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Duplicate customers may be added by accident if the operator doesn't use the Find function often enough when making reservations, or if the customer isn't noticed in the list. Under normal circumstances you would not want to delete one of them, since that would lose any reservations or transactions made with that customer. However, the Merge Customers is a safe way to combine them -- all of their reservations and transactions will also be combined into a single customer.
Merging Customers is done by first using the Find Customers function to find likely candidates for merging. Duplicates will likely be spotted accidentally on occasion when doing a Find for other reasons, but you can manually search for duplicates to merge any time. Just open the Find Customer dialog and search for all customers with last names starting with "A", for instance, and then go through the list.
If you find multiple entries in the customer list for the same person, select all of the ones to merge (using Ctrl-click on each one), and press the Merge Customers button. The Merge dialog will open, listing each of the ones you selected.
Note: Merging can only be done by operators with Manager access level or higher. The Merge Customers button will not be enabled for lower access levels.
The Merge Customers Dialog
The customers selected to be merged are listed in the Merge Customers dialog. Now you will need to select the customer record to "Remain" after the merge.
Note: The merge function automatically moves reservations and transactions from the duplicate customer(s) to the customer to be kept, and deletes the duplicate customer record(s). If some information is missing or different in the "keep" customer then you need to resolve the differences before completing the merge function.
You can have it automatically copy any data from the deleted customer to the "keep" customer if the "keep" customer's field is currently blank -- check the option "If the destination customer's data field is blank, save any existing data in the deleted customer to the remaining one". This option is only available in version 11.1 and later.
Also, if there are any non-blank differences between records, it will ask you to choose which value to keep for each field (see below). This option is only available in version 11.2 and later.
Some of the most critical information about each customer is shown in the list to help you make the decision. Typically you would choose the record with the most up-to-date or most complete information. If you need to see more details, or if you see some information in one that you want to transfer to the one to be kept, you can use the View Customer Details button at the bottom (or double-click on the customer).
Once you're sure that all of the information you need is in a single customer record, or least know which one has most of the information needed, make sure that customer is selected (highlighted in dark blue), and click the "OK, Merge!" button. The reservations and transactions from all of the customers will be moved to the selected customer, any differences will be prompted for resolution (see below), and the other records will be deleted.
Important! The Merge function cannot be reversed! Make sure you have recent backups, especially if you're using the auto-save option.
Field Difference Resolution
Once you have chosen the record to keep and confirmed the merge, it will check each field of the merged records for any differences. If only one of the records has information in a field and the other record(s) is blank, it will keep the non-blank information (depending on the option selected, see above). However, if 2 or more records have information that does not agree, then you will be prompted to select which value to keep. If it's a free-form text field, you also have the option to combine the information from 2 or more records together (concatenated), e.g. to combine the notes.
This will repeat for each field as needed. You can cancel the merge at any time, but that will also ignore any selections already made and the records won't be merged.