Actions allow you to trigger tasks based on various events. Examples include creating a ticket when someone opts-out of your XM Directory, sending a follow-up email to a customer after a low satisfaction score. For both the inciting event and the resulting task, you have a lot of options, most of which are inside the Qualtrics platform and some of which are outside.
You can create actions in two different places: in the Actions tab of a survey or in the Actions page in the global navigation. Unless the triggering event of your action relates directly to a survey, we recommend starting in the global navigation.
Using the New Actions UI
Starting March 2021, the Actions tab in your survey projects will have a new user interface. This updated interface boasts a variety of improvements, including a more intuitive experience, added search functionality, easier workflow management, and the ability to enable and disable actions using a simple toggle. This update does not affect the behavior or functionality of any of your existing actions. Much of the functionality outlined on this page has not changed.
These changes may be familiar to you if you’ve been using actions in the global navigation; this update aligns the experience in the two actions editors. Visit the linked page to learn more about using the new UI, or visit the linked sections below to learn more about specific topics:
This section will go over how to create an action inside a survey and what the different components (events, conditions, and tasks) mean. While functionality is similar, the look and feel of action creation might differ on the global Actions page.
- Go to your survey.
- Click Actions.
- Pick Editor.
- Choose Create an action.
Qtip: If creating the action in the global Actions page, you will be brought to the Catalog for you to create an action from scratch, or use a prebuilt workflow template. See this support page for more information.
- Determine whether the action should be scheduled or event-based. For a comparison of these options, see Scheduled vs. Event-Based Actions.
- Scheduled: Set a schedule for the action to be executed over and over again, such as a ticket task being created every Monday, or a survey that should be sent on the first of every month.
- Event-based: Tie an action to a specific event, such as a survey response being collected, a ticket being reassigned, or something happening in Salesforce.
- Name your action by clicking where it says “New Action” entering a name.
- Choose the event that will trigger your action, or set the schedule you want the action to run on.
- If desired, add conditions to your action. These are the rules an event must follow before the action will actually execute, and can add much-needed specificity. See creating conditions for more information.
Qtip: It isn’t necessary to add conditions to every action. If there are no conditions, the action’s tasks will trigger as soon as the event takes place. For example, if your event is survey response creation, the action will fire every time a survey response is submitted.
- Add a task. This is what we want to happen as a result of the event meeting the conditions, such as an email being sent, a ticket being created, or a Slack message being sent. See defining tasks for more examples.
Events vs. Conditions vs. Tasks
When you create an action, you indicate the event that should trigger it, the more specific conditions under which that action occurs (if needed), and then define the task that is executed as a result.
For example, I want to send an email to the managers every time a customer reports a low CSAT. I also want to create a ticket when this happens, so our support team can address it.
We collect CSAT in a survey – that means the event is the creation of a survey response.
We only care if there’s a low CSAT, so the condition is something like, if the response to the CSAT question is 3 or lower, or if “highly dissatisfied” is selected. (This can differ, based on your organization’s benchmarks.)
Scheduled Actions vs. Event-Based Actions
Actions can be scheduled, or they can be tied to a specific event. Scheduled actions are useful when you want a task to occur on a regular basis. Events are most useful if you want to base a task on something specific happening in Qualtrics – e.g., sending an email or making a ticket based on how a respondent filled out a survey. In that example, the survey submission would be the event, and the email or the ticket would be the task carried out.
Examples of Scheduled Actions
Examples of Event-Based Actions
To create a scheduled action, click Create an action, and select Scheduled.
Click select frequency to determine when the scheduled action will take place. Your options are:
- Daily, at a specific time.
- Weekly, on a particular day, at a particular time.
- Monthly, on a particular date, at a particular time.
“Events” occur in Qualtrics (or other places) and cause an action to start. To create an event-based action, click Create an action, and select Event-Based.
Many events can be used to start an action workflow. The selected event will determine what kinds of conditions can be applied to the action. You can use the search bar at the top of the window to easily search available events. See below for a brief explanation of each event type.
When creating an event-based action, you can add conditions to determine more specifically when the action should fire. For example, you may not want to send an email to managers about every survey response submitted, but you may want to let them know when the customer indicated low satisfaction. Conditions are built by creating logic statements that use information from the chosen event.
- All or Any:
- All conditions must be met. Think of this as all the statements in the condition being linked by “And.”
- Any condition can be met. Think of this as all the statements in the condition being linked by “Or.”
- Condition Type: This varies based on the event you chose. For example, if your action is based off survey responses, then your conditions can be based on question answers, embedded data, or quotas from that survey.
- Field: The specific field you are filtering by (e.g., Q1 – How would you rate the ease or difficulty of navigating this website?).
- Choice: The specific answer, response, value, etc. that you want to match (e.g., Extremely easy, Detractor, etc.).
- Operator: How you want to match the value you set (e.g., Selected / Not Selected, Displayed / Not Displayed, etc.).
To walk through the process of creating conditions for an action, complete the step-by-step below.
- In this example, a ticket is created when a Detractor is identified using the NPS question in our survey.
Qtip: Net Promoter® Score, or NPS, is a customer satisfaction metric on an 11 point scale. Unhappy detractors are grouped from 0-6. Passives are grouped between 7-8 and Promoters between 9-10. Learn more on the Net Promoter® Score page.
- Create an action or select an existing action. Make sure it is an event-based action.
- Select your event. Here, we chose the survey response event and specified that the action should happen if a response is created.
- Click Add conditions.
- Decide if Any or All conditions must be met.
- Click Condition.
- Pick your condition type. In this example, we chose “Question.”
- Choose a field. In this case, we chose Q2 because it’s our NPS question.
- Choose a value. Here, “Is Detractor” has been selected, which automatically includes anyone who responded with the 0-6 on an 11 point scale.
- Select an operator (e.g., True / False, etc.).
- Repeat steps 5-9 as needed to add additional conditions.
- To add additional condition sets, click condition group. More on how to use these at the linked page. See also Nesting Logic for more complex conditions.
- When finished, click Done Editing.
- Create an action or select an existing action. Make sure it is an event-based action.
You can add up to 5 tasks per action to follow-up on your research and survey responses. Each task type is capable of solving an array of problems. You can use the search bar at the top to search your available tasks. Here are just a few examples:
- Tickets Task: NPS Detractors could trigger high-priority support tickets.
- Email Task: Student queries could trigger emails to instructors for help.
- Web Service Task: Newsfeeds could update in real time via APIs.
- Tango Card Task: Incentivize surveys with Tango Card.
- Slack Task: Achievement metrics could trigger Slack channel messages.
- Salesforce Task: Text analytics could launch Salesforce events.
- Zendesk: The Zendesk extension allows you to create and update tickets in Zendesk based on responses collected with Qualtrics surveys.
- Freshdesk: The Freshdesk extension allows you to create tickets in Freshdesk based on actions triggered in Qualtrics.
- Hubspot: The Hubspot extension allows you to create and update deals and contacts in Hubspot from collected survey responses.
- ServiceNow: The ServiceNow extension allows you to create and update incidents in ServiceNow as well as update customer contact information provided by survey responses.
- Microsoft Dynamics: The Microsoft Dynamics extension allows you link up your account to a Qualtrics survey for both Response Mapping and Web to Lead capabilities.
The Order of Tasks in an Action
Every action can have up to five tasks. The order that these tasks occur is important, depending on the needs of your workflow.
Determining Task Order
Initially, the order of tasks matches the order in which they are created. The newest task is added to the end of the workflow. When an existing task is edited, it is also moved to the end of the workflow.
The action also pays attention to what needs to happen first for a task to execute successfully. For example, if you are piping a field from a ticket you’ve created into an email task, the ticket creation task will happen first, followed by the email where the value is included, regardless of what order you created these tasks.
As tasks are created, they are assigned IDs in the format T-ID-#. The ID of a task is set to the order in which it was created.
The ID of a task never changes, and is merely an internal ID to help identify a task. It does not necessarily reflect the order in which a task will be triggered compared to other tasks in the same action.
The Qualtrics Actions platform contains a series of tasks to assist in importing data from third-party destinations into Qualtrics or exporting data from Qualtrics to third-party destinations. These tasks follow the Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) framework. Using ETL tasks, you can create automated and scheduled workflows to bring data from third-party sources into Qualtrics as well as export data from Qualtrics to third-party destinations.
The order of tasks in an action is important when using action tasks to set up ETL workflows. See the linked support page for more guidance on this specific use case.
The calculate metric task in Actions allows you to trigger a response to aggregate metrics observed in a dataset over a period of time. In other words, it provides a way to set up automated workflows based on trends or events you observe in experience data. The results of your calculate metric task can be used to trigger other tasks within your workflow.
The order of tasks in an action is important when calculating aggregate metrics. See the linked support page for more guidance on this specific use case.
Managing Existing Actions
You can create as many actions as you need, knowing they will be organized neatly under the Actions tab in the Editor section. From this section you can:
- Use the On/Off toggle to enable or disable your workflow.
- Click the three dots to open the options menu. Your available options are:
- Edit: Opens the actions editor for you to edit the action’s event, conditions, and tasks. While editing your action, you can also configure notifications.
- Rename: Allows you to change your action’s name.
- Copy: Copies the selected action.
- Delete. Deletes the selected action. Note that deleted actions are irretrievable!
- Use the Search actions bar to search your actions. You can search by the action name, or by the action’s event and tasks.
- When editing the action, click the three dots and select Notification settings to set up notifications, which notifications let you know when an event-based action fails or a scheduled action succeeds.
The Reporting Section
By navigating to the Reporting section of the Actions tab, you can quickly ascertain the status of all your actions or filter them by status, so you can look at all actions that have competed, failed, or timed out. Once you click on a failed task, you’ll see more details that can help you troubleshoot the source of the issue.