How Do I… Handle Duplicate Contacts

What to do with duplicate contact records.

Let’s talk about Duplicate Contact Records. Sometimes, it’s difficult to determine what a duplicate is. Is John Smith and Jonathan Smith the same person? If there’s two John Smiths, they both have the same address but different phone numbers, are those duplicate? The way we handle duplicates here, we’re going to go into Reports, and then go to Duplicate Contacts. Let’s say we want to say, “Show me everybody in the database that has the same street address.” Okay, so the system’s going to look and say, “Okay. There’s two people at 1019 Rilla Place.” I see that it’s Thomas Johnson and I see that it’s Tom Johnson. I see the phone numbers are exactly the same, so I’m going to guess that is a duplicate.

The next question is, “Which ones do we delete?” Some of them might have data on it, some may not have data. Right here I can see that this record has four Notes on it and this record has one To-Do on it, and the top record here has no Notes and no To-Dos. I’m going to guess that this second record here is the main record. I’m going to go look at this one. I want to make sure there’s no data that I need to save here, and then I can just go edit it and delete it. Okay. Now, when I go back to Reports and Duplicates, Street Address, you will see that that record no longer shows up on our duplicate list. That’s how you do it for Street Address. You can also look at records with first name and last name are the same, just last name are the same, email address is the same. If I want to say, “Show me everybody with first and last names that are the same,” I’ve got three Fred Halls and I’ve got different phone numbers and different addresses, so I’m going to guess they’re not duplicates.

But that’s why we give you this tool, so you can decide and make the decision. You never want the system to assume something and delete a record that shouldn’t be deleted. Here we have Stephen Parker, same email, different phone numbers, different addresses. I’m guessing that’s the same person, maybe he moved. Then I’ve got Todd Jackson with the same address but different phone numbers, one has an email. You kind of get the idea here. You will go in and go into each record here, and you can just click here to get to the record. Then you can decide which one should be deleted and which one should be kept. One thing you might want to do is print the Contact Record right here. You could print both records out and compare them and decide which one you want to keep and if there’s any data that you want to combine.

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