Importing in our CRM interface lets you upload your databases and use them in VCC’s own Database section.
Table of Contents
- 1. Overrview
- 2. Custom Fields
- Required and Unique
- Import Templates
- Add a new template
- Edit a template
- Delete a template
- Rename a template
- File to Database – Step 1 of 3
- File to import
- Import template
- Handling duplicates
- The difference between Keep new only and Override existing
- File to Database – Step 2 of 3
- Uploading your file
- File to Database – Step 3 of 3
- Your import is ready
- Import history
- Database import log
- Collection to campaign log
- From Database to Collection
- The Collection Tab
- About the filters
- From Collection to Campaign
To get a clear understanding of the import workflow, here is an overview of the main steps from uploading an offline CSV file database to using its records in a campaign.
Offline CSV → Database → Filtering, sorting → Collection → Campaign
- Most commonly a source file that contains the records is a CSV file, which is imported to the CRM database, as described below in the File to Database section.
- From the Database, following a filtering and sorting process, the filtered results are loaded into different collections.
- From a collection, records are loaded into various campaigns that are used by agents. For example:
- 60% of Collection_1 is loaded to Campaign_A, and
- 40% of Collection_1 is loaded to Campaign_B.
2. Custom Fields
Using custom fields is a way to add more, customized attributes to your database. You can use these later on for filtering and sorting purposes. It is optional to create and use custom fields.
To add custom fields:
- Select one of your CRM projects
- Click on the Custom fields tab
- Select Add new field
- Type a name for your field, the set up the other attributes (Required, Unique, Field type)
- Press Save
Required and Unique
You can set the Required and Unique attributes to your custom field, but what do they mean exactly? Let’s take a closer look.
It means that the offline database you want to import must include this field, and the field must contain values, otherwise the database and/or lines from the database are not imported to VCC Live.
It is a mandatory attribute if you want to use VCC Live’s duplication handling process, meaning that at least one of the custom fields needs to be set as unique to enable duplication handling.
If a field is set as unique, then the offline database you want to import must include this field, and the field must contain values, otherwise the database and/or lines from the database are not imported to VCC Live. Important: the values must be also unique in a sense that each line of your database must have a different value for this field.
To illustrate this with some real-life examples: typical fields that can be considered as unique are: IDs or email addresses. Typical fields that cannot be considered as unique are: places of birth, preferred political parties, etc.
Note: If you have a custom field that is set as unique, then it needs to be added to your import template (see next chapter). You can set more than one field as unique.
Tip: If you want to have your database imported without any sort of filtering, then do not set any field as unique.
Before you start importing your database, you need to create and set up an import template.
The import template section is located in the upper right-hand corner of the CRM interface, behind the meatball menu (three-dot icon) as Import templates.
Add a new template
To create a new template:
- Click on the + icon next to the title
- Enter a name for your new template
- Press Create
Note: If you have a custom field that is set as unique, then it needs to be added to your import template (at least one).
Edit a template
Below you can find a list of available actions you can do to edit your template.
Add a mapping attribute row to the template
Click on the + Add mapping attribute button, so you can start creating the template. To have more rows of mapping attributes, simply click on the + Add mapping attribute button again.
Assign a Column name to a Database field in a mapping attribute
In the first column, enter the column name of your database file you are about to import, then in the second column enter the Database field name that is assigned to the source file’s column name.
In case of contact data types (such as contact title, contact, name, contact phone, contact email), you can further select wich contact (1-9) you want the selected field to be assigned.
Once you have added and edited all your necessary mapping attributes, press either Save changes or Save and close.
Delete a mapping attribute row in the template
Click on the red cross icon at the end of the mapping attribute row.
Delete a template
- Click on the kebab menu (vertical three-dot icon) next to the name of the template.
- Select Delete template.
- Confirm deleting the template in the pop-up window.
Rename a template
- Click on the kebab menu (vertical three-dot icon) next to the name of the template.
- Select Rename
- The name of the template becomes highlighted and editable.
- Press Enter or click elsewhere in the window to confirm your changes.
File to Database – Step 1 of 3
File to import
- Click on the Import button in the upper right-hand corner of the CRM interface.
- Locate the database file to be imported from your local drive. This file should be in CSV format.
You can either drag and drop it from your computer’s file management window or you can click browse file, and upload it right away.
Import templates are used for recognizing the file structure of your uploaded file. Moreover, it determines how CSV fields and your custom fields in VCC are paired.
From the dropdown list, select one of the import templates you have set up.
If you are importing your CSV to the CRM database, there might be cases when your imported file contains data that is already existing in VCC. In this case, the importing process would result in creating duplicate files. In order to handle this in a clear and understandable way, there are a few options you can choose from:
Consider and sort out duplicates
2.1 Keep existing: The import process ignores the ‘new’ record data in the imported file and keeps only the record already existing in the CRM database.
2.2 Keep new only: The import process overwrites entirely the record already existing in the CRM database and keeps the ‘new’ record’s data in the imported file only.
2.3 Override existing: The import process updates the existing record data in the CRM database with the ‘new’ record’s attributes where applicable.
Note: In order to enable duplicate handling, you need to have at least one custom field set as unique. Learn how to set a field as unique in the Custom Fields chapter above. If this is set, then duplicate handling for phone numbers and email addresses is carried out automatically.
The difference between Keep new only and Override existing
The best way to describe the difference between the two is to use an example:
If one of the attributes of the already existing record holds a value and the same attribute of the new record is an empty value, then
- In case of Keep new only, this attribute would be an empty one, but
- In case of Override existing, this attribute would keep its original value
File to Database – Step 2 of 3
Uploading your file
Uploading your database file takes place on this screen. Based on the size of your file, this might take several minutes to finish.
File to Database – Step 3 of 3
Your import is ready
On this screen, you can see the number of records that have been successfully uploaded, and the number of records the system could not upload.
These errors are listed on this screen, so you can see what caused the problem. You can also download these errors, so you can correct them, and then upload them again.
Pressing Finish import finalizes the import process, and your new records would appear in your CRM database.
To indicate the successful import of your CSV file, a green toaster appears in the bottom right corner of your screen.
Based on the importing workflow described above, there are two types of history logs. Find a brief description of each of them below.
Database import log
This log includes all CSV files that were imported to the CRM database. For each file, you can find the following information:
- Name of the file
- Number of records
- Date of import
- Name of the user who performed the file import
- Status of the import (Finished, Failed, Validating, InProgress or Canceled)
Finished: The import process is carried out successfully.
Failed: An error occurred during the import process and it was not carried out.
Validating: It means that the import process has stopped for some reason, early in the process. By clicking on the three-dot icon and selecting Open import, you can continue the import process.
InProgress: The import process is in progress at that moment.
Pending: The import process is over, but finalization is required from the user to finish the import process.
Canceled: The import process has been stopped by a user.
You can reach it by navigating to the History button, then selecting Database import log.
Collection to campaign log
This log includes all events of importing records from a collection to a campaign. For each event, you can find the following information:
- Source collection: the collection that was used for taking records from.
- Target campaign: the campaign that was selected to load the records into.
- Records added: the number of records added to the campaign.
- Date of import.
- The name of the user who performed the import.
From Database to Collection
Collections are groups of records compiled with a specific goal in mind, prepared to be used in one or more campaigns. Once you have created a database, the next step is to load a certain part of it (or all of its records) to one or more collections. Here’s how to do it:
- Navigate to the CRM interface and select the Database you want to use.
- Use the Advanced Filter to create a specific list of results you want to use in a collection. To learn more about the Advanced Filter, please [visit our related guide](link to advanced filter).
- In the upper right-hand corner, select Load to collection… from the meatball menu (three-dot icon).
3.1 If you want to load it to a new collection, select the New tab and enter a name for your collection.
3.2 If you want to load it to an existing collection, choose the Existing tab and select the collection you want to use.
- Press the Load to collection button.
To indicate the successful loading process of the filtered database, a green toaster appears in the bottom right corner of your screen.
The Collection Tab
The Collection tab lets you to monitor, edit or remove the collection you have created, before loading it to a VCC Live campaign.
On the main interface, you can see the most important details of your collection, indicated in separate columns.
- Name shows the name of your collection
- Assignable shows how many records can be assigned to a campaign. In other words, it shows the number of records left from the total collection, that can still be used for a campaign.
- Created by shows the name of the user who made the collection
- Created at shows the time and date of the creation
- Total shows the total number of records included in the collection
- Filter assigned shows the name of the filter that is applied to the collection.
About the filters
Filters are set to monitor new additions to your database. This means that when a new set of data (records) are added to your Customers list, then the filter in the Collections tab is applied to the new dataset and Collections will include new records if the filtering rule applies to them.
If you modify a filtering rule, that results in leaving out records from the collection, then our system does not actually remove those records, it just sets their status as inactive.
Please note, that collections are auto-updated as described above only when a filtering parameter is assigned. If you don’t want your collection to be affected by further database uploads, then simply apply “No filter” to your collection.
From the three-dot menu, you can access further actions for your collection:
Open collection: Opens the collection and shows the active records.
- Active records mean that those can be loaded into a campaign.
- Inactive records mean that these are not loaded to a campaign. This appears when a filter assigned to the collection, because you are not planning to load all records to a campaign.
- Edit: Here you can rename the collection, assign filters, or set a duplication handling rule. The collection’s contents are automatically updated, based on the selected filter’s scope. Changing the filter also modifies the collection’s records.
- Delete: It removes the collection from the list.
From Collection to Campaign
Campaigns are focused efforts for your business to break down your customer interactions into segments to better create or capitalize on opportunities to generate more sales or better service.
You can create campaigns by adding collections to them. Here’s how to do it:
- Navigate to the Collections tab on the CRM interface.
- Hover the mouse over one of the Collections and select Add to campaign.
- Refine the matching records and set the number of records to distribute to one or more campaigns (optional step).
- Choose your target campaigns. You can use the vertical scroll bar to look up the ones you need to find, or you can use the search bar instead. Once you have selected all of them, press Done.
- Define the distribution proportion: here you can set precisely how many records should each campaign receive. Indicating the current status of your distribution, you can find a status bar on the top of this pane.
- If you have set up your records accordingly, press Load records.
To indicate the successful loading process of the filtered database, a green Uploaded icon appears in the bottom right corner of the pop-up window.
There's always more to learn. Discover similar features by visiting related articles:
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