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In 2016, Augusta Storey was working at Starbucks and saw an internet advertisement for a Customer Service role at Brightway Insurance. It was the kind of job she was looking for, and it offered paid training and an opportunity to earn an insurance license at the company’s expense.
She was looking for a role in customer service and while she didn’t have insurance experience, she had experience in customer service and thought the position seemed attainable, so she applied. She really liked Joy Pugh, the Manager who interviewed her, and was hired as a Representative on the Renewals team managed by Pugh.
Storey spent several months taking inbound calls and making outbound calls as part of the company’s Renewals team and really enjoyed the work she was doing and felt like she was ready to take on more work and responsibility, so she shared with Pugh a desire to work on special projects and Pugh asked her to help with catching up on emails.
“My boss realized I was okay with words,” Storey shared.
After proving she was up for the task, she started working on special projects full-time, which gave her the opportunity to work more with agents and on more complex tasks that included creating and revising work processes.
Storey demonstrated that she had a knack for being a kind voice at the end of the telephone line who could help resolve customer concerns and issues, so after two years with the company, she was offered a Unit Lead position within the Service Center.
As a Unit Lead, Storey is the primary go-to for escalated customer needs. She reviews, troubleshoots and responds to emails sent from Agents to the Immediate Attention inbox, a specialized email box for things that need to be tended to immediately. She also helps run BOTs on the backend for renewing policies.
She said good qualities for someone in a customer service role are being a good listener and offering a friendly voice even when people call upset.
“I remember in training, they talked about people can tell when you’re smiling on the phone,” she shared.
She said staying positive and maintaining a good attitude is important, too, as well as having a real desire to help people.
“I think customer service is just a lot of wanting to help them, so if you care about the person on the other end of the line or you care about the agent you’re emailing, whatever the case is. If you care, I feel like that’s essential,” she added.
Storey continued to prove herself to be valuable in her role as Unit Lead, so much that the company recognized her as a 2019 Employee of the Year.
She says she has a lot of respect for company leadership, and there’s never a dull moment and are always opportunities to grow and help others.
What’s next for Storey?
She said she likes the idea of working her way up to becoming a supervisor so that she can return the favor of helping other new employees succeed at Brightway. She also enjoys working with other departments, such as Compliance and Recruiting, and has an interest in learning more about these areas of the business.
Storey said, "the sky’s the limit," at Brightway, especially for people with great attitudes.
Her advice for people interested in joining the company?
Stay focused, especially if you have a goal, and communicate. If you do have a goal, or want to try something new, tell your supervisor.
“We want you to grow,” she added.
She said that people without insurance backgrounds shouldn’t let that stop them from applying for jobs with the company and couldn’t stress enough how important it is to just care about others.
“We’ve got so many opportunities here for people even if they don’t want to stay in Customer Service. If they want to go to Agency Support or Quality or Carriers. They’ve got so many opportunities, and I love that about the company,” said Storey.
About Brightway Insurance
Founded in 2008, Brightway has since grown to more than 200 locations across 22 states serving customers in all 50 states and has earned recognition as one of the Fastest Growing Companies in Northeast Florida by the Jacksonville Business Journal for 12 consecutive years. At Home Office, Brightway employees focus on delivering holistic business support that empowers agents to sell more.
Brightway employees enjoy:
Most importantly, they enjoy a family based culture of inclusiveness where they can build positive, supportive relationships with co-workers, customers and agents.
Learn more about open positions at Brightway and starting a career with the company at Brightway.com/careers.