Contact name not updating

Becky Clayton
Becky Clayton ✭✭✭
edited 06/14/23 in Smartsheet Basics

I have a problem similar to an unresolved post, in that the contact name keeps changing which is making a contact list column confusing.

The email address was previously also the contact name however its now become an individuals name. To correct this, I've unshared the sheet with this inbox, removed the automated notifications, removed the contact and then recreated all - still reverts from the group mailbox name of the contact to the individuals name. This is making a contact list column confusing for users.


  • Darren Mullen
    Darren Mullen ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    @Becky Clayton The issue is that Smartsheet contacts can come from multiple sources.... And they can be entered differently by different users.

    For example:

    Within your organization's Smartsheet admin center there may be a user named "Robert Smith" with an email of "".

    Now, a user, let's say Sally Jones creates a contact for Robert in her "My Smartsheet Contacts" but gives him the name of "Bob Smith" associated with the same email of "".

    What happens is that when Sally adds "" it will like show up with the name of "Bob Smith". If another user, say John Doe adds "" to a sheet but doesn't have "" added in his contacts list, it will pull the information from your organization's user list and hence the contact will show up as "Robert Smith".

    I just verified this behavior using 2 different accounts in my organization. I hope that makes sense....

    In summary, Contact List columns can be a bit unreliable for metrics purposes. I recommend 2 options:

    1. Add a text column and set it equal to the Contact List in the row. This will extract the email and you can use this column for matching. This isn't without risk if a user's email address changes... but is more consistent than contact column names
    2. Assigning each user a unique ID, like an employee ID is really the best way for a bullet proof way to reference users, but this can sometimes be cumbersome depending on your use case.

    So, option 1 is probably an improvement that can work in most cases and just deal with email changes on a case by case basis....

  • Thank you for explaining my problem back to me.