A core tenet of Salesforce is to have “a single source of truth.” We want all our key touchpoints with a customer to be in one system — so that employees across different departments can all see the same information. We don’t want key notes getting lost!
If that’s the case — then what effect do duplicates have in a system?
Duplicates undermine the entire premise of “single source of truth.”
Because on one record for a contact we see her phone number and email. But then on a duplicate record we see a note that says “She loves our product but NEVER CALL HER BEFORE LUNCH TIME!”
Well, clearly that warning is ineffective if it’s not on the same page as her phone number!
Duplicates aren’t just problematic because you can miss key data — but they also propagate bad data. Any reporting, formulas, etc. that summarize your data will produce bad results when duplicates are in the mix.
And your team will quickly abandon using fields like “last touchpoint” because they will yield deceptive information.
Users need to trust their data. Like any relationship–Trust is at the foundation. As duplicates erode trust, the entire structure becomes more shaky. But this is avoidable!
So how do we fix it?
Salesforce has a “free” built-in duplicate detection tool. It’s better than nothing but it’s primitive. It’s very black and white and that’s not the real world. The real nature of potential duplicates is that they’re shades of grey. We need to be more nuanced.
My favorite duplicate tool is “Duplicate Check” and what I love is that different rules can yield varying levels of confidence in a pair being a true duplicate.
And so you could have a rule that 100% confidence level pairs are auto-merged. But 75% confident pairs go to a report for manual review.
Users tell me they absolutely love the Real Time potential duplicates show up when they’re creating a new contact. The section in the blue bubble pops up as a friendly option and prevents trouble before it starts!
For the annual investment most firms are spending on Salesforce, the Duplicate check tools are such an absolute no-brainer for ROI.