Uploading respondents via FTP

Benefits of FTP? 

- CSP or Excel files that you upload get processed automatically (the files might need to be prepared by your IT-team). 

- We can easily track if something went wrong and what went wrong, because we can check the file that you uploaded. 

When you start "feeding" your touchpoint with respondents based on a transaction, chances are you will need to start uploading on a daily basis, which is not very time-efficient to keep doing manually. That why we have 2 automated connections to use: FTPS and API (more info  here). We focus on the FTP-connection below.

What is FTP?
FTPS is an extension to the commonly used File Transfer Protocol (FTP) that adds support for the Transport Layer Security (TLS) and the Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) cryptographic protocols. FTPS is based on a client-server model. The client software connects to the FTPS server, which allows you to transfer files from your computer to the server.

FTPS can be used as a safe method to transfer respondents in spreadsheets to the Hello Customer platform in order to send an invitation email for feedback. This is a more automated and less error-prone method than uploading respondents manually. Most customer data systems (CRM) can gather and upload customer data (mostly in CSV format) without much custom development or configuration.

IN THIS ARTICLE
The steps to set up an automatic connection via FTPS   

  1. What data is uploaded?
  2. Supported file formats
  3. FTPS requirements
  4. Adviced steps of set-up
  5. Connecting to the FTPS server

IMPORTANT
Hello Customer supports only FTPS (FTP over SSL). FTPS should not be confused with SFTP (SSH File Transfer Protocol). We do not support SFTP or regular FTP (due to data safety concerns).

1. What data is uploaded?

Just like when uploading manually, Hello Customer needs a file with all respondents that you want to ask feedback within a certain touchpoint. A touchpoint is a defined moment - usually after an interaction with the company - that a customer is asked for feedback. Each respondent represent a row in the table and should contain at least following columns:

  • email address
  • language (in 2-character ISO 639-1 Code)
  • optional: first name (if used in the email as a variable)
  • optional: last name (if used in the email as a variable)
  • optional: data for department (point of sale, office or shop)
  • optional: CustomId: an anonymized customer ID
  • optional: additional metaData for filtering or segmentation


2. Supported file formats

Uploaded files can be in following formats:

  • CSV (semicolon separated - avoid using quotes or double quotes - see example below)
  • TSV (tab separated)

File Encoding can be UTF8 or Latin 8859-1.

Header with column names is required in the first row

The name of the file should contain the touchpoint name + the date, making it a unique name.
For example: touchpoint_NPS_after_visit_20180116.csv

If the touchpoint name is unknown, please check with your internal Hello Customer expert or email  support@hellocustomer.com

An example of a spreadsheet with customer data and the possible fields/columns. The first 2 are required, firstName and lastName are required when they are used in the email.

email;language;firstName;lastName;visitedStore;purchasedPieces
robin@hellocustomer.com;NL;Robin;Berthier;Gent;1
wendy@hellocustomer.com;EN;Wendy;De Vos;Brussel;3

The same example in the correct CSV format (using semicolon seperators and no quotes)

All information on what your file should look like, can be found in this article.


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3. FTPS requirements

  • Any customer data management system, capable of uploading the required file format to an FTPS server can be used.
  • To avoid mistakes, we provide and communicate the folder in your FTPS account for each touchpoint.
  • We will provide the username via email and we will send the password separately via text message for security reasons.

IMPORTANT
Prior to use the FTPS server for automatic uploading, all fields in the file are linked their correct counterpart in the platform by Hello Customer. To make sure all data is imported correctly, please notify us when the structure of the files (order of the columns etc...) changes or fields are added/deleted.


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4. Adviced steps of set-up

To make sure Hello Customer employees are not unnecessarily exposed to live customer data, we always recommend the following procedure to set up an FTPS account:

  1. We provide the client with the specifics on creating an ideal file structure to the internal Hello Customer contact + this document.
  2. After deciding on the pilot touchpoint, we provide FTPS account credentials to the client so testing FTPS on the client side can begin.
  3. The client provides us with a copy of this PDF with the form (starting on page 5) completed and signed.
  4. The customer uploads a file in the agreed structure onto the FTPS server with dummy data (due to data privacy regulations described above) in order for Hello Customer to make the connection between uploaded file and the touchpoint.
  5. After the connection has been made, Hello Customer removes the file from the server and greenlights uploading files in the same structure with live data.

Note:
Don’t forget to put the touchpoint in production after Hello Customer greenlights uploading, or the uploaded respondents will not be processed!


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5. Connecting to the FTPS server

  1. Log in to server import.hellocustomer.com (always use the URL, never the IP-address behind it as this can change)
  2. Use your username and password.
  3. Make sure to open following ports:
    • 21 
    • 990
    • 50000-50003

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