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 for customized client fields so you can collect specific information that is helpful for your business needs. In addition, client status, time zone, tags and notes can be imported directly into the relevant portions of the Client Cards.
To import clients from a CSV or Excel file:
- At the top of the Clients page, click Import.
The Import your data window opens.
- Click Import Now. Then, on the page that opens, click Spreadsheet.
- You will be prompted to specify the import file.
- Drag and drop the relevant file into the area indicated. Alternatively, click Upload. Then, from the dialog that opens, browse to your import file, select it and click Open.
After specifying the file, a field mapping page opens. Column headers of the import file are listed on the left side of list. The labels of the fields in your Client Card settings are listed on the right.
- Map the column headers to the Client Card settings by opening the lists on the right side and selecting the correct mapping label:
* To map to a field, select the label of the field as it appears in your Client Card settings. For example:
* To populate the Time zone, Status, Tags or Notes areas, select the appropriate option from the list.
* If you do not want to import data for a column header, select Ignore (or leave the Please select option unchanged).
- When you are finished mapping, click Next.
The total number of contacts found are displayed at the top of the page.
- By default, contacts who already appear on your Client list will NOT be imported. If you want to import existing contacts, select the Overwrite radio button. (If you choose this option, the current data on their Client cards will be overwritten.)
NOTE: Existing contacts are identified according to email address.
- Click Import.
The import begins. You may continue to work on other tasks during the import process.
- When the process is complete, you will receive an import summary via email.
- Refresh the Clients page to view the imported contacts.
Importing Time Zone, Client Status, Tags and Notes
When these data types are included in your import file, they are imported directly into the following sections of the Client Card:
- Time zone: If your calendar is configured to support multiple time zones, this field appears in the Additional information section of the Info tab.
IMPORTANT: For a successful import, you need to enter time zones into the import file 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, Inactive and VIP.
- Tags: Labels with which you can organize and group your client list.
- Notes: Supplementary information or important details about a client.
Client status, tags and notes appear in the Main tab of the Client Card.
Creating a Customized CSV / Excel File
For a successful import, your CSV / Excel file needs to be built using a specific structure and syntax. The following sections explain how to set up your file correctly:
- Structure and Syntax Guidelines
- Importing Data for Custom Fields
- Handling Special Characters / Non-English Letters
Structure and Syntax Guidelines
For a successful import, your file must have column header cells in line 1 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).
The following table provides details about how to correctly prepare data so the import will go smoothly.
|First name||This parameter is required. Make sure you have a column for 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: 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).|
Important: If your import file contains non-English letters or special characters, refer to Handling Special Characters.
Importing Data for Custom Fields
vCita supports import of data for the following custom field types:
- Text Area
- Opt-in for campaigns
For a successful data import, you need to first create the relevant custom fields in your Client Card. During the import, these fields will then be auto-populated by the data in your import file. For details about customizing your Client Card, refer to Adding Client Fields.
IMPORTANT: If the custom fields do not exist in your Client Card settings, the data in custom columns of your import file will not be imported.
The following sections show how to correctly prepare custom fields in your import file.
Preparing for Data Import to Customized Text Area Fields
Customized Text Area fields are very useful and flexible, as they allow you to collect a wide range of data about your clients. Before you start preparing your import file, make sure that you have added the customized fields to your Client Card settings.
This example shows how custom fields and data might appear in your import file.
Following import, the Client Card for Michelle Glass will look like this:
Preparing for Data Import to Customized Checkboxes
vCita supports import of data into both basic Checkbox fields and the Opt-in for campaigns type checkbox field. Before you start preparing your import file, verify that you have added the customized checkbox fields to your Client Card settings. (For details, refer to Adding Custom Fields.)
For successful data import, enter the data as True or False. Alternatively, you may enter 1 (for True) or 0 (for False). For example:
Following import, the Client Card for Michelle Glass will now look like this:
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 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.