PIA Oregon Congratulates 2022 CSR of the Year

Ashley Buell, CISR of KPD Insurance in Springfield, Oregon is Oregon’s 2022 CSR of the year. The award is largely based on an essay done by those nominated for the award.


This year’s topic was based on this statement: Transferable Skills are learned from experience which includes prior careers, education, volunteer work, or personal encounters. What are the top three skills you transferred from outside the insurance industry to your current job role? Discuss how you leverage your skills, continue to develop and evolve them, and how you transfer your expertise to others to ensure perpetually exceptional customer service.


Ashley broke the question down into sections. She says the three most important are communication, adaptability and problem-solving.


“Communication is the most vital component in life and exceptional customer service. Every day we are tasked with expressing information to our clients and coworkers in a detailed and concise manner,” Ashley wrote. “Whether we are communicating by phone, email or in person, being able to provide a positive outcome for our clients, coworkers or business partners is how we succeed in providing exceptional customer service.”


Ashley says she learned her business communication skills from her high school DECA program and the competitions that encourage roleplaying.


“While I used many skills to compete and resolve these situations, the skill that was most crucial was communication,” she wrote. “I was able to observe and interpret what was required to successfully find a resolution. I did this by expanding my understanding of communication to not only include verbal or written communication but also the ability to listen and interpret body language. I apply the skills I learned from in person conversations to set the standard for my email behavior. I continue to use this skill in every conversation or email with a client, coworker, or business partner.”


Adaptability — she notes — is also critical.


“As a customer service representative having the skill of adaptability is imperative to achieve exceptional customer service. I often encounter changes to policies, coverages or workflows that require my adaptability skills to avoid causing any delays or issues for clients or coworkers,” Ashley said. “I leverage my adaptability skills by being able to pivot quickly and efficiently while keeping a positive attitude. Adaptability is a skill that comes naturally to me and something I focused on developing as a student at the University of Oregon.”


Problem-solving is the last key to being the perfect CSR.


“It requires the ability to investigate and thoroughly evaluate information to find solutions. I offer unique and detailed problem solving and analytical skills to my clients and coworkers,” she noted. “I look for many solutions instead of just one as not every situation you come across will have one single solution.”


Many of her problem-solving techniques came through work as the treasurer and vice president of a homeowners association board of directors. 


“One of the reasons I chose a career as an insurance customer service representative is that I knew it would be an evolving and always changing adventure,” Ashley concluded. “Through continuing education and experience I develop my skills and a deeper understanding of the insurance industry. I achieve exceptional customer service by growing my communication, adaptability, and problem-solving skills both in and outside of work.”


The PIA Oregon-Idaho congratulates Ashley Buell on her award. She is now in the running for the National Alliance’s CSR of the Year.


About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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