Using the XML Spreadsheet format has a few advantages for importing data from Excel into CRM.
As opposed to CSV file imports you don’t have to specify any data delimiters anymore which depend on your regional settings.
Also, importing special characters seems to be more straight forward.
We recently had to import a large list of accounts and imported them first using the CSV format. A lot of the names display unreadable characters because something went wrong with the encoding from Excel to CSV.
After saving the original Excel as an XML Spreadsheet, the import of these special characters was no longer an issue.
So, make sure to save your import files as XML Spreadsheets! J