The first thing we need to understand before we can link accounts, is what the accounts are that we’re talking about. There are two types of accounts:
- AIM account
- Storefront account
To complete many administrative tasks in your system, you’ll want to connect these accounts so that the AIM system can keep track of these customers and allow them to make changes to their AIM accounts by logging into the Storefront.
These accounts are not connected automatically in any circumstance, but are easy to connect once they exist. In the best case scenario, accounts will already exist in both AIM and the Storefront, and all you need to do is connect them. Let’s cover that first, and then discuss some of the alternative scenarios you should be able to understand as well.
When a customer has both an AIM account and a Storefront account.
During the rental process, a Storefront account is created (as long as you do not allow anonymous rental checkouts) and an AIM account is created, because that’s where the rental checkout is processed. It can also happen when a customer already has an account in AIM, and then creates an account in storefront to either submit a service ticket or make an online rental payment. These accounts will need to be connected manually.
First, you’ll need to open the Storefront Admin panel and find the customer ID of your customer in Storefront. Go To “Contacts > Manage Contacts” and find your customer. Then, click the blue link on their name to open the account. You can see the Customer’s ID number here:
Next, you’ll need to link that ID to a customer account in AIM. Before you can link that account though, they need to request to be linked. They can go to a "C2B Request Page" on your website at…
("yourdomain" will be your actual domain name)
…and fill out the form. They’ll be prompted to sign in first, and if they don’t have an account they’ll need to create one. Then, once they sign in and go to the “C2B request” page (above link), they just need to enter their AIM account # and submit. The rest of the information in that form should be pre-populated.
If your customer does not know their AIM account number, you can look that up for them. Open AIM and navigate to “Modules > Customer > Change Customers” and use the search feature to find and select the customer in AIM you’d like to link to the customer record in Storefront. You should see a screen that looks similar to this:
Notice the customer number in the upper left, by the name. In this case, the customer is 573.
Once the customer submits the C2Brequest form, you should be able to find the request in AIM. In AIM, go to “Modules > Active-e > Customer Online Account Relation” and you should see a list of people that submitted the request. If you select the customer name, the right portion of the screen will fill with their information from the website. Use the “Find Customer” button to first find your customer’s AIM account. Their name should now appear below the “Find Customer” button. Click the “Update Customer” to update AIM with information from the customer’s Storefront account.
When you are satisfied with the account, click save and the account should remove itself from the "Customer Relation” window. You can now exit the screen.
To check and make sure the account was linked properly, you can go to AIM “Modules > Customer > Change Customer” and lookup the account. Notice on the “6 Email” tab the Active-e ID has been added to the customer record, meaning the accounts are now linked.
When a customer completes a rental and has a customer account in Storefront.
The customer will need to complete the "C2B Request Page" mentioned above.
When a customer completes a rental and does not have an account in Storefront.
Customer will need to create an account in Storefront and fill out the "C2B Request Page" mentioned above.
When a customer completes an eCommerce order but does not have an account in AIM.
You can create an AIM account with the eCommerce order. In AIM, go to “Modules > Active-e > Import e-commerce orders” and when you select the order in the list, you’ll have the option to “lock” the order.
Once the order is locked, the option to “Create Cust” will be available. Click that button an you’ll have the option to create that customer in AIM. The active-e ID will already be applied. Save the new customer in AIM and the accounts will be linked.
When a customer completes an ecommerce order and has an account in AIM.
Same as above, but use the “Find Cust” option instead of “Create Cust”
Why do we need each customer to have two accounts?
Good question! Each Service (AIM and AIMStorefront) have their own sets of accounts stored in their own databases. In many cases, it’s important that you link these accounts so that customers can do things like pay rentals on your website, and place service tickets on your website that appear in AIM.
Does a customer automatically have a website account created when they submit a rental contract on my website?
No. When a customer completes and submits a rental contract on your website, an account in AIM will be created for them, but not in your store. Conversely, when a customer makes a purchase or fills out a service ticket on your website, that does not mean an account is created for them in AIM.
What if a customer has an account in AIM and an account in the AIMStorefront? Does that mean they are connected?
No. There is little, if any, automatic matching of accounts. You can force customers to create an account BEFORE they do the rental process, but this is not recommended by Tri-Tech as it creates extra steps in the process of shopping for rentals. It is however very easy to connect accounts once they have been created in
Can you tell me all of the ways accounts are created in AIM and in AIM Storefront?
In AIMStorefront, there are only two ways a customer can create an account:
- By creating an account at yourdomain.com/createaccount.aspx
- By placing an e-commerce order (and creating an account in the process)
These actions will generate an AIMStorefront account with an account number, known in AIM as an 'Active-e id' (and sometimes as 'web id'). Each storefront account has a unique email address associated with it.
These actions will NOT generate a storefront account.
- Generating a rental contract
- Placing a service ticket
- Booking a lesson