO call center can easily locate pain points, check on agent performance, and even keep track of progress with call center KPIs.


Getting Started with Zingtree Call Center Agent Scripts

Follow our in-depth instructions for building your interactive agent script. Once your script is ready, you can:

  • Host on any web page or browser for easy access.
  • Integrate with Help Desk and CRM systems.
  • Get complete analytics and reports for optimization.
  • See full Q&A transcripts of every call for better understanding.
  • Keep track of agent performance.

Check out this short video to learn more about how Zingtree Agent Scripting can improve your call center BPO:


Ready to get more from your call center BPO? Sign up or log in and build your first interactive call center agent script!

This article was originally published on March 21, 2017.

Decision Trees for Medical Scheduling: Spokane ENT Case Study


Spokane ENT + Zingtree

Improving medical care through intelligent medical scheduling

 

Spokane ENT is a certified division of the Columbia Surgical Specialists based in Spokane, Washington. With over 20 years offering excellent professional ear, nose and throat care to local residents, the highly-specialized clinic works tirelessly to help patients of all types experience life to their absolute fullest.

Spokane ENT’s Challenge

As a large group practice with multiple locations and specialties, Spokane ENT needed to optimize its appointment scheduling process. With specific areas of diagnosis and treatment, the clinic realized that they required a better way to ensure patients were scheduled with the proper specialists.

Zingtree’s Solution

Implementing appointment scheduling decision trees for the clinic’s call center agents has allowed Spokane ENT to optimize its scheduling across locations. Agents navigate decision trees to pre-diagnose patients, which eliminates a lot of unnecessary doctor visits.

“Our scheduling agents are faced with the task of matching patients to one of 11 doctors, each with a specific area of practice and treatment,” says Dr. William Schmitt of Spokane ENT. “Decision trees have allowed us to collect patient symptoms and quickly schedule them with the correct physician and accompanying testing.”

Key Statistics: 

  • 18,000+ Calls: More than 18,000 patient calls assisted
  • 2,400 Days: Over 2,400 operator days and counting

About Zingtree

Zingtree is the most user-friendly platform for creating and implementing interactive decision trees that deliver answers faster. Quickly create a decision tree that your site visitors, leads, trainees and/or customers navigate by clicking buttons to answer questions, and receive detailed analytics on how trees are being used. Zingtree makes it easy to guide anyone through complicated processes – there’s no better way to help people get answers and solve problems.


Want to see more? Explore the Zingtree Gallery for examples of how our decision trees and interactive solutions provide value for businesses!

This article was originally published on March 23, 2017.

Zingtree Pricing: How Agent Credits and Session Credits Work

At Zingtree, not only do we make it easy to build powerful interactive troubleshooters, but we also make it affordable and scalable. Our credits-based pricing system has some tremendous benefits:

  • You only pay for what you use.
  • Scaling up and down requires no effort on your part.
  • You don’t need to provision for agents or end users. Your usage is calculated automatically.

Our pricing uses two types of credits: Agent Credits (for employees and internal use) and Session Credits (for customers and end-users). Let’s take a look at how these credits function.

How Do Agent Credits Work?

Agent Credits are charged when the employees inside your organization use your decision trees. This applies to call centers, live support teams, and internal-only troubleshooters and process guides.

One Agent Credit equals one person’s unlimited use of Zingtree for a 24 hour period.

Here’s an example scenario:

You’re a small business with 10 employees using your decision trees regularly throughout their work day. The employees are all full-time working about 22 days per month. You’d need 10 x 22 = 220 Agent Credits per month.

An Agent Credit is counted when a person uses a tree in your account within a 24-hour period, no matter how many times they may click. Your plan provides a specified number of Agent Credits each month. If you go over the allotment, you are charged for extra credits at month’s end, or you have the option to purchase pre-paid discount Agent Credits to supplement the amount of credits provisioned in your Plan.

How Do Session Credits Work?

Alternatively, Session Credits are used when people outside of your business (end-users) are using your decision trees; customers in search of support, troubleshooting, etc.

When an individual views your tree and clicks at least one button, a single session credit will be counted. Once a decision tree session begins, the end-user can click as many times as they please and it will still just cost one session credit. Your plan provides a specified number of Session Credits each month. If you go over the allotment, you are charged for extra credits at month’s end, or you have the option to purchase pre-paid discount Session Credits to supplement the amount of credits provisioned in your Plan.

The pre-paid discount credits have a 10-year expiration and work like a bank account. The credits provisioned in your Plan are counted first. Then the prepaid credits are counted after the Plan credits are used.

See the volume discount levels below for each credit category:

Pre-Paid Session Pricing

100 to 999 sessions $0.10 per session
1000 to 2499 sessions $0.09 per session
2500 to 4999 sessions $0.08 per session
5000 to 9999 sessions $0.07 per session
10000 to 24999 sessions $0.06 per session
25000 to 100000 sessions $0.05 per session

Pre-Paid Agent Credit Pricing

100 to 999 credits $0.50 per agent per day
1000 to 2499 credits $0.45 per agent per day
2500 to 4999 credits $0.40 per agent per day
5000 to 9999 credits $0.35 per agent per day
10000 to 24999 credits $0.30 per agent per day
25000 to 100000 credits $0.25 per agent per day

Important Note: Our pricing plans include a fixed number of credits each month. If you go over your allotment, you are charged a per-credit rate, depending on your plan. You can also buy both agent and session credits in bulk by prepaying for blocks of credits. Either way, as long as you have a valid payment option in place, we will never shut you down if you go over your credit allotment.

We can also offer a fixed price custom plan if required, but most of our customers save money using the credits system. Our flexible pricing model means that you only pay for what you use.

Any questions on pricing? Feel free to contact us.