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Reduce Duplicate Accounts Coming from Community Hub

To ensure your constituents can move unimpeded through Community Hub and update their profile or make purchases, we don't recommend blocking users from creating an account that is a potential duplicate. However, if the influx of duplicates is drowning your staff, we have some tips that can help you.

Before proceeding, we're assuming you've already done the following and are just looking to fine-tune your configuration:

Primary Recommendation: Create a Solid Matching Rule

Blocking constituents from creating accounts can be a jarring or frustrating experience. Ideally, the incoming duplicates are allowed, and then staff study the duplicate data to create a matching rule that is very effective and accurate.

Step into Your Constituents' Shoes

It helps to get a baseline for what your constituents are experiencing before figuring out how to change it:

  1. Visit your page in Community Hub that is causing the influx of duplicate accounts. Most often, it is the Create My Account page.
  2. Take note of the fields you ask for, which ones are optional and which ones are required.
  3. Fill it out such that it triggers your duplicate rule.
  4. When the page loads to presents matching accounts, take note of the fields displayed to your user.

Configure a Strong Matching Rule

Create a new (or update your existing) matching rule and have it reflect what you ask for in the form. Some tips:

  • Required fields are a great place to start since you know they have to fill it out
  • If fields are optional, strongly consider selecting Match Blank Fields. However don't solely rely on this because it won't match on the existing account if it does have a value. In other words, it only matches a blank with a blank
  • Customize the filter logic so it's not just all AND. This is particularly important if your matching rule includes optional fields. 

If you want to really up the ante, you can create multiple matching rules and link them all to a single duplicate rule! Each matching rule can capture various combinations of the fields in your form. This is similar to how the Salesforce standard matching rules evaluate different field combinations.

 Configure a Duplicate Rule Specific to Community Hub

  1. Configure a Duplicate Rule to Apply to Specific User Profiles, specifically the profile for Community Hub guests.
  2. Associate the duplicate rule with the matching rule(s) you just created.

Consider changing the alert text and fields displayed on the Matching Account(s) card. It's possible that the constituents aren't seeing enough information there to determine if one of those accounts is actually them.

Other Options: Blocking

In cases where the matching rules have been fine-tuned and there is still an unmanageable volume of duplicates, only then should blocking be considered. Don't use these methods simultaneously; implement one or the other since they achieve the same outcome.

Block Method 1: Duplicate Rule set to Block

  1. Update the duplicate rule configured to Community Hub users and set the Action on Create to Block

This is not an elegant experience for constituents: after being shown matching account(s), the user will be able to ignore it and click Create Account, but they are returned to the Create My Account form with a vague error: "Sorry, something has gone wrong. Our team is working on it." (or a custom error message if your association has changed the default error message).

Truly, nothing went wrong. The duplicate rule correctly blocked a duplicate account from being created, but the message doesn't indicate that. Community Hub can't use the Alert Text from a duplicate rule set to Block.

Block Method 2: Validation Rule

  1. Create a new account validation rule. In the formula, store the logic you would normally put in a matching rule.
  2. Enter an error message that you want to display in Community Hub. This does display in Community Hub and can be used to explain to the user what is stopping them from creating an account.

This method is still not very elegant because it has the same behavior as Method 1: the constituent is bounced back to the Create My Account form after ignoring matching account(s) and clicking the Create Account button, but at least the error message can be much more insightful.

An added benefit of Block Method 2 is you can use it in conjunction with duplicate rules. Validation rules are assessed prior to duplicate rules. See Triggers and Order of Execution.

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