USE CASE: Finding and Fixing Duplicate Contacts in Salesforce


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

There are so many reasons you may have duplicate Contact records in Salesforce. Certainly, user error could be a factor. The Contacts themselves may be supplying different sets of information for their profiles. People get new titles. They also move locations or choose to work remotely. They might use a personal email address in some situations and a work email in others.

A number of variables impact a Contact’s profile. Ultimately, these duplicate Contacts may represent one person in an ever-changing world. These duplicates can cause confusion and miscommunication, hurting your and the business’s productivity. You’ll want to act quickly to fix this problem.

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

One sign of potentially duplicate Contacts is records with a similar or same name, and also some same field values for contact information; however, other field values may have different information due to changing circumstances (as previously mentioned). There is no one formula—Contact duplicates can take many different forms. Therefore, duplicates 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 Contacts example. (Check out the Data Quality Helper Admin Guide for step-by-step instructions on how to set up duplication rules.)

Detecting duplicate Contacts

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 Contact, or ‘Back’ to make additional modifications.”

In this particular example, the rule is looking for duplicate records on the Contact object using the Name and Email fields. Here, three Contacts 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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