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Managing Duplicate Data in Salesforce

Vimal Raj Patel owns an account in a reputed bank. Over the years, he has interacted with many sales representatives in person and over the phone. Recently, he has been receiving calls for the same products and queries multiple times from different bank employees. Despite pointing out the issue to customer service and representatives several times, it has not been resolved. Disappointed with this experience, he has decided to close his account and shift to a competitor bank.

Losing a customer due to a bad customer experience is the last thing sales teams need. So, where did the problem lie? The answer is in data records where Vimal Raj Patel was listed multiple times as V.R. Patel, Vimal Patel, Raj Patel, and Vimal Raj Patel. Mr. Patel must have been getting the same communication from different sales executives. With multiple records, it was difficult to look at the conversation history with that customer. It also took longer to resolve customer complaints, as data was being recorded at different places by different team members each time Mr. Patel called the bank.

Not only is duplicate data creating a negative brand image due to poor customer experience, but it is also resulting in wasted time and resources. This is because there is no way of verifying how marketing efforts are impacting the single customer, and every time the customer calls getting to the bottom of the requirement takes time for both, the customer as well as the company.

Salesforce makes it easy to manage duplicate data by use of Duplicate Rules and Matching Rules.

Data Deduplication with Salesforce

Let’s first understand what are Matching rules and Duplicate rules.

Matching Rules

These are the set of rules that define how matching or duplicate contacts are identified. A duplicate record is identified when the specified set of fields is matching or identical. This may be name, account number, company name, etc.

Duplicate Rules

These sets of rules define what action will be taken by the system when a matching or duplicate record is identified. For example, will the duplicate record be saved or blocked, etc.

Salesforce has a standard set of rules for business and person accounts, contacts, and leads. Custom rules can also be created for matching rules as well as duplicate rules.

Let’s look at how admin Minal avoided duplicate records for her team with matching and duplicate rules.

Creating Matching Rules

1. Minal searched and selected ‘Matching Rules’ in Quick Find in the left margin of the platform interface.

2. She created a New Rule and then selected the object, in this case, ‘Contact’ to define a rule and clicks Next.

3. Minal gives a name to the rule as ‘Custom Contact Matching Fuzzy Mailing Street’ and specifies the matching criteria. This means that she selects one or more fields for which the records need to be matched. There are two methods for matching.

    • a. Exact – This looks for strings that exactly match a pattern

b. Fuzzy – This looks for approximate matches to a pattern

If the Match Blank Fields checkbox is selected, then the records are considered matched if the specified fields in both records being compared are empty/blank. You can also specify a filter logic if required.

4. She clicks Save and activates the rule.

Creating Duplicate Rules

Minal now has to pair the matching rule with a duplicate rule to take the desired action against the creation of duplicate records.

1. Minal searches and selects ‘Duplicate Rules’ in Quick Find.

2. She then clicks on New Rule and selects the object ‘Contact’.

3. Minal gives a name and adds a description to the new rule. She chooses to enforce sharing rules.

    • a. Bypass Sharing Rules – The matching rule compares all records but only the records that the user has access to are displayed in the resulting list of possible duplicates

b. Enforce Sharing Rules – The matching rule only compares the records that the user has access to.

In both cases, only the records that the user has access to are included in the resulting list of possible duplicates.

4. Minal now needs to specify what action should be taken when a duplicate record is being created and edited. She can either allow or block duplicates from being saved.

    • a. Allow – Duplicate records can be saved but an alert is shown displaying existing similar records. The user can choose to open an existing record instead.

b. Block – The user is blocked from saving a duplicate record, and an alert showing similar records is displayed.

She chooses to block the creation of duplicate contacts. She also blocks her team from editing duplicate contacts. Here she also adds the Alert Text that will be displayed when creating a duplicate record.

5. Minal compares new updated contacts against existing contacts in Salesforce using the custom matching rule she created and then adds her duplicate rule.

Report on the Creation of Duplicate Accounts and Leads

In this case, Minal has not blocked her team from creating duplicates for other fields such as accounts or leads. So her team member, Rakesh, wants to see how the duplicate rules work. For this purpose, Minal sets up custom report types. Rakesh can now run reports on duplicate accounts and leads that might be created by team members bypassing the alerts given by the system.

1. Minal searches and selects ‘Report Types’ in Quick Find and then clicks on New Custom Report Type.

2. She selects the primary object as Accounts, enters a name for the report type, and stores it in the desired category, ‘Accounts & Contacts’.

3. Minal then selects Duplicate Record Items to display newly created duplicate account records in the report and then saves it to the report type.

4. Minal can also adjust the page layout. She repeats the same process for leads.

In the above example, the system identifies seven duplicate record items that can be investigated and corrected.

Minal can do it, so can you!

Minal realized that data duplication impedes the growth of business considering the additional resources and costs it consumes. Duplicate data also results in poor customer experience and harms the brand image of the company. With Salesforce, she could easily prevent and address duplicate records and avoid the hassles of multiple records for the same customer. This helps in keeping her sales teams ahead at all times.

You can keep your sales team ahead too! If you’d like to know how just write to us today for best salesforce practices.



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