One of the new features in v6.5 is the ability to merge one contact into another. This merge function will transfer all the records from the Source contact to the Target contact, and then deletes the Source contact.
This function is controlled by User Permissions; you cannot execute this function unless one of your Roles has this permission. Just as it is advised not to give everyone Delete permissions, so too it is best to limit the users who can perform a Merge operation as it cannot be undone!
The Merge Contact operation follows this sequence:-
- In the contact list window select the Source contact, i.e. the contact you are going to merge into another contact
- invoke the Merge Contact command; the 'Merge Contact' form will pop-up
- In the Merge Contact form select the Target contact
- Update any data fields in the Target contact
- Click to perform the Merge operation
---> this will transfer all the Source Contact's linked records (e.g. activity notes, tasks, opportunities, etc...) to the Target contact and will delete the Source contact
Lets go through the steps in detail.
#1 find the Source contact, i.e. find the contact you want to merge into another one and delete.
In our example we have two contacts, Geoff Smith and George Smith, at the same company.
We want to merge Geoff Smith into George Smith.
In the Contacts module list all contacts with the last name starting with 'Sm..'
We notice that there are two people called Smith working at Fenestrae Fixtures.
Geoff Smith does not exist. We want to merge Geoff Smith into George Smith.
#2 right-mouse click on the Source contact to invoke the Merge function
The 'Merge Contact' command will open a new window. This window is rather wide as it will display the information of the Source contact and Target contact side by side.
We can see the information that has been recorded in Geoff Smith's contact record and that he has 3 activity notes, 1 task, 2 calendar appointments and 1 opportunity.
#3 Select the Target contact
Click on the yellow highlighted command link at the top of the Merge Contacts window to select the Target contact record.
A contact search window pops up and we just search for contact George Smith at Fenestrae Fixtures.
#4 Update data in the Target contact, if required
After you have selected the Target Contact you can see the Source and Target contacts side-by-side.
The Merge function will not overwrite the data in the Target contact with information from the Source contact. It is up to you to look at the data side by side and decide whether any information in the Target contact needs to be modified. Sometimes you will find that the Source and Target contacts have mostly the same information with only a few data fields being noticably different. You decide what, if anything, needs to be updated in the Target Contact.
In this example we can see that in Source Contact Geoff Smith we have recorded his favourite sport, team and shirt size. If we want this information in George Smith's record we simply enter that missing data and click on the 'Save Contact edits' button to save the changes to the Target Contact,
Compare the data in the Source contact with that in the Target contact and when you're satisfied that the Target contact contains the right data you can proceed to the final step which is to transfer the linked records.
#5 Transfer the linked records from Source to Target
After any changes to the Target Contact have been saved the last step in the Merge process is to transfer the Source Contact's linked records, i.e. calendar events, activity notes, tasks, opportunities and service records, to the Target contact, and delete the Source Contact
Simply click on the big button that says 'Move records to retained Contact'.
This will move the records and delete the Source contact.
That's it. The merge operation is completed!