Dynamics CRM Duplicates & 360-degree view of Customer

As we all know, an organization’s relationships with their customers is paramount to their brand and success. From an enterprise standpoint, many organizations like to apply a 360-degree view of their customer and for them to do so effectively must trust their data to give them accurate representations of those relationships. If that data somehow gets compromised, or gets heavily duplicated, that can cause many issues with being able to effectively analyze where those relationships stand.

For each organization, their priorities of what goes into a 360-degree view of the customer is slightly different. However, most 360-degree views can be broken down into a few key components. At its core, a 360-degree view allows for an organization to break down different pieces of data to allow for more strategic interactions with their customers and prospects. The diagram below shows the overall setup of 360-degree data structure broken down into 3 main components.


Customer: Where the core of the data lies for each customer whether that be name, address, billing information, activity records, etc. but let’s break that down a little further
• Transactional Data: this includes invoices, orders, opportunities, cases etc.
• Interaction Data: From a CRM prospective this would usually fall under the activity record category but would include any touch point with the customer that needs to be tracked.

Enrichment: This layer is the data that enhances the validity of CRM customer records. For example, this could be enhancements to and augmentation of addresses, emails, and phone numbers. This could also be any other type of 3rd party data structure that needs to leveraged to enhance customer data.

Reporting/Analytics: This includes any types of out of the box/custom CRM reporting tools or 3rd party reporting tools such as Power BI. However, this could also include the many different accessing capabilities of the data such as a self-service customer portal or a feed to a vendor catalog.

Different departments use 360-degree views of customers for different reasons but they are all equally valuable.

• Marketing personnel for example can leverage core customer data to compile a customer feed for campaign purposes and use the reporting data to measure campaign effectiveness.

• Sales Executives use core customer data to identify key prospects and leverage enrichment data to personalize their pitch.

• Customer Service personnel can see the interaction and reporting data to measure effectiveness along with using a self-service portal to help streamline service management.

So now that we have an understanding as to the types of data that allows an organization to have a 360-degree view of the customer, the question is what happens if the integrity of that data gets compromised by having too many duplicates? Having too many customer records can cause a multitude of issues including too many salespeople working the same opportunity, service reps having inaccurate information which compromises their ability to resolve cases, and marketing executives to overspend on campaigns and annoy prospects by flooding their inboxes with the same content over and over. All of this can lead to inaccurate reporting on every level which causes poor strategic business decisions to be made without the organization even knowing it.

What can be done?

Creating a short and long term data cleansing and deduplication strategy is key. Often the first step is cleaning up a backlog of duplicates in CRM then deciding what the best approach is to either continue cleaning duplicates coming into CRM or preventing them from getting into CRM at all. Since there is no 100% fail proof solution, a combination of continuous cleanup and prevention usually does the trick.

For more information on data cleansing strategies and solutions for Microsoft Dynamics CRM check out the AutoMerge features page and

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