What’s up everyone? It’s been a minute, so I figured it was time to introduce you to another member of the Drift team.
You’ve already met Fernanda Lavalle, Shannon Donovan, and Josue Villanueva.
This time around, I want you to meet Catherine LaMacchia on Drift’s customer success team. Catherine started as a Generalist Customer Advocate and quickly worked her way up to the Team Lead position. In her time at Drift, she’s worked on help docs, built out customer satisfaction reporting, developed a Customer Advocate training program, and is now moving to Tampa to open our newest office!
Ready to meet Catherine? Let’s go ⚡
Editor’s note: The following has been edited and condensed for clarity.
Catalina Carvajal: When did you know you wanted to work in tech?
Catherine LaMacchia: I always saw myself in a tech-related role, but I took a fairly unusual road to get here. When I was deciding what to study in college, I was torn between business and hospitality. As I was researching the two, I found an article that said more and more companies were hiring people with a hospitality background because they wanted employees with strong customer service skills. I knew I didn’t necessarily want to work in the hospitality industry long term, but it was the differentiator I was looking for to eventually make my move into the business/tech world.
CC: Can you tell me a little bit more about your background and how you came to work at Drift?
CM: Sure thing. Since my educational background is in hospitality, I spent four years working in hotels and almost three years working at a spa before coming to Drift. At the spa, I was the Manager of Guest Experience and Sales, and at the hotels I was a Front Desk Agent. I still have guests that I keep in touch with from all over the world thanks to these roles. They were great learning and networking experiences and prepared me well for the Customer Advocate role here at Drift.
CC: What does a Customer Advocate do?
CM: Customer Advocates make up Drift’s support team. We strive to provide best-in-class customer service. We answer questions via chat and tickets and treat all of our customers like friends. Customer Advocates troubleshoot anything from integration errors to routing, to playbooks, and everything in between.
CC: What does a typical day at your job look like?
CM: As the team lead, a typical day for me involves keeping the team up to date on their performance, jumping into help with customers, meeting with the sales and customer success teams, holding 1:1s, leading training and ongoing enablement sessions, doing customer follow-ups, and whatever else comes my way!
CC: So you’re moving to Tampa. What are you looking forward to about living and working there?
CM: I’m not gonna lie, I was born and raised in New England, and I love getting to see the seasons change. So when I first learned about the opportunity to help start the Tampa office, I didn’t really know what to think. But then I did my own research about the city’s growing tech scene and actually got to fly down there and check it out myself – that’s when it all clicked for me. I’m all about seizing new opportunities and this might be my biggest one yet. I am excited to build out a new team and explore a new city while I’m at it ?
CC: What attracted you to Drift in the first place?
CM: I love how customer-centric Drift is. One of our leadership principles> is “put the customer at the center of everything you do,” and all of the decisions we make are to solve our customers’ problems. I enjoy building and fostering relationships and ensuring customers have a positive experience. Drift empowers me to do that every day.
CC: What was your dream job as a kid?
CM: Oh, I had so many. I wanted to be an EMT at one point until I realized I had to see blood. That was the end of that. I also wanted to be a ballerina, but I’m too clumsy for my own good.
CC: What’s your definition of success?
CM: I believe that if you’re happy in your career then that means you are successful. There are moments every day where I am reminded of how much I love what I do, and how proud I am to be where I am. That is what defines success for me.
CC: What’s the best part about working at Drift?
CM: The best part about working at Drift for me has been how much I have been able to grow professionally. Prior to joining Drift, I had a hard time finding a job where I could constantly learn and grow into a better version of myself. Drift has been that place for me so far, and I am very excited to see where it takes me.
CC: What’s your favorite book?
CM: Everyone at Drift loves to learn through reading. Most people here enjoy non-fiction books, but I love fiction. My favorite book of all time is The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling. My copy is so worn and loved from the number of times I’ve read it.
CC: What podcasts are you listening to right now?
CM: I actually don’t listen to podcasts, but I do love to go back and listen to the Harry Potter books on audio. The Jim Dale version is the best.
CC: What’s something people don’t know about you?
CM: Because I work in customer service, people often assume I am an extrovert. I can be one, and at work I definitely know I come across like one. But I am actually very introverted. If I’m somewhere I don’t know anyone, I definitely become more of a wallflower. Or if I know only one person, I follow them around like a puppy dog the whole time.
CC: Any advice for people who are trying to figure out their own career path?
CM: Paths have a way of changing so don’t pigeonhole yourself based on a perceived plan. Don’t say no to opportunities that come up, even if they’re unexpected. Sometimes a lateral move is just as important as a move up the ladder. Me? I don’t have a long term plan. But what I do have is a plan for now – because it leaves room for change and unforeseen growth opportunities.