There’s a lingering myth among young college graduates that your career must reflect the degree you’ve earned. Whatever you studied is what you must do, and if you stray from it, then you’ve tossed away four years of your life. But that’s not always the case. Sometimes our passions and values take us in directions we never expected, and lead us to the work we were truly meant to do.
Kailee Urban experienced this on her journey to a customer support role for Relay Foods. Rejecting the idea that she was trapped by the words printed on her diploma, Kailee allowed her path to be guided by the two things she loved: community support and healthy, locally-grown produce and goods. The Architectural History major now provides support to a customer base of 40,000 people in multiple markets across central Virginia. Her support team has helped Relay Foods develop a reputation of genuine care and commitment to its customers.
Here’s how it happened:
Kailee has always been interested in supporting communities. She studied Architectural History so that she could serve in historic preservation, helping to keep artifacts and antiquities in good shape for future generations to enjoy. It was this desire that led her to a position at the Thomas Jefferson Foundation (a museum and event space on Thomas Jefferson’s historic Monticello property). She thought she’d found the perfect starting point to her dream career.
But Kailee had another passion: the local food movement. She believes strongly in farm-to-table concepts, access to locally-grown produce, and the empowerment of local farms. These ideas were just starting to gain momentum in the central Virginia area, which meant that opportunities to be involved were growing.
So Kailee made a choice. Rather than stick to the title of her degree, she followed her passion and applied for a customer service job with a startup called Relay Foods. Relay Foods is an online grocery and delivery service focused on supporting local farmers and agriculture. Kailee began there as a customer service representative and worked with a team equally passionate about promote local farming.
Kailee quickly learned something important about herself: She loved customer support.
“It was after spending a great deal of time walking clients through the process and troubleshooting on the spot – that I realized how passionate I was about making sure that the customer experience was the best it could be.”
Kailee became an integral part of the team, helping Relay’s customer service to grow and evolve as their client base grew. She had a knack for solving problems, and discovered that she loved working on the tech side to improve the customer experience.
Within her first year of being on the support team, Kailee became the Customer Happiness Manager. In this role, she worked directly with the Product Team at Relay, ensuring that every process of Relay Foods delivers the best customer experience possible. From marketing campaigns to new customer acquisitions, Kailee and her team make sure that everything they do puts customers first.
Kailee’s story is a reminder to all of us about where good support really comes from. It doesn’t originate from words on a degree or from the name of a university; it comes from the heart. Kailee’s genuine care for her customers is what has driven her success, and we’re very excited that she’ll be sharing her insights with us tonight in Support Group.
The topic of Kailee’s presentation will be the importance of bug reporting in customer support. She’ll discuss how it was an integral part of building the success of Relay’s customer service, as well providing some tips on ways to make it an easy and efficient process. We can’t wait to hear what she has to say!
Check in with us next week to get the details of her presentation!
Also published on Medium.