Importing Clients From a CSV / Excel File
vcita supports bulk import of clients from any file in CSV/Excel format. Using a CSV/Excel file for the import gives you the flexibility of importing data into customized client fields so you can collect and store specific information that is helpful for your business needs and workflows. In addition, client status, time zones, tags and notes can be imported directly into the relevant sections of the client card.
Import Clients From a Spreadsheet
- Start in the Clients section of your vcita account. Click on the Import button near the top of the page.
The Import your data window opens.
- Click Get Started. Then, select the Spreadsheet option.
- You can import multiple nested clients under each contact (such as students nested under their parent, projects nested under a point of contact etc) or just import individual contacts. If you are importing nested clients, make sure to follow the instructions to customize your spreadsheet appropriately.
- After making your selection, you will be prompted to drag and drop or upload the import file.
The field mapping page opens. The column headers of the import file are listed on the left-hand side. The labels of the fields in your Client Card settings are listed on the right (if you need to add more contact and client fields to your vcita account, you can do so under Settings > Client and Contact info.
- Next, you will map the columns in your spreadsheet to the client card fields in vcita. All the data under the selected column header will be imported into the corresponding client card field selected on the vcita side.
- When you are finished mapping, click Next. The total number of contacts found is displayed at the top of the page.
- By default, contacts who are already in your Clients list will NOT be imported. If you want to import new data into existing contacts, select the Overwrite radio button. (the current data on their client cards will be overwritten.)
- Click Import. The import begins. You may continue to work on other tasks during the import process.
- When the import is complete, you will receive an import summary via email.
- Refresh the Clients page to view the imported contacts.
Formatting your Spreadsheet
For a successful import, your CSV/Excel file needs to have a specific structure and syntax. The following sections explain how to set up your file correctly:
- Structure and Syntax Guidelines
- Importing Timezone, Status, Tags and Notes
- Importing Data for Custom Fields
- Handling Special Characters / Non-English Letters
Structure and Syntax Guidelines
- Ensure that your data starts at the top left corner of your spreadsheet.
- The first row must contain column headers that define the fields in your file. The figure below shows an example of a correct file setup (note that column F is a customized field).
- Please do not leave gaps between rows or use other non-standard formatting.
The following table provides details about how to correctly prepare data for import.
|First name||This parameter is required. Make sure you have a column for the first name and that the rows are populated with data. If this information is empty, the import will fail.|
|Time zone||The time zone information needs to be entered in a specific format. Download the attachment at the end of this article to view the correct formats.|
|Status||Supported client statuses are Lead, Customer and VIP. To assign clients a status of Customer or VIP, enter Customer or VIP in the relevant rows. If you leave the Status cell empty, the imported client will be assigned the default status of Lead.|
|Tags||Multiple tags should be entered with a | separator, e.g., tag1|tag2|tag3
For imports of existing contacts (overwrite): If you want to maintain previous tags and also add new ones, make sure that you enter all tags (both previous and new) in the import file.
|Custom fields||For more details, refer to Importing Data for Custom Fields (below).|
Importing Time Zone, Client Status, Tags and Notes
Include a Time Zone, Status, Tags or Notes column header in your spreadsheet to import this data into vcita. After importing, you will find the fields in the client card:
- Time zone: If your calendar is configured to support multiple time zones, this field appears in the contact info section of the client card. Click Show more to expand additional information.
- Status: Found in the contact info section of the client card under the client's name.
- Tags: Tags are found on the left-hand side of the client card under client info, in the tags section.
- Notes: Found in the Notes tab of the client card.
Importing Data for Custom Fields
To import custom fields:
- First, create the relevant custom fields in your Client Card. For details about customizing your Client Card, refer to Adding Client Fields.
- For best results, make sure that the column headers in your spreadsheet match the names of the client fields you want to map them to.
Important: If the custom fields do not exist in your Client Card settings, the data in the custom columns of your import file will not be imported.
The following example shows a few custom fields in the import file:
Importing Checkbox Data
This applies to both basic Checkbox fields and the Opt-in for campaigns checkbox field.
For successful data import, enter the data as True or False. Alternatively, you may enter 1 (for True) or 0 (for False). For example:
Handling Special Characters / Non-English Letters
If your client list is in a non-English language, or if you use special characters in your list, it is recommended to use Excel to build your import file. If you do not have access to Excel, you need to save your CSV file with UTF-8 encoding. Otherwise, the data will not import properly.
To save a CSV file with UTF-8 encoding:
- From the File Explorer, right-click on your CSV file and open it using Notepad or another simple text editor.
- From the File menu, select Save As to open the Save As dialog.
- At the bottom of the Save As dialog, open the Encoding list and select UTF-8.
Then, click Save.
Client Import Template
Download and fill out the template at the bottom of this article to get started. You can delete fields you don't want to use (we strongly recommend keeping the email, first name and last name fields) and add columns for the custom fields in your vcita acccount.
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