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Merging contact records
Answer ID 1988   |   Last Review Date 01/13/2019

How do we combine multiple contact records for the same customer when both have incidents associated to them?

Environment:

Contacts, All versions

Issue:

In some cases, people have multiple contact records with different email addresses for each record. We want to combine or merge these contact records into a single record, but both of them each have incidents associated with them. What's the best way to proceed?

Resolution:

To combine multiple contact records, you must first re-associate each incident to be with one of the records. If Oracle RightNow Opportunity Tracking Cloud Service is enabled, then all sales opportunities should also be associated with one of the records. Then, you can update that record accordingly and you can remove or disable the obsolete contact record.

For example, if you have the two records below:

Jim Smith: wrongemail@mycompany.com with 15 incidents
Jim Smith: jim.smith@mycompany.com with 3 incidents


In this case, you would first reassociate the 3 incidents to be with the top record -- even if the correct email address is the email from the second record. (Note: If you know which one the customer uses most often or which is the correct one, move all records to that contact record.)  You would then edit the second record and change the email address to something different (i.e. append ".invalid" to the address) and then update the first record to change the email address to be jim.smith@mycompany.com. You may want to update both email and login fields accordingly.  As a result, you will end up with the records below:

Jim Smith: jim.smith@mycompany.com with 18 incidents
Jim Smith: jim.smith@mycompany.com.invalid with 0 incidents


Similarly, you need to evaluate sales opportunities that are associated to the records and reassociate the sales opportunities to a single record.

Once you have reassociated the incidents and any sales opportunities, you can delete the second record. When deleting the record, be sure you are deleting the record that has 0 incidents.

If the email address is used in the Login field and you modified the email address of the record, contact the end-user for that record to determine if they wish to update the Login field to match the updated email address.

Note: If Oracle RightNow Outreach Cloud Service is enabled, you cannot merge marketing activity for the two records.  Marketing information for the non-primary record is lost.


Below are example steps to use to merge incidents into one contact record:

  1. Determine which record has more incidents. This is the primary record and will be the record that remains after the merge is complete. If the records have about the same number of incidents, determine which of the records you want to keep as the primary. 
     
  2. Search for all incidents associated with the non-primary contact record so that all of the incidents display in one view. 
     
  3. Change the contact association for each incident associated to the non-primary record.  

    You can add the Contact ID relationship item to the multi-edit incident workspace and then multi-edit the incidents to reassociate them to the primary contact record. Or you can open each incident and click the magnifying glass to the right of the Contact ID field.  In the pop-up window, search for the primary contact record, click Select, and save the incident.

    You can open the non-primary contact record and click the Incidents tab to access each incident to be reassociated to the primary record.  After editing each incident, be sure you save the non-primary record. When opening and editing a child record, edits are only saved when the parent record is also saved. Therefore, you must save the non-primary contact record so that your edits to the children records (the incidents) are also saved. 

    If both of the contact records are associated with the same organization, you can change the association by clicking the Organization tab and then checking the radio button in the Contacts section for the primary contact. This will set the incident so that the contact you select is the primary association for that incident. 
     
  4. If Oracle RightNow Opportunity Tracking Cloud Service is enabled, repeat these steps to find and reassociate sales opportunities so that they are all listed under the primary contact. 
     
  5. Once all incidents and sales opportunities have been re-associated with the primary contact record, the non-primary record will have zero incidents associated with it. At this point, you can delete the non-primary record. It may be necessary to edit the primary record so that it has the correct email address or alternate email address.

    Important! When deleting the extra contact record, make sure you are deleting the record that has no incidents or opportunities associated with it. To verify that the record has no incidents associated to it, open the contact record and click the Incidents radio button on the Contact tab to verify that there are no incidents listed.

    For more information on deleting contact records, refer to Answer ID 2083: Deleting a contact record but not the organization.

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