HubSpot is a comprehensive CRM tool boasting many robust sales features. This suite of sales tools includes calling features that allow sales reps to easily connect with prospects. However, many sales teams find that they need third-party phone apps to extend HubSpot’s native calling functionalities.
Among the most popular HubSpot phone apps is Aircall, a comprehensive calling solution that delivers dozens of different advanced call management features. Despite its popularity, Aircall does have some quirks in the way it interacts with HubSpot CRM and the data it contains. These quirks lead to unique data problems that companies must account for to ensure that the integration operates seamlessly.
The primary data-related issues with Aircall spring from the fact that it does not always have full information on every caller, and is forced to use placeholder data when creating new contacts associated with the calls. This results in duplicate records that are difficult to detect.
Duplicate records not only clutter your CRM database, but also hinder the effectiveness of customer interactions, leading to fragmented communication histories and potential customer service blunders.
Let's examine how Aircall creates duplicates, how those duplicates can impact your company, and how to deal with them.
Why You Can’t Just Leave Aircall Duplicates in Your Database
Addressing Aircall duplicates in your HubSpot database is crucial for several reasons:
- Database clutter: A cluttered database hinders efficient data management and navigation of customer information.
- Customer interaction confusion: Multiple records for the same customer makes it difficult to track the complete history of interactions and lead to a disjointed customer experience due to compromised customer service.
- Impaired reporting: Duplicates skew data, affecting the accuracy of business analytics and decision-making.
- Operational inefficiency: Duplicates result in operational inefficiencies as staff waste time sorting through redundant information.
- Risk of miscommunication: There is an increased risk of miscommunication with clients due to fragmented and incomplete communication histories.
In the vacuum of a single team or complication, duplicates may seem like an annoying hindrance. But across the breadth of company operations, the impact is much larger than you might expect.
Let’s take a look at exactly how Aircall-HubSpot duplicates end up in HubSpot CRM.
How Aircall Creates Duplicates in HubSpot
Aircall, like other phone apps, is often forced to work with limited information. A call comes in, and Aircall automatically reformats the number to the E.164 standard and compares that reformatted number to existing phone numbers in the database.
If your HubSpot phone numbers are not in this format, Aircall might not match the caller to an existing HubSpot contact, leading to the creation of a new duplicate contact.
And often, the data in your HubSpot comes from many different sources—customer forms, internal data entry, other app integrations, and imports. And unless those sources do some kind of auto-formatting for the E.164 standard, which is rare, Aircall will commonly miss the existing records.
The situation is complicated by the fact that when Aircall creates a new record, the only data point that it has to work with is the phone number. But because HubSpot does not allow you to create a new contact that does not have a first and last name, the Aircall integration for HubSpot is forced to enter placeholder data into required fields.
Aircall populates data into four fields when it creates a new contact record:
- First name: Phone number in E.164 format
- Last name: “Aircall new contact”
- Phone number: Phone number in E.164 format
- Owner: Determined by your integration settings
While there is no way around the need for placeholder data, this situation does make deduplicating contacts created by Aircall more difficult. For instance, with this placeholder data, the first name and last name fields are completely unusable for deduplication. Every contact that Aircall created would show up as a potential duplicate when comparing the last name fields, and the first name fields will never match any existing records because they contain the phone number that Aircall had already failed to match with an existing contact.
You can configure Aircall not to create new contacts if an existing one is not identified. However, this means that calls from both existing and new contacts will not be logged in your CRM if there is no match.
So while manual deduplication tools in HubSpot do allow you to identify and merge HubSpot contacts by the phone number field, they cannot discern between the dozens of potential formats each phone number could take, especially when factoring in country codes, area codes, and extensions.
The only reliable way to deduplicate Aircall-created contacts is to reformat your entire database’s phone numbers to the E.164 standard. But this involves a painstaking process of exporting your records, formatting the phone number field in Excel, and reimporting the data.
Assuming this process goes smoothly, it can still be a huge task for large databases. However, it is unlikely to be a quick task, due in part to the fact that it is difficult to design an Excel formula that can account for all of the different potential formats. In all likelihood, even just the task of formatting the phone numbers to E.164 will require a lot of trial and error—and potentially many different formulas used on each Excel export.
Additionally, Aircall's setting to create a new HubSpot ticket for each new call can result in multiple duplicate tickets for the same issue, complicating customer service. And duplicate HubSpot tickets have many of their own issues.
While Hubspot’s native tools do not provide a straightforward solution to the problem within HubSpot CRM, Insycle can help.
Insycle Solves Aircall-HubSpot Duplicates Outright, Automatically
Insycle’s Merge Duplicates module is a top-end solution for handling Aircall-HubSpot duplicates automatically, streamlining the process and minimizing manual intervention.
With Insycle, you can use any field in HubSpot CRM as a potential matching field for duplicates. Insycle gives you advanced controls over how the data in that field is analyzed during the duplicate identification process.
For dealing with Aircall-created HubSpot contact duplicates, you can use the phone number field. While you always want to use “Exact Match” with phone numbers, lest you end up accidentally matching two colleagues with similar phone numbers that should be distinct contacts in your system, there are ways that you can instruct Insycle to ignore various aspects of formatting, including symbols, letters, and whitespace.
You can even go a step farther, and match multiple fields, for example, if you wanted to compare the phone number field to the mobile phone number field in order to catch more duplicates in your system.
Moreover, Insycle allows for advanced customization deduplication criteria. For example, it can be instructed to ignore the “Aircall new contact” value in the last name field and the phone number in the first name field—the placeholder data used by Aircall when it makes new contacts. Then, Aircall-created contacts could be matched to other duplicate records only by phone number, while other identified duplicates can also be matched to the first name and last name fields.
Using Insycle, you ensure that important interaction histories and notes are preserved and consolidated across Aircall duplicate contacts.
Additionally, you can instruct Insycle to ensure that the Aircall-created record is never chosen as the master record, by telling it to only choose records that do not contain the term "Aircall New Contact" in the Last Name Field.
Insycle also allows you to automate the merging of Aircall-created duplicates immediately after they are created, and before your first communications with the contact start, by injecting Insycle into your Hubspot Workflows.
With Insycle, you can make Aircall duplicates in HubSpot a problem of the past.
Insycle Is Your HubSpot Data Quality Cheat Code
Insycle is a complete solution for your Aircall duplicates, allowing you to identify and merge duplicates using the phone number field while accounting for the variety of formats that phone numbers can take.
But Insycle is more than just a HubSpot deduplication tool. Insycle is an invaluable asset for companies seeking to gain insights into their data, maintain high data quality, and solve data issues that plague their organization.
Insycle can reshape your revenue operations and data management processes in HubSpot. Learn more about how Insycle can help with Aircall duplicates—and nearly any data problem you encounter.