Personalize surveys using Question and Answer Piping

Blocksurvey blog author
Mar 8, 2024 · 3 mins read

What is Question and Answer Piping?

Piping means to send the answer of a particular question to another question or answer. When we send the data as a Question, it is called Question piping. When we send the data as an Answer, it is called Answer piping.

What are the benefits?

Question piping and Answer piping give a sense of continuity to the survey. More than that piping adds a sense of dynamicity to the survey. Also, Blocksurvey provides an option to pipe all answers, selected answers, and unselected answers to another question or answer.

Personalize a Survey

One can personalize a survey by automatically inserting custom information into it. This blog attempts to explain the personalization of a survey by using variables. You can create the required variables and use them in the survey. The answer to a particular question can be passed to another question using the recall methods.

Interactive surveys

Personalization will be the prime driver of interactive surveys. Brands can use interactive surveys through personalization techniques end-to-end. Industries as perse as banking, healthcare, and retail are using interactive personalized surveys. This expands the quality and array of solutions offered. Modern consumers want modern experiences.

Personalizing the customer experience

Modern-day customers expect a personalized experience while they are shopping. Businesses want to inspire, empower, and sustain action that leads to economic development and client success. Customers of online pioneers, such as Amazon, have grown to expect and desire personalized experiences. New Epsilon research indicates that 90% of consumers are more likely to purchase when brands offer a personalized experience.

Hygiene factor

Personalization can even be called a "hygiene factor". When a retailer gets it wrong, customers may depart for a competitor. This means that customers want personalization throughout their interactions with a retailer with multiple, personalized touchpoints that enable them to allocate their time and money according to their preferences.

Personalization vs Customization

When you visit a coffee shop often, the server may tend to greet you by name on your next visit. This is personalization. You want a strong coffee with less sugar and some whipped cream. This is customization. Remember Personalization is for the user and Customization is by the user. Personalization pays off. Given the client's expectations, sellers must respond to the demand for personalized experiences not only to show some difference but also to survive in the market. When personalization is done right, sellers do more than survive: it enables them to thrive in the market space. Personalization pioneers like amazon used sophisticated analytics to shape their personalization efforts. Small retailers with far less sophisticated systems are setting new standards, too.

Also Read: White Label Surveys.

Why do surveys need to be short

Surveys make more sense to customers when they are relevant and consumable. Most of us have fallen victim to the 30 question trap. Like you start a survey expecting a few questions, and you end up mindlessly clicking "Agree" and "Not Applicable" over and over and give up halfway through. These company-centric surveys give surveys altogether a bad wrap. When companies tailor surveys and send them to customers at the right moments, customers are happy to take the survey.

How to use question piping in BlockSurvey

Let us include our first question, which is "What is your name?". The answer to this question is collected as short text.

Use @ symbol to select a question. The answer to that question will be displayed in the new question. In this example, we are selecting the question "What is your name?" using @ symbol.

The @ question is followed by our new question, "What is your age?".

In the Preview you can clearly see, the answer to the question, that is the name is recalled and inserted into the second question, before asking "What is your age?". The first question is recalled or piped into the second question. This is also called Personalization. On Preview, we can see the below question.

followed by the below question.

The preview can give you a better sense of what we try to achieve, that is personalization. The user's input "Jordan" is piped to the second question to make the survey more personalized.

How to use answer piping in BlockSurvey

There is a question “Which is your city of birth?”. The question has 4 options. They are Chennai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Kolkata.

Now we add another question as an example of Answer piping. The second question is “Which city do you want to live in?”.

I click the option Pipe Answer. Look at the below screenshot to locate the option “Pipe Answer”.

On clicking the option Pipe Answer, we can select the source question and there are three options to choose from the drop-down (about what we want to do with the question). For the source question, I select the earlier first question that was added. The added question is “Which is your city of birth?” from the drop down.

One of the below 3 answer options can be selected.

  1. All the choices
  2. Selected choices
  3. Unselected choices

For our example, I choose the option “Unselected choices”. This means all the unselected choices from 1 question will be displayed as answer options for the 2nd question.

3rd option Unselected choices is selected.

You can find the result below.

1st question. (Option 1, Chennai is selected)

2nd question. Options excluding Chennai are selected for answer choices.

This is how answer piping works in BlockSurvey.

Additional Use cases


Q1: Choose all the movies you have watched from the list. (Question Type: Choose Multiple).

Which is having 10 options (The Shawshank Redemption, The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, The Dark Knight, Fight Club, Inception, Forrest Gump, The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars).

Q2: Pick your favorite movie from the choice of movies you have watched.

Now, let's use Q1 as the source question in Q2. Let us assume the respondent selects a minimum of three movies from Q1 (The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight, Fight Club).

Use case 1: Set the answer option to be displayed as "Selected choices" in Q2.

This displays only the selected options from Q1 as the options in Q2 (The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight, Fight Club).

Use case 2: Set the answer option to be displayed as "Unselected choices" in Q2.

This displays only the unselected options from Q1 as the options in Q2 (The Godfather, Pulp Fiction, Inception, Forrest Gump, The Matrix, The Lord of the Rings, Star Wars).

Machine Learning

Taking Recall/Pipeline/ Personalization to the next level, machine learning comes to the rescue. At scale, machine learning helps in personalization. Your buying recommendation from online selling platforms is a machine learning effort. Using machine learning, recommendations may not need to stop with simple recommendations. A company can identify the users buying patterns and give a personalized experience for the customer. Computer vision and machine learning can give you great experience especially when it comes to collecting insights from pictures clicked on your mobile phone.

Personalization drives customer growth and business growth. It is the touchstone of great client experience. Personalization driven through machine learning can enable companies/corporates to improve the ROI of marketing campaigns.

Homomorphic Encryption

Homomorphic encryption differs from typical encryption methods in that it allows computation to be performed directly on encrypted data. Homomorphic encryption offers great computation possibilities on encrypted data systems, especially on an end-to-end encrypted system like BlockSurvey.

Get in the action with Question and Answer piping.

What’s next

Although machine learning is an advanced concept, we are delighted to present what BlockSurvey can offer you at the basic level. The recall, piping, or personalization helps you solve a basic interaction problem in surveys & forms.

You can execute the Recall option and create a conversational view, adding them as a widget to your website. This acts more like a chatbot like you usually find on your Facebook business page.

I want to encourage you to use Personalization in your surveys and make your survey more meaningful, more interactive, more fun, and more thoughtful. Try your first personalized surveys or chatbots(forms in conversational view), and make your survey better. Your respondents will love to use Personalization enabled surveys.

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blog author description

Sarath Shyamson

Sarath Shyamson is the customer success person at BlockSurvey and also heads the outreach. He enjoys volunteering for the church choir and loves spending time with his two year old son.


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