Spoiler alert Picklists alone will not solve this problem.
The impact of State or Country data entry errors will depend on what type of automation’s and reports you run. Usually, these fields impact reporting, marketing segmentation and lead assignment.
Errors here cause frustration, reduce confidence in the CRM, suck up time correcting them and worst of all if uncaught cause decisions based on incorrect data.
This article will cover ways to drastically reduce this from happening.
The same principles described below can work for other types of fields as well.
For all the solutions below you need to decide if you want to use the 2 letter code or the full name.
Solution 1) Text Fields
This is the easiest one to implement because it is the Zoho default.
Most companies use only this option.
It is the most flexible because users are not restricted so they can enter any value.
Unfortunately, they do and this is what causes most errors.
Sometimes people use two letter code sometimes the full name, sometimes all lower case etc.
The good news is you can use Workflows or the API described below to automatically correct this data.
Solution 2) Picklists
If you only deal with one or two countries you could change those fields to picklists.
If you want to use the full name then you can select From Predefined Choices for country and if in the US you can select US States.
While this is better than Text Fields it is not 100% due to importing.
Like Text Fields if you combine this with Workflows or the API this is an even stronger option.
Imports will accept any value and ignores your picklist values.
You have to convert your existing data from the text field to you new picklist field.
Adding values not in your picklist is a pain. You have to go into settings and need the correct security clearance to do this.
You need to set this up for every field with this type of picklist.
Solution 3) Dependent Picklist
If you deal with more than 2 countries you could use related pick lists.
The benefit is it is easier on data if the country is entered before State.
For details on how to set this up check the below link.
The more countries the more time it takes to set up.
Same issues that Picklist has.
Solution Workflow or API
The similarities between Workflow and API are listed below.
Can convert the value entered or imported to the full name or the short code whichever you want.
Can take into account common misspellings, upper or lower case etc.
Can generate an error report for values that are not recognizable.
Both could be an automatically run nightly or every time the State or Country changes.
You could also incorporate other 3rd party programs that validate the state and country based on the Zip code/Postal Code.
Solution 4) Workflows
Using a function in the workflow allows the same code which is easier to maintain and can be called from multiple workflows. For example, a create workflow and edit workflow can call the same code.
Restrictions. Each user has up to 200 function calls per day. This may or may not be an issue for you.
To check your function call usage go in Setup->Automation->Actions then Functions then More info to ensure you are not going to go beyond your limit.
There is a chance the data will not be corrected if the Workflow did not run for some reason.
Solution 5) API
The code here has no function or process restrictions so you code can be optimized and while you are here you could check other data.
You could do things like ensure email addresses are in lower case, format phone field, update a domain field from your website fields etc.
This will correct all data when run because you are working with the raw data.
The API also has a limit. However it is much higher than the function limit and usually not an issue.
To see your limit go to Setup->Developer Space->API
Now you know how reduce State and Country data entry errors.
As you see from the above you can do it the simple way, but when you take it to the next level you get a more solid solution.
Many companies find creating functions in Deluge or working with the API is beyond their current skill set. If so contact us.
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