Tips and Tricks #19: The 3 C's of Data in Zoho Subscriptions

Tips and Tricks #19: The 3 C's of Data in Zoho Subscriptions

With Zoho Subscriptions, your customers can sign up for a plan by entering their details in the hosted payment pages. By default, customers will be required to enter certain basic contact information like their name and billing details. This information will be used to create new customers and subscriptions automatically in Zoho Subscriptions.

However, your business requirements may vary, and you might need additional information from your customers when they sign up. This can easily be achieved using custom fields. But, what if you had created a custom field just for internal use? Who'd be able to view these fields?

In this post, we'll help you understand how the custom fields you create can be viewed by you, your customers and your application. 

1. How you see your data

Let's say you create a custom field called "Customer Rating" and your business process hinges on this custom field. In this case, it's important that you have easy access to this field. Fortunately, with Zoho Subscriptions' column customization options, you can choose to display custom fields in a module's list view, thereby letting you view your custom fields without having to perform additional clicks. Column customization is available for the Customers , Subscriptions , Invoices and Credit Notes modules.

To do this, click the column customization icon in the list view of supported modules.

Apart from column customization, you can also tailor-make views for particular needs by creating custom view filters. These filters can be based on custom fields. The filters that you create can be shared with everyone in your staff or only with certain users and roles, based on your preferences.

Click the view filters dropdown, above the list view of a module and click + New Custom View. 

2. How your customers see your data

The custom fields that you create should only be shared with your customers on a need-to-know basis. For example, if you have a custom field called "Loyal Customer", you might not want to display it to your customers on their invoices.

In this section, we'll take a look at how and when you can show/hide custom fields for your customers in various places like hosted payment pages, the customer portal and your invoice templates. 

Hosted Payment Pages

Using custom fields in hosted payment pages is a great way to collect additional data from customers, right when they sign up to your service. To do this, go to Settings > Preferences > Customer > Custom Fields > + New Custom Field. Make sure to enable the Show in Customer Portal/Hosted Page option.

Now, the custom field will be visible to your customers in the hosted payment pages. 

Customer Portal

It's important to note that enabling a custom field in the hosted payment pages will also display the custom field in the customer portal. Your customers will be able to edit custom fields in their customer portal, if you allow them to do so.

While you cannot restrict access to editing custom fields alone, you can configure whether your customers can edit their contact details, which includes custom fields, from the client portal. To do this, go to Settings > Preferences > Branding > Portal Settings. Here, check/uncheck the Allow customers to edit their information option, based on your preferences. 

Email Notifications

The email notifications that are sent to your customers from Zoho Subscriptions will not include any custom fields by default. So, if there's a custom field that's essential for your customer to see in an email, it can be done by editing the email template and adding a placeholder for the custom field.

To do this, go to Settings > Email Notifications. Here, click on a template name to edit the template and select a placeholder for the custom field from the Insert Placeholder dropdown.

Now, when the email is sent, the placeholder will be replaced with the custom field's value. 

Invoices and Credit Notes

For the same reasons that you'd include a custom field in an email notification, you can also include custom fields in invoice and credit note templates.

To do this, ensure that the Show in all PDF option is enabled while creating or editing a custom field.

You can learn more about customizing invoice templates from our help document. 

3. How your application sees your data

This section is especially for third party applications like Zapier or your own SaaS application that works with Zoho Subscriptions primarily through the powerful REST APIs.

Zoho Subscriptions can be tightly integrated with your web application by sending and receiving data through API calls, Webhooks and Custom Functions.

For example, if your customer's subscription status changes from Live to Cancelled, you can configure a webhook to deliver this information to your web application's database. This webhook will contain a payload with the Status identifier. However, your web application's status identifier may be named differently, or in a different format. This is where modifying the payload comes in handy.

In Zoho Subscriptions you can modify a webhook's payload in a format that works best with your application. To do this, go to Settings > Automation > + New Webhook. Here, you can modify the payload of your webhook in the Body section.

That's it folks, we hope you've found this post helpful. We're always looking for feedback and suggestions, so feel free to rattle off in the comments below. Until next time!

Varun Steven
The Zoho Subscriptions Team

    Zoho Marketing Automation
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