Duplicate records occur when individual customers have more than one Customer Record (also known as customer accounts) on your system.
While it’s not possible to create multiple Customer Records with the same email address on your Spektrix system, sometimes Duplicates can occur for other reasons.
In this article we’ll cover:
- What are potential duplicates?
- The potential duplicate metric
- Flagging potential duplicates
- Verifying duplicates
Duplicates are when a single customer has more than one Customer Record. Duplicates can be caused in a number of different ways such as when a customer creates two online accounts with different email addresses.
Potential duplicates are Customer Records which have the potential to be duplicates - for example, two accounts with the same first name and last name but different email or postal addresses.
Customer Records can look as though they are duplicates but actually are not - customers with the same name who live in the same postcode, for instance.
In some cases they will be unique accounts, or in other cases they might be duplicates.
With the use of the Potential Duplicate metric in Spektrix you can easily identify all Customer Records that may be considered a potential duplicate.
The Potential Duplicate is a calculated metric identifies potential duplicate accounts based on Customer Records with similar names and addresses.
The Potential Duplicate metric criteria is:
- Customers who have either the same first initial, last name and postcode/ zip code.
- The same first initial, last name and first line of address.
Once potential duplicates are flagged, then you must manually go through all flagged Customer Records to decide whether they are duplicates or not.
This is because when you look into flagged records on your system, some will be genuine duplicates, while others will prove to be unique.
To flag potential duplicates we’ll use the Potential Duplicate metric in an Auto Tag.
To do this go to the Admin Interface > Customers > Tags.
- First create a new Tag Group with a descriptive name, for example ‘Duplicates’.
- Next, within this Tag Group create a normal Tag named ‘Not a Duplicate’ or similar.
- Then, within the same Tag Group, create a new Auto Tag.
- Within the new Auto Tag, create a new Local Segment named something like ‘Potential Duplicates’ and choose Customer segment.
- Uncheck the Commonly used criteria box to see all of the available options. Expand the Individuals wrapper and drag the Potential Duplicate criteria down into the criteria section.
- Next, drag and drop the new Segment into the drop criteria here box in the main filter.
- Create a second New Local Segment named ‘Verified records’ and choose Customer segment.
- Uncheck the Commonly used criteria box to see all of the available options. Expand the Individuals wrapper and drag the Tag criteria down into the criteria section.
- From the drop down, select the Normal Tag you created. Click Add to add this into the criteria. Click Ok to go back to the filter.
- Next, drag the first segment into the criteria next to the first segment connecting them with the AND criteria.
- Check the Not box on the second segment to exclude everyone with the Normal Tag from this Auto Tag.
- If you use the Facilitated Booking feature, follow these steps to make sure any Attendee Accounts are also included.
If you use the Facilitated Booking feature, you will need to create a slightly different Auto Tag. The Potential Duplicates metric won’t pick up any accounts created from the Choose Attendee page online because these accounts are created without any address data.
To include any Attendee Accounts within the Auto Tag, you will also need to create an additional Local Segment. Choose Customer segment and look for Individuals without a billing address.
Make sure to leave the Has Billing Address option unchecked, so that it looks for Individuals who do not have a billing address.
Once that’s done, add the new segment into the Auto Tag under the OR box.
- At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a checkbox marked Run this autotag after a customer is created and after a transaction is confirmed. The Auto Tag for potential duplicates will run overnight regardless of whether this box is checked or not.
WARNING: An Auto Tag using the Potential Duplicate metric will always be applied overnight. Any new customers that are created each day will require at least 24 hours in the system for the Auto Tag to apply.
Once the Auto Tag has been applied, follow the steps in the next section to verify which accounts are duplicates.
Next we’ll cover the steps for checking duplicates.
- Navigate to the Sales Interface > Customers.
- Click the Advanced Search button.
- Click the Edit Tags button.
- From the list, check the box next to the Potential Duplicates (AutoTag).
- The results of customer records with the Potential Duplicates Auto Tag will now display beneath the search criteria.
- Next, look into each individual Customer Record and determine whether they are duplicates or not.
Once you have determined whether a record is a duplicate or not, you should then:
- Merge any accounts which you can confirm are duplicates. Take a look at our article on How to Merge Customer Records for step by step instructions.
TIP: You can only merge two accounts together at once. If you find customers who have three or more duplicate accounts you’ll need to merge them together in stages.
- Tag any accounts which are not duplicates using the Normal Tag you created to signal that this Customer Record has been checked.
The Auto Tag will be removed overnight from any accounts which have had the Normal Tag manually applied.
Alternatively, instead of searching within the Sales Interface, you could also use a Customer List to find the customers with this Auto Tag. You may also wish to exclude Customer Records with the manual Tag who you know to not be duplicates. You could then export this as a CSV and work through the list manually, applying the manual Tag to validated accounts.
TIP: You can also set this up as a Customer List Schedule to be delivered on a daily or weekly basis, so this task can be completed regularly and you can keep on top of the data.
You also may wish to exclude commonly used Global Segments such as Members, Staff or Volunteers. You can also choose to exclude other manual Tags that you don’t need to check.
Finding and removing potential duplicates is a great way to keep on top of your system health.
To keep learning about ways to improve your system, take a look at the following articles:
- Consultancy at Spektrix
- System Health Check