7 Common Mistakes That Cause Duplicates in Your CRM

on December 31, 2017


Customers are the backbone of any business, and this is why managing them effectively is important to business success. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools make it easy to manage everything about your existing and potential customers – from relationships to interactions. However, there are some challenges that can make your CRM tool less potent. One such challenge is that of Duplicate data in your CRM. This problem is not new and is responsible for reducing the effectiveness of CRM tools. There are several mistakes that can lead to duplicates in your CRM. We will explore seven of them here, revealing what you should avoid in order to make your CRM free of duplicates.


What is Duplication in CRM?

Duplication in CRM basically refers to existence of repetitions of a customer’s data and information. This duplication can occur for multiple customers which always proves to be detrimental to the business. Duplication of data in CRM prevents businesses from having a holistic and real view of their customers. These data duplications often lead to reduced revenue, loss of customer goodwill, inability to forecast accurately, amongst other things.


What are the common mistakes that lead to duplicates in CRM?

We know that duplicated data in CRM can prove to be very expensive to businesses. There is however no way we can prevent these duplicates if we do not know how they come about. There are several mistakes that can lead to the existence of duplicate data in your CRM. We will proceed to reveal and discuss 7 of these common mistakes. They are outlined below:

  1. Poor Integration in CRMs: This is a major mistake that leads to duplicate data in CRM tools. Often times, CRM tools need to be integrated with other software in the company, and this can lead to duplicate data in the CRM. It is a common mistake not to consider the type and characteristics of other software tools in a business before bringing them on board. Considering all of this will help with a good knowledge of integration and synchronization with the CRM tool. Also, sometimes a business can decide to use multiple CRM tools, and integrating them frequently leads to duplicate data. It is a good idea to employ proper technical know-how in the integration of CRM tools as this will reduce the possibility of repetitive data.
  2. Improper importation of data: Data is important in businesses and it is often gotten from multiple sources. Businesses scour for customers’ data from various parts of their operations and even from external sources. This often gets clumsy and messy, leading to duplicated data. There is no doubt that importation and sourcing of data is important in any business, however it needs to be done right. Importing from the wrong sources can lead to spams and duplicated data, and this is one very popular mistakes made in the CRM of several businesses.
  3. Improper Creation of subsidiary accounts: Whenever one is dealing with customer data, several accounts often need to be created. This helps in effectively understanding the customer and grouping them. One such accounts is the subsidiary account. The creation of this account is important, but getting it wrong often leads to duplicate data. When creating subsidiary accounts, there is often a common case of repeating existing customer information and saving them as a totally new customer. It is very paramount that people who are skilled with the CRM create these subsidiary accounts, as this process is one of the leading causes of duplicate data in the CRM of a business.
  4. Poor setup of CRM tools: As with many things, once you get the start all wrong, you will most likely bump into challenges later. This is no different in CRM tools, as poor setup often leads to duplicate data. It is important that you follow the instructions laid out by the developers of the CRM tools, otherwise one might get the setup totally wrong. Setting up CRM tools includes other processes such as setting of duplicate alerts. If the setup is bad, then the duplicate alerts could be affected, leading to an abundance of duplicate data without any way of detecting them.
  5. Infrequent Duplicate checks and not setting Duplicate alerts: There is a need to be proactive if one is looking to eliminate duplicate data in the CRM of a business. One such way of being proactive is by performing regular duplicate checks on data in your CRM tool. There is a reason why many CRM tools have duplicate checks and detectors. All of these are put in place for these software to automatically detect duplicate customer data. As a result, it is essential to perform duplicate checks at least once in a week, depending on the rate of new customer addition. Also, duplicate alerts will help notify your CRM team about the presence of duplications, and failure to set this up will definitely lead to the abundance of duplicate customer data.
  6. Poor arrangement and classification of data: A good arrangement and grouping of customer data in your CRM often reduces the possibility of data duplication. One very prevalent mistake that businesses make is the poor grouping of stored data. When data is clumsy, it is difficult to detect duplications. This means that it is important to have a standard method of storing, arranging and classifying customer data in CRM in order to reduce duplications.
  7. Lack of clean data policy in company: If a company does not take it upon itself to preach the need for clean data, then there is bound to be messy and duplicate data. Everyone in the company needs to be aware of the negative consequences of having duplicates, as well as trained on how to avoid them.



The penalties resulting from duplicates in CRM are often too severe for a business to bear. As can be seen, there are several widespread mistakes that lead to duplications in CRM. We have discussed seven of them here, helping you understand how they cause these duplications. With the insight provided here, you should be able to effectively avoid duplications in the CRM of your business.

Rahul Varshneya is the co-founder of Arkenea, a custom software development company that builds custom mobile and web apps for entrepreneurs and enterprises. Rahul has been featured as a business technology thought leader in numerous media channels such as Bloomberg TV, Forbes, HuffPost, Inc, among others.