This is a public Idea Center  publicRSS

Idea

    48 liked this

    [Not Planned] Ability to merge contacts easily
    Idea posted September 13, 2010 by vivtedExpert, last edited July 14, 2015 by KeriInnovator, tagged System Admin and Configuration 
    2817 Views, 28 Comments
    Title:
    [Not Planned] Ability to merge contacts easily
    User Story / Description:

    We frequently have people respond to incidents from more than one email address.  When we are adding contacts and realize someone already has a 2 contact records with different email addresses, we would like an easy way to merge the two contacts and merge the list of incidents assigned onto one contact record.  It could be something like adding both contact records to an incident and then merging them.  Or from the contact list, being able to designate 2 contacts to merge into one with one having the primary email address and the 2nd one becoming the alternate email address. 

    Comment

    • Mark Schwanke

      I agree. I see this problem in our Call center.  It would be good to know this from the Hive side as well so that if you ban someone and they create another account you can merge it with the banned account and keep all their info together.

      Mark

    • ihays

      I think this is a good idea, the only thing is what would you do about logins?  We use the email address as the login.  So would the primary email address take over as the login?  Or what if you are not using the email address as a login, but just using some sort of screenname as a login.  How would you decide which screenname is the login?  Just something to think about.

      Ian

    • vivted

      Good point about the logins.  We don't use them very much.  But perhaps in the merge, you could designate the master contact and the one you want to merge into it and the login on the master contact would apply.  Or perhaps you could just have a function to move all the incidents from one contact to another and leave the old empty contact if you needed to still have that login active.

      Just some brainstorm ideas.

    • Opie

      I would really like to see this feature.  We have thbe same exact problem.

    • MarkSchwanke

      For Social I would prefer to have a username as the unique identifier in addtion to the email address. It seems there is a Display name, username and email address in a profile. The user should be able to login with either their email address or their username. The username is then used as their display name. People don't typically want to have their full name displayed in a public community when participating. THe idea is typically to be anonymous unless you are an internal community or a B2B community. The problem with having the display name is that two separate people could have the same full name. In that case If I want to create an account and there is already another user with the same name as me I have to add something to it to be unique. 

      Whichever the case the user would choose their username. For the benefit of the community manager I would recommend that you do not allow the user to change their screenname however without permission of the administrator or admin. Otherwise you'll have trouble creating and sustaining an ongoing relationship with your userbase. The troublemakers will keep changing their username to try to fly under the radar. If you eventually ban them from community participation and they are able to change their username they will just creep up with a new account under the same or similar username.

      From a call center/email/chat support perspective they would always have the ability to call or chat with you so while some of their privileges might be revoked they can still contact you though their options might be limited. Overall your support team will be better able to help them if they can have an entire view of the customer.

       

      Mark

    • MarkSchwanke

      We're launched our community now so I thought I should provide some additional feedback to hopefully save some headaches for others.

      We have SSO enabled so we're using email address as login. There are some users who were grandfathered in an may be using a "username" to login though we did attempt to make all email addresses the same as login and put everything in lowercase. We've found that phones sometimes capitalize the first letter of the login field. Since the login field is case sensitive a user with login of Username@domain.com is different from a login of username@domain.com. Therefore the person get's confused when their login is invalid because their email address isn't all in lowercase.

      I've found.

      Email address should be case insensitive/unique.

      Web Login: Email address or 'username" could be used but it should be case insensitive/unique. If you choose web login to be an email address it is best that you use the same email address as the email address requested for a password reset even if you can assign email addresses. Having the Web login email address to be different from the contact/reset password email address causes confusion.

      Display name(Community Only): For some internal sites people might like to use actual names though this is generally frowned upon in public communities where anonymity is prefered. I honestly prefer Display name and username to be the same though I know some have the preference to keep them separate. If display name and username are the same they should be unique. If they are separate, display name wouldn't need to be unique though in the interest in confusion it might be better if they are unique. Submitting a prohibited terms should also be included so you don't get a list of *** out users that you can't locate.

      Excluding characters from login/usernames is important as it makes it difficult for search if certain characters are allowed. The (*) wildcard symbol isn't recommended as it will make it challenging to find the user. Similarly having a minimum number of characters  and a maximum will improve search and minimize formatting issues.

      Based on what I have found above I've seen a lot of duplication in "web login" as it isn't required to be unique. Email address is required to be unique. When a user tries to reset their password they don't receive the password reset because 1 the web login doesn't have an email address associated to it or if they do receive it it asks for an email address and but their is already a second account with the same email address.

      Example 1:

      Account 1. Email address username1@domain.com web login username1@domain.com

      Account 2. Email address (blank) web login username1@domain.com

      No email address is received or it will report that email address is already in use

      Example 2:

      Account 1. Email address username1@domain.com web login username2@domain.com

      Account 2. Email address username2@domain.com web login username2@domain.com

      Email is received but password is invalid

      Example 3:

      Account 1. Email address username1@domain.com web login username2@domain.com

      Account 2. Email address username2@domain.com web login username1@domain.com

      Email is received but password is invalid

      Example 4:

      Account 1. Email address username1@domain.com web login username2@domain.com

      Account 2. Email address username2@domain.com web login username3@domain.com

      Email is received but weblogin/password is invalid

      Example 4:

      Account 1. Email address username1@domain.com web login username2@domain.com.invalid

      or

      Account 1. Email address username1@domain.com web login username2@domain.com.001

      Email is received but weblogin/password is invalid

      Example 5:

      Account 1. Email address (blank) web login username1@domain.com

      Email not received

      Example 5:

      Account 1. Email address username1@domain.com web login (blank)

      No account exists but email address is in use.

      Hopefully I've covered a majority of the use cases.

      In most cases I move all the "incidents" to one contact and then delete the other account. This can be a manual process if the user has lots of incidents.

      Even when they are a member of the community and only have posts it is possible to reduce to one account. However, in the cases where both accounts have Community Comments, I'm unable to move the comments from one account to the other even though the posts can be moved. This requires that I leave both accounts open which isn't ideal if you want to make sure that you are trying to handle the customer with completeness.  Having multiple records also creates a challenge for future calls to support if they don't have the entire view of the customer.

      In the case where a user has a call center support account with one email address and a community accountwith another email address with a little bit of activity but a contact center record with lots of incidents, sometimes it would be a lot of effort to move incidents to the community account. Furthermore It's impossible to move the login information from the community account over to the call center account and user the community credentials as the Cloud Ops has to sync the accounts so the community record and rnt desktop database matches. Being able to consolidate the account to allow either email address and either password to login to access the account is ideal. Having this functionality available would encourage other companies to be comfortable with moving to Oracle

      For us a big inhibitor was getting the data moved over with as little frustration to our customers as possible.

      @Erik

      To add to your considerations when choosing what account to be the master. Sensitivity should be paid to users of communities. Maintaining their choice whenever possible. When a user realizes they have two accounts due to multiple email addresses or phone numbers they should be offered a way to authenticate ownership of both and then choose themselves which they choose to be Master and which to be slave or be eliminated. Certainly an agent could help with identifying that consolidation needs to happen but the actual choices should be made by the customer.

       

      Mark

       

       

    • jenn

      I'd also like to see this functionality, including being able to move survey scores from one contact to another.

    • Keri
      jenn said:

      ...including being able to move survey scores from one contact to another.

      Hi Jenn - Please be sure the latter part of this comment is posted separately to the Idea Lab. With that, we can possibly consider this for the Surveys roadmap. I will allow others to comment on the contact merge itself.

      Thank you,
      Keri

    • Rajat Singh

      Would love to have this functionality. Having problems with duplicate contacts in Oracle Service Cloud.

      Thanks,

      Rajat ...

    • Kyle

      Agreed, would love to see an easy merge feature for contacts. We frequently have duplicate contacts and it's a PITA to manually and tediously move incidents from one record over to another. It would be great to just have a command with options such as:

      1. Choose which contact record should be kept as the primary.
      2. Add the email address on the secondary contact record as an alt email on the primary.
      3. Delete the secondary contact record once the merge is complete.
    • MarkSchwanke
      Kyle-
      
      We have set up a report to move all incidents at once to the original
      contact record. Being able to delete the duplicate is a function the admin
      sets. I used to be able to delete but our admin has turned that off. Our
      general agents have never been able to do so.
      
      I am a community and a CX Customer. There is no merge for contact records
      on the community side or even a work around. We can fortunately do things
      via the steps I provided above but it is a workaround at best.
      
      Mark
      
    • Rajat Singh

      All, Found TransferSubObjects operation in documentation which is used to move sub-objects from one contact to another contact. Refer below link :

      Search for transferSubObjects :

      http://documentation.custhelp.com/euf/assets/devdocs/may2015/Connect_PHP/Default.htm

       

    • Keri

      As Rajat listed, there is an API that can help. There's no current plan to create a User Interface for this option, but that is always subject to change. For now, I've marked this as Not Planned.

      Thank you,
      Keri

    • Sean Ryan
      Kyle said:

      Agreed, would love to see an easy merge feature for contacts. We frequently have duplicate contacts and it's a PITA to manually and tediously move incidents from one record over to another. It would be great to just have a command with options such as:

      1. Choose which contact record should be kept as the primary.
      2. Add the email address on the secondary contact record as an alt email on the primary.
      3. Delete the secondary contact record once the merge is complete.
      View original

      As a new adopter of the service cloud, I have to agree with this as well. It is a tremendous PITA for a new roll out when users are still learning and creating new contacts when they should be searching. Training can reduce it over time, but this is a time waster and there are to many opportunities for errors.

    • Brad Orr

      We would LOVE this as well.  We probably spend a couple hours a week easily just merging accounts and changing the contact on incidents so that we don't lose the reporting/incidents for that customer to an account that is not related to their primary account.

      An easy merge would be awesome.  I would love to be able to pick which account as the primary, copy over any incidents from the "shell" account, and delete that account to clean up our contact records.