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Inspirational Leaders

Listening to (and Acting on) Your Customers’ Voice is How You Make a Difference

Ashly Beverage, Vice President, Head of Customer Experience

I’m Head of Customer Experience (CX) for Verisk and I lead a global team that’s currently mostly virtual and located across India, the United States, and the United Kingdom. I’m originally from the Midwest, but I’ve called the East Coast home for the last 20 years. During the pandemic, the flexibility of working remotely has turned me into a bit of a West Coast traveler.

I’d like to share a few highlights from my last week as I strive to best serve and delight our customers.

Inspirational Leaders Ashley Bev 1

5:00 a.m. MT

Given that we haven’t been able to travel for business for almost two years, my direct reports and I use virtual reality (VR) to meet up weekly via Oculus Quest headsets. VR conference rooms enable us to feel more connected and have deeper, more creative conversations. We typically meet up in Spatial, where we have a CX War Room. The avatars in Spatial are lifelike renditions of each person (from the waist up), and amazingly enough, the whole team feels a much stronger sense of togetherness in our virtual reality calls than in Teams video.

We also try to carve out as much time as possible to socialize using in the virtual world, by meeting up in Half and Half, Horizon Venues, or Top Golf and playing nine holes or competing in extreme putting virtually! VR makes teambuilding and casual connection easier as it allows us to chat about weekend plans and personal ambitions—all while engaging in a little light competition. 

7:30 a.m. MT

I reserve the beginning of the workday for medium- and long-term planning, such as finalizing our Q4 forecast or shaping our 2022 roadmap. It’s quiet work that’s best accomplished before the day picks up. It allows me to research and think more deeply about how to scale our offerings, advance our automation, and ignite our passion to best support our company’s future—and, most importantly, the value we bring to our customers. My team and I have a weekly standing meeting reserved for this sort of future planning.

8:30 a.m. MT

I’m excited to receive a snapshot of our new office space in India along with so many new and diverse colleagues from our New Delhi team. This picture was taken during an in-person gathering in India with the local team in New Delhi, and it’s so nice to see the smiling faces of those that choose to come in and engage with their colleagues in our sleek and trendy new office.

Inspirational Leaders Ashley Bev 1

The New Delhi team is excited to connect in person at the new office.

10:00 a.m. MT

The CX team is on a mission to put Verisk’s customers at the center of all our internal processes and external touchpoints. Fortunately, we don’t have to figure that out all on our own: we collaborate with teams across every part of the company. At 10:15 am, we hold a working session to determine the most impactful ways to engage with teams throughout Verisk. How can we facilitate a dialogue that encourages people to rethink the ways they invest in customer experience?

We discuss the idea of holding CX workshops where we can use the virtual whiteboard tool, Miro, to brainstorm and develop new ways to bring our customers’ voices into product design. Participants post their ideas as little digital sticky notes, and others can comment, expand on them, and group different ideas together.

It’s enriching to facilitate these design sessions since you’re learning along with participants what challenges teams face and discovering solutions to those issues in real time. Landing on one or two well-considered ideas to pursue is always a rewarding experience.

12:00 p.m. MT

Today, I’m in Seattle. Through a new mentorship program at Verisk, my mentee, Donna, and I planned an in-person event in the Seattle area. Soon after, Donna’s manager, Alan, reached out to invite me to meet his team and see the Verisk Financial | G2 office.

I’m always looking for opportunities to learn more about our Verisk businesses to mutually leverage and scale successful approaches. We hold a session with the team to explore how they are approaching Customer Experience today and explore if there are strategies G2 can leverage from the CX team to gain deeper insights into what their customers are saying and take more meaningful actions to improve their customers’ experiences.

Following a pizza lunch with the Account Management team, we’re thrilled to learn how a session during Verisk’s annual Customer Experience Summit this summer inspired G2 to work diligently on revamping its Client Health Dashboard—automating and tailoring it to specific users and target outcomes they’re striving to achieve. Now that the CX team has learned about this work, we’re exploring how we can partner with G2 and deepen the value of these innovations to everyone involved.  We immediately claimed success and stepped out for a happy hour!

3:00 p.m. MT

We meet to discuss how to implement the customer engagement tool Medallia into AIR Worldwide’s digital products. AIR is a Boston-based Verisk business and a pioneer in catastrophe modelling.

We know that well-designed, in-platform surveys will serve to put our people in a better position to respond to customer needs, and over time, we’ll be able to understand customer sentiment on a whole new level. This continuous feedback will allow AIR to understand its customers’ experience better and have the tools to more seamlessly take action to make improvements.

Inspirational Leaders Ashley Bev 1

Ashly and the G2 team meet to discuss ways to further CX learning across Verisk.

5:00 p.m. MT

We lay the groundwork for meeting with our respective businesses in the coming days, weeks, and months. CX learning is at the heart of what we do as a team because the customer voice and experience is at the heart of what Verisk does as an industry leader. If we want to delight our customers and engage with them in meaningful ways—so they know that we truly care about them—we need to understand why customer experience is important. Why should we want to invest in CX?

Once we understand that—once we’re engaged—we can ask, “What comes next?” “How can we act?” “What behavior do we need to change to create a better experience for our customers?” My team focuses largely on providing a formal introduction to customer experience principles through an e-learning module, as well as informally with anecdotal stories about employees’ success.

We’re working to develop a common vernacular that will help teams lean into customer experience—teaching people how to ask for the right feedback and assess their performance to determine the true impact they have on their customers.

We’re also redefining CX training to be role-specific, understanding that each person in a given role interacts with customers—both internally and externally—in different ways and that the principles of engagement are unique depending on the role. We look at customer engagement metrics relative to other businesses within Verisk to understand what drives performance, so we can learn from what our strongest teams are doing and apply those lessons to areas of opportunity.

Nearly 25 percent of Verisk’s employees have completed CX training, and we’re feverishly working to customize our CX training offerings so that people across the enterprise can continue to grow in this essential area.

8:00 p.m. MT

At the end of a productive and fulfilling day, I reflect on all the collaboration, learning, and design-forward thinking that’s occurred. I feel so privileged to be in a role working with such inspiring colleagues to move our customers’ experiences to new heights every day.

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