New to BCM - trouble importing contacts & accounts

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I'm brand-new to BCM (though I'm very familiar with other CRM systems). I've watched the video tutorials and have scoured the internet and this forum for some answers. Even after trying those recommended solutions, I cannot seem to get my imports to load correctly.

First, a question: as I upload a list of contacts (say it's company names and addresses along with an associated contact name and contact information for that company from a CSV Excel file), do I need to first upload the "Account" information only, and then do a separate upload of the "Contact" information so that they can be linked together? Or, can I just do one upload and the system will know to create both a new "Account" and a new "Contact"? For these examples below, I've been doing the former...(uploading Account information only first, then following with a second and separate upload of Contact information).

Now my problems:
1.) As I upload my Account (the company), it's putting the company name backwards. I.E. - Joe's Plumbing Inc. becomes Inc., Joe's Plumbing.

2.) As I've been making separate uploads of Account (Company) and Contact, I'm seeing that they are not automatically linking together. Please tell me there is a way for the system to automatically make these connections!!

3.) As I've been testing this, I've tried to manually link the newly-uploaded Contact with the newly-uploaded Account. For some reason, my Contact is coming up when I search on the main "Business Contacts" page, but when I look up the Account and try to add that contact, his name doesn't come up when I search by his last name, but does come up when I search by first name. That is outlined in a Word document that I'm attaching.

Thanks for your help!


  • Problems linking Contact to Account 5-5-2014.pdf
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As far as i know, no they won't automatically link Account and Contact.

The File as format look to be formatted as last, first and joe's plumbing is going in the name field, not company field. Change the format in File, options, contacts.

I'm not sure why the search isn't working - Outlook normally searches either first or last and I'd expect to work the same way in Accounts.
Thanks for your reply, Diane. I was hoping you'd answer as I saw your frequent commentary throughout the forum.

Concerning the system not automatically linking Account and Contact - that seems like a major design flaw! What's the point of uploading a large list and not being able to make those connections? The list I'm trying to upload is about 1,500 names/companies. I've seen other threads where people are trying to upload 7,000 contacts/companies. What a waste of time if we have to manually go in and link them all! I'm interested if anyone else knows the confirmed answer on this, and, if in fact the system does not automatically link them, is there a work-around available?

I've checked the Mapping and file format in both the Excel file and in Outlook, and both are correct. The column is mapped correctly (Company --> Company Name), and in Outlook, I have the Contact Format set to "First Last". But, I'm still getting the problem where the company name is reversed. Can anyone else offer some advice?

I still haven't figured out the problem with the search function. Can anyone else offer some advice?

Funnily enough, I did an online chat support with Microsoft Answer Desk Support this morning, and the representative (Ulysses) was unable to answer ANY of these questions. He said they were beyond his expertise. He gave me the phone number for support to call, which I'll try next. For anyone else who might be having similar problems, that phone number is 1 (800) 936-4900...but he mentioned there may be a service fee for talking to the customer support, depending on your Office account. Just an FYI.

Thanks Diane and anyone else who can offer some clarity!
Woot woot! I'm seriously overjoyed because after 2.5 hours of troubleshooting this, I figured out my own problems/solutions for the Business Contact Manager import challenges I've been struggling with! I'll write my solutions here in case anyone else can use this information as a reference.

First, you CANNOT import Account (Company) information AND Contact information at the same time. The system will not let you map it out that way. You have to do two separate uploads, but in theory, it could be from the same Excel (CSV) list. You'll just need to update the field mapping dependent on what you're importing (Account vs. Contact). Be careful about the column header names in your Excel file - you need them to match with the field you want it to map to in the BCM. I found it best & easiest to print out a list of all the BCM field categories so that I could update the column headers in my Excel file accordingly. This way, when I mapped it, the system was able to figure it out (for the most part) on its own. I'll attach the screenshot version of all the BCM field categories for my company. I'm not sure if these are standard in BCM or custom to my company specifically.

Next, it turned out that I wasn't mapping the Company name correctly when I was mapping the Accounts. In my case, the Company name in my Excel file should have been mapped to the Account Name field, not the "Company" field. When I did that, the Company name no longer did the reversing (Joe's Plumbing stayed Joe's did not switch out to Plumbing, Joe's). The Company name now shows up in the Account file as both the "Company" and the "Account Name".

The search function problem was remedied really easily, but I can't figure out why it happened in the first place. For now, here's the solution: after uploading your Contacts, close your Microsoft Outlook and open it again. Your contacts that you just uploaded will now be searchable by either first or last name.

Finally, the most critical question and the solution that will be the biggest time-saver for us all: YOU CAN LINK YOUR CONTACTS WITH YOUR ACCOUNTS UPON IMPORTING! :)

How to do this:
1.) Make an update to your Excel file. I added an extra column in my Excel file to help prevent confusion. In Excel, each contact is associated with a Company. I changed the header in the Company name column to "Account Name". Next, insert a new column. Copy & paste everything from your re-named "Account Name" column into the column you've just created, but change that header to "Company". While you're in the Excel file, re-name the rest of the headers to match the formatting of the BCM. This will help the field mapping process go more smoothly.

2.) Upload your Accounts. Make sure you're mapping the Company Name (we've just put it in the column called "Account Name") to the field called "Account Name" as described above to avoid the Company name reversing problem.

3.) Your Accounts are now uploaded!

4.) Next, let's upload your Contacts. Browse for the file and clear all the fields from your previous mapping of the Accounts. Make sure your drop-down is set to "Contacts" and then click the map button.

5.) On the next screen, most of the fields should automatically map for you because we took the extra step in Excel to change the headers on the columns. Make updates here as needed.

6.) To get the Contact and Account to automatically link, make sure your Import Field category called "Company" gets mapped over to the Available Field called "Company". (Remember, this is the copy-pasted column we created in Excel.)

7.) On the bottom of the field mapping box on your screen, check-mark the often over-looked box that says "Link Business Contact to Account if the Company field matches the Account Name field." Then click the OK button.

8.) Click Import. Your Contacts will now be uploaded and linked with the Company they are associated with!

Good luck!


  • Categories for Mapping in Outlook - Business Contact Manager.pdf
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