Manage feedback with automation rules (beta)

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Note: This offering is currently in closed beta, available to select Pendo customers for testing. The information that follows isn't a commitment, promise, or legal obligation. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described here are subject to change at the discretion of Pendo, which can occur without notice. If you're interested in getting early access and providing feedback, contact your Pendo account representative.

Use automation rules to automatically categorize feedback as it comes in. This saves you the time it takes to manually triage this data by automatically adding Product Areas and labels to feedback, which you can then use in saved feedback views. It also helps to improve the accuracy and consistency of your feedback review and management process. 

How it works

The automation rule builder allows Pendo Listen users with Manager permissions to define rules that automatically categorize feedback as it comes in.

You also have the option to retroactively add rules to existing feedback items using the Also apply rule to matching items option to the left of the screen, as described in Create an automation rule. Existing matching numbers on the left side of the screen tells you how many feedback items match the criteria defined by your rule. This number updates while you're building your rule.

Currently, you can create a total of five automation rules. These rules run in sequence and can be reordered according to your needs, as described in Order automation rules.

Rule building blocks

A rule consists of the following sections:

  • When section. This defines the event that prompts the rest of the rule to apply, such as a new feedback item being submitted.
  • An If section consisting of one or more statements. This defines what specific attributes (such as Product Areas) result in an update to items with those attributes.
  • A Then section consisting of one or more statements. This completes the rule by defining the outcomes. The outcomes are the specific updates made to items captured by the When and If statements, such as adding a specific application or label to captured feedback items.

AND/OR logic

You can add multiple If statements using AND/OR logic. If you choose AND, items must match all of your If statements before any Then actions are applied. If you choose OR, items must only satisfy one of your If statements before any Then actions are applied. For example:

Rule Description

If Title / Description + contains + help AND App + is equal to + ACME

A feedback item must include both the word "help" in the title or description and be assigned the ACME application to qualify.
If Title / Description + contains + help OR App + is equal to + ACME A feedback item must at least include the word "help" in the title or description or must be assigned the ACME application to qualify. A feedback item may also include both.

You can also add multiple Then statements. These only use AND logic, which means that every Then statement that you add is applied to any feedback item captured by the rule. For example, in the following scenario, any feedback item with at least "settings" in the title or "Settings" as the Product Area would be assigned both a label ("administration") and Product Area ("Settings"), not one or the other. In the following example, because Also apply to matching items is selected, this rule applies to all existing feedback as well as new feedback as it comes in.

Automation rule example.png

Text-matching logic

If you use the Title / Description in your If condition, you can add multiple words and phrases. Each entry is encapsulated in a gray box with a cross (x) to allow you to remove it. Type your word or phrase and then press the Enter or Return key on your keyboard to add them to the list. The following text-matching logic applies to what you enter here:

  • Each entry, encapsulated in a gray box, is treated separately from the others, as if there is an OR between them.
  • A multi-word entry is treated as a complete phrase.
  • Text matching isn't case-sensitive. 
  • Entries support stemming. This means that if you add a word like "edit" to the If statement, the rule also captures feedback items that include "editing", "edits", and "edited".
  • Spaces affect text matching. This means that if you add a space to the end of a word or phrase, this space is included in the text for that If condition, which can affect stemming functionality.
  • We don't support wildcards, such as * or % operators.

Rule order

By default, rules are ordered according to when they were most recently updated (including newly created rules), with the most recently updated rule appearing at the top of the Automation rules table.

The order of automation rules is important. Automation rules are run in sequence to prevent collisions when more than one rule captures feedback items. For example, consider the following rules:

  If (condition) Then (outcome)
Rule A 

Title / Description + contains + Feature X

Update Product Area to + Feature X

Rule B

Title / Description + contains + troubleshoot supporthelp issueproblem

Update Product Area to + Support

Rule C

Title / Description + contains + troubleshoot issueproblem

Add label(s) + deflection

If the rules are applied in order, from A to C, the following feedback would be assigned Support as the Product Area and given deflection as a label to indicate it should be followed up on.

Struggling to use Feature X: Feature X isn't working and I'm not sure how to troubleshoot it. I need some support.

If the rules were applied in the reverse order, from C to A, the feedback would be assigned Feature X as the Product Area. This might be problematic for teams working on Feature X, who might now be seeing items that are specific to Support captured in a saved feedback view for Feature X.

In the given example, if part of your business strategy is to focus on making the Support team aware of troubleshooting feedback items that they can then proactively respond to in order to deflect Support tickets, you might order the rules as follows: Rule A placed in position 1 at the bottom of the table, Rule B placed in position 2, and Rule C placed in position at the top of the table.

Autmation rule order example.png

If the Support team created their own saved feedback view to capture all items assigned Support as the Product Area, they could also further filter the feedback view by the deflection label to proactively deal with feedback highlighting a need for help troubleshooting issues. For more information about saved feedback views in Listen, see Save custom views of feedback.

If an automation rule isn't set to Active, it doesn't run, which means that it's skipped in the sequence.

Create an automation rule

You can create an automation rule if you are assigned the Manager role for Pendo Listen. For information about Listen permissions, see the Roles and permissions article. To start creating a new automation rule:

  1. Go to Listen > Automation from the left-side menu.
  2. Select Create rule in the top-right corner of the screen. This opens Automation rules.
  3. On the left side of the screen, give your automation rule a meaningful name.
  4. Optionally, add a description that summarizes your automation rule.
  5. Optionally, use the first toggle, Rule active, underneath the description box to turn the rule on or off.
    • This option is turned on by default.
    • Turning this option off allows you to stop using the rule without deleting it.
  6. Optionally, use the second toggle, Also apply rule to matching items, to retroactively apply the rule you create to existing feedback items, not just new items that come in.
    • This option is turned off my default both when you create and when you edit a rule.
    • If you turn this option on, the bottom-right of the screen changes from Create rule to Create and run rule, indicating that it will run on all existing feedback, as well as new feedback.
  7. Follow the instructions outlined in Build your rule logic to define the feedback you want to capture and what you want to update for that feedback.
  8. Select Create rule or Create and run rule, which depends on what you chose in step 6.

Your new rule then appears in the Automation rules table.

Build your rule logic

To define the feedback items that you want to capture and the updates you want to make to those feedback items:

  1. Under the When heading, use the dropdown menus to choose your automation data source and prompt. For example, you might choose Feedback item as your data source from the first menu and choose is created as your automation prompt from the second menu.
  2. Under the If heading, select + Add condition.
  3. From the dropdown menu, select one of the following options:
    • Title / Description. This option allows you to capture feedback that either contains or does not contain words and phrases that you specify.
    • App. This option allows you to capture feedback that either is equal to or is not equal to a specific application in your subscription.
    • Product Area. This option allows you to capture feedback that either is equal to or is not equal to a specified Product Area in your application.
  4. Optionally, select OR or AND to add more If statements, and then repeat step 3 for each If statement that you add.
  5. Under the Then heading, select one of the following options:
    • Update Product Area to, and then choose from the list of Product Areas in your subscription
    • Update App to, and then choose from the list of applications in your subscription.
    • Add labels. Choose from the list of existing labels or start typing to add a new label. If you've turned on Also apply rule to matching items on the left side of the screen, this label is retroactively applied to all matching items.
  6. Optionally, select AND underneath your Then statement to add more, and then repeat step 5 for each Then statement that you add.

Existing matching numbers on the left side of the screen tells you how many feedback items match the criteria as you make changes to your rule.

View and manage automation rules

Existing automation rules are managed from the Automation rules table in Listen > Automation. If you don't yet have any automation rules, you're instead presented with the option to Create rule. If you do have automation rules, the table displays the following information about each rule:

  • Order. The order of precedence for each rule.
  • Active. An interactive toggle indicating whether the rule is turned on or off.
  • Title. The name of the automation rule. The title is a selectable link that opens the automation rule builder for that rule.
  • Description. If one was given, the summary describing the automation rule.
  • Created by. The person who created the automation rule.
  • Created time. When the automation rule was created.
  • Last updated by. The person who last updated the automation rule.
  • Last updated time. When the automation rule was last updated.

You can filter the table using the search tool or the dropdown menus: 

  • The first menu allows you to choose between Created by me and Created by anyone.
  • The second menu allows you to filter the table by either or both Active and Not active rules.

You can also order the rules in the table by dragging and dropping them up and down the list. For more information, see Order automation rules in this article.

Order automation rules

Automation rules run in sequence from the rule at the bottom of the table (labeled with the number 1) to the rule at the top of the table. In the following screenshot, Rule A, at the bottom of the Automation rules table runs first, followed by Rule B, and then Rule C

Autmation rule order example.png

To reorder your rules, drag and drop individual rules up or down the rows in the table. For information about how the order of automation rules affects how they're applied, see How it works > Rule order in this article.

Edit an automation rule

To edit an existing rule:

  1. Go to Listen > Automation and find your rule in the Automation rules table.
  2. Select the title of the automation rule or hover over the rule and select the edit icon that appears at the end of the row.
  3. Edit your rule.
  4. If you want your changes to apply to past and future feedback items, select Also apply rule to matching items.
    • You must turn this option on every time you open the rule and want the rule to apply retroactively.
    • Selecting this option changes the button in the bottom-right of the screen from Save rule to Save and run rule. This indicates that it will run on all existing feedback, as well as new feedback.
  5. Select Save rule or Save and run rule.

Turn off an automation rule

You can turn off an automation rule without deleting it. This allows you to save the automation rule for later. You can turn off the automation rule from either:

  • The Automation rules table in Listen > Automation. Turn off the toggle for your rule in the Active column.
  • The rule itself while you're editing it. For instructions, see Edit an automation rule.

Delete an automation rule

You can't bring an automation rule back after you've deleted it. If you want the rule back after deleting it, you must create it again. Deleting an automation rule doesn't delete any labels that you might have created while you were creating your rule.

To delete an existing rule:

  1. Go to Listen > Automation and find your automation rule in the Automation rules table.
  2. Hover over the rule and select the trash icon that appears at the end of the row.
  3. Confirm that you want to delete the rule by selecting Delete automation rule.



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