Several of you have recently asked me how to avoid creating duplicate contact records. The best way to do this if you are using Microsoft Outlook with standard contact forms that have not been customized (e.g. with user defined fields or forms) is to simply turn on the Check for duplicate contacts feature. Here’s how:
On the Microsoft Outlook menu bar go to Tools > Options and the Options window will open (click thumbnail below to see figure). From the Preferences tab on the Options window, click on the Contact Options button and then check the Check for duplicate contacts check box.
Once the Check for duplicate contacts check box is checked, whenever you save a new contact record that is a duplicate, Outlook will open up the Duplicate Contact Detected window (click on thumbnail below for screen print of window) prompting you to either add the contact anyway or update the existing contact with new information from the new record you just entered. Don’t forget that you have the option to open the existing record and take a look by clicking on the Open Existing Contact button in the lower left corner.
Please keep in mind that this process only works for contacts created in the standard Microsoft Outlook contact forms. The Duplicate Contact Detected window will not get triggered if a duplicate for a contact created with a custom form is entered. However, we are currently working on an upgrade to the HuntressPro product to include this functionality for our HuntressPro contact forms which should be released by the end of this week.