Pattern Customers is a term that refers to a pattern or template of information that you can set up to make adding new customers faster and more accurate. It can also simply refer to a template of information for customers.
Follow the link to see a video on adding pattern customers:
Video on adding pattern customers: https://youtu.be/fxCdxVOVZxE?list=PLQODJyODI9rNBqZ5PdX0vnFApaTwm5Jex
How many pattern customers will I need? Let's say all of your customers are in Barnegat, Forked River, Lanoka Harbor, and Little Egg Harbor, NJ. Furthermore, Barnegat has a zip code of 08005, Forked River has a zip code of 08731, Lanoka Harbor has a zip code of 08734, and Little Egg Harbor has a zip code of 08087. All these cities have an area code of 609.
Naturally you will have customers in several more cities, but you would still use the same principle of grouping your customers into pattern customers. On the main screen of your CLIP program, click on the Pattern Customers icon.
Click on the Property Name field at the top of the screen and give it a name that identifies this pattern or master form. In the case of our example, the name would be Barnegat. For this example, we have filled in the Property City, State/Zip, and Area Code for the Home Phone.
Some other useful fields to consider filling out for pattern customers are:
Credit Limit - This is the maximum dollar amount you allow a customer to owe before you are notified by CLIP. Each customer can have a different credit limit, but you should enter the credit limit you will most often use here.
R/C Code - This can be used to 'tag' your customers as either Residential or Commercial. For example, since most of our customers in Barnegat are residential we will set this pattern or master form as 'R'. If most of your customers using this pattern or master form are commercial, enter 'C' in R/C Code.
Source - This is used to fill out where this customer heard about your company (i.e. newspaper, website, friend, etc.). This field can be useful for reporting needs.
Customer Type - This can be used to identify the type of service package the customer will receive in a five letter or number designation - full, mow, snow, etc. This field can be useful for reporting needs.
Similar to R/C Code, CLIP has provided Custom Letters, Custom Numbers, and other Custom fields as extra places to tag your customers in a more detailed manner.
A Contract Customer is a customer that receives 'level-ized' billing. This means that the customer pays regular installments that cover the charge for all jobs that are 'part of contract'. If most of your customers are contract customers, click on the installments tab when filling out the information for that specific customer.
Once you have filled out all the necessary information, click the Save button. The Installment Customer field towards the top is a Y for "Yes" or N for "No" value. Select specific billing period dates only if the customer has prepaid for a specific time period. Setup specific amounts for each month in the year.
The Tax Type field is setup for inputting sales tax and sales tax and is used for CLIPxe customers that use our program for billing purposes. QCLIPxe are not required to fill in Tax Type. Bill This Customer 1 Month Ahead if you know that this customer wants the statement/invoice ahead of time.
Any note input into the Notes field will show up on the statement/invoice.
Select the Additional Installments for any additional installments setup under the customer. QuickBooks users will need to select the item that will show on the invoice. Class can be selected but only the item is required.
Let's enter a customer into the system using our new Pattern Customers. Click on the Customer List button in the upper left corner.
Click Add New button, CLIP will assign the next customer number available, select Save.
For this example, we have 'Barnegat' selected. Once you find the Pattern Customer you wish to copy from, click Copy From Pattern. The Enter New Customer Info window opens to enter Property Name, Address, Property City, and State/Zip. To carry the same information that you entered in the Property, you can click Auto-Fill the information to have it fill the same information in the Billing at the bottom. Additional options on this screen to check:
Check for Duplicate Before Add - CLIP will check for duplicate customers before it adds them.
Change to Proper Case - If you enter the last name first with a comma separating them, CLIP will automatically change the name to first/last and apply the proper case when clicking Auto-Fill to auto-fill the billing.
Add Comma between City and State - Adds a comma between city and state when using the Auto-Fill option.
Auto Route this Customer (MapPoint) - Once adding the customer, CLIP will automatically route the customer using Microsoft MapPoint. This is assuming that you have Microsoft MapPoint installed. Click the Active Customers Only so it will Auto Route with Active Customers Only.
Click Save, now you have setup your Customer using the Pattern Customer option. Complete these same steps for any additional Pattern Customers in order to have master form to add customers.