I am a salesforce user. In many instances, our system flags many contacts as duplicates when they are not. For example, sometimes it will flag distinct contacts as duplicates based on similar addresses. However, this pattern has not always been consistent. I'd appreciate any insight anybody who has experienced this before can provide.

  • Hi! Are you using the Salesforce Duplicate Management tool? Then please check "Matching Rules". I have not used them in prod personally, but it would help you to figure out why it is matching certain contacts as duplicates. – Karthikeya Pammi Feb 15 '17 at 17:41
  • Just to clarify, Salesforce has some default matching rules that are activated when you Enable Duplicate Management. I think in your case, these default rules are causing the contacts with same address to be matched. There is no specific algorithm that is used, it all depends on the matching and duplicate rules that are active. – Karthikeya Pammi Feb 15 '17 at 17:51

Salesforce uses three stages to determine duplicates:

  1. Matching Equation: Which fields have to match in order to be considered a duplicate. For Contact this would be: (First Name AND Last Name AND Title AND Company Name)
  2. Matching Criteria: Which algorithm is used for each field to determine duplicates and how to deal with blank fields. For example the field MailingStreet is broken into sections and compared by those sections. Each section has its own matching method and match score. The section scores are weighted to determine a score for the field.
  3. Matching algorithms: Finally there is a set of different matching algorithms used in those fields. You can find a list and explanation at the Salesforce Documentation

For Contact there is also a help page on Standard Contact and Lead Matching Rules

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