Duplicate records can throw a hiccup in even the most well oiled CRM system. In this Free Training session, learn the best ways to handle duplicate issues inside ResultsCRM and keep your business running smooth.


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We're going to go ahead and work with managing duplicate records today. So the system I'm going to be using to go ahead and show you that functionality is based on the currently shipping 17.1 system. As many of you know and have received the mailing this week, we are planning to release 17.4 this coming week. Actually, it should be available to you. But, in the meantime, all the same functionality you're going to see today will be in the upcoming release, obviously. But today we're going to be using what's currently shipping and in use to make sure that you have the same consistent screens that we're using up here.

All right. Let's talk about the duplicate checking. So in Results, this is all around contact management, so we can go to 'Contacts' and we can click on 'Manage', which will open up all your records that are coming in from the contacts table within the Results system. If you'll notice on the top of your screen of the DMC, Data Management Center, itself, you should have a button called 'Find Duplicates' up here.

Now, those of you that have dealt with duplicate checking you know that it's really a multi-step process. It's not an exact science. It is really more of a process or an art, in a way, to identify different methodologies of how you can find records. So when we go to this approach of finding duplicates, you'll notice that there's not just one single option that says find me all the duplicates. There's actually multiple ways of approaching that. And I'm going to go through them and we're going to experiment with some of them together today and show you exactly how it's done.

So, there are two points, just from a big picture view, before we dig into the mechanics of the duplicate check. So there are really two types of duplicate realities that you deal with. So you could have the same record for the same company, let's say entered two times in the system by mistake. And so what you really want to do is you want to purge one of the duplicate records, throw it out, and then leave one surviving record in there so there's only one record in your contacts representing that reality.

Let's take an example of that. I'm going to start with finding duplicates, and in this case I'm going to take something very basic, very simple. I'm going to say show me the duplicates that might be in the system based on comparing first and last name. So both the first and the last name have to be an exact match, and these are going to be considered duplicates. So in this case, it found a set of, a total of six records, a set of three records, and if you look at the first name and the last name fields up here, you'll see that it's Cristina Jimenez and Dmitri Smith, George Jackson. Exact spelling on both of those situation, for both of those records.

Now, in this case, that you can review the information and then take action on them. I'm going to show you exactly how to do that, but that's done in Results under a tool called 'Combine Contacts', and I'll get there. First let's work on how to define them, and then defining the kind of issues we have ... excuse me ... and then dealing with the ability to combine the contacts and eliminate them, purge what you don't need.

Now, if we zero in on those two records, you'll notice that in this case, one of those records is a client in QuickBooks and one of those records is a vendor in QuickBooks. So the reality is that even though the first name and the last name are identical, in this case those are two potential duplicate records that you'd read. If you're a QuickBooks user you know what I'm talking about. In QuickBooks, QuickBooks will force you to create a separate record even for the same company and treat one as a customer record in the customer table area and one as vendor record if you happen to have a customer that's also a vendor of yours.

Effectively a customer in QuickBooks; the definition there is that you send them invoices and they pay you money. A vendor you send them checks. You pay them money. And so if you have the same company or the same entity that you enroll in QuickBooks you will have no other choice but to create two records for them. So in this case you'll notice the display name is similar to the customer name or the vendor name. So we filed one under Jasmine Park, we filed one under Great Statewide Bank, and so in a way we satisfy the QuickBooks requirement of having a distinct or different customer name, and so that's really the reality of why those two records are there. So we're not going to try to purge them or fix them, because you're going to have an issue on the QuickBooks side if you attempt to do that.

On the other hand, those are two records for an employee, so we could can be simple and straightforward to make the decision that yes, that should have only been one employee record for Dmitri Smith. We only have one of them in the company and we should go ahead and put them together. Same thing with George Jackson. And proceed to clean up that list. So how do you handle that?

In Results what you're able to do is you basically say this and this are duplicates. And let's say you know that you can proceed to simply delete that record, so obviously you can then check this record or highlight and click on the 'Delete' button. That would be one way of throwing out the record. But that would be an extremely simplistic example, where you might have just imported some data, brought the data in and all of a sudden you have a situation where you want to remove the duplicates and that's straightforward.

The more complex situation is when you start finding out that you have multiple records under each. So, in other words, if I highlight those two, check them both off, and then click on open, I'm going to see both records. My turnout that, let's say these were client records instead of employee records, and you might find out that you have a bunch of activities under one record, and a bunch of other activities under the other record. So it's not a simple matter of just deleting one of them, because then those records, being on the same record, you will not be able to delete the record directly. That's where the 'Combine Contacts' come in.

'Combine Contacts' basically takes care of all the requirements of satisfying any data that might have been entered under different tabs here; projects, documents, activities, invoices, etc. if there is any such records it will actually combine them under the surviving record and throw out physically the other record. So that's how 'Combine Contacts' work and that's why it's so powerful and a better tool to do, to use when you're eliminating the duplicates.

So in this case I'm going to go and say, "Okay, we're going to deal with those two records." We're going to click on 'Combine Contacts', and in this case you'll notice the tool comes up. By the way, 'Combine Contacts' can handle up to six records at the same time. So you can have six check marks here or six duplicates that are identified that are going to be handled. So effectively this is how the tool works. What it's going to do is basically says, "Okay. These are your two duplicate records." I’m going to show you every single field we have at them, because sometimes you might have maybe an email address on one and a different phone number on the other, or some other data that allows us to want to preserve that data and not have it in the other system.

This is interesting, by the way, you'll notice when I scroll down the records I found out that ... you see this QuickBooks item listing here? Found out that this record is in QuickBooks while the other record is not in QuickBooks. So by reviewing the list of fields and what's available in the contact record I'm able to make a decision which one is the one worth preserving. So it's an easy decision here. This is the one that's already a part of our synchronization with QuickBooks, this is the record we're going to keep. And to keep the record you basically check this mark here, and now you've told the system that you want to keep the account that has account number 1123 is the one, is the version of the record that you want to preserve.

The system will automatically go through the records so that you don't have to do it manually, and it will look for any kind of nuggets of information on the left side, in this case, and say, "Okay, hey, look. I notice I found a job title in this record, Sales Consultant, but there was no job title here." So it tries to be smart enough on its own and says, "Okay, unless you object or tell me otherwise I'm going to grab this title and grab it for you and put it in this field right there." It alerts, because it shows it in green to make it easy. So we're going to agree with that. We're not going to push back.

Same thing here it's how the country is for the country information will come across, phone numbers are the same, email addresses are the same, so they will be fine. Oh, there's an assign to on this one, but no assign to here, so it's going to grab it from the left side. So effectively ... oh, it found net terms, also, on the left side but not the right side. So all of those are agreeable.

So everything it's going to grab for us from the record that we're about to throw out, which is 1030, is going to be okay with us. So we're not going to push back on any of those. In this case, I'm going to go ahead and proceed, and do a combine records. I'm going to try to keep it simple right now. So in the next iteration I'm going to show you an example, what if you find a phone number here that's different than the phone number here? In other words you want to keep them both. How do you get to do that when you can only check one green at a time? There's a way to do that and I'll show you that. It's based on editing a current cell.

We'll do that later on. For now, we're going to simply proceed with saying we agree with the approach. We're going to combine the two records. And it just finished. It basically has merged the completed ... merge has completed successfully.

You'll notice right now that the previous two records that were here as duplicates for Dmitri are no longer in the system. The reason for that is we already purged one of them and so there's no more duplicates found. Nevertheless you're able to go and find the surviving records.

So I typed 1123 in the search area in the top of the screen, and here comes the Dmitri Smith that's still in the system. Let's go confirm what happened with that title and all the other assign to and other things that's there. Notice the title stayed with the surviving record. USA stayed with the surviving record. If you go to the additional info, admin is the assign to. So this is truly the best of combination of both, and whatever was on the tabs down here; emails, associates, invoices, documents, whatever might have been on either system, on either record, end up surviving and staying with the remaining record on the system itself, which is exactly what you need.

All right. So, that's example number one. That was a very basic, very simple example. Let's keep that alone right now and I'm going to go ahead and click on 'Manage' again. As you probably know and have done in Results. Results allows you to open as many windows of Results as you want, and this way instead of canceling this, so we can have it as a reference, let's go to the new area. And this time we're going to engage the 'Find Duplicates' one more time, but now we're going to use a different methodology. Instead of using first name and last name, let's just use the company name, and see if we find any records. So we did. We have two records here that are under Computer Services by DJ, and we have three of them under this QuickBooks file.

So this is another example; a vendor record and a client record coming from QuickBooks, so again you stay away from those. You don't try to merge them because you're going to end up creating more harm than good in this case, because that was exactly what QuickBooks will force you to do. And so these are distinct here by having a unique name, and so you can ignore the fact that this is actually a duplicate, because it is an intentional duplicate.

Let's save this example up here, and then look at this as an example where you might have data coming in from Outlook, as an example. Outlook, as you know, is what's called a flat file. If you know three people at a certain company, you're going to end up with three contact records for them in Outlook. But in QuickBooks or Results; these are account level systems. They represent the company record as the primary record and associates for the sub contacts in there. So effectively in that kind of an example you want to do it slightly differently. You would want to take the three records that came in from Outlook as three distinct records for say John, Jane and Harry, and then designate one of them as a primary entity and restructure the account in a hierarchy approach.

So let's do that. We're going to take those few records and show you exactly how this is done. First, let me open them and put some examples in here. Let's say this record was for Jane Smith. And we're going to hit save, and let's say this record was for Harry Tomson. And we're going to do that, and this record is for Sally Harrold, and we'll hit that.

What I gave you right now is effectively an example where you're dealing with three contact records out of Outlook that got imported into Results and we found them and now what we need to do is say, "We can't leave those three records here. That's going to cause a problem for us." So what we really want to do is actually have those entities restructured in a hierarchy where we can designate, let's say Jane, as the primary account holder, and then the other two are going to go in there as sub-entities or people that work at that firm.

How do you handle that? The way you handle that is the following. You still select those three, because you're going to deal with them as eliminating the duplicates, and we're going to go over to the same tool that would be called 'Combine Contacts'. There's a different approach, though, which we're planning to do. We're going to keep Jane as a primary person, so we select the primary account that's going to stay in the system, but notice if we proceed to do a combine records, that means we're purging. Throwing out 112 and 113. We said here in this example we don't want to do that.

So you see this question here that says keep as an associate? This keep question? So you check this box and this box. And that's where the magic happens. What we're basically saying is that we're going to take those three records that came in from Outlook, because that's how Outlook works, and we're going to bring them in and we're going to restructure them in a hierarchy and make them sub-accounts.

By the way, we do not lose the ability to continue to bi-directly synchronize with Outlook, in case, for example, there's a new email address or a phone number. These records continue to exist and they can continue to bidirectionally update them between Results and Outlook. But you can also now take the single vendor record and just synchronize with QuickBooks, so we'll only have had one vendor record for them.

And so Results becomes the magical hub that allows you to synchronize with Outlook bidirectionally, with QuickBooks bidirectionally, and work with the data that way it needs to be managed.

So, in this case then, we can do a quick review of this information, see if there's any kind of odd things that are going to come up. There isn't, we're going to proceed to do a combine records. And we're going to say yes. We're going to click 'Okay'. Remember again what's going to happen now when you close this, as soon as you click 'Okay' and this screen closes, those two records are going to disappear because they no longer exist as contact records. So there's no longer a duplication.

Nevertheless, if I go in and look for 1111, and look for that record, there is the 1111, the four one's here. By the way, the reason the other record was found is more likely because there's a four ones somewhere in there. The search, when you're looking at the top of the screen, is an extremely powerful search that allows you to look across multiple pieces of data. It will actually look in the phone numbers area in case there's such a partial number. It will look in the notes field to see if there are four ones sitting next to each other. So, it will look in multiple fields to find where the record can match, and that's why it found it.

By the way; it will also look in the associate records. So if you have associate records, and this one I know does, and if you go to the associate records and walk through that data, there it is. That's why it found that record; there was a phone number that has four ones in it and as such that whole account got identified as matching that search criteria. And so, don't be surprised when you see a search appear, find for you multiple records. There's usually a reason it comes in for those searches.

Okay, let's go into the 1111, which is the account you were concerned about. And the point that I wanted to make now is that if you go and look at the associates, how many records are we going to expect to see in the associates? Alright, everybody that says two, good job.

So effectively that means that now you'll notice that we still have Jane Smith as the primary, and now we have two records; one for Harry and one for Sally as sub-associates or sub-records. So effectively, Outlook is still satisfied. We know three people at that company, but we can't treat them as three different records, otherwise we'll end up with excess records in QuickBooks and that's not going to be a good fit. Now you structure them as a primary one and these two can be treated as jobs in QuickBooks.

If you're using QuickBooks online, they actually now have sub-contacts in there, and so these can go over to QuickBooks online as a sub-contact or they can go over to QuickBooks, if you want, as a job. The hierarchy will be protected.

Alright, let's move onto another example. In this example we're going to take advantage of another thing we can do in Results, which has the built in phonetic search or 'Sounding Search', sometimes it's called. The idea behind the phonetic search; it basically says, "Look I don't know exactly the spelling of the name."

So let's go and do a phonetic search on first and the last name. Don't let this surprise you but you're going to see some interesting records in here.

For example; Jenny MC Kenzy. So notice Jenny MC Kenzy and Jennie MC Kinzi, even though they're written differently, if you sound the way the name is, that's called phonetic search. And results can find those. Right, look at Greg and George Jackson. So even the last name is spelt exactly the same, there's a variation here. How about Fred or Freddy Murphy? Notice, by the way, google this and you'll find Murphy is one of those interesting names with an unbelievable amount of variation in how the names written. By the way, there's also and 'ie' version up here. Anyway, in this example you'll notice Murfy with and 'F' versus 'PH', with an extra vowel or not. All of those are tackled ... excuse me ... tackled and handled.

By the way, exact searches or exact matches. Cristina Jimenez, obviously these auto-match. Even though the sound the same, but they're also spelt the same. So a phonetic search effectively brings in everything that we would have seen here under exact matches of the first name and the last name. Notice George Jackson was harder to find. And now because you wrote in the phonetic capability, we also were able to find the right Jackson because potentially it's a soundalike or a phonetic equivalence.

John and Jane, effectively the way the phonetic search works, it's a very complex formula, but some of the basics there is that it removes duplicate letters, it removes the soundalikes. Like a 'ph', 'f' are the same sounds even though they're written differently. It removes the vowels so that's why Jane and John effectively, could be, potentially, a duplicate because they sound similar.

Alright, let's focus on something like Jennie MC Kinzi there and/or Freddy Murfy or Fred Murphy. The idea there is that you're dealing with maybe somebody taking the phone order or the call and they basically instead of asking the person, "Can you spell exactly you enter it or how you put your name in?" They wanted me to guess on how the name's written. So they wrote it as 'Jenny' and MC Kenzy written this way. But the reality is that, that name was already in the system it's just the user did not know how to search for it or they did not factor that they can do phonetic search and results. In results, if you want to search phonetically, would do you do? You just check that box and you type the name. It will find it for you.

Right, so the bottom line is; this is how those kind of duplicates get introduced and so you're able to deal with them the same way. You can basically say, "Look those two are duplicates." And by the way, let's take this as an example.

So in this case Jane, one record, has three activities. This record has four activities. There might have been some invoices on one of the two records, or some documents or some other data. Projects, quotations, document information, groups. So anything that you might find there. There's three groups on one record and there's none on the other record, etc.

So the bottom line is that this is more of a complex record where you're dealing with, in one case a vendor record or a prospects record, or a client’s record or a prospects record; whatever the reality is we really need to use the 'Combined Contacts', but the 'Combined Contacts' has more work to do.

So, let's go and engage that. We're going to go to the 'Combine Contacts', we're going to choose one of them, it doesn't matter which. And so now we're dealing with a little bit more. Let's go with 1009. So we're going to deal with that as the record that we want to keep. And now, if you scroll the left side you're going to be able to spot anything that might be shown in the other record, assuming again that there are two duplicates and you want to merge them together. Anything that stands out. In this case there's two entities that are refined in green, you can decide if these are applicable and you want to bring them over, because the system is going to do that unless you tell it to otherwise.

Now, this is the example I was mentioning to you before. Notice how in this record we have a phone number that's different than those phone numbers. Ideally, if I'm going to be throwing out this account for Jennie MC Kinzi, 1002, I'd like to preserve anything of value. So what does that mean? That means I want to keep that number. Well if I chose that number, what's going to happen? It's going to think, "Hey I want that number but now you're going to get rid of this number, because it's not green, that means it's not going to get preserved."

So what you really want is the following; what you can do in Results is go to a field, you say, "Look I want to edit that field." And so now you're in edit mode. You can highlight whatever you want here. You can now copy, right click, hold it and copy or do a control C, control V, whatever you're comfortable with. And now I can go down to this field and say, "I'm going to put this phone number that is here, that's about to be lost, I'm going to put it in here. And I'm going to preserve it." So now what you do here is right click and do a paste. And you're going to keep the check mark. So what's the end result? You're keeping this number and you now have an additional number.

And maybe what you want to do, you see the extension field? And that will hold in it whatever you want to keep. So, maybe you want to say "from dup," so that will end up being the note next to that phone number, so it's very obvious as to what's going on with that data coming into the system.

Let's go to do 'Combine Records' at this time, and see what happens. So we're going to be keeping 1009, 1002 is gone, so notice this drops out from the list of records in the system. So let's now go and look for 1009 and another example of that where we probably have 1009 somewhere on the technology ink, more typically because it's a four digit. It's going to be somewhere ... 1009, it's right here. It's part of a zip code. Anyway, there's always a reason, alright? With computers but there's always a good reason why it found that record for you and it did match the four digits of 1009.

Now, let's stay focused on Jenny for a minute and see what happened with that account. Remember there were two of them right? One had four activities, one had three activities, so let's do the simple math and off you go to activities. How many activities should we have? Two, four, six, seven, right? We combined the activities from both records under the surviving record in this here; 1007. How about that extra phone number that we grabbed? There it is. And it just didn't want to label ... we didn't want to label just mobile without an explanation. We basically said this came in from the dup. Notice what we typed in the extension? That showed up under the surviving record.

There were groups, by the way, three of them I think? Right? Yeah. So if one of them had a group, it doesn't matter which one, the surviving record will end up inheriting those three groups that are there. Anything else that was there, right? So there might have been an associate, there might have been documents, there might have been invoices, there might have been service orders, there might have been emails. Whatever there is, it's going to stay with the surviving record. Including the tricky stuff that we deal with where we wanted to preserve some text from one field or the other.

Alright, well we covered quite a bit today. As you noticed earlier, there are a bunch of additional tools available to you in 'Refine Duplicates' so you could have found duplicates. Sometimes you have a record that the name and the other record that has the company name, and so you're never going to match them or find them based on the searches, right? Because it's incomplete information.

So this is why we give you something like an 'Add Refine' one. It just happens that those have the same name, but they could have had partial names. In this case, the address line one and the city are the same, but we could have had a company name in one and a name of a person in the other one. Notice, by the way, you'd never have found those duplicates based on company name. You would have found them, in this case, on address and/or name.

The other things available to you that are kind of very helpful are email address. So you want to find duplicates based on the primary address. In this case ... oh, that's a good example. You would never have found this record based on name, but because they have the same email address you were able to find them. And so if you scroll over to the email address field, or as you remember a result, you can reorganize your Data Management Center to match exactly how you want to see data. So whether you're doing duplicate checking or if it's helpful for you to see the email address here. Or here, remove things you don't want to see all the time. Like job title might not be as important so move it over, out of the way, to the less used portion of the Data Management Center. Or not, whatever works for you.

So the bottom line you end up with the ability to see the data that's going to help you manage the best ... make the best decisions regarding the how to manage the duplicates you're going to find in the system.

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