Form actions - BETA
The Forms functionality explained in this support article is available to all customers as a beta access feature. We will continue to add further Forms features in the coming months, including:
- Conditional questions - form field responses will be able to determine the visibility of subsequent questions eg respondents answering Yes or No will surface a different follow-on question
14th September 2021
In this article
You can easily add a level of automation to your Forms by optionally defining Actions that run when a response is submitted, such as adding respondents to a Flow, Ministry or Small Group; sending a Preset Email or SMS; assigning a Key Date or Note; adding or removing a Tag; and Archiving or Deleting the respondent.
Actions can only be run for responses that are linked to a contact or child; they can't be run for unlinked responses or those not yet in ChurchSuite. Form actions can run in two ways:
- Automatically. Actions run automatically - either always or conditionally - when Send Invite has been used and a response is therefore linked to the invited contact or child
- Manually. A User can manually run actions for a response which has been linked to person in ChurchSuite. ChurchSuite will suggest actions based on any action conditions defined, or a User can select and run actions.
Adding Form actions
Actions are defined by selecting the Actions tab on a form’s page and clicking Add action.
The Add action pop-up shows the actions available, which will depend on the module/s 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.
The pop-up also enables you to choose when an action will Run. Actions can run always, conditionally or manually. Remember, actions can only be run for responses that are linked to a person already in ChurchSuite - for example, you can't add a key date to a person not already in the Address Book or Children module.
For conditional actions click Add condition.
For example, you might choose to add a Tag to a respondent if they have selected a particular answer.
Click Save to add the action. There's no limit to the number of actions you can define for a Form.
The Run setting determine two things - whether an action will run automatically when a Send invite response is submitted and whether an action will be Suggested (ie selected by default with a pre-ticked checkbox) when running actions manually, as described later in this article.
The Run field in the Form Actions pop-up contains 4 options:
- When all conditions are met
- When any conditions are met
Always - When this option is selected, the action will run automatically when a form is submitted in response to Send invite, as long as system conditions are met (see below). If Send invite has not been used, Run actions can be used to run the action manually. An Always action will be Suggested - showing a pre-ticked checkbox - as long as system conditions are met.
When all conditions are met - When this option is selected, an Add condition button will appear, enabling you to specify conditions. If all conditions are met - including relevant system conditions - the action will run automatically for Send invite responses, as these responses are automatically linked to the invitee. The action will be Suggested when using Run actions.
When any conditions are met - When this option is selected, an Add condition button will appear, enabling you to specify conditions. If any of the specified conditions are met - along with relevant system conditions - the action will run automatically for Send invite responses. The action will be Suggested when using Run actions.
Manually - A manual action never run for Send invite responses and it will not be Suggested when using Run Actions. A user must tick the empty checkbox on the Run actions pop-up in order to run a Manual action.
Some actions have System conditions which must be met in order for the action to run, even if Always is selected in the Run dropdown. In the example below, the Send Preset Email action is set to run Always. However, the action will only run if the respondent has an email address.
The following System conditions apply:
- Archive - person must be active.
- Send Preset Email - person must have an email address.
- Send Preset SMS - person must have a mobile number.
- Add Key Date/Add Tag/Add to Flow/Remove Tag - Address Book - person must be a contact.
- Add Key Date/Add Tag/Add to Flow/Remove Tag - Children - person must be a child.
When viewing the Actions tab, System conditions show in italics.
When adding Conditions you must first select whether the condition relates to the Person responding or to a Field.
You can combine several conditions - perhaps specifying that an action will Run when a Person has a specific characteristic...
...and a Field contains a specific answer.
In the example above, the respondent will be added to the Week 1 Team of the Welcome & Hosting Ministry in the Rotas module if they are an Active contact and have indicated on their form that they are interested in joining the Welcome team.
When selecting a Dropdown, Checkbox or Radio field, you can define the Condition in a range of ways.
A Checkbox field has 4 choices - has no value, has a value, option is checked, option is not checked.
A Dropdown field has 4 choices - has no value, has a value, value is, value is not.
A Radio field has 2 choices - value is, value is not.
Selecting option is checked or option is not checked enables you to specify a particular option from the range of possible answers, whereas has no value and has a value are more generic.
When selecting fields without options such as Email, Phone, Date and Signature, you can define the Condition in one of two ways - has no value or has a value. When an Action is set to run when a field has a value, the Action will not run if the answer to that question is left blank.
Editing, archiving or deleting fields which are linked to conditions
It's possible to Edit, Archive or Delete a field or options within a field but these actions may impact conditions and their ability to run.
Editing a field - If a field is edited - for example, the name of a field or option is altered - this will be updated in the condition.
Deleting a field or option - If a field or a field option is deleted, ChurchSuite will remove any conditions which relate to the deleted field or option. If there are no remaining conditions for an action as a result, ChurchSuite will change the Run dropdown to Manually. This will be done because it’s not possible to have an action that is set to run When all conditions are met or When any of the conditions are met, without specifying at least one condition.
Archiving a field option - When a field option is Archived, respondents will not see the option when they complete a form and it won’t be possible to create new conditions with the archived option. Archiving may impact Suggested actions when running an action manually.
A warning triangle and message will be shown if any changes have an impact on conditions.
Once created, Form Actions can be Duplicated, Edited or Deleted... ...and View Changes enables you to see any changes which have been made to the Action.
Form actions either run automatically when a response is submitted from a form invitation or manually when a ChurchSuite user runs actions.
Automatically - When Send Invite is used and a form response is submitted, ChurchSuite knows which person submitted the form. When the form is successfully submitted, ChurchSuite will process each form action in order against the person who received the invitation. For example, if form actions specify that certain tags and key dates should be added to the respondent, these actions will run automatically when Send Invite is used and a response is submitted, as long as the relevant user-defined and system conditions are met.
Manually - Run Actions shows on the Action menu for any response which is linked to a person. If a response is not linked to a person, the option doesn't show as there is no person to run actions against.
After clicking Run actions, a pop-up shows Suggested actions to run, based on the respondent and the data in their response. Suggested actions have pre-ticked checkboxes. Options make it easy to select either the Suggested actions, All of the actions or None of the actions.
If a user decides that it's not appropriate to run a Suggested action, it's possible to untick the box. Conversely, if an action is not suggested, it's possible to tick the checkbox and run the action even if user-defined conditions aren't met. System conditions always need to be met in order for an action to run.
Ordering your actions
Please note that the order of actions is important because actions will be run in the order in which they are shown, from top to bottom. For example, if you want to send form respondents an email and then archive them, the Send Preset Email action needs to be above the Archive action as ChurchSuite cannot send emails to archived people.
You can alter the order of actions by hovering over the numbered arrow and dragging the action to a different position...
...or by clicking the numbered arrow and using the Order pop-up arrows to re-order the list.
Click History to view actions which have already been run for the respondent. Information about previously run actions is also shown below the relevant action.
Clicking on the arrow beside History shows who ran an action and when. If an action has previously been run, it will not be shown as a Suggested action.
Each action is shown with a checkbox, its name, a subtitle with additional information (such as the name of a tag that will be added) and any relevant conditions, whether user-specified or System conditions.
Green text indicates that the relevant criteria have been passed and an action can be run if the checkbox is ticked.
Strikethough text indicates that the relevant criteria have been failed. If only user-defined conditions have been failed, it's possible to tick and run the action manually. If a System condition has been failed, it's not possible to select and run the action and the action will show as greyed out.
Suggested actions - some examples
In the screenshot below there is only one suggested action and explanations are given for each of the named actions.
Add 'Refreshments' tag - Address Book is not a Suggested action as the respondent didn't indicate that they were interested in the Refreshments team. The green italicised text indicates that the System condition was met (Person is contact) but the strikethrough text shows that their response failed the user-defined condition. It's possible to select and run this action, overriding the user-defined condition.
Add 'Offered to serve' key date - Address Book is not a Suggested action even though the conditions were met, as indicated by the green text. It is not Suggested because this action was previously run, as indicated by the yellow text.
Add to 'Volunteer Training' flow - Address Book is a Suggested action as it is set to Always run and has no conditions.
Add 'Youth volunteers' tag - Children is greyed out and cannot be selected because the contact does not meet the System condition "Person is a child". This is indicated by the strikethrough text for the italicised System condition.
Add key date - Address Book has a warning triangle and strikethrough text because the field option has been deleted. It's possible to select and run this action to add a Key Date because the System condition has been met.
When you've selected the appropriate actions, click the Run button and the selected actions will be run in the order in which they are shown, from top to bottom.