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New Feature: Enable logins for all customers.

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Last week had to solve a long standing UX problem in WORK[etc] regarding access for your customers, to your customer portal.

If you’ve enabled customer access for your WORK[etc] account then you already know that each account needs to be configured manually, which is pretty lame from a usability perspective.  And having to keep saying “oh you need to go in and edit your thousands of records manually” was starting to weigh on our conscious!

So – as of last Friday you can now simply enable customer access, to your customer portal, for all your customers in one fell swoop.

Here’s how it works:

1. When customer logins are enabled, customers can now sign in even if they don’t have a password/account yet. If you try login, and your contact profile is not explicitly disabled but you have no password yet, you’ll will now get this:

… instead of the old message telling you to contact the business owner to have them set you up with a password.

If you have no contact info on file at all you, you can now make an account with the business by clicking the ” or register” link next to the sign in button. Rego form looks like this:

2. Businesses can now bulk-overwrite permissions across all customers under Settings > Contact Settings:

…note the new “default customer permissions” field here. You can basically set this once and forget about it. Any new contacts that are imported or created will be done so with these settings pre-applied.

There is also the option to bulk-overwrite existing customer credentials based on what you’ve got ticked just now.

There is also the option to bulk flag customer login access to “enabled” (previously always “disabled” by default, so we needed this to allow folks to fix the old contact data.)

When “allow customers to sign in,..” is enabled, the default login capability is now set to “enabled” on any new contacts. This should keep everything seamless for the business owner.

3. This also means you can invite any arbitrary contact to “come and sign in!” even if they don’t have a password configured.

This leads back to recent discussions Dan and I were having about an invite link on the bottom of the quick-contact-insert tool after you hit Create. Soooo you can now always invite contacts as long as signins are enabled globally, the invite email then goes simply:

Dear Sample Guy,

Your XXXX account has been created at xxxxxxxxxx. Please come and sign in with:

Username: guy@sample.foo

Password: Password to be provided at signin.

Regards,

You ThisPerson

4. We should also see faster import/overall performance now that Credentials are stored in a more simplistic way. . With the new approach the credential data is stored in a simple text field which executes in under 1 second for 20,000 contacts (as opposed to 3 minutes of pegged CPU.)

BTW … Simon wrote most of this post…

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