Who Are Your Customers? QuickBooks Online Can Tell You

They’re your company’s most valuable asset. Thorough customer records can improve your customer relationships.

Creating comprehensive, accurate customer profiles in QuickBooks Online takes time. It’s tempting to just enter the minimum information required to process transactions, but there are numerous benefits to including every possible detail that QuickBooks Online allows – and making sure they’re correct. For example:

  • You can do deeper, more insightful searches.
  • Your reports can be filtered by more criteria, making them more focused.
  • Your marketing efforts can be more targeted.
  • Your communication with customers will be more informed.

Importing Customer Files

If you have customer files in CSV, Excel, or Google Sheets format, you should be able to import them directly into QuickBooks Online. Click Sales in the toolbar, then Customers. In the upper right corner, click the down arrow next to New customer and select Import customers. You can look at a sample file before you import CSV or Excel files. Your file which must contain a header title for each column in the top row, not customer data. Customer Name is the only required field, so don’t worry if your database isn’t completely filled in.

After you’ve browsed for and selected your data file, you’ll click Next to open the “mapping” page, where you’ll match the fields in your own file to QuickBooks Online fields, as shown in the image below (you may want our help with this). Click Next again to see your customer data in a table. If it looks OK, click Import to bring the file into QuickBooks Online.

Before you can import CSV or Excel files, you’ll have to make sure they’re “mapped” correctly.

You’ll connect directly to Google Sheets to import a customer file. And you can import your emails contacts from Outlook or Gmail after you’ve exported them from those applications as Excel or Google Sheets files.

Creating Customer Records Manually

If you don’t have an existing database of customers (or you don’t want to deal with the import process), you can enter the information manually using QuickBooks Online’s customer record templates. Return to Sales | Customers and click New customer in the upper right. A vertical panel slides out from the right side of the page containing labeled blank field for your customer data.

As we said, the only field that’s required to create and save a customer record is Customer display name. But of course you’re going to want to complete more fields. If you’re not sure about some things, or you get additional information later, you can always come back and edit the record. The icons in the upper right help you navigate quickly to other sections of the record.

Some of these fields are to be used for information that will appear automatically on invoices. If you specify, for example, what the customer’s default Primary payment method, Terms, and Sales form delivery options are, they will be automatically selected when you create a sales form, though you can change them on the fly.

As mentioned, you don’t have to complete every field. There are some, though, that are important – and which you may need our assistance with. These include:

  • Tax rate,
  • Tax exempt status, and,
  • Opening balance.

Viewing Your Completed Customer Records

You can view a lot of customer information and take related actions on completed customer pages.

Once you’ve completed and saved a record, it will appear in the Customers list, which appears as a table. The last column on this page, the Action column, provides links to all of the actions you can take related to that customer, like Create sales receipt and Send reminder.

Click anywhere in the row to open the customer’s “homepage.” This contains the information you just entered plus related QuickBooks Online data that is displayed automatically. You click tabs to see lists of things like the customer’s Transactions, Statements, and Customer Details, as pictured above. You can also create new transactions from this page, too.

Designating Sub-Customers

You may have noticed a line at the bottom of the Name and contact section that reads Is a sub-customer. You would create sub-customer records if you want to “nest” a customer or job under a “parent” customer. If you’re a contractor, for example, you might want to set up different properties (like “Guest House”) as sub-customers and assign billable products and services to them. You can choose to have the billing go to the parent customer, of course, as pictured in the image below.

You can designate customer records as sub-customers for specific jobs and have them billed to the parent customer.

Answering Customers’ Questions

If you’re conscientious about creating comprehensive customer records, it will be easy to answer customers’ questions quickly if they call with a question. Besides, these pages will be very helpful to you when you have to look up some details. And as we said earlier, your searches results and your reports will be more focused and insightful because of the filters you can apply.

Can we answer any questions about customer records or about any other elements of QuickBooks Online for you? Contact us.