Merging duplicate contacts in CRM

Duplicate contacts are multiple contacts corresponding to one client in CRM. Duplicates are created when a client performs various actions on your website without authorization — every action of an unauthorized contact can add a new contact to CRM. Another example might be when a registered client performs various actions but enters different login names on your site, i. e. has several client accounts.

To avoid appearance of duplicate contacts, clients must always log in before doing something on your website. Unfortunately, it is impossible to make everyone log in. People may simply forget to do so. Therefore, be prepared that duplicate contacts will inevitably appear in your contacts database and you will have to merge them to keep the database clean and ordered.

When you have merged several duplicate contacts into one, you will find it more convenient to see all the information related to a client by viewing only one client profile instead of switching between multiple profiles.

Automatic search of duplicates

CRM can automatically find duplicate contacts, i.e. contacts with identical email addresses, full names, or phone numbers.

In section “Contacts → Administrator → Merge duplicates” select a property to search duplicate contacts by, and start the search.

The search will find all groups of contacts with the same value of the the selected property. For example, if you have selected “email” to search duplicates, then search results may look as shown in the picture:

Every found group will have 2 or more contacts with the same email addresses. Merging a group will make only one contact out of them.

A contact created earlier than others within a group is considered master contact by default, the rest of them are secondary contacts. Upon merging, the master contact will remain, secondary contacts will be deleted, and information from secondary contacts will be copied to the master contact.

You can merge groups manually, one by one, using “Merge this group” links in search results. By doing so, you can decide which of the contacts within a group must be the master contact, if it is important for you.

Another option is to merge found groups of duplicates automatically. Master contacts in groups will be determined by their creation dates. When starting automatic merging, you give up the opportunity to manually select master contacts in the groups of duplicate contacts.

Manual selection of duplicates

Of course, duplicate contacts not always have the same email addresses, full names, or phone numbers. It is quite often that a client may spell his name differerntly on various occasions, for example. Or may use different email addresses to log in. Automatic search of duplicate contacts will not detect them as duplicates and will not include them in one group for fast automatic merging.

You will have to find and merge such “hidden” duplicates manually.

  1. Find and select duplicate contacts in any contact list in “Contacts” section. You will have to decide yourself whether any of your contacts correspond to the same client.
  2. In special list “Selected contacts” select duplicate contacts and click “Merge” in the menu at the top.

  3. Determine which of the selected contacts must be the master contact and complete the merging.

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