Importing Customers

The Handshake customer import is pretty similar to many other applications and websites: a simple spreadsheet that lists out the contact information for the customer. Just export your customers from your CRM and then juggle the data to fit our format.

Go to the bulk import page and click the Export button on the right-side of the customers row to see what the required format looks like.

The basics of the customers template

  • (required) The name is the customer's name (usually their company name).
  • The contact is the name of your contact at this customer.
  • The id is what tracks each customer record, and should be the customer ID from your accounting system or CRM. As long as you make sure the ID stays the same for a given customer, you can keep uploading changes and Handshake will always update the existing record rather than making a new one. If you do not supply a value in this column, Handshake will generate one of the format "HS-1234".
  • The internal_id is the id assigned by Handshake and should be left blank for new customers. It is created by Handshake when the customer is created in the system for the first time.
  • If a customer does not have a different shipping address, you can just leave the shipping address fields blank.
  • If a customer has multiple email addresses, you can put them all into the email column, separated by either spaces or commas.
  • The paymentTerms and shippingMethod columns should use values from the options spreadsheet. It's OK if you haven't uploaded the options already, as long as the values match when you upload them later.
  • The taxID can be used to store the tax ID of the customer, whatever that is for the country in which you operate.

What if my accounting system doesn't export customer IDs?

Wherever possible, we recommend that you supply the customer IDs from your accounting system in the id column of this spreadsheet. If you do not have customer IDs for some reason, then you can leave the id column blank and Handshake will attempt to look up existing customers solely based on the name column.

This of course means that if you have a blank id column and you change a customer's name and re-import, Handshake will create a new (duplicate) customer instead of updating the old one. In other words, you will have to ensure that customer names do not change in order to avoid duplicates.

For that reason alone, it's a good idea to include a reliable set of customer IDs if you can.

Additional shipping addresses (optional)

If your customer database includes customers who have more than one shipping address, then this basic customer import template isn't going to be enough, because it only allows for one per customer. We have a separate method of importing them.

Customer groups (optional)

If you have more than one customer group (i.e. you have different price lists or sell in multiple currencies), then you can configure these groups as described here. Once you have defined your groups, you can add a column called customerGroup to your customer spreadsheet, and put the id of the appropriate customer group in this cell for each customer.

If all your customers are in a single group, then you can leave this column out.

User groups (optional)

If you have defined user groups, you can use the userGroup column to indicate which user group each customer should be connected to. The value you put in this column should be the name of the user group (as visible in the user group editor). If the user group you specify does not exist already, it will be automatically created for you.

If you do not have any user groups defined, you can ignore this column completely.

Manufacturer-specific IDs (optional)

If you have configured multiple manufacturers, you can define manufacturer-specific customer IDs here.

Simply add a column with a header in the format id:_manufacturer_name_. For example, if you have a manufacturer whose name is "Grand Gifts", the column header would be id:Grand Gifts.

Enter the manufacturer IDs into the cells in this column, and simply leave blanks for customers who do not have separate IDs with this manufacturer.

Recent Discussions

11 Jan, 2013 05:42 AM
09 Jan, 2013 10:25 PM
09 Jan, 2013 05:22 PM
09 Jan, 2013 05:18 PM
08 Jan, 2013 12:56 AM