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Seeking solution to populate contact ID into a lookup field

I need a routine for import of child records to Contacts.  Custom fields for Custom Object and Contact have been created, and are config as External ID.  Import wizard only permits one child per parent and views any additional records as duplicates :(

Workflow/Validation rule won't work, as the field to update is LookUp to Contact.

Can I initiate a process from a view, to look up contact id based on matching values in the custom field?
IF (CustomObject__c.CustomField__c = Contact__r.CustomField__c) TRUE place Contact.ID in lookup field, FALSE leave generic contact ID inplace)
Hi,  I'd say look into "Process Builder".  It'll allow you to traverse lookup relationships. 
Thank you, I'll give that a try.  Any suggestions on the formula to use for the field update?
Lookup Helper (free app version from AppExchange)  https://appexchange.salesforce.com/listingDetail?listingId=a0N30000009wj3REAQ