January 20, 2021
Ashif Ismail is our assistant branch manager at our Western Coast Insurance Services location in Coquitlam, British Columbia. A customer service professional — and even a national championship winning soccer player — Ashif goes out of his way to build and retain strong client relationships.
What makes the Coquitlam branch the best at serving customers?
We are focused on always providing our customers with positive experiences. When someone calls, visits us in person or reaches out via email, we try to do our best to keep them happy, whether that is answering questions, providing advice or resolving issues. Customer satisfaction is top priority. At Western Coast Insurance Services, we are experts in more than one field. In fact, we all deal with home insurance, car insurance, travel insurance etc and it is our duty to be well versed in everything. When you work with Western Coast, it’s a one-stop shop. Our team of licensed insurance experts is ready to provide you the right coverage and best advice now and into the future.
What have you learned about customer care from your insurance and sports background?
I have been in insurance for about six years with pretty much 99 per cent of that time spent with Western Coast. At my previous job, I was in car dealerships providing the insurance for customers who just purchased a vehicle. When I came to Western Coast, I incorporated a previous client care boot camp about customer relationships into my career here. As I developed into further leadership roles, I wanted to pass my acquired knowledge and experience to the rest of my team.
I’ve also taken my sports background and translated it here in branch to customers and other employees. I won the 2018 Canadian National Championship with my soccer team, which is based in Surrey — that was huge. When you are talking about team sports, you learn a lot about encouraging others. Successful teams always have a positive vibe and there is a great deal of momentum within the team.
What does it mean to you knowing the positive reactions customers have had about your service?
Seeing Google reviews, as well as the positive comments I’ve received, means that I am going above and beyond for clients. My job is to ensure I am assisting people and meeting their insurance requirements. When I see these positive Google reviews and that feedback, it means I am doing my job. That means everything to me. That’s what validates my career, really.
“Ashif was able to save me money on both my car and tenants insurance policies by showing me what I actually need coverage on. His service is prompt and he’s super friendly! A great experience overall. Will absolutely continue to go to him for all of my insurance needs.”
5 Stars *****
Azra R, Coquitlam, Western Coast (September 2020)
“Ashif has been helping me with my insurance related needs for years. Speedy professional help provided when needed. Thank you!”
5 Stars *****
Amrit N, Coquitlam, Western Coast (November 2020)
“Ashif has provided exceptional service and support every time I have had questions about my insurance policy.”
5 Stars *****
Kim G, Coquitlam, Western Coast (September 2020)
What makes your customer service stand out from the crowd?
First impressions are everything. If you were to call me, you are not just a new client, I am building that relationship with you right off the bat. At the end of our interaction, my goal is to ensure you are not feeling that you just talked to another advisor over the phone. Sometimes you are not sure if you are going to hear back from me, or you may be dealing with another expert if you call back. No, I want you to understand that I’m your advisor and that I understand your needs and am listening. I make it very personable so when our interaction is done, you’ve built a new relationship and we continue from there.
How important is giving back through the Western Financial Group Communities Foundation?
I’m very proud of this branch for continuing to give back to our community during such challenging times. We did a great community fundraiser that we just delivered a cheque for. We collaborated with Krispy Kreme to sell donuts. We sold about $500 worth and then we applied for a matching grant through our Foundation. Our total funds raised was $1,000. We presented the money to a charity called Aunt Leah’s Place, which supports kids who have aged out of the foster care program.
The not-for-profit aids the youth by integrating them into the community, setting them up with jobs, housing and providing support as they are transitioning into a lifestyle where they are on their own. They will carry these skills with them for the rest of their lives.