When you have hundreds and thousands of records in your CRM, as your business grows, it becomes a very difficult task to check for duplicates. Zoho CRM provides you with an option to check if a record already exists in your CRM account by using the concept of unique fields.
A unique field is that field in a record whose value makes the record unique. Email addresses of people are good examples of unique fields because clearly, two people cannot have the same Email address. It is a very unique attribute. Other examples include Social Security Numbers, Passport Numbers, Product codes and the like. In Zoho CRM, you can mark a field from any module as "Unique". Once marked as "Unique", these fields play a vital role in managing duplicate records in Zoho CRM in various instances including manual creation of records as well as records created via import, APIs, lead/sales order/quote coversion.
The administrator or a user with the Customize Zoho CRM profile permission will be able to mark a field as unique. Once a field is marked as unique in a module, you will be able to arrest the creation of duplicate records in that module via manual creation, imports, integrations, web forms and so on.
Permission Required: All the users can use this feature once it is enabled.
Mark a field as unique
Users with the Customize Zoho CRM permission in profile can enable this feature. All the Administrators will receive an email notification, when this feature is enabled or disabled. Please note that you need to enable it separately for the Leads and Contacts module. Once it is enabled, all the users can use it and they will be notified while adding a lead or a contact whose email address already exists in CRM.
Click on this link to know how to mark a field as unique and related notes: Mark a field as unique
There are different ways of adding a record in Zoho CRM. You can fill the lead/contact form, clone a record, use the web forms, import records, use API and use many other ways to add records. Below, you will find the various scenarios when email duplication check is performed.
- Create and Edit records - You will get a notification message and you will not be able to save the record if the email address already exists in another record.
- Related Lists - The email address duplication check will also be done when you create contacts in Related Lists.
- Lookup pop-up box - While creating leads/contacts from the lookup field's pop-up box, email address duplication check will be performed.
- Web form - Only records pulled from web-to-lead/contact forms will have the email duplication check. In case there is a duplicate found, it will be automatically sent for approval, even if the Lead/Contact Approval option is disabled. Only after the records are reviewed and approved, will it be added in the module. See Also Approve Records
- Clone - When you clone a record, in the Clone Lead/Contact page, the Email value will be automatically removed. You can add a different email address and save the record.
- Import - With the email address duplication check enabled, the Clone option will be disabled. You will be able to choose either Skip or Overwrite option as an action item for duplicate entries. When you choose the option to overwrite, Lead/Contact ID cannot be mapped.
- Mobile App - While adding a record using the Zoho CRM Mobile App, duplicate check will be performed and you will not be able to create duplicate Leads or Contacts.
- For API Methods - Following are the scenarios, when the email address duplication check is enabled:
- insertRecord API Method - Using this API method, if you add a record with an email address that already exists in the CRM account, you will receive a notification message: <message>Record(s) already exists</message>. The record will not be added.
- updateRecord API Method - Using this API method, if you update the Email field in a record, the email address duplication check will be performed. If a similar email address already exists in the CRM account, then the record will not be updated. While updating multiple records, it will be skipped.
- convertLead API Method - Using this API method, if you convert a lead, the email address duplication check will be performed. If a similar email address already exists in the CRM account, then the record will not be converted.
- When a field has been marked as unique, it field cannot be removed from the module layout. Also, you cannot remove the section that contains the unique field.
- If the Zoho defined Email field is hidden, this feature will not be available.
Email address duplication check will not be performed in the following scenarios:
- Updating or adding records using Zoho Sheet View.
- During Data Migration.
- Restoring records from the Recycle Bin.
- Synchronizing contacts using Zoho CRM Plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, Google Contacts Sync features.