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Actions Basic Overview

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About Actions

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.

Actions tab of the survey

the actions page in the top right corner

Qtip: This support page will cover information that can be applied to both the global and survey-specific actions. We will indicate where there are differences.

Using the New Actions UI

Qtip: If you are interested in trying the new Actions UI, reach out to your Customer Success Representative.

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.
the actions tab of a survey with the updated ui

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:

Creating Actions

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.

  1. Go to your survey.
  2. Click Actions.
    Actions tab and Editor section in the upper-left, and Add Action button in the center of the page
  3. Pick Editor.
  4. Choose Add Action.
  5. 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.
  6. Name your action by clicking where it says “New Action” entering a name.
    Each of the components of an action described in the following steps
  7. Choose the event that will trigger your action, or set the schedule you want the action to run on.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
Qtip: As soon as you create an action, it will be live. Actions do not need to be published, so be careful when adding them to surveys that are actively collecting responses. If you need to temporarily disable or test a scheduled action, you can do so from the global Actions page.

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.)

What task happens as a result of these kinds of survey responses? We send an email task to the managers and use a ticket task to make a new ticket for a support rep.

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.

In actions tab, clicking create action makes a dropdown with two options appear: scheduled and event-based

Examples of Scheduled Actions

Example: I want to get an email every month on the 1st, reminding me to log in and check my survey.
Example: I have a survey where I ask employees to tell their manager how they’re doing and flag issues they need help with. I want this to go out to my employee list every Wednesday.
Qtip: Scheduled actions are not for sending reports or data on a regular basis. If you’re looking to set up a recurring report email, see the options for sharing results, sharing reports, and sharing dashboards (if applicable).

Examples of Event-Based Actions

Example: I want to create a ticket for my support team whenever a respondent fills out our support survey.
Example: I want to send an email to the sales team whenever a survey respondent selects that they’re interested in learning more about our products.
Example: I want to send a survey distribution whenever a ticket is resolved in Freshdesk.

Scheduled Actions

To create a scheduled action, click Add Action, and select Scheduled.

The top of the action says "schedule" and has a dropdown that says "select frequency"

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.
Qtip: You will be able to select the timezone when scheduling an action. By default, the account’s timezone will be selected.
Qtip: If you choose a date that doesn’t exist in every month (e.g., 29, 30, and 31), then the action will not occur during those months.

Tasks created in scheduled actions cannot use piped text. That’s because there’s no source to pipe information from, unlike in an event-based action.

Qtip: Once you create a scheduled action, you can test it immediately (without having to wait until its scheduled deployment) in the global Actions page. See Manually Triggering Scheduled Actions for more details.
Qtip: If you’re looking to email reports on a regular basis, see the options for sharing results, sharing reports, and sharing dashboards (if applicable).

Event-Based Actions

“Events” occur in Qualtrics (or other places) and cause an action to start. To create an event-based action, click Add Action, and select Event-Based.

Window named "Select how you want the action to take place." Then a list of tiles with such events as survey response, salesforce workflow rule, and so on.

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. See below for a brief explanation of each event type.

Creating Conditions

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.

Qtip: Conditions are not required on every action.

 

Image showing how to create conditions for a Survey Response event

  1. 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.”
  2. 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.
    Qtip: You’ll be able to use survey questions to create conditions if your action is based on survey responses submitted, but not if you base your action on a ticket event; in the case of the latter, you can only use information available on the ticket itself, like ticket data.
  3. Field: The specific field you are filtering by (e.g., Q1 – How would you rate the ease or difficulty of navigating this website?).
  4. Choice: The specific answer, response, value, etc. that you want to match (e.g., Extremely easy, Detractor, etc.).
  5. Operator: How you want to match the value you set (e.g., Selected / Not Selected, Displayed / Not Displayed, etc.).
Qtip: See Conditions and Condition Sets for more guides on building conditions.

To walk through the process of creating conditions for an action, complete the step-by-step below.

Step-by-Step
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.
  1. Create an action or select an existing action. Make sure it is an event-based action.
    Newly created survey response action with no conditions
  2. Select your event. Here, we chose the survey response event and specified that the action should happen if a response is created.
  3. Click Add conditions.
  4. Decide if Any or All conditions must be met.
    Condition editor opened with buttons described
  5. Click Condition.
  6. Pick your condition type. In this example, we chose “Question.”
    A condition built out of a series of dropdowns. It says: "any of the following are true: question, "how likely are you to recommend tread to a friend," is detractor, true," then the task will happen
  7. Choose a field. In this case, we chose Q2 because it’s our NPS question.
  8. Choose a value. Here, “Is Detractor” has been selected, which automatically includes anyone who responded with the 0-6 on an 11 point scale.
  9. Select an operator (e.g., True / False, etc.).
  10. Repeat steps 5-9 as needed to add additional conditions.
  11. 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.
  12. When finished, click Done Editing.

Defining Tasks

Add Task window featuring Tickets, Email, Slack, Salesforce, and Web Service options

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. Here are just a few examples:

Qtip: The following tasks require the separate purchase of an extension. If you don’t already have access to one or more of these extensions and are interested, check out our XM Marketplace.
  • 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.
Qtip: Click the i icon on a task to get more information about the task. This window also includes a link to that specific task’s support page if you need guidance setting up the task.
the task selection screen. the mouse is hovered over the information icon to show more information about the task

Managing Existing Actions

Qtip: This page describes functionality in the Actions tab of a survey. For instructions on management in the Actions page in the global navigation, see the linked page.

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:

  1. Rename an action by clicking on the name and entering a new one.
    In the Editor section, Action Names to the far-left, number of tasks in the middle, and copy and delete buttons to the far-right
  2. Set up notifications to let you know when an event-based action fails or a scheduled action succeeds.
  3. Copy or duplicate an existing action (so you can modify it).
  4. Delete an action.
  5. Expand and collapse each action by clicking anywhere along the top where the action’s name and tasks are displayed. The number of tasks in each action is displayed along with icons that indicate the types of tasks you have created inside that action.
  6. After an action has expanded, you can make edits such as changing a condition or adding additional tasks.
    Image showing where to click to expand an action

The Reporting Section

Qtip: This section describes functionality in the Actions tab of a survey. For instructions on reporting and history in the Actions page in the global navigation, see the linked page.

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.

the reporting section is accessed by clicking actions and then reporting

Qtip: To learn more about the Reporting section, visit the Actions Reporting page.

FAQs