Retail

Coworking with Caitlin Keohane

She’s SVP of Global Consumer Advocacy at Zendesk
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Caitlin Keohane

· 3 min read

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Today we’re getting to know Caitlin Keohane, who has spent the past decade at Zendesk, a SaaS company focused on customer communication. She held roles across sales, product, CX strategy, and operations—and even relocated from San Francisco to Singapore for two years—before landing her current gig as SVP of global consumer advocacy.

How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t work in retail? I oversee Zendesk’s customer service. My focus is on creating a world-class support experience for our customers and our advocates.

One thing we can’t guess about your job from your LinkedIn profile? My side hustle. It pays in hugs and snuggles, and requires a lot of fruit chopping, freeze dancing, and diaper changing.

What’s your favorite project you’ve worked on? Last year, we set out to transform our Support Operation by rethinking, redesigning and re-architecting our customer experience (CX). It was a highly cross-functional, CEO-backed program that involved a full rip and replace of how we use our own instance of Zendesk (which was in fact an old production instance—yes, true story, even technology companies go through their own major digital transformations with their own technology!), as well as a complete overhaul of our processes, workflows, and our overall channel strategy.

Which emerging retail trend are you most excited about this year, and why? Personalization is the future of customer service, especially for retailers. We’ve learned over the course of the pandemic that people’s preferences for how they want to communicate with businesses, and their expectations for brands’/retailers’ customer service, have changed drastically. Shoppers want to feel like they are being given personalized product recommendations, and a personalized approach to how their concerns and problems are being addressed. 

What’s your go-to coffee order? It’s fall, so if I have a coffee in my hand it will absolutely be a pumpkin spice latte!

Worst piece of advice you’ve received? “Go for the pixie cut—you have the face shape to support it” <shudder>.

What was your favorite retail product when you were 15, and what’s your favorite retail product now? I thought my pair of light blue, high waisted, flared corduroy pants were pretty darn cool when I was 15. These days, I count on my La Mer moisturizer cream to help me appear well-rested.

Stay up to date on the retail industry

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