Autopilot

Autopilot is an easy way to both schedule and recur Email and SMS surveys to your customers. Autopilot helps automate and spread out the sending of your surveys so you can focus on actioning feedback and closing the loop with your customers.

In this section


How Autopilot works

Overview

Autopilot schedules and recurs surveys to a group of people you upload.

Simply add a group of people and select how often each person should receive a survey. Autopilot will evenly spread out sending, so that, while each respondent only receives a survey once every couple of months, you’re sending surveys and receiving feedback every day. Once a survey is sent to each person, another survey is automatically rescheduled to send based on the cadence you select.

Details

When you add a group of people to Autopilot, surveys will be automatically scheduled over a time period you select. For example, if you select a 3 month cadence, Autopilot will evenly schedule surveys throughout that 3 month period. We'll schedule those surveys during ideal time windows—Monday through Friday, from 5am to 10am—to maximize your response rates.

If someone has been previously surveyed outside of Autopilot, we'll schedule them to receive their first Autopilot survey based on their last sent timestamp. This means that if the last survey was sent 2 months ago, Autopilot would schedule their next survey to send in 1 month to satisfy your 3 month cadence.

The next step is the recurring survey. Once an initial survey is sent with Autopilot, it’ll automatically reschedule that person to receive another survey at the interval you select.

Autopilot versus One-time sending

With our One-time sends, we’ll send out surveys immediately (or at the time that you schedule the send) to all the people you upload.

With Autopilot, we’ll evenly schedule out the surveys over the time frame you select, sending each weekday to a portion of people. We’ll also recur those surveys at the frequency you set.

You can still continue to send one-time sends as needed with Autopilot turned on. Just switch between the “One-time survey” and “Autopilot” tabs.

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Setting up Autopilot

Getting started with Autopilot takes just four steps:

  1. Access the Autopilot page
  2. Choose how often to send surveys to each person
  3. Import a batch of people into Autopilot
  4. Turn Autopilot on

1. Access the Autopilot page

Autopilot can be found by clicking “Survey people” at the top of your Dashboard, selecting “Survey people” under either the Email or SMS platform, and then clicking on the Autopilot tab.

2. Choose how often to send surveys to each person

Once on the Autopilot page, you can select an option for how frequently Autopilot should send a survey to each person. You can choose between 3, 6, and 12 months. If you need a custom time range for these sends, let us know.

3. Import a batch of people into Autopilot

Upload a CSV or Excel file that includes the people you’d like to add to Autopilot. At minimum, we require each person’s email address or phone number. We also suggest including their name, as well as any other properties that would be helpful for segmenting down the road.

4. Turn Autopilot on

Once you’ve imported a list of people, you’ll have a chance to review a snapshot of your upload. Take a moment to confirm that all the properties and values look correct. Once confirmed, click “Add [x] people to Autopilot” to complete set-up.

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Managing people and updating Autopilot settings

From the Autopilot page, you can add, update, and remove people being surveyed. You can also adjust the sending frequency and turn off Autopilot at any time.

Adding people to Autopilot

  1. Visit the Autopilot page (Email or SMS)
  2. Select the radio button for “Add new people or update existing people”
  3. Upload a CSV or Excel file with the people you’ll be adding. Include any contact information and properties you’d like!
  4. Click “Next: Review before adding”
  5. Make sure the details on the review page look correct
  6. Click “Add [x] people to Autopilot”

The following page will show a banner notification indicating how many people have been added and how frequently they’ll be surveyed.

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Updating people in Autopilot

  1. Visit the Autopilot page (Email or SMS)
  2. Select the radio button for “Add new people or update existing people”
  3. Upload a CSV or Excel file with the people you’ll be updating. Make sure that the emails or phone numbers match the existing people in Autopilot to correctly update them, and keep in mind that the details provided will overwrite any existing information, so be sure to include all properties required for each person.
  4. Click “Next: Review before adding”
  5. Make sure the details on the review page look correct. Since you are updating people, the review page will show the notification: “[x] people will be updated in Autopilot”
  6. Click “Update [x] people in Autopilot”

The following page will show a banner notification indicating how many people have been updated.

Adding and updating

You can update and add people to Autopilot simultaneously—when importing a list of people to survey with "Add or update" selected, those who are already in the Autopilot schedule will be updated, and those who are not will be added.

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Removing people from Autopilot

  1. Visit the Autopilot page (Email or SMS)
  2. Select the radio button for “Remove people from Autopilot”
  3. Upload a CSV or Excel file, including the emails or phone numbers of the people you’ll be removing
  4. Click “Next: Review before removing”
  5. Make sure the details on the review page look correct. Since you are removing people, the review page will show the notification: “[x] people will be removed from Autopilot”
  6. Click “Remove [x] people from Autopilot”

The following page will show a banner notification indicating how many people have been removed.

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Adjusting survey frequency

  1. From the Dashboard, choose “Survey people”
  2. Click the gear icon to the right of the platform being used (Email or SMS)
  3. Choose “Adjust Autopilot settings”
  4. Select a new option under “How often should Autopilot send a survey to each person?”
  5. Click “Save changes”

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Turning off Autopilot

  1. From the Dashboard, choose “Survey people”
  2. Click the gear icon to the right of the platform being used (Email or SMS)
  3. Choose “Adjust Autopilot settings”
  4. Click the button on the right side of the page to “Turn off Autopilot”
  5. Review the details on this page to confirm you’d like to turn off Autopilot. When switched off, any surveys that have been scheduled with Autopilot will be immediately cancelled
  6. Click “Turn off Autopilot”

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Adjusting Autopilot automatically using the API

You can use the Delighted API to automatically add, update, and remove people from Autopilot, making it super easy to manage your Autopilot list with no manual effort.

An example use case

Say you have a subscription-based offering and want to survey customers after they sign up, as well as every 3 months after this. With the API, you can trigger a call to the Sending to people endpoint to fire off the post sign-up survey immediately, as well as trigger a call to the Adding people to Autopilot endpoint to automatically schedule the ongoing surveys. No need to sign in and do a manual upload of your new customers on a regular basis!

There are four Autopilot API endpoints available. Each of these endpoints can return information about the Email platform or the SMS platform.

  • Getting Autopilot configuration: Tells you whether or not Autopilot is turned on.
  • Listing people in Autopilot: Allows you to list everyone who is currently enrolled in Autopilot, including when their next survey is scheduled for and which properties will be associated with that survey send.
  • Adding people to Autopilot: Allows you to add people to Autopilot or update the properties associated with someone who is already in Autopilot.
  • Removing people from Autopilot: Allows you to remove people from Autopilot so that they no longer receive Autopilot surveys. Removing someone from Autopilot will not affect their previous responses or any historical data.

Check out our API Guide for more information about using the Delighted API!

Using Autopilot through the Zapier Integration

Delighted's Zapier integration allows you to access the Autopilot API endpoints through Zapier's easy-to-use workflow automation platform. You can use the Autopilot Zapier actions and searches to add and remove people from Autopilot, as well as list everyone in Autopilot, search for particular people in Autopilot, and check whether or not Autopilot is turned on. Read more in our Zapier Integration guide!

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Use case: The advantages of Autopilot

  • Save time: No more manual scheduling required.
  • Capture continuous feedback: Recurring surveys help track feedback over time, allowing your team to monitor any changes in score.
  • Take advantage of automated, optimized scheduling: Autopilot is a great solution for quickly scheduling out surveys over the span of several months all at once, without requiring recurring manual sends.
  • Make closing the loop easier: By avoiding sending in one batch, your team can send to smaller segments over time, making the closed-loop process more manageable.
  • Build into existing workflows: Take advantage of the Autopilot API endpoints to add a relational component to your current program without building new scheduling workflows.

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