I'm creating an intranet app (MVC and razor) for a jewellery business. One of the forms is for creating a custom piece of jewellery, sometimes these are made for display purposes and have no initial relationship to a customer, other times a customer will commission a bespoke item. The form has an autocomplete box to select an existing customer but I can't think how to handle the case of a new customer that doesn't break the work flow.
The scenario is a new customer comes into the shop and asks for a bespoke item to be made, the form captures details about the bespoke item (when it's required, price, size etc.) and there's the autocomplete to find existing customers. Creating a customer has it's own form and is a bit more complex than a modal dialogue would be good for, so my challenge is to identify a mechanism to handle this case.
What I want to know is what approaches to form design / flow will lead the person completing the form all the way through. As it stands at the moment if there is no existing customer returned from the search box then, in order to associate the item with the customer the form would have to be saved without a customer, then go to the customer create screen and then edit the item and search for the customer (that will now be in the list).
I need a "better" solution.