Salesforce FSC – Person Accounts & Life Events

  • Written By Chris McCallum Banks
  • 25/10/2021

In this blog we are going to look at how Salesforce FSC (Financial Services Cloud) gives you capacity to model people as opposed to simply accounts. We will also briefly discuss Life Events as one of the most powerful tools introduced with FSC. 

In the original days of Sales Cloud, “account” was clearly aimed at sales managers who were selling widgets to customers (and mainly in the B2B space, although this is a bit of a generalisation).  As a result, the account object is not really a person; it’s essentially representing the business relationship between you and this other entity.  That perspective means that a lot of the information relates to them purely as a business (regardless of whether that account is actually an individual or a company) i.e. within the context of a commercial/selling relationship. This has gradually softened over the years, but it explains why a person is still an “account”. 

One of the ways Salesforce tried to remedy the account vs individual issue, was to introduce the Individual record type, but this was a stop gap until Person Accounts were introduced.  Simply put a Person Account is not a separate object, it is a block defined as 1 Account object and 1 Contact object that are permanently intertwined. There is still a small number of limitations with Person Accounts, but we won’t cover that here.

Best practise in Salesforce FSC is to model personal customers as Person Accounts and business customers as normal Accounts (with multiple contacts).

Having established our use of Person Accounts we can look at what else comes with FSC, in summary you get:

  1. 70 + custom fields on the Account object
  2. 50 + custom fields on the Contact object
  3. A suite of additional objects to model the customer in more detail – Employment, Education, Identity Document, Identification Document, Identity Verification, Financial Goal, Life Event (PersonLifeEvent, PersonEducation)
  4. Additional components – birthday, life events

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The primary purpose of these objects is to capture this information in a more structured way (as opposed to free text description field) so it can be presented to users in a more friendly way, allow reporting and enable automation.

I’ve included Life Events in this section even though it originates in the Insurance part of Salesforce Financial Services Cloud as I think it’s one of the most powerful tools that FSC presents to visualise key parts of a customer’s life and it does this with an excellent component.  The component itself allows key events in customers’ lives (births, marriages, moving houses, buying cars, university etc) to be captured and shown as icons in a timeline.  It’s a powerful graphical display that allows past and future events to be shown, alongside key supporting information. 

Life Events can also be linked (albeit through a small amount of customisation) to Financial Goals.  A financial goal is exactly what it sounds like: an objective to save £x amount of money.  Where the power lies in linking the two, is essentially with providing the reason for that objective/amount of money i.e. “I want to save £20,000 because my child is going to university in 2 years and I want to help them pay fees and accommodation”.

This linking can be very valuable in understanding a customer’s circumstances. It does however expose a current gap in the product in that it would be ideal to be able to tag these financial goals to financial accounts and track progress towards that life event target i.e. to show that you’ve saved 40% of the money and highlight that against the life event. This does not exist today and it’s unclear if it will be in any future release – so you will have to build it yourself.

Given the sheer number of additional fields offered you can build up a deep picture of the customer and their overall circumstances, extending into their family and dependents, which will bring us onto our next topic – the ability to model relationships, see you next time!

If you would like to find out more about how Salesforce Financial Services Cloud can help optimise employee productivity and customer experience, give us a call or email us at marketing@whishworks.com.

Other useful links:

CRM: an untapped potential for Financial Services

Salesforce Classic to Lightning migration – things to consider

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