USE CASE: Finding and Fixing Duplicate Accounts in Salesforce


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Problem: Users need to identify duplicate Accounts and reconcile the data

It is not unusual for multiple Accounts to be created for the same company. Sometimes Contacts submit forms and self-supply different variations of a company name—acronyms, abbreviations, aka naming, subsidiary or function, type of company formation (Inc./Incorporated, Co./Company, LLC/no identifier), etc. Sometimes Salesforce users do it too when creating the Account. They don’t recognize the pre-existing Account and create a new one.

With these duplicates, this creates a situation when future information gathering gets fragmented and not centrally collected. Contacts that should belong to the same Account get separated into multiple Accounts. Clearly, this damages Account engagement and could lead to many potentially bad outcomes. The important thing is to recognize the duplicate problem as early as possible, and then rectify it. Salesforce is only as good as the quality of the data in it.

Solution: Automatically notify users of the duplicate Accounts and empower them to correct the situation

One sign of potentially duplicate Accounts is records with a similar name, same website, same phone number, and same address. This can be difficult to discover manually, without being directly notified of it when a record is viewed, created, or modified.

Using the Free Edition of the Data Quality Helper app, an Admin can easily set a similarity percentage threshold that will detect records with similar field values for specified fields, which then displays an alert on the record with the potential duplicates. In response, users can quickly review the potential duplicates’ details. If users determine action is needed, they can use the app’s functionality to merge the information from the duplicates into one corrected record.

Salesforce default functionality doesn’t allow flexible duplicate detection and customized resolution—no adjustable duplicate sensitivity settings are available, not all objects are assessed, and the merging of data on duplicate records is limited. With the added functionality of Data Quality Helper, Admins have more flexibility to design unique duplication rules that better serve organization goals across a number of situations, beyond this duplicate Accounts example. (Check out the Data Quality Helper Admin Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to set up duplication rules.)

Detecting duplicate Accounts

This alert says: “Potential Duplicates Found. If the list below contains duplicate records, select all of the records to merge, then click the ‘Next’ button. Otherwise, click the ‘Save Without Merge’ button below to save the Account, or ‘Back’ to make additional modifications.”

In this particular example, the rule is looking for duplicate records on the Account object using the Name, Website, Phone, and Billing Address fields. Here, two Accounts are listed as potential duplicates.

  • If any of the records in the list of potential duplicates are identified as non-duplicates, simply click the dropdown menu in the Action column and click the ‘Mark As Non-Duplicate’ menu item, or click the ‘View Record’ menu item if more information is needed about the record.
  • Once the duplicate records have been identified, select them before clicking ‘Next,’ which will start the merging process where a user can select the fields that require updates.

Ideally, you want to streamline duplicates and consolidate information into one record. However, in some cases, a user may want to mark records that look similar as non-duplicates, or maybe they would like to manually adjust field values during the merge of duplicate records (unlike with default Salesforce’s less flexible duplicate resolution functionality). The merge choices should belong to Admins, users, and the organization—not to the Salesforce platform.

The good news is that, with Data Quality Helper, unresolved duplicate issues are easy to find at any time using the ‘Data Quality Helper Issues’ home page component. The component may be used as a reminder to find and merge duplicate records when users have availability.

Besides duplicate data detection and resolution, this app also offers enhanced data validation that exceeds default Salesforce functionality. Plus, the home page component also shows all unresolved validation issues detected by the rules Admins created. Install the free version today!

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