When you work with your data: Contacts, Companies, Deals, Tickets etc, you can:
create new records manually
This all may simply create duplicates in your existing folder.
When importing from a csv file, on the very last step you will be asked to make sure you are not about to import those.
Select a field to match duplicates by (this field MUST be unique e.g. Email, ID, Phone number). Last name field is not unique as you can have contacts with the same last name. Phone number can be used in different formats and still be recognized by the system (e.g. 049 123 45 67, +49-123-45-67, 1234567, etc)
You can then choose: either import the duplicates but merge them with the existing (same records) and update them with the data from the file OR not import the duplicates at all.
2. When working with the folder (e.g. Contacts), you create a new record and by chance create the same contact. We can prevent it:
Go to the settings>duplicate prevention and click on create new rule for a specific folder.
When creating a new rule for duplicate prevention you can select a single unique identifier field by clicking on the drop down menu and selecting the field, for example e-mail address.
You can also create rules composed by more than one field. For example if the contact has the same Name, Family Name and Company.
The system can give you 1 option out of 2: either warn about the potential duplicate BUT allow you to create the record anyway OR forbid the duplicate creation.
You can add as many rules as you need.
3. When you type in the potential duplicate (with the option "forbid duplicate prevention"), the system will show you the existing record with the same value found and will not allow you creating the new record.
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