An image to demonstrate the phrase "strike while the iron is hot". A blacksmith beats red hot iron on an anvil with his hammer

An example of an external Event

People often ask for examples of ‘Events’. You can see some elsewhere in this blog (see blogs around Jan 2010), but here is a nice one.

The definition of an Event is something that triggers a significant change in the state of the Customer, either in fact or in their mind. These triggers can come from several sources, both internal and external.

Internal Events include things like a change in their account activity or balance.

External events are by definition things that you don’t (usually) see in the internal data. They are nevertheless things which can affect your customer. Things like changes in law, changes in economics, or even changes in the weather.

Here is a nice example of an external Event that I received from my home insurer 24 hours after one of the worst storms in the last 50 years had battered our area.

Axa letter

A smart guy at AXA put this out. The effort to do it was a simple selection listing customers with home insurance in certain regions and the cost to them to fulfill this promise is probably minimal. I would argue that the cost is dwarfed by the value of the change in customer perception.

If you had suffered from the storm, this £100 probably wouldn’t help a great deal, but imagine how you would feel if you received this from your insurer, telling you that they cared, and were going that little bit further to help you.

Of course insurers probably monitor things like natural disasters (just so they know when to start signing cheques). However this required a smart person seeing the situation and thinking abouthow this might affect his customers and then seizing the opportunity. The effort and cost are small and the benefits potentially much bigger. Well done AXA.

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