Q&A with Sofia Gago, Entidad's Head of Customer Success

Written by:

Elizabeth Melton

6 minutes

Sofia Gago is the Head of Customer Success at Entidad. Her passion for service and giving back started at a young age, getting connected with leadership and college prep programs in high school and making a huge impact on her life.

Working her way through college, she gravitated toward helping others, starting her post-grad career in customer support at notable tech companies like Shutterstock, HelloSign, and Dropbox. At Entidad, her career journey’s come full circle. Now she’s the one making a difference in people’s lives via Entidad’s non-profit clients, who work so hard to make their programs a success. In this Q&A, she shares how she got to where she is today, what makes Entidad special, and her hopes for the future.

Q: Your career has evolved quite a bit over the past decade. Would you mind giving a brief overview of your career trajectory?

Sure! I started out as a marketing assistant for Bon Appétit in college, updating their graphics for weekly menus, creating advertisements for cafés around campus, and writing internal newsletters for a Spanish-bilingual audience. It was a really fun job — and nothing really pushed me away from marketing — I just realized my true passion was in service.

After school, I scored a role as a customer care advocate at Shutterstock. The fast pace of a call center environment was right up my alley. Diving into support analytics, passing potential upsell opportunities over to sales, and leveraging my Spanish with customers in Latin America was a thrill.

But nearly four years in, I was itching for more responsibility. I moved over to HelloSign, which, at the time, was a fairly small company. With just 100 employees, I had a lot more to be accountable for, but I also had some room to experiment and work more closely with engineering teams to resolve customer issues.

Then, we got acquired by Dropbox. Going from 100 peers to 500 peers was quite the transition. I moved up to Program Manager and had an opportunity to help out with tons of new projects — from developing training materials to implementing new tools to collaborating with product on new features. I even implemented a chatbot that reduced support tickets by 50% in the first month of its use.

At the same time, I joined a Slack group for Latinos in Tech, Techqueria. By happenstance, I saw another customer success role for a company that really intrigued me: Entidad. As their first customer success hire, I’d get to expand my repertoire of skills, construct my own processes from scratch, and help a company that’s bettering farm workers’ lives while doing it. That opportunity was too good to pass up, so I took a chance and reached out to Rene.

Q: What’s unique about your joint customer success and support role at Entidad?

People might assume that success and support are basically the same, but they’re actually quite different. Support is transactional — you’re only dealing with one customer at a time for a short period of time.

Customer success, on the other hand, is a more consultative type of role. You have to develop deep relationships with customers and give them consistent attention.

When both are rolled into one job, you have to monitor and address everyday issues or questions while constantly thinking about how to serve them in the future, identifying potential points of friction, and training them to fix small problems on their own. 

At Entidad, I work with a lot of folks who aren’t comfortable with technology, which makes this an even bigger challenge — one that requires emotional and technical expertise to overcome. I learn the tech side first and then figure out how to relay messages to our clients in an empathetic yet streamlined way.

Q: What do you find exciting about the position you’re in?

It’s got to be the autonomy. When I started at Entidad, we were a team of seven. In a team that small, you really have to step up to the plate. I remember Rene telling me, ‘This is your department now,’ and feeling empowered.

With that responsibility, I’ve taken it upon myself to:

  • Learn all about the farm worker community and the organizations serving them
  • Learn to use Webflow and create an interactive customer knowledge base from scratch
  • Form my own standard operating procedures and document them
  • Run my own reporting

I’ve also gotten to work with the design team a lot. Since I interface with our clients daily, I know exactly how they use our five applications and can predict what their reaction to new features will be.

Rene invited me to participate in the team’s weekly design critique. There, I can provide input based on my experience with our clients. Designers really seem to appreciate that feedback and use it to refine the UX and UI of each application. In my opinion, that collaboration results in an optimal design for end users.

It’s also opened my eyes to another way I can direct my career. While I’m loving customer success and support now, design is another interest of mine. Getting to learn more about how designers work and the role they play in product development is an opportunity I wouldn’t have gotten in another role, especially at a large company.

Q: Has anything surprised you about working at Entidad?

Honestly, it’s how accurate the co-founders were when they were describing the company in my interviews.

You can never be sure what kind of bias people have in the hiring process, but Jesus, Rene, and Jorge are the real deal. It’s clear they know so much about the space they’re working in, and they exude passion for the new ecosystem they’re building toward.

They’re also deeply connected to the issues farm workers face as children of farm workers and immigrant parents. I find that extremely inspiring, coming from a similar background. And it’s driven me and the team to hit some pretty incredible KPIs.

At the end of this year, The United Farm Workers Foundation will have distributed over $80M in relief funds to 130,000 farm workers nationally using Entidad’s call center software and farm worker self-service app. I’m proud to have contributed to that level of impact.

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Julette Martinez

CEO, Farm Worker Organization