Here's what you need to know:

  • If you have a Classic account, you can use the pre-defined "Customer essential" fields but you can't write your own data fields
  • If you have a Premium or Enterprise account, you can add and manage your own data fields. For a free trial, upgrade straight from your TIMIFY account
  • A full explanation of the unique identifier field setting is available here
  • A quick explanation on how to de-activate a data field is available here.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

How this article is structured:

1. What are data fields? An overview

2. How to add a data field

3. Data field settings explained

4. Tips and helpful things to know

5. FAQs.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

1. What are data fields? An overview

Would you like to get certain information from your customers upfront, before their appointment? And store it in their customer file, or in the booking file? Data like an insurance number, a suit size, or other important information - such as a food allergy?

Well, you can do just that - by writing your own data fields. You can apply the fields to as many services and/or groups as you wish, and have them display for those services and groups in your booking widget and/or in your calendar when you add a new booking.

What's more, you can make them optional to complete, or mandatory - that's to say, the booking will only get saved if all the required data fields get completed.

Let's look at an example. Here's how data fields display to your customers in the booking widget, after a customer clicks on the service or group:

…and here's how they display when you manually add the service or group in your calendar. Note: they appear after you select the service/group and the customer:


2. How to add a data field

Before you can add a data field, you need to add a new category. Go to the top of the data fields window and click on the "new category" button:

We named our category "Family portrait preferences" and added three data fields. You add data fields by clicking on the red "+" button:

Tip: the first 42 characters of a data field display in the booking window in the calendar, and 80 characters in the booking widget. For that reason, we suggest keeping your data field length as short as possible.

When you add a data field, there are certain options you need to choose from:

  • Select field type

You'll notice when you go to add a field, there's a drop-down with many options.

You can choose between the following field types:

  • Address, Email, Phone: these are all straight fields, that appear with a single data capture field below them
  • Date: a date must be selected from a dropdown calendar
  • Checkbox: a checkbox appears, and can be selected (ticked) or left blank. This is handy if you have a simple yes/no data request.
  • Multiple entries dropdown: you can enter multiple data options for the user to choose from. Only one option may be selected. Below is an example of how you can add options…

And here's how the field appears in the booking widget…as you can see, the user can only choose one option.

  • Text field (single or multiple line): select multiple line if you want to allow for a few sentences to be written; single line limits the text allowance
  • Time zone: a time zone can be selected

Tip: make sure to choose the right data field type before you hit save! You can not edit a data field type once you save it. You can only delete the data field, and make a new one with the right data field type.

Tip: you can make all data fields mandatory, except for the checkbox fields.

  • Select data field storage type

You have two storage type options: customer field, or booking field. Below we explain the difference.

Customer field: the data is saved and viewable in the customer file, not the booking. The data gets overwritten each time a new value is given.

If you make the data field available for online booking, the data fields will always appear

Use case: this works well for data where you only need the most up-to-date version, like an insurance number.

Booking field: the data is saved and viewable in the booking file, not the customer file.

Use case: this works well if you want to track data that changes. Say you're a hairdresser, you might make a data field "Hair dye reference number" and record the exact colour reference for the customer's colour treatment. This is something that might change slightly at each appointment. You may want to be able to refer to previous entries.

Note: in the above case, you would not make this field display on your booking widget for customers to complete, as it is for your internal purposes only. We explain more about this in the next section.

  • Assign to service(s)/Assign to group(s)

Simply select the services and groups you want this field to display for. There are no restrictions, and you can come back and edit these selections at any time.

3. Data field settings explained

  • Activate as a unique identifier

This setting prevents multiple files from being created for the same customer. The system will check the entry given for this field against any existing entries. If the same data is found in an existing customer file, the booking will be allocated to the customer file with that same email.

Tip: we suggest that you activate "first name", "last name", "email" and "phone" as unique identifiers, and make them mandatory files. It means the system will automatically find the correct customer file and allocate all bookings to that same file. For more information on this setting, check out our article on the unique identifier field.

  • Activate field:

The field will only display if you tick this option. Once activated, it will automatically appear for calendar bookings. Completing it will remain "optional" unless you select "Mandatory: data must be added by staff". Note: you can come back and de-activate the field anytime.

You then have the option of whether it should display in your booking widget: "activate this field for online booking". If you go ahead and select this, you have an option: to have the data field display before or after the customer selects the service.

Tip: most users prefer the fields to display after, as it stops the booking widget from getting too cluttered with text.

4. Tips and helpful things to know

Data field display in the web app:

Do you notice in the image above, how the email field has a yellow strip, the first name field a green strip, and the landline field is greyed out? Green signifies that the field is activated for online booking via the widget and for calendar use; yellow that the field is activated for calendar use only, and greyed out shows that the field is currently de-activated.

6. FAQs

Q. What happens to my data if l delete a data field?

All your data will get lost. That's why we strongly recommend that you deactivate fields rather than delete them. All your data gets saved and you can still access it; plus if you change your mind, you can always re-activate the field.

Q. Can l edit the entries given for data fields?

A. Yes, you can enter entries any time.

Did this answer your question?