Duplicate Contacts Prevention In Salesforce

Why is Duplicate Contact Management Required?

  • Duplicates in data not only affects the quality of data but it also leads to business loss, lack of integrity and user productivity.
  • This can be frustrating because the organization might have crucial information stored on one record, but not on the other, it also leads to loss of trust even from the reputed organisation.
  • Data can be duplicated in the system when a user imports data from external sources or manually enters data and there is no sign of warning to prevent the user.
  • If users don’t pay attention while merging records in their system, the duplicate data gets accumulated in the long run.
  • Suppose you work for some MNC, they might have a large number of contacts with thousands of duplicates. When a user tries to fetch data from their org using SOQL query, then it would require more SOQL query statements to be implemented because synchronously only 50k records can be retrieved at once.
  • Let’s take another example, suppose there is an ongoing scheme in an organisation to give discount and free gifts to their dedicated clients who have a purchase record of some predefined amount. Then the discount can be imparted to the same person more than once which could lead to organisation loss.
  • Redundancy in data also leads to huge marketing loss, suppose a contact is saved many times, then to arrange and send marketing stuff to that contact several times may lead to loss of resources.
  • Removing duplicates after some time does not only cost a huge amount of time, money and labour, but also leads to the removal of important data, so prevention is always better than cure.
  • Duplicate records result in disjoined customer service where multiple teams repeatedly interact with the same contact unknowingly which irritates customers along with business stuck at one place only.
  • When the data is free of duplicates Sales reps of different teams can independently collaborate with their clients and can take the business to a further level.
  • That is why duplicate management is a must and Salesforce has got you covered with its inbuilt feature of Duplicate Rules, which can be customised according to your organisation’s needs.

In salesforce, duplicate management is a two-step process that can be set by implementing the following rules in setup:

  • Matching rules
  • Duplicate rules

Matching rules and Duplicate rules go hand in hand to ensure that your rep works with data that’s free of duplicates. Before your reps save new and updated records, matching rules and duplicate rules provide warnings of potential duplicates and even block a user from creating this blunder.

1. Matching Rules

Matching rules define what condition/criteria a record should be identified as a duplicate record.

Salesforce already has inbuilt standard matching rules for Account, Contact and Leads but we can create custom ones as per our requirement.

Use Case: Create a Duplicate Management Rule for not allowing the creation of duplicate contacts on the basis of First Name, Last Name and Email Address.

Step 1: Search for Matching Rules in the Quick Find box and click on New Rule.

Search for Matching Rules in Quick Find box

Step 2: Choose the Contact object to apply this rule and click on Next.

Choose the Contact object in Matching Rules

Step 3: Give the rule a Name.

Step 4: In the Matching Criteria section- for fields, choose First Name, Last Name and Email. For Matching Method choose Fuzzy:First Name, Exact and Exact respectively. Select Match Blank Fields for Email field.

  • When the Exact matching method is selected, it looks for strings that exactly match a pattern.
  • When the Fuzzy matching method is selected, it looks for strings that approximately match a pattern with initials and short forms.
  • When Match Blank Fields for any field is selected then if the field is blank for both the records(existing and new) it will be marked as a matched record.

Step 5: Apply filter logic as per your requirement and click on save.

Apply filter logic as per your need

Step 6: Click on Activate to further use this rule in Duplicate Rules.

Click on Activate to use rules in Duplicate Rules

2. Duplicate Rules

Duplicate rules are the rules which define what needs to be done when a duplicate record is found by a Matching rule. Records can be either Blocked from creation or Allowed to save as a new record as per the rules defined.

Step 1: Search for Duplicate Rules in Quick Find box.

Step 2: Click on New Rule and choose contact.

Choose contact for Duplicate Rules

Step 3: Give the rule a Name. In Record-Level Security select Enforce sharing rules.

  • When the Enforce sharing rules option is selected then the matching rule only compares with records the user has access to.
  • When Bypass sharing rules option is selected then the matching rule compares all the records regardless of user access.

Step 4: For actions choose Allow for create and Block for Edit.

Step 5: Write any Alert Text to warn the user.

Write alter text in Duplicate Rules

Step 6: Select the Matching Rule that you just created above from the picklist to use in this duplicate rule.

Select Matching Rules

Step 7: Click on Mapping Selected to see how fields are mapped for comparing the contacts and click on Save.

Map the Rules

Step 8: Click on Activate to use this rule.

Activate the Duplicate Rules

Now let’s see what happens when we try to create duplicate contacts:

  • Go to app builder to add this inbuilt Potential Duplicates component to the contact record page, this not only identifies duplicate records but also shows existing ones.

    Potential Duplicates component
  • When we try to create a contact with the already existing First Name, Last Name and Email, we get warned about the duplicate. Click on View Duplicates HyperLink to see existing duplicate records.

    View Duplicates HyperLink

    View Duplicates
  • Despite the warning, this record gets saved since we chose Allow in Action on Create.

    Records get saved
  • Click on View Duplicates Hyperlink on the Potential Duplicates component to see existing duplicate records.

    View Duplicates2
  • Since we selected Block in Action on Create, we will be prohibited to edit our duplicate records.

    Prohibited to edit our duplicate records.
  • Conclusion

    • When a user knowingly or unknowingly tries to create a contact, which is already present in salesforce, duplicate rules prevent it from creating it either by giving a warning by providing information of an existing record or not allowing it at all.
    • Duplicate rules are a big-time saver. This simple environment setting not only saves us from creating redundant information but also informs us about existing contact.
    • Data import using Data import wizard can also be useful in preventing duplicate contacts to be inserted in our salesforce orgs.

    For any query on prevention of duplicate contacts in Salesforce, contact support@astreait.com