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.
@Tristan Thomas, I agree about solving problems for the market rather than custom specific requests.
However, the heart of the issue here, is that DEAR does not create or use a unique identifier for Customers. Using customer name as the uniqueness constraint prevents it from syncing properly with QBO.
While using Additional Attributes as you outlined above is interesting, there is no way to enforce a uniqueness constraint in an Additional Attribute.
This would also be helpful when using your integrated POS and setting up a loyalty program. I could offer a loyalty card to customers with a unique barcode or number sequence that represents that customers account number.
i have also asked for this feature. an additional field that can be searched for where we can have a unique number for assiging to that account.
i have had customers ask what is their account number so that they can include it in EFT payments so that their payment is allocated to their account correctly.
so far we have not had an issue but with well over 1000 active accounts, we expect sooner or later a payment received might be allocated to the wrong account without this simple data.
further more, when i pay all our suppliers, i put in the account number that is on their statement, it helps temp staff allocate payments correctly.
also, lots of our customers still come in and say their old account number because it's quicker for me to put in an account code that search through all the businesses, whose name starts with the town we are opperating in.
in Retail manager that we came from, we used to have letters like "RSSW" as an account code for customers with an account and numbers like "180" for COD customers.
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.
YES! Additional Attribute are searched in both the Sale list and the Customer list through the DEAR front-end.
You CANNOT search for Additional Attributes through the API for either Sales or Customers (at this time; May 2017)