Good to know:
- For an overview on data fields, check out this article
What are the benefits of the unique identifier field setting?
When used correctly, this setting enables the system to detect bookings made with the unique identifier field(s), and achieve two things:
- if the customer already exists, the booking will get allocated to their existing file - i.e. you stop multiple customer files getting created for the same customer
- it allows families or groups who share much of the same data (like last name, address, email, and phone) to continue using common data in their customer files, but still be allocated individual bookings.
What happens is a data field is selected as a unique identifier field?
If you activate a data field as a unique identifier, the data that gets input will be checked against all existing entries for this data field for all existing customers.
If that data - say it's an email address - is found in an existing customer file, the booking will be allocated to the customer file with that same email. It means the system seeks out and finds the correct customer file for the booking made with the unique identifier field. What's more? It stops multiple customer files from being created for the same customer.
Sample use case
You have a long time customer called Arthur King. He schedules family photoshoots and individual family portraits for his family every year.
You activate "email" as a unique identifier, and make it mandatory for this field to be completed for all the services you offer. Arthur King goes online to schedule a "Family portrait" service, and gives his email - he has to - as you've selected it as a mandatory field.
The system runs a check to see if the email he entered matches any other emails you have saved in your customer files. The result: the email data field matches the email in his customer file, and the booking is saved to his customer file.
Why making a few of your data fields unique identifiers is a smart move
Let's build on the example we used above. Arthur has a son, Hector. Hector has his own customer file, but he's young and doesn't have his own email address. Instead, he has Arthur's email address.
Arthur goes online and books the service "Individual portrait" for Hector. He enters Hector's name, but gives his (Arthur)'s email address. As the data field "email" is a unique identifier, the system registers Arthur's email, and matches it with Arthur's customer file. The booking then gets allocated to Arthur's file - even though Hector has his own file, and the booking is for Hector!
To avoid this happening, we recommend you make "First name", "Last name", "Email" and "Phone" all unique identifiers, and all mandatory files. It means customers will be allocated bookings correctly. No duplicate customer files will be created, and bookings will be allocated to the correct customer every time.