A decision tree maker is the best tool for simplifying complicated processes, including those frequently faced in customer support, technical troubleshooting, sales optimization, training, program enrollment, and communications, to name a few. Presented in a customized, standardized, and completely interactive environment, decision trees have the potential to make a huge impact on the efficiency and effectiveness of any business or organization.
Zingtree is an online decision tree maker that allows you to quickly build, customize and publish interactive decision trees online, and comes fully-loaded with real-time analytics and reports.
How to Use Zingtree’s Decision Tree Maker
Our powerful decision tree maker toolkit allows you to create trees in a few unique ways:
1. Start from Spreadsheets
Easily draft and import any Google Sheets or Excel document into Zingtree and turn it into a decision tree. Once imported, you can enhance using powerful editing tools that offer more decision tree-related functionality than spreadsheets alone.
2. Draw It out With Designer
Designer lets you easily “draw” a decision tree. On a single display, you’ll be able to view and create the nodes and pathways for your decision tree and see exactly how it’ll flow.
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.
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.
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
Create your starting tree and the subtree that will be launched from the starting tree.
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:
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.
Troubleshooting has been a key problem-solving technique used by technical support teams and agents for ages. For every type of product or service in existence, there are countless types of issues that can potentially occur; troubleshooting aims to help narrow down what that problem could be for each customer, based on other contextual factors.
Zingtree makes it easy to build custom, interactive troubleshooters for tech support that are simple and straightforward enough for anyone to use and understand. When YouMail, the leading provider of visual voicemail, realized that they needed to resolve their support inquiries more quickly, they looked to automated troubleshooters to help. Using a clever mix of our interactive troubleshooters and YouMail’s own technical support staff, the company was able to amp up their customer support efforts, and assist customers in a wider range of questions and issues – all while saving money.
Here’s how our interactive troubleshooters have allowed YouMail and other companies to streamline their tech support departments.
Improving Self-Solving for Customers
While traditional methods of customer support are still in practice today, the vast majority of customers (72%, in fact) prefer to use self-service support options before reaching out to a live agent to resolve their issue. Turning a complex interaction into a simple click-click-click provides an easy-to-digest platform for people to find solutions all on their own, at any time or place. Offering these types of avenues for customers to find answers, understand technical processes, and troubleshoot problems, will greatly improve how you serve your customers, and, in turn, how they will feel about your company.
Providing a Complete, Guided Path
Information is always easier to follow and retain when you’re being gently guided through bite-sized pieces of information. Interactive decision tree troubleshooters are a more user-friendly way than traditional troubleshooting methods to guide people through a series of in an interview-style way, which helps to keep the process moving along and customers more engaged with the information being presented. You can even add customizations and visuals like GIFs, videos, and photos to help display information in a more fun and engaging way.
Connecting with Existing CRM
Effective technical support strategies should integrate every method and means of customer communications in a centralized way. For most companies, this means having a built up knowledge base, FAQ, and live support that can share information with one another seamlessly.
Zingtree troubleshooters Integrate directly with Salesforce, Freshdesk, and any other CRM platform, making it easy to pass along proper information from the troubleshooter straight to an agent. If the troubleshooter doesn’t solve the problem, the entire Q&A session history is sent to you, or imported into your CRM, saving tech support from a lot of back-and-forths.
Here’s an example of how a Zingtree session transcript appears inside of Zendesk:
Optimizing with Reports & Analytics
With built-in, real-time analytics and powerful usage reports, businesses can view the direct impact of their interactive troubleshooters for tech support.
Session List Report: see all the different customer sessions during a date range, and easily click for more details such as what parts of your troubleshooter they visited, their node-to-node path, and for how long they stayed on each node/question.
Traffic Map Report: quickly access a complete view of the content in your decision tree nodes, as well as a breakdown of the traffic to each, shown in both number of clicks and percentage of total traffic.
The Basics: How to Build a Troubleshooter
To get your troubleshooter up and running as quickly as possible, we recommend using the Zingtree Wizardtool.
Set up in a guided, form-based way, the Wizard allows you to supply every question, answer, and other pieces of content for each stage of the troubleshooting process. As you dive further into the creation of your troubleshooter, you can fill in more of the nitty-gritty details, and see a live preview of what the page will look like:
Companies that integrate Zingtree troubleshooters into their customer support processes have seen a 20% reduction in technical support costs on average, as well as improvements in the overall volume of incoming tickets.
Interactive decision trees can be incredibly powerful tools for technical support, troubleshooting, call centers, corporate procurement, purchasing and processing, scheduling, and so much more. The possibilities are endless for businesses, and even individuals, but it can often be a little difficult gathering the right inspiration to get started.
Our blog, gallery, website, and tutorials are full of decision tree examples to help you start off on the right path. In fact, we built our Gallery for exactly this purpose: To arm you with all of the tools and examples you might need. With the gallery, you can explore and examine decision trees to see how they are built for different functions, test out different themes and styles, and even duplicate existing decision trees so you don’t have to start from scratch.
We’ve hand-picked a few favorites to show just how dynamic these trees can be. Plus, we offer up some tips on customizing and personalizing decision trees to make them look and feel exactly how you want.
Personalizing and customizing decision trees is a fun way to inject a little character into your interactive experience. Once you’ve got those creative juices flowing, give some of these custom tweaks a try:
Travis A., who is implementing Zingtree for a video technology company, was keen on using Zingtree to try to reduce his team’s support ticket load. He also needed to import a synopsis of the Zingtree session data into his Zendesk tickets so his tech support people could get some time-saving background information.
Travis wanted to emphasize the condensed Q&A part of the session. Done!
Here’s the new look of the Zendesk Decision Tree Support app:
Here’s what’s new in the Zendesk Support App, version 4:
The Q&A view is now the default.
Any “back” or “restart” button clicks no longer show in Q&A view.
The answers clicked are highlighted, so it’s easy for a support person to see where the customer went at a glance.
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been busy improving Zingtree over the past six weeks. Aside from the new Single Sign-on and Dual use tree features, here are the other more subtle updates we’ve recently added into Zingtree:
Fix: No longer allows multiple feedback clicks on submit feedback button (Katheryn P.).
Update: AGENT_ and USER_ prefixes on buttons only show them in agent mode or end-user mode (Travis A.).
Update: Tag matching on trees (host-trees) now saves state for each tree clicked, shows marker if a session was started with that tree (for Jenn V.).
Update: Added nochrome=1 option to host-trees to show minimal tag matching results.
Fix: Using a tree node to launch a tree with a webhook in the starting node now runs webhook (Chrissie).
Update: Reports are now in author’s local time.
Update: Zendesk app version V9B now manages merge variables properly.
Update: Zendesk app gets ticket’s list box values instead of tags as merge variables to insert into agent scripts.
Fix: Form data report items now syncs with session list report (Diana T).
Fix: Session Matrix report now uses last click time for date ranges.
Fix: Scoring nodes no longer occasionally add a zero to scoring variables.
Fix: email-session-info script updated to handle some timing issues causing missing form data.
Update: Data Entry radio button fields now render using entire width of node, not half of width.
Fix: Date picker for subtrees works properly (Chrissie).
New: Sessions List has options to show first click/last click (Ricardo).
New: Sessions list report shows total time spent.
Update: Added Agent Portal Parameters option to pass custom URL values into agent portal trees (Chrissie).
Update: My Agents page now hides advanced options by default.
New: Server-side include example page.
Fix: Last click time in session data now always accurate (Ricardo).
Fix: Session form data reloads are now more reliable – fixes edge cases on timing errors (Ricardo).
Fix: New lines in Agent Feedback Comments now appear in emails, comment review pages (Katheryn P).
New: Tree Nodes and Link Nodes can now have tags (Morgan).
New: find_tree_sessions API (Chris P.).
Fix: Double quotes in session variables (via Zendesk) caused state not to get properly set (Ricardo).
New: API added find_agent_sessions as equivalent to original find_sessions. Makes better language since we added new find_tree_sessions API.
Update: get_session_data API call now includes “seq” in the path as click number (Chris P.).
Update: Form data, Session List reports now based off of “last click time” during a session, instead of start time (Ricardo).
Update: Session List report now shows an icon if the session includes form data.
Added demo for embedding with breadcrumbs in the container.
New: Import from Oracle Service Cloud XML in Create Tree.
Fix: FontAwesome icons updated to version 4.7 for Preview, Deploy.
Fix: FormData report and Session List report now use same time starting criterion.
Update: Added date_format option to hosting or embedded URLs to allow custom date formats in date picker (Chrissie, Jane).
Fix: Properly sends ampersands in subject line for email-session-info link node (Alok).
New: Can now see all feedback comments for a tree by clicking on comments bubble in My Trees (Guil).
Update: Date picker now uses user’s locale to format dates and show proper month names.
Fix: Emails with apostrophes now are able to be added to MailChimp lists.
Fix: Validates Tree IDs on spreadsheet import for tree nodes.
Fix: Now gets root node for tree imports as first node in list, even if not #1 (Katie).
Update: Zendesk agent scripting: tags prefixed with “perm_” are never removed from Zendesk once added (Jamel).
Thanks to all of our hard-core authors for suggesting most of these updates.
When using the Zingtree Wizard, or the Excel or Google Sheets Import tools, one of the drawbacks is that when you view those trees in Designer, there is no initial data for the visual representation of your tree. We’ve been working on making sure the Traffic Map report and Designer views look good when you first open a tree not created with Designer, and now we finally have a solution: the Auto-Arrange Tool.
Auto-Arrange uses a combination of Artificial Intelligence and the laws of physics to come up with an optimal layout for your tree. It turns out that this is a difficult problem to solve, and while we feel it can be improved, this solution will save you a lot of time from manually rearranging the layout of your trees – especially really big ones.
One of the fun things about Auto-Arrange is that you can watch it working as it rearranges and repositions nodes in real-time.
When you first open the Traffic Map report or Designer tool, you’ll be offered a chance to use Auto-Arrange. Next, Auto-Arrange will attempt to organize your decision tree in a tree-like fashion. If that doesn’t work, it will switch to a “network” view, which is less hierarchical. You can also switch views manually, and play with some of the parameters used to render the tree layout.
Here’s how our Pet Rock demo appears in Tree view (scaled down):
Here’s how the same tree looks in a Network display:
Once you are done playing with Auto-Arrange, you can proceed to Designer and your new layout will automatically become a part of the design.
Want to try it out? You can access Auto-Arrange from within Designer.