In this article
You can add a level of automation to Forms by defining Actions that run Automatically (always), Conditionally or Manually when a response is submitted. In this way, you can ensure each respondent is followed up and taken through the next steps of your internal administration process. The actions available for Forms are the same as Flow actions, and can only be run against Active form responses.
Important: Automated. How automated?
Actions can only be run for responses that are linked to a contact or child. This means that responses may need to be linked to a person's profile before actions can be run. Our related support article on Managing form responses explains how responses can be linked, with in-built 'response matching' making intuitive linking suggestions. In this regard, and because of the potential personal information that may be included, responses are never auto-linked to a person, except where the response is to a sent form invitation. Once a user has linked a form response to the appropriate person, the actions can then be run.
Actions set to run Always or Conditionally will only run automatically for responses to a form invitation - where the form was sent using the Send invite workflow. Since the invitation is linked to a person's profile, actions set to run always or conditionally will run automatically as responses are submitted. See the related support article on Sending form invitations.
For all responses submitted outside of the invitation workflow - perhaps submitted via your website or in response to a link shared in your communications - the response must first be linked to the appropriate person's profile before any form action can be run (always/conditionally/manually) for that person.
Actions set to run Manually are ideal where a user will choose which of the preset actions are to be run on a response-by-response basis.
Adding form actions
Actions are defined on the Actions tab on a form’s "View" page. Click Add action.
The Add action pop-up shows the actions available, which will depend on the module in which the Form is set visible. For example, a Form visible in the Children module will list child actions. The example below is for a form visible in the Address Book, so contact actions are listed. Selecting certain actions will surface a related option - for example, selecting Add key date will surface a selector so you can choose the key date to be assigned when the action is run.
Next, choose when the action will Run. Actions can run Always, Conditionally or Manually. Remember, actions can only be run for responses that have first been linked, which means that 'always' and 'conditional' actions will not run automatically when a form response is submitted - unless the response is from an invitation; however, you can always retrospectively choose which actions to run after the response has been linked.
For conditional actions that Run when any or all of the conditions are met click Add condition.
For example, you might choose to add a Tag to a person If they responded to a certain Field on the form with a particular answer or option.
You can continue adding further action conditions if you wish. Conditional actions are explored further in the next section. When finished, click Save to add the condition. Continue adding response Actions as needed.
As introduced in the previous section, the action Run setting determines two things - whether an action will run automatically (where a Send invite form response is submitted) - either always or conditionally - or whether the action is considered a suggested action to be run manually.
The Run field on the Actions pop-up has 4 options, shown below:
- Always - the action will only run automatically for form invitation responses, otherwise, the action will be a suggested (pre-selected) manual action when a response is linked to a person's profile
- When all conditions are met - the action will only run automatically for form invitation responses, otherwise, the action will be a suggested (pre-selected) action when a response is linked to a person's profile and IF the person meets all of the action conditions
- When any conditions are met - the action will only run automatically for form invitation responses, otherwise, the action will be a suggested (pre-selected) action when a response is linked to a person's profile and IF the person meets any of the action conditions
- Manually - the action will never run for invite responses and will not be suggested (pre-selected) when manually running actions. However, a user can manually select and run the action
The example below will help you visualise the Run actions workflow. Suggested actions are pre-selected, but actions set to run manually can to optionally selected and run. Note, that actions can only be run against Active form responses, and aren't available for Archived form responses.
The following system-imposed conditions must be met for an action to run:
- Archive Person - a person must be active
- Send Preset Email - a person must have an email address
- Send Preset SMS - a person must have a mobile number
- Add Key Date/Add Tag/Add to Flow/Remove Tag - Address Book - a person must be an active contact
- Add Key Date/Add Tag/Add to Flow/Remove Tag - Children - a person must be an active child
System-imposed Conditions are shown in italics when viewing the Actions tab. In the following example, the action will only run if action conditions are met AND the person is a contact in the Address Book (the system condition).
When adding conditions you must first select whether the action is conditional on the Person (i.e. the person to whom the response is linked) or to a response Field on the form.
When an action is conditional on a response Field and the field type is either a Drop-down, Checkbox or Radio list, you'll be able to choose from a list of criteria to match on - i.e. whether the selected form Field has no response value, any response value, a specified value, or a specified value that the response is not.
And when an action is conditional on a response Field and the field type is either an Email, Phone, Date, Signature or Text field, you'll be able to set criteria to match has no value or has a value.
Making changes to fields linked to action conditions
It's entirely possible to make changes to the fields on a form, however, care should be taken as some changes may cause breaking changes to Actions that have been defined.
Deleting a field from a form (for deleting a field option) - If a field or a field option is deleted, ChurchSuite will remove any conditions that relate to the deleted field or option. If there are no remaining conditions for the action as a result, ChurchSuite will change the Run to Manually because it will no longer be possible to run When all of the conditions are met or When any of the conditions are met - there must always be at least one condition.
Archiving a field option - When a field option is Archived, respondents will no longer see that option when completing their form. Similarly, module users will be unable to add conditional form actions referencing the archived field option. Any pre-existing actions conditional on an archived field option will no longer be suggested or pre-selected, and a warning will be shown on the "Run actions" pop-up to alert the user that the option linked to the conditional action has been archived.
Rounding out this section, note the Actions to Duplicate, Edit, and Delete. Clicking View changes will open a pop-up showing the historic change logs for the action.
As explained earlier in this article, actions may be run automatically, conditionally or manually against Active form responses. Working from a form's Responses tab, and for responses that are linked to a Person, the Run Action option is shown.
The same Run Actions option is shown on the response View pop-up that opens when a user clicks on a response in the list.
Clicking Run Actions opens a pop-up showing Suggested actions to run based on the person, their form response, and the action conditions defined for the form. Suggested actions are pre-selected, but any action - including conditional actions the person may not meet - can be selected or deselected. System conditions (explained earlier) will always need to be met for an action to run, otherwise, the action is disabled in the list and cannot be selected or run. Actions listed with green text indicate that the action conditions are met and the action can be run if selected. Actions listed with strikethrough text indicate that the action conditions have not been met and can be run if selected.
The pop-up clearly distinguishes actions that have previously been run. Click History to view details of who previously ran actions and when. Previously run actions are shown as unselected but can be selected and re-run without constraint if you wish.
Top Tip! Get your actions in order!
The order of actions is important. Actions run in the order shown on the form's Actions tab. For example, if you want to send respondents an email and then archive them, the Send Preset Email action will need to be ordered before the Archive action, otherwise, the email action will fail - you can't send emails to archived people! Click on any Order control to change the action order.
Click Run to process the selected actions.