How to import and/or update people?

Neelke Stadler Updated by Neelke Stadler

You can import people to Turn so that you can contact them through WhatsApp.

To provide better care and unlock long-term relationships you want all your contact information from external services in Turn. That way you can hit the ground running and start reaching out and engaging people on WhatsApp.

Contact information will include basic details like phone numbers but can also include richer contextual information such as health data. You can import it all to Turn using a Comma-Separated Values (CSV) file. Think of this file format as a simplified version of an Excel spreadsheet.

The People section is accessible via the main navigation, allowing you to browse your customer base. This article details how to import new contacts or update existing contacts.

Import contacts

Only admin users can import people.

This is a key feature making it possible to upload a CSV file with contact information into Turn, so that you can start messaging new people. Let's unpack it.

Click the Import⬆ button to open up a helper modal. You need to:

  • Download the helper file.
  • Choose the fields you want to import data for, and remove the unwanted columns.
  • Ensure that your data matches what Turn expects.
  • Upload the data.

Download the helper file

The helper file contains all the contact fields you have in Turn, making it easier to match your records with our database.

Click the Download button to get the file on your computer. Note that the file provides a sample row of data, helping you know the values accepted per field. For example, it will indicate if a field is a date or a text field.

Choose the fields you want to import data for, and remove the unwanted columns

You don't need to upload all of the fields that exist. If you want to keep those fields as their default, remove those columns from the CSV.

Ensure that your data matches what Turn expects

It is very important to ensure your CSV file matches the helper template, containing all the contact fields you have in Turn. If you want to update existing profiles, only include the columns you want to update.

Upload contacts

The maximum file size you can upload is 1 MB.

Once you have the data ready to import, you can upload it to Turn by either dropping the CSV file in the modal or by using the Upload button.

If there are no obvious file errors, you will see a success message. This does not yet mean that the data in the file is correct, but tells you that the CSV file is good to go.

Oops, there are errors in my file! What now?

Once you upload your file we review a sample of it to check if all the columns are matching the right contact fields. If there are issues (e.g. unrecognised columns), we clearly flag them to the you. We have made it easy to simply download, fix and re-upload your CSV file if needed.

The CSV file you download will contain the errors we picked up, so that you can fix it in your original file and then re-upload it. The faulty information will not be imported to Turn to ensure trusted contact information.

For example, the language of users needs to be imported in the correct ISO format. In this case the user used full text languages instead of the language codes. The user needs to update the information before it can be successfully uploaded.

If there are no obvious issues we will show you a sample of your data before we upload it.

Get notified when the import is done

Big contact lists will take a while to process. You will get an email (to the account you are logged in with whilst doing the import) when your data is ready and imported.

Remember, although we have done a few first checks before starting the import, we may still pick up data issues when we start processing the data. If further issues are detected, the email will contain that. Similar to before, faulty data needs to be corrected BEFORE it can successfully be imported. Data integrity is key to a great WhatsApp service.

Update existing contact data

If you don’t include a column in the CSV, we simply set it to the default on creation OR if the contact is being updated, we leave the values as-is. This is important, because it means that if you only care about certain fields, you don’t have to go to all the trouble of filling in all the columns. If you download the helper file, it gives you all the columns but you can leave the columns out that you don’t care about.

  • If you exclude fields, we will set this to the default value.
  • If you want to set a field to null, leave the relevant cell blank.
  • If you include extra fields that have not been created in Turn, we ignore those columns.

Person details drawer

Now that you can see your full customer base, you might want to check out the details of a specific person. You can scroll the table sideways, or simply click a name to open the drawer showing their details.

Clicking on a person opens the person drawer, showing all the contact details you have for the person.

That's it!

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