Think of fields as boxes in which to store important contact information.
Some of that information is obvious — things like first name, last name, phone number, etc. But other information might not be as obvious, and can facilitate some really cool things. But to use it, we need a place to hold it. This is done by adding fields.
There's a one-stop shop for fields in the CityGro Portal. Get there by navigating to the Fields module on the lefthand side of your view.
From here, you'll see a long list of the fields at your disposal. Most of these are pre-baked and straightforward by default — what we call Global fields. They're in every account when it's opened. You do, however, have the ability to add your own as needed — Local or custom, fields.
We'll go over how to edit and add fields in a moment, but let's first get a couple of important points out of the way:
Fields are sensitive
What we mean by this is that, while not overly difficult to manage, fields can be messy. You want to have a clear understanding and purpose in mind before you start getting your hands dirty. If you don't get them set up properly for the goal you have in mind, you might run into problems down the road.
Fields are awesome
Fields become a lot of the backbone behind what the CityGro portal can do for you and your customers. The information captured and stored in these fields can facilitate some incredibly powerful interactions with your customers.
At CityGro, our goal is to help you reach...
- The right customers
- At the right time
- In the right way
- With the right message
If we can do that together, we'll promote a positive relationship with your customers and get them coming back more often.
Nobody knows your customers better than you do, so think about what would constitute the right scenario for them to hear from you. Is it a birthday? Is it a recurring time interval? An elapsed time since their last visit? A certain holiday or relevant date for a particular industry?
Adopting this way of thinking will take you far, and it starts with getting the right fields set up.
Ok, now that we've addressed those points, let's talk about what goes into contact fields.
There are three components to a field that are important to understand. This will help you decide how to set up a field for the right purpose and for prime actionability.
This is the name of the field — First Name, Last Name, # of Check-Ins, Last Check-In Time, etc. You want something that's clear; when you see it, you know what it is.
If you work much in Excel or another spreadsheet program, you might call this data type. Essentially, the field type determines the way that the field captures and formats the information placed into it. This, in turn, influences what you can do with the data.
If Name is how you and I refer to the field, Key is how the system and database refer to the field. The Key won't have any spaces, capitalization, punctuation or characters in it, and it's automatically generated when you give the field a name. Yes, you can often adjust it if need be, but unless you know what you're doing, we'd recommend you just leave the Key alone.
Edit or delete a field
Some fields can be edited, and others cannot. As a general rule (though there are some exceptions), Global fields — CityGro's system-created fields — cannot be edited or deleted, while Local fields — those added manually by CityGro users — can be edited or deleted.
Does that seem complicated? The easiest way to determine whether you can make changes to a field is by navigating to the Fields page and taking note of whether you can see the icons to the left of the Field Name.
If you can see these icons, the field is editable or deletable.
This does influence whether or not you can make changes to the contents of these fields, just whether or not you can edit the field itself — the Name, Type or Key.
If they're present, you can use these three icons to make changes to the field.