When implementing Salesforce for businesses that sell a product or a service to consumers (B2C), one important decision you need to make is whether to use Person Accounts or Household Accounts. Which model we recommend depends on a few factors discussed below.
- Once enabled, you cannot disable it (though you do have the option to deactivate the record type for the user’s profiles)
- Some AppExchange apps and other third-party applications that integrate with Salesforce may not support Person Accounts. For example, some email marketing solutions only sync with Salesforce Contacts.
- Though the user sees a single record, there is actually one account record and one contact record created in the background, therefore there is more storage taken up with this model.
Unlike Person Accounts, the Household Model does not require an architectural change in Salesforce and there is nothing to enable. With this model, we use the Account object as the Household and Contacts as individuals within the Household. This model is a good fit for B2C companies that have a high-touch and more relationship-based approach to customer acquisition and retention. Think of auto dealerships, insurance providers, nonprofit organizations with membership options.
An important consideration when using Households is what information to store on Contacts and what to store on the Accounts. This will be different for every company. For example, for a membership program with family benefits, the expiration date will likely be at the Account (household) level, but a dealership tracking Lease Expiration date would want this information at the contact level since each family member may have different vehicles.
The Salesforce consultant you work with will be able to recommend which model your organization should use. We have found the Household model a better fit for most of the B2C organization we have worked with but in some situation maintaining an Account and Contact may be double-entry for users where they don’t have a need to store information about household relationships.