It would be nice to be able to add a customer account number when creating a new customer as well as just their name. Xero has an option to assign account numbers to customers which is handy when sending out statements as customers can use their account number as a reference when making payment. Right now I have to add account numbers manually in xero once the customer has been created in DEAR.
There is a unique identifier. The customer name must be unique (but it is not case sensitive). Customer codes are a legacy from days of very expensive storage. They are not very friendly, generally speaking ,and in practice I don't have a single client who is missing them (technical users are perfectly happy with the guid provided by the API) which suggests there are good workarounds. When I first started with migrations I suggested appending the customer code of the old system to the customer name e.g. in s, so searchable, but no one was ever interested.
Xero, by the way, treats contact names in the same way as Dear. Xero did eventually add an account code field (optional). I should survey my users to see how many use it ... not many, I think.
The generalised feature request would be for additional attributes to be optionally mandatory and optionally unique. I would like this, particularly being able to make a field mandatory, and I think I already requested this (Unleashed now has 'required' extra fields, but only for products and they are not yet integrated into reporting: Dear is still miles ahead.)
As for payment references, it would be much better for customers to reference an invoice number when making payments, rather than an account code, which wouldn't tell you which invoice is being paid, a funny point when you consider this is a topic about unique identifiers.
Hi Michael - have you tried using the Additional Attributes for Customers and storing your account number in there?
You could easily import / map your old customer numbers into an Additional Attribute field. For new accounts you'd need to manually create an account number - however DEAR does automagically make a 32 character unique ID for the customer. That's probably a little long for what you want but taking the first or last, say, 4 or 5 characters would be almost certainly unique with a database of less than 10,000 customers. This unique ID can be seen when you visit a Customer in DEAR as everything after the # (in bold here:)
When sending emails or documents these attributes can be referenced. Page 18 of this doc shows the available mailmerge fields:
I know it's not exactly what you are asking for but it's currently functional in DEAR and would be reasonably quick for you to implement and start using.
Using the Customer Name as a unique identifier is frustrating from a data migration perspective. Would be nice to generate a unique account number of 8-12 characters for each customer (similar to Vend POS for example eg. John-39CM)
eg. we've got 5000 customer records to import into DEAR (converting from an older CRM system). I've got two retail customers called "John Smith" who have different addresses and contact details.
However, when importing into DEAR - I've got to make their names different so they import as separate customers. And really, "John Smith 1" and "John Smith 2" just looks unprofessional in the system. Thought about using middle initial, but there is still the possibility that that will be the same.
If additional attributes is the way to go (which is effectively how Xero handles Account IDs) it would be really great if they were visible/usable in DEAR POS. As a retailer with Customer Loyalty Cards it would simplify our processes immensely