Zingtree Tags: decision tree maker

Decision Tree Improvements – January 2018 Updates

This past month’s updates include some new security and access restriction features, performance enhancements, interface improvements, and a variety of small bug fixes. Here are the details:

New Features

  • New Change Log report to show what authors have done. Also exportable to CSV.
  • New Hidden Field data entry type (for Ted B, Others)
  • New API calls for agent_add, agent_remove. (These are no-login agents.)
  • Google sign-in authentication for agents (for Benjamin)
  • Push Live tool
  • Server updates and extra capacity
  • Performance enhancements with smarter file caching. Added cache_tree URL parameter option.
  • Different Single Sign-on Identity Providers for authors and agents.
  • Internally logging security events (logins, failed logins, email sends, tree changes)
  • Single Sign-on logins for agent portal (Lynne H.)
  • ##include_url: ## template macro for loading data from 3rd party URLs
  • Agent Portal now has #agent_first_name# variable. (Craig S.)
  • Can now pass new merge variables into a pause-and-resume session (Geoff)

Updates

  • Updated Zendesk Agent Scripting App. New agent_tags variable included in URL, no more flashing when going between tickets.
  • Session summary from Zendesk app now shows which agent did which click (Sonny R.)
  • Add Agent can now use a no-login option.
  • Max video upload size is now 150 MB (from 50 Mb) (Darryl )
  • Session Info cookie is now protected by https.
  • Agent portal node search now includes node tags (Jonathan B)

Interface Enhancements

  • Reordered Add Node selections based upon popularity.
  • Reordered node icons in Designer by popularity.
  • New Tutorials and Videos.
  • Easier-to-use Edit Content Node. Now uses tabs to surface advanced options.
  • Pop-up editors in Designer now use more screen space.
  • Easier-to-navigate Settings tool uses tabs.
  • Tools pages and drop-down tools menu reorganized.
  • Consistent tree info display across tools.
  • Formatting of default hosted link on Publishing Tools page – removed extra spaces at front.
  • No more weird message when viewing gallery trees in Designer.
  • Node editor – Data entry fields no longer appear by default in question nodes.
  • Node editor – switching between question and answer types now keeps tabs straight.
  • Node editor – Dragging to reorder buttons or data entry fields now positions items properly in range of editor.
  • Reordering nodes in Simple Overview now shows node being moved in proper position.
  • Simple Overview no longer shows empty “Variables: “
  • Session Details no longer unnecessarily shows tree name from starting tree in each step.
  • Node editor no longer flashes a bunch of blank buttons when first loading.

Fixes

  • Archiving Development version of a tree also archives the live version (Vlad).
  • No longer showing button class overrides (i.e. .btn-red) in front of History (Tal D.)
  • Designer no longer adds “score” variable to new nodes.
  • Zapier interface handles newlines in data entry variables properly (i.e. Session History variable) (Gabe L.)
  • Importing session_history variable into a pause and resume session no longer causes a JS error (John H.)
  • #agent# now gets used as a variable in Agent Portal (Ted B.)
  • Space character in agent login no longer makes agent portal tree viewing fail (Gordon S.)
  • Cleaned up tree search tool for Live vs. Development trees.
  • Nodes with tree search forms now locate live or development versions depending on live/dev status of the originating tree.
  • Tree search nodes no longer always return results where page title had “search” in it. Also didn’t properly look for page titles.
  • FAQ and end-user tree searches no longer return every node when searching keywords “title”, “span”, and other HTML elements.
  • Zapier authentication no longer ignores fields that were once empty (Josh D).
  • Zendesk Agent App: Newline in Zendesk custom field or merge variable value caused no session to be saved.
  • Session Matrix report uses faster queries, no longer displays button formatting overrides.
  • Responsive image selection now works properly for all image insert operations.
  • Compare Trees tool no longer shows “Return to previous tree” as an option.
  • Data Entry Fields: Required markers for placeholders now appear on the same line as input control for small display widths (Jay H.).
  • Data entry fields no longer have extra line space between them in small display widths (Jay H.).
  • Address auto-complete and validation no longer fails when a pre-existing address is in the form (Jay H.).
  • No longer tries to validate empty phone numbers (Jay H.).
  • “Add another” for repeating form entries is now working properly on all browsers.
  • Ill-formed include_url blocks no longer reload this tree, causing a propagation of buttons.
  • “Sorry, but you don’t belong to organization…” endless login loop message no longer when organization no longer accessible.
  • Clicking tree search results didn’t always change the page.
  • Clicking search results should now always change the page.
  • IPV6 addresses now work for getting location data (Raj).
  • Changing email address in login info now goes to proper logout page.
  • Copying or moving trees to new organizations also copies webhooks. (Raj)

Credits

Thanks to all of our customers who contacted us with great suggestions and astute observations.

If you have a suggestion for us or see something that you think could be done better – please let us know!

Managing Process Flows for Government CRM Systems

Government rules, regulations, and processes can be complicated. And while CRM systems can help manage interpersonal interactions, there’s no really good way to ensure that process flows are followed to ensure the public is getting the right information. Zingtree, combined with your CRM, can really help.

While adoption of government CRM has snowballed, the results and experiences are not as seamless as one might hope. With a lot of bureaucratic hold-ups, confidential information being passed along, and many complicated departments and processes, CRM systems can really only accomplish so much. According to a recent PC Quest article, these are the most common challenges currently facing government sectors using CRM:

  1. Stakeholder management
  2. Budget and profitability
  3. Complexity
  4. Data Management

Through these obstacles to overcome, government entities must also make sure that their CRM systems are up to par with what’s needed concerning efficiency, security, cost-effectiveness, and convenience. Unfortunately, most standalone CRM platforms can’t accomplish everything that bureaucratic systems genuinely need to manage relationships and help the people they serve.

Using Decision Trees with Government CRM

One of the most straightforward and simple ways to vastly improve existing CRMs is to integrate its features with that of a complementary tool. Decision trees connect seamlessly with any CRM system to simplify complicated processes, help citizens find solutions and navigate forms, manage data securely, and much more.

Zingtree decision trees for government are already assisting a variety of state, local and federal institutions as well as government contractors to streamline costly and confusing internal processes. Additionally, these advanced decision trees can be:

  • Embedded on any website, webpage, email, support knowledge base, and more.
  • Self-hosted on any government server to ensure that you comply with requirements for safeguarding confidential information.
  • Seamlessly integrated with tools already in use, like Zendesk, Freshdesk, Desk.com and more!

Watch our short video on how Zingtree decision trees help streamline technical support and other processes below:

Streamline Tech Support with Zingtree Interactive Troubleshooters from Zingtree on Vimeo.

You can learn more about getting started with dynamic decision trees on our blog, and see all of our CRMs and other integrations on our website.

Have any questions or want to see a personalized demo on getting set up with Zingtree decision trees? Get in touch with us at any time. 

How to Do Math Operations in Decision Trees

If you’re using Data Entry Fields or Merge Variables to bring data into your decision tree session, you may want to perform basic math operations on these variables. Zingtree offers a stock webhook option that lets you assign a new variable to the results of an addition, subtraction, multiplication or division operation. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Edit the node where you want the new variable (the result of the math operation) to be calculated.
  2. Click on Show Advanced Options.
  3. At Send message to app, choose Webhook: Zingtree Math.

  4. In the Message, you’ll need to provide the operation, the two variables or values to calculate, and a variable name for the result. In the example above, we’re assigning a variable named result to the sum of variables a and b. Variables must be enclosed in # characters.

Example Calculations

Here are some message examples:

&op=plus&a=5&b=3&result=c
Sets variable c to 5+3

&op=minus&a=#gross#&b=#expenses#&result=net
Sets variable net to the difference of variables gross and expenses.

&op=times&a=#weeks#&b=7&result=days
Sets variable days = weeks * 7.

&op=div&a=#days#&b=7&result=weeks
Sets variable weeks = days / 7.

 

Operations Reference

You can use the following in the op= parameter:

  • plus
  • minus
  • times
  • div

Demo

The Zingtree Demo gallery has an example. You can try it and examine it.

View Demo

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

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

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

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

1. CSS & Personal Style Customizations

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

Custom colors

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

Animated themes

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

See the endless possibilities in this quick, fun video:

Color buttons and icons

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

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

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

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

2. Visual Features for Creative Support

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

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

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

3. Easy Data Collection and Presentation

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

4. Messaging & Translations for Understanding

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

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

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

What not to do:

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

What to do:

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

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

What not to do:

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

What to do:

How can we help? Please select a category.

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

What not to do:

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

What to do:

Follow our recommended guidelines below to solve your issue!

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

How to Create a Master Decision Tree

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

Building a Master Tree

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

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

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

Method #1 – Using Tree Tag Lists

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

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

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

#‌#treetaglist-any: master_finder##


Method #2 – Using Tree Nodes

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

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

Example Master Tree

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

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

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.

Yonyx Alternative – Better Guided Customer Interactions with Zingtree

We often get requests from companies that have deployed decision trees in the past with Yonyx and are looking to migrate to Zingtree. These occur for some of the following reasons:

  • Zingtree offers a better price with our pay-for-what-you-use model.
  • Zingtree tools are more modern, and easier to use.
  • Zingtrees present better. Customers have more options to create the look and feel they envision, choose custom colors and button styles, use effects and transitions, and better match their branding.
  • Customers like Zingtree’s integrations capabilities more – specifically the Webhook system and Zapier integration.
  • And more…

In response, we’ve created an import tool to make it easy to migrate your Yonyx trees to Zingtree. You can test out your Yonyx trees in Zingtree, tweak them, and see for yourself how they render and perform.

Here’s how to import Yonyx decision trees into the Zingtree alternative:

  1. Export your Yonyx tree into XML.
  2. In Zingtree go to My Trees, and click Import.
  3. Pick Import from Yonyx XML file.
  4. Select the Yonyx XML file to import. It will be uploaded and converted into a fully functional Zingtree decision tree.

Are you looking to move from Yonyx? Tell us your story!

Upload File Attachments into Decision Tree Sessions

Many customers have asked for a way to include file uploads as a part of a Zingtree decision tree session. Some use cases include:

  • Attaching a screenshot.
  • Including a photo.
  • Uploading a document.

Overview

Using Data Entry Fields, you can pick the File Upload field type. This allows you to include one or more files in the session data gathered by Zingtree. When the end-user uploads a file, here’s what happens:

  1. The file is copied from the end-user’s computer to a Zingtree file storage server.
  2. Zingtree assigns a variable to the URL where the new file resides.

Security note: Each file uploaded has a random 7 digit prefix or session ID attached to it, so that files with the same name aren’t overwritten, and the file names cannot easily be discovered by hackers.

How It Works

When the end-user reaches a node with a file upload, they will see something like this:

Clicking Upload Document File allows them to choose a file on their computer. Once a file is chosen, the button changes:

How to Set up File Uploads

When editing a node, do the following:

  1. Go to Data Entry Fields, and select Add:

  2. Choose File Upload as the field type, and enter a variable name and label for the upload button:

  3. Click Add Field.
  4. Now click Save Changes to save changes in the node you were editing.

It’s that simple! This gallery example shows how a simple file upload tree is built.

If this is useful for you, let us know. We love customer stories!

Tree Nodes: How to Automatically Return to a Previous Decision Tree

Tree Nodes are one of Zingtree’s most popular decision tree building features. By allowing one tree to launch another, you can better organize your work and use smaller components repeatedly as a part of larger processes.

For example, a hardware company that makes lots of products may have a specific troubleshooting process for power-on problems that are common to many trees. By linking to a subtree, this troubleshooter can be authored just once, and used from several different trees.

A common request when implementing tree nodes is to be able to automatically return to the original decision tree that launched the process – just like a return statement in any programming language. This is done using a special type of tree node that is labeled as “return to previous tree.”

Summary: Setting Up a Return to a Previous Tree

Setting up a return tree node requires these steps:

  • Create a tree node in the starting tree, and specify a node number to return to.
  • In the subtree, use a tree node selected as return to previous tree. When this node is reached, the return node in the calling tree appears next.

Setup: Step by Step

  1. Create your starting tree and the subtree that will be launched from the starting tree.
  2. In the starting tree, create a tree node. Include the tree to launch, as well as a node in the starting tree that you want to return to when the subtree is finished (highlighted in red below). It looks like this when editing a tree node:

  3. In the subtree, create a new tree node and specify it as “return to previous tree.” Like this:

When the “return to previous tree” node is reached in the subtree, the return node from the starting tree will appear.

Example

The Zingtree Gallery has an example, both the starting tree and the subtree.

Thanks for Shawn G. and others for the inspiration!

Summer Updates: Pop-Up Overlays, Predefined Webhooks and More

We’ve been busy this summer – so much so that we haven’t had a chance to share all the great updates we’ve done in the last couple of months! So here’s a list of all the latest improvements to Zingtree:

  • New: Popup overlay option
  • Fix: Webhooks now run when added to root node
  • New: Pre-defined webhooks (Session Summary, Timestamp, Send Custom Email)
  • Fix: Phone number field type can now be set as ‘required” (Boruch)
  • Fix: Preview now shows agent / end-user views properly (Boruch)
  • Update: Sessions List report now paginates at 500 per page (Roman)
  • New: Send secure session data link in email node also now includes a link to reopen the session (Boruch)
  • Fix: Zendesk app Q&A now shows all button clicks, even when going through subtrees (Phillip R.)
  • Fix: Session detail report now shows subtree jumps properly (Phillip R.)
  • Fix: PHP API call for tree_sessions now recognizes tree_sessions operation.
  • New: Repeating Forms
  • Fix: Designer now properly saves absolute button click values (i.e. =3)
  • Fix: Agent logins with trailing space characters now work in Agent Portal
  • Fix: Designer now always shows root node properly
  • New: Search Terms report
  • Update: Added Copy to Clipboard button for iFrame embed advanced options
  • New: Timestamp stock webhook (for Abe in Japan)
  • Update: Cleaned up API documentation so section titles and calls properly matched
  • Update: Layout of My Agents page improved
  • Fix: Phone number verification now treats numbers starting with 1 as International style. Allows for easy verification of USA numbers entered starting with 1.
  • Update: Made margins smaller for embeds in mobile device.
  • New: added email validation option, phone number validation (Tom K., Alok)
  • Fix: Verified badges for address lookups now align with input forms
  • Fix: Address verification now looks better on smaller screen displays
  • Fix: Copying trees now also properly copies checkbox score values in data entry forms (Ana)
  • New: Added CSV export to All Tree Stats report.
  • New: USA Address auto-complete and verification system in place
  • Update: Increased max form fields to 50 (Jonathan K)
  • Update: Scoring nodes can now call webhooks
  • Update: Webhooks and apps no longer run asynchronously, so webhook data is available immediately upon node launch
  • Fix: Recovering trees from snapshots no longer duplicates form fields
  • Fix: Copying a tree saves new copy as first entry in snapshots, labels the copy event properly
  • Update: All tree Stats report shows totals in the last row (Diana T.), lets you select an organization
  • Fix: Thin line at top of embedded trees no longer appears (Josh S)
  • Update: Agent portal “Done with Customer” button now logs that as a button click in session logs
  • Fix: Plus signs in email addresses now get transferred properly via email-session-info link nodes.
  • Fix: Embed options now always uses https by default.
  • Fix: Publishing links cleaned up for https always.
  • Update: Custom CSS URLs are now forced to be https in Settings tool.
  • New: Data Totals report
  • Fix: Saving layouts with unlinked nodes in Designer no longer gives weird error messages
  • Fix: “Default Browser” as browser type broke Zendesk agent scripting app for some people
  • Fix: Redirecting from http to https didn’t work for some really long URLs. Including Zendesk Agent Scripting app.
  • Fix: Webhooks now handle URLs with variables with spaces properly
  • Update: Now forces https for all URLs
  • New: Added zt_browser as an enhanced location variable
  • Fix: Pressing restart button reloads enhanced location variables, merge variables
  • Update: Question field length now 500 characters (Julie C.)
  • Fix: Updated location data for higher volume lookups
  • Fix: Resetting button click variables on the first click now works properly.
  • Update: Export to CSV buttons now at top of each report page (for Josh)
  • New: Option to switch between running total and fixed value for button click scoring

Whew! That’s a lot of updates over the last two months.

Whenever possible, we give credit to the customer who suggested an improvement. So if you have a brilliant idea, a suggestion, or a real need, let us know and we’ll do our best to make it part of the next update.