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Decision Tree vs Flowchart: What Is The Best Solution For New-age Customer Service?

13 mins read

There are several ways to present information visually. This blog post will discuss the primary differences between flowcharts and decision trees and which is the best way forward for the new-age customer service world.

Organized and well-structured information is one of the greatest assets organizations need today to deliver adequate customer services. To this end, visual representation of information using a decision tree or flowchart goes a long way in helping support teams, and customers find relevant information at the right time

What is a flowchart?

A flowchart is a graphical representation of a sequence of steps involved in a process. Flowchart diagrams help a business organization communicate procedures to stakeholders, which can otherwise be time-consuming with long text documents. 

What is a decision tree? 

A decision tree is a graphical representation of step-by-step guidance steps that helps businesses to make better and more informed decisions. A decision tree utilizes an If/then approach to help users navigate through large chunks of information smoothly and efficiently

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What are the core elements of new-age customer service? 

1. Speedy and quality resolutions

With the evolving technology, new-age customers are getting accustomed to instant solutions. They expect customer support reps to value their time and deliver adequate information that helps them fix their issues faster. 

2. Personalized experiences 

While contacting a service rep, over 70% of customers expect an agent to know who they are and have insights into their past transactions with the company. Given the abundant options customers, today have, they are drawn toward brands that are proactive in catering to their choices and solving their problems.

3. Robust self-service options 

Many customers find it convenient to search for information online and fix issues independently. To retain customers, brands must enable self-service channels with relevant information so they are available to help customers 24/7 and for customers to get consistent information in their preferred communication channel.        

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Decision tree vs Flowchart: Which one to prefer when it comes to customer service?

In a cut-throat customer service world, the struggle is to align the speed and service quality to stand up to customers’ expectations without hampering the support costs. This is where organizing information in graphical workflows like decision trees or flowcharts helps customer support teams fast-track the resolution process and deliver high-quality service.  

While both decision trees and flowcharts enable better decision-making, there are stark differences between the two frameworks and their functionality in the customer service world. 

The table below lists the primary ways AI-backed decision trees differ from flowcharts.

decision tree vs flowchart
  • While a flowchart diagram gives a systematic structure to the customer service process, it falls short of guiding the support agents to make real-time decisions in response to inputs shared by customers. By listing down the set of activities involved in a particular process, a flowchart informs agents how a customer service query should be dealt with and not necessarily how they can do it. 
  • An AI-backed decision tree is an intuitive workflow approach that guides support reps with the next best action steps to troubleshoot customer problems efficiently. A convenient Application Programming Interface(API) integration approach enables auto traversing of customer information from CRM platforms, helping agents focus on the most relevant steps for faster and more accurate resolutions.

Why does new-age customer service need decision trees and not flowcharts? 

1. Intuitive workflow to help support teams make faster and more efficient decisions 

  • While attending to a customer’s call, an agent is pressed against time to locate the right information, identify the cause of the issue, and then gather ways to fix it. While this can take a lot of time for agents and add to customers’ frustration waiting on a call, a decision tree resolves the issue by guiding agents with the next best action step they need to take. 
  • Decision trees enable agents to quickly identify the customer problem and fix it with guided instructions with intuitive workflows. With Knowmax decision trees, agents are directed to the most relevant course of action needed to solve a customer issue. Agents can select the appropriate issue from multiple user responses, which then guides them with the following set of questions they need to ask the customer.
  •  Clearly laid out questions and user responses avoid confusion and help agents with clarity on the troubleshooting process, enabling them to make faster and more efficient decisions in real-time. 

2. CRM integration to focus on the most relevant steps

  • Probing through multiple workflow steps is time-intensive, yet every step is crucial to the final resolution. However, some of the steps need basic details that organizations do contain but are often difficult to trace in the time of need. 
  • Knowmax Knowledge Management solution enables cognitive decision trees linked with multiple APIs to auto traverse customer information from CRM systems. Throughout the decision tree flow, any step can be linked with APIs to help agents focus on the steps that need manual examination, resulting in a faster resolution process. Auto traversing information also eliminates agent error and helps deliver customized experiences to customers. 

3. Multimedia attachment for immersive customer experiences 

  • The need to add additional information can arise at any step in the workflow. An efficient customer service solution should help agents access all the relevant information from a single dashboard.
  • While creating Knowmax decision trees, admins can add relevant visual aids, videos, or support articles as support guides with the workflow steps. These support guides help agents access all the relevant information from a unified place and create immersive customer experiences, leading to higher customer engagement and customer satisfaction rates

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4. Feedback mechanism for better collaboration

  • Constant customer feedback is crucial to ensuring workflow effectiveness in the long run. It is vital to take feedback from support reps and incorporate it to update the existing workflows or create new decision tree workflows. 
  • With Knowmax decision trees, agents can rate the effectiveness of a workflow and share their suggestions with their supervisors in real-time. Admins can respond to agents’ feedback and notify them, creating a collaborative knowledge-sharing culture

5. A self-service tool to empower customers 

  • To thrive in this technology-driven customer service world, brands need to have a robust self-service strategy and ensure a consistent flow of information across all the customer touchpoints
  • With an omnichannel knowledge-sharing capability, decision trees created on the Knowmax platform can be disseminated to self-service channels and help customers troubleshoot issues independently with guided instructions. Self-service workflows empower customers to help themselves and result in higher customer satisfaction.   

Conclusion

Solid information architecture is fundamental to sustaining and creating value in a new-age customer service world where the bar of customer expectations is constantly rising. Unlike flowcharts, AI-backed decision trees act as more than workflow organizers to enable immersive, personalized, and consistently high-quality customer service through digital and assisted channels

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