Prevent and Fix Duplicate Contacts and Companies
Sometimes when managing a database of dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of contacts and companies in a CRM, you may end up with some duplicates. This can be frustrating because you might have crucial information stored on one contact's profile, but not another's, even though they're actually the same person. With Less Annoying CRM, you'll be warned when entering a single contact that matches an existing contact's information, and you can quickly find and merge all duplicate contacts together so that you can keep all the information you've entered without having to search around for multiple contacts and companies.
Every time you enter a contact into the CRM, Less Annoying CRM will check the email and phone number fields against your existing contact database to make sure you're not entering a contact that's already in your CRM.
In some cases you may want to list the same email or phone number for two contacts, so this system will not prevent you from creating duplicates, just warn you. You can click the name of the contact in the orange bar to pull up their contact profile, if necessary.
While preventing duplicates works great when adding new individual contacts, it doesn't do much in the case of duplicates created by import, or simply for fixing mistakes retroactively. For these situations, you can use one of our merging tools to combine duplicate records.
If you have a small number of duplicates, you can merge each duplicate pair individually from the contact record. Simply go to the record and select “Merge duplicates” in the Actions section of the page menu. Next, you’ll need to search for the other duplicate record (by name, email, phone, etc) and then merge them to combine the two.
If you have a lot of duplicates you can instead use the Merge Contacts in Bulk tool to combine all of those duplicates at once. You can find this tool in the Settings section under the "Additional Features" header. Be careful with this tool -- merges can't be undone. Make sure you read all of the information on this page!
When you open the bulk merge tool, it will automatically search all of your contacts and companies for any records with a shared email address and/or phone number. There is also a setting near the top of the page you can use to determine how the CRM will identify duplicates; by email address only, by phone number only, or by both. You will also have the option to merge all located duplicates at once or to merge each duplicate pair one at a time.
In some cases, you may be asked to select data from one of the two records to use going forward. For example, each contact record can only have a single Title, so if that field is different on each record, you'll need to select one. In cases where all of the information can be retained (for example, multiple addresses), the CRM will keep all of the information.
In cases where there are more than two records that have the same email address or phone number, you will need to run this tool multiple times to get them all merged together. The system will show a warning when this situation occurs.