Using Piping in Surveys

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GetFeedback lets you load a response to a previous question later on within the same survey. It can be powerful to include piping in a survey especially when setting up follow up questions to measure customer effort, satisfaction and overall CX.

Getting Started 

Build out your GetFeedback survey before you start adding piping. Because piping depends on the question order, you’ll want to avoid moving questions around after you've set the piping up.  

Once your survey is completed, add piping to the questions that you’d like your previous answers to appear in. You can display previous answers in the question text or in the response options... You'll build piping by starting with [gf_q then add the number of the survey question : 1 and close the brackets : ], so you'll end up with [gf_q1] .


When piping syntax is used, GetFeedback will automatically place the requested information into the question or answer text for you. For example, to refer to someone's answer in question one, you will use [gf_q1] within the body of the question or answer later in the survey. When a user takes the survey and reaches that question, our system will replace the syntax [gf_q1] with the answer selected by that recipient for the question one.

Here's an example of piping the answers from questions 1, 2 and 3 into another question:


[gf_q1]  represents the answer for the first question, [gf_q2] represents the second question, and [gf_q3] represents the third question in the survey.

Because we refer to the question number, piping will break if you rearrange the order of your questions in your survey. If the question response you've provided hasn't been answered, the blank piping code will show up, instead of the answer. To avoid this, set the question you'll pipe, as required, with grid-style questions will be automatically skipped if piping is enabled and the original question is left blank.

You can pipe previous answers into either the question text section, the response option field, or onto a Thank You page.


The question What do you use our service for the most? is the 3rd question in the survey. We can build the rating question (the 4th question) with the syntax Please rate your experience with the [gf_q3] department to always display the respondent's selection on question 3.

Piping in Grid Question Types

For questions with multiple answer options, like multiple choice grid, rating grid and keydrivers, you can use the syntax [gf_q1:1], [gf_q1:2] to map the first value from the first question, the second value from the first question, and so on. The value after the : represents the number of response selection within that particular question.

You can use piping for ranking and grid type questions where there may be multiple answers selected by the respondent within the same question. For example, below is a ranking question, the fourth question in our survey, where later in the survey we'll want to pull the selection from a specific rank:


In this example, we ask the respondent to rank the departments from most to the least used. In the follow-up question, we want to know why they aren’t using the department that they ranked lowest. To do this, we can use the syntax below to pull the fifth-ranked option from this question:


The gf_q4 section of the syntax represents the question number in the survey and :5 represents the value from the specific ranking position I want to display (whatever was selected last in this case, as I have five answers to rank).


You can do the same for grid type questions, where you’ll select the question number in the survey that your grid question falls on and then select the answer that you’d like to pipe in. Use the syntax [gf_q5:2] to pull an answer if your grid question is #5 in your survey and you are piping in the answer from the 2nd section of your grid.

Piping Multi-Select Multiple Choice Questions

You can use the same syntax as above to pipe multiple choice answers that allow multiple answers. If you have opted to allow multiple answers on your multiple choice question, you can pipe more than one response using the syntax: [gf_q1:1], [gf_q1:2],  [gf_q1:3], etc.


We've used the piping syntax to create a ranking followup question, as pictured below:


Piping Form Information

Piping can also be used to pipe answers from form fields.

A great use case for this would be if you would like the respondent to quickly look over the information they’ve provided in your form type question before submitting their survey. In this example, you can pipe the information into your last question asking them to review the information provided and then hit submit.



Here you’ll see we call out the question number gf_q1 as this is the first question in our survey and after that ask to pipe in form field 1, 2, and 3 in order. In action, this looks like:


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