Working at a growth company can be tough but when you are bringing on more than 200 new clients and headcount is doubling, it can be downright impossible. But not for Jennifer MacIntosh, the vice president of customer experience at Coveo, the maker of AI-powered search and recommendations.
Known as the “dot-connector,” MacIntosh spends her days helping the different teams within the organization come together to deliver a cohesive customer experience from the first time they engage with Coveo and throughout the relationship. Having been in charge of the customer success team at the Quebec City, Canada-based software company for the past four years has given her a deep understanding of what customers need and how Coveo can help them succeed.
“Customer expectations are continuing to rise. As an organization scales, it can be challenging to provide that same level of personalized, executive-supported service to all customers and it’s no different at Coveo,” said MacIntosh in a recent question and answer session with The Software Report. “We have experienced tremendous growth over the last two years in particular. Fortunately, being able to grow quickly and not drop the ball for customers, partners and employees alike is a challenge Coveo solves, so we are in good hands.”
Running her own team at a fast-paced software company isn’t a stretch for the executive who got her feet wet at a young age, working alongside her dad who was a small business owner. Through him, she learned about managing customers, staff, partners, and vendors. While she didn’t appreciate these lessons until she was older, it provided the foundation to become the leader she is today. It didn't hurt that throughout her career she has been afforded the opportunity to work with inspirational leaders and not so great ones, drawing from the lessons from both.
While MacIntosh’s skills can be applied to any industry she said what keeps her going is the ever-changing nature of a technology-focused enterprise. “It is continuously changing and improving which means my work is never done, and I like it that way,” she said. “Being in an ever-evolving field is important to me as I’m someone who needs to be continuously learning. If I have ever found myself in a role where I didn’t feel I was learning at the pace I was accustomed to, that was a signal to me that it was time to move on.”
When it comes to getting the most out of her team, MacIntosh said she relies heavily on trust that the team will get the work completed and trust that they can count on her. To build that trust, MacIntosh said she spends time with each team member getting to know them as a person, not just an employee. She also takes pains to make herself available to her team, which she thinks goes a long way in showing she is equally invested in their success. “I truly care about them and their well-being and when we have a solid foundation of trust, together we push the boundaries of what’s possible and have some fun along the way,” said MacIntosh.
It hasn’t also been easy for MacIntosh. As a mother, it can be difficult to balance work and home life, especially when you throw a demanding travel schedule into the mix. She learned along the way not to sweat the small stuff. She also relies on a network of friends, family, and colleagues that have made it possible to pursue both her career and motherhood.
As for what MacIntosh would tell aspiring female executives, she said being open to opportunities and finding a mentor are two key ingredients to future success. “I think it’s important to recognize that opportunities do exist for women. If there’s one thing I’ve learned is that you have to have your eyes open, be willing to share your success, be humble about your learning and be ready to make decisions that you hadn’t seen coming or planned for,” she said. “This has been my biggest gift; I have always been ready to take a role and shift directions even if it was different from where I had thought I was going. It has never served me wrong and has always helped me get to my next opportunity.