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Step: Ask a Question

Shing-Yi Tan Updated by Shing-Yi Tan

This Step sends a question to the Contact on the Last Interacted Channel if all conditions are met.

Configuration

There are two key configurations in Ask a Question:

  • Question Text: Enter the question you want to ask the Contact.
  • Question Type: Select from various response options available to the Contact.

Question Types are shown below:

Question Type

Description

Text

Any text-based answers.

Multiple Choice

Share up to 10 possible answers for Contacts to choose from. Each answer is limited to 20 characters.

Number

A number value. You can set minimum and maximum values for the expected answer.

Date

A date in a specified format. Format allowed:

  • MM/DD/YYYY
  • YYYY/MM/DD
  • MM/DD/YY
  • MM-DD-YY
  • MMM/DD/YYYY
  • MMM-DD-YYYY
  • MMM/DD/YY
  • MMM-DD-YY
  • MM/DD
  • MM-DD-YYYY
  • YYYY-MM-DD

Where:

  • M represents a digit for the month
  • D represents a digit for the date
  • Y represents a digit for the year

Phone

A phone number value. Format: Country code with number (e.g. 60112233455)

Email

An email address

Website/URL

A valid URL

Rating

The Contact can pick a rating between 1 and 5 stars

Location

The Contact can send a location message type. Channels that do not support location type messages will have to send locations with the accepted format - (longitude, latitude) e.g. (3.1545313, 101.7151839)

Once you’ve chosen the Question Type, the Save Response As field will open.

There are three options as to how responses can be saved:

  • Contact Fields
  • Variables
  • Tag (only for multiple choice responses)

Contact Fields

To save the Contact's answer as a Contact Field, simply turn the Contact Field toggle ON and then choose the appropriate Contact Field from the drop-down menu.

Variables

To save the answer the Contact provides as a Variable, turn the Variable toggle ON, and name the Variable in the field to the right.

Learn more about Variables here.

Tag

To save the answers the Contact provides as Tags, turn the Tag toggle ON. Please note that this is only applicable for multiple-choice questions.

Advanced Settings

There are two advanced settings you can use:

  • Add Timeout Branch
  • Add Message Failure

Add Timeout Branch

To set how much time the Contact has to answer the question, turn the Add Timeout Branch toggle ON. The timeout period can be up to 7 days, or the default period of 7 days will be automatically set.

You can add Steps to determine what happens to Contacts who don't respond in time, or the Workflow will end when the timeout is reached.

Add Message Failure Branch

To handle failed messages, turn the Add Message Failure Branch toggle ON. Messages with invalid or unmatched answers will be directed to the Failure Branch.

If there are no Steps defined in the Failure Branch to guide the Contact's next steps, the Workflow will end.

How It Works

With the Ask a Question Step, you can collect responses from Contacts. The question will be asked on their Last Interacted Channel, and they must answer it correctly within the allocated time to proceed.

They can answer with either a number value or a text response, depending on the Question Type.

For multiple-choice questions sent via email, answer options will be automatically numbered (1,2,3…).

Potential Failure

There are three possible causes of failure here:

  • If the Contact doesn’t have an associated Channel and can’t receive the question.
  • When a Contact doesn’t answer the question within the timeout period.
  • General failures, such as expired API keys, closed messaging windows or network issues.

The Contact will exit the Workflow if any of these failures occur.

If a conversation with a Contact is closed while the Ask a Question Workflow Step is still ongoing, any message sent by the Contact won’t reopen the conversation. You can find more information in the FAQ here.
When using the Ask a Question Step with the email Channel, take note of the potential limitations.

Best Practices

Here are some best practices for this step you can follow to optimize your workflow:

  • Use Variables to save responses from Contacts for a personalized customer experience. Ensure their responses are in the correct format to use them effectively.
  • For multiple-choice questions, create a Branch. If you receive an invalid response, inform the Contact with a Send a Message Step. You can also let the Contact go back to the Ask a Question Step using a Jump Step. If there's no response within a certain timeframe, use a Send a Message Step to offer further assistance from your team if needed.
  • Use multiple-choice questions to help your Contact find what they're looking for. If the Timeout Branch occurs, use the Jump Step to redirect them and let them choose an option again.

Suggested Use Cases

Here are some ways you can use the Ask a Question Step:

FAQ and Troubleshooting

If I add an Ask a Question step after a conversation has closed (e.g., Close Conversation step or Conversation Closed trigger), will the conversation reopen if the Contact responds?

No, a Contact will not reopen the conversation by responding to the 'Ask a Question' step.

When Contacts with Closed Conversation sends a message while a Workflow with Ask a Question step is ongoing, will it open the conversation?

Conversations will not automatically open when a Contact with Closed Conversation sends a message while a Workflow with Ask a Question step is running. Only once the Workflow with Ask a Question step ends, a message from Contacts will automatically open the conversation. You can add a timeout in the Ask a Question step to ensure the Workflow will end after a certain time period.

Why is the Contact Field not saving responses in the Ask a Question step?

Invalid responses, such as responses in the wrong format, cannot be saved. Clearly specify a response format when asking a question to avoid this scenario. Refer here for the correct format of each type of response.

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